Travel along the back roads of Vermont for vistas of classic New England church steeples and covered bridges, clapboard houses, and 19th-century town squares.
Cozy and romantic inns, where strangers may become friends and hospitality is an art, are tucked among the green Vermont hills and mountain backdrops. Inn-to-inn tours are popular, with travelers going from place to place via car, bike, canoe, horse, or on foot.
Love to shop or browse for curiosities, taste some classic flavors, and find stuff that's truly useful? The Vermont Country Store has two logs-and-mortar locations in its home state, in the towns of Weston and Rockingham.
Simple Pleasures: Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont
Two major hiking trails, the Appalachian and the Long Trail, run parallel with the spine of the Green Mountains. This is where lovers of the outdoors may also swim or fish in clear lakes, ponds, and streams, canoe white-water rapids, even pan for gold in Vermont. There are five camping areas contained within the 335,000-acre forest, and primitive camping is permitted in remote areas.
Freshwater Lake Champlain, which stretches from mid-Vermont to the Canadian border, has waterfalls and gorges cascading through the area. Called Vermont's Cape Cod, lively Lake Champlain offers many waterfront and social activities.
Delicious Vermont: Ben & Jerry's Factory Tour
For an all-natural treat, head for Ben & Jerry's Vermont's Finest All Natural Ice Cream factory in Waterbury. On the half-hour tour, free samples are distributed. Afterward, stop at the Scoop Shop and Gift Shop to taste any of Ben & Jerry's scrumptious flavors and admire the collection of cow "meMoorabilia." Warning: The place is usually crawling with kids.
Vermont Ski Resorts in Summer
When the temperature rises, many of Vermont's ski resorts convert to summer havens. Gondolas that carried skiers in sub-zero temperatures now provide riders with spectacular views of balmy green meadows and peaks in bloom.
In the village of Stowe in northern Vermont, restaurants, antique shops, and lodges welcome guests year 'round. In July and August, Stowe Performing Arts presents jazz and classical concerts near the Trapp Family Lodge. The Spa at Topnotch at Stowe relaxes and rejuvenates those who travel here for personal services and workouts.
On a clear day, one can see five states and Canada from the summit of Killington, Vermont. Mountain trails are open to hikers, and there are over a hundred different places to stay in the area. Killington has an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, plus a school for players. And amidst all this natural splendor there's Hemingway's, a chic restaurant whose formal dining room glistens with crystal.
Ski areas attract summer athletes. Mount Snow and Stratton Mountain both run golf schools and the sound of tennis balls echoes through the mountains. Whatever your sport or pleasure, Vermont is the place to come play this summer.
Summer in the City: Bennington, Vermont
A self-guided vacation walking tour through historic Bennington, the largest city in Vermont, travels past the village green surrounded by Federal and Greek-Revival buildings. Poet Robert Frost, whose tombstone reads, "I had a lover's quarrel with the world," is buried here.
The Bennington Museum contains a lustrous assemblage of Tiffany glass. Every summer Bennington College hosts Art New England for adults, and the Bennington Writing Workshops inspire poets and other writers. Mid-July through mid-August, accomplished classical musicians venture to nearby Marlboro to play at the prestigious summer festival.