For such a small state, there’s a lot to see and do in Vermont. Make your own teddy bear at Vermont Teddy Bear Company, sample some of the best apple cider donuts in the country at Cold Hollow Cider Mill or hike to the Stowe Pinnacle Summit for incredible views of the Green Mountains.
And don’t forget to stop in a sugar house for maple syrup and all kinds of maple-flavored concoctions. Fall is a great time for a road trip across Vermont, so take a look at 10 stops to make as you explore the Green Mountain State.
Vermont Teddy Bear Factory (Shelburne)
Kids and adults alike will love the Vermont Teddy Bear Company in Shelburne. The 30-minute tour with a Bear Ambassador costs just a few dollars, but be ready for loads of bear puns. The behind-the-scenes tour shows visitors how the teddy bears are made, dressed, even repaired at the on-site teddy bear hospital.
Lake Champlain (Burlington)
From biking to hiking to exploring the coastal wine trail by way of a self-guided driving tour, there’s a lot to see and do in the Lake Champlain region. On the lake itself, there are plenty of opportunities to get out on a stand-up paddleboard, a sailboat or a canoe. One popular past time is to island hop, taking the ferry to Burton Island or kayaking to North Hero Island.
Ben & Jerry’s Factory (Waterbury)
Of course, it’s a must to stop in the Ben & Jerry’s Factory in Waterbury. Take a free 30-minute tour of the factory to learn how the ice cream is made before scooping up a full-size sample at the end of the tour. Before you leave, snap a selfie with the “Cowmobile.” In winter, add on a 45-minute snowshoe tour to work up an appetite before finishing up with a sample or a visit to the Scoop Shop.
Cold Hollow Cider Mill (Waterbury Center)
For apple cider donuts, Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury Center is the place to go. You’ll also want to sample the apple cider and the array of mustards set out upfront with oyster crackers. For lunch, walk across the driveway to the Apple Core Luncheonette. Order “Vermont to the Core,” a grilled panini topped with local bacon, cheddar, cider jelly and apple slices.
Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa (Stowe)
Stay the night in Stowe at Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa. Plan to hike, bike and swim in the summer, then ski and snowshoe in the winter. Look for the Stoweflake Discovery Programs, which includes llama walks and farm tours. Charlie B’s is a great pick for on-site dining. It’s also a very short drive to Stowe Golf Park for mini golf and Stowe Bowl for family bowling night.
Stowe Pinnacle Summit (Stowe)
For incredible 360 degree views, hike the Stowe Pinnacle Trail. It’s a relatively short, but steep, hike up to the summit but you will be awed by the views of the Green Mountains. Take a lunch and sit on the rocks to enjoy the views. If you’re eager to get to the top, you can take off about a mile from the hike by parking at the Pinnacle Meadows Parking Lot further up the trail.
Bragg Farm Sugar House (East Montpelier)
When in Vermont, visit a sugar house, even if it’s out of season (sugaring season usually lasts six weeks sometime between February and April). At Bragg Farm Sugar House in East Montpelier, you can taste maple syrups, take an educational tour and hike along the maple walking trail. There’s also an ice cream parlor on-site where you can get a milkshake or a maple creemee (a soft-serve cone).
Vermont State House (Montpelier)
The smallest state capital in the country may have the most beautiful state capitol building. The gold-domed Vermont State House in Montpelier offers guided tours from July through October, but you can explore the legislative chambers and visitors galleries on your own. Wander the streets of this quaint town, including the Vermont Historical Society Museum, which is next door to the Vermont State House.
Killington Mountain Resort (Killington)
Regardless of the season, there’s plenty to do at Killington Mountain Resort. When the weather is warm, look for all kinds of outdoor activities at the Adventure Center, including an alpine coaster, ziplines, scenic lift rides and a ropes course. There are also plenty of trails for hiking and mountain biking. In winter, there’s skiing and snowboarding, but there’s also fat biking, sleigh rides and snowmobile tours.
Downtown Rutland ArtWalk (Rutland)
In Rutland, loads of oversized murals decorate buildings all across town, primarily along Merchants Row. Murals range from a beautiful garden of flowers to a colorful depiction of the town and prominent buildings, including Christ the King Church. There’s even a giant mural of Batman. Before you go, print out locations of each mural from the Downtown Rutland website so you know where to find each one.
Have you been to Vermont? I’d love to hear about some of your favorite must-stop places on a road trip across the Green Mountain State.