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The 20 Best Things To Do In Vermont For First Timers

Stowe Mountain Resort

If you have never visited Vermont before, then you may be expecting to experience ski resorts and to be able to look out on forests as far as the eye can see. While these are both things that you will find in Vermont, there is also a lot more than this to discover. Here are the top twenty things to do in Vermont for people who have never visited before.

The Warren Store

20. The Warren Store

The Warren Store dates back to the 19th Century and it began life as a boarding house and stop for stagecoaches. Today it has become the center of the community and there are a variety of different goods that you can buy from here. It is best-known for the deli which serves a wide range of breakfast items in the morning and freshly made sandwiches for lunch. Other items that you can buy at the store include clothing, craft beers from Vermont. A selection of baked goods and sweet treats are available from the bakery.

Green Mountain Railroad

19. Green Mountain Railroad

The Green Mountain Railroad lets you take a journey through the Vermont countryside and it is a great way to appreciate the natural beauty of this area. There is no specific set timetable and so it is always a good idea to visit the website before you travel to check when the trains are running.  The best time of the year to visit is fall as this is when the trains run most often and the different colors of the foliage make for a spectacular view.

Lake Champlain Chocolates

18. Lake Champlain Chocolates

Tours of Lake Champlain Chocolates take place every weekday, twice a day. There is no charge for these tours and you will receive free samples of the chocolates as you go around the factory. The factory has been operational for almost forty years and there has been quite a bit of expansion in this time. It is a family owned business and it still creates chocolates using local suppliers, as well as working with fair trade partners from all over the world. You can also buy chocolate products from the store after the tour has finished.

Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks

17. Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks

The Morse family have been making maple syrup for over 200 years. Eight generations of the family have been working at the Maple Sugarworks and there is a lot of history at this site. Tours of the property are available and they can be guided or you can explore in your own time. The guided tour is recommended as you will get access to videos and live presentations that detail the history of the sugarworks. You will also get a sweet treat that is made on the farm at the end of the tour.

Vermont Teddy Bear Factory

16. Vermont Teddy Bear Factory

Factory tours take place on an hourly basis, as detailed on the Vermont Teddy Bear website. All of the teddy bears that are made here are produced by hand and you will see staff working on these bears as you take the tour. There is also the chance to view the Teddy Bear hospital where bears can go to be fixed if something happens to them. Children who visit the factory will also have the opportunity to make their own bears.

Ben and Jerry's

15. Ben and Jerry's Factory Tour

Ben and Jerry's ice cream is one of the most famous brands to ever come out of Vermont. The company started in 1978 selling ice cream that was produced in a disused gas station. Today, the ice cream is made at a state of the art facility in Burlington. The tour of the factory lasts thirty minutes and will show you every stage of the manufacturing process. When the tour is over you are able to buy some ice cream from the shop that is on site.

Cold Hollow Cider Mill

14. Cold Hollow Cider Mill

Cold Hollow Cider Mill is one of the most popular cider mills in New England. The mill still uses the rack and cloth method to produce this cider and this is a process that visitors are able to observe as it takes place. You can buy this cider from the large store that next to the mill, along with other products such as apple cider donuts, fresh pastries and a large selection of sandwiches and wraps that are all made at the mill. They also sell products made elsewhere such as craft beers, sweets and souvenirs.

Fairbanks Museum

13. Fairbanks Museum And Planetarium

The planetarium at Fairbanks is the only one in the state that gives access to the public. Shows are held at the planetarium on a daily basis which allow visitors to gain insight into the solar system and our place in it. The museum focuses on the natural history of the Great Northern Forest. The museum has both permanent and temporary displays and there are approximately 30,000 objects that are on display at any one time. The Exploration Station contains interactive exhibits that help children understand concepts such as heat, weather and electricity.

Montshire Museum of Science

12. Montshire Museum Of Science

Trip Hobo recommends the Montshire Museum of Science as something you should definitely do if you are travelling with children. There are over 150 exhibits at the museum that cover all areas of science. Many of these exhibits are interactive and will keep both adults and children entertained. The museum regularly houses traveling exhibits so there is always something new to see. There is an extensive outdoor area which contains attractions such as a tree top viewing platform and a trail which takes you all around the lagoon located in the grounds.

Parker McCullough House

11. Park-McCullough House

Park-McCullough House is considered to be one of the best-preserved Victorian Mansions in New England. It was built by local entrepreneur Trenor W. Park and building work began in 1864. Park and his family moved into the home on Christmas Day 1865. The house remained in the family for 100 years before it was handed over to the Park-McCullough House Association. Tours take place at the home on a hourly basis from May to October which include the mansion itself and the landscaped gardens.

Stowe Mountain Resort

10. Stowe Mountain Resort

The Stowe Mountain Resort is open all year round and there really is something for everyone here. The resort is located right next to Mount Mansfield and this makes it a great place to spend time outdoors. The mountain can be used for hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. There are several bars and restaurants at the resort that offer a wide range of choice. The resort also has several shopping outlets and a spa which is located in a beautiful mountain lodge.

Killington Ski Area

9. Killington Ski Area

If you are visiting Vermont to ski, then this is one of the best places in the state that you can do this. There are over 73 miles of ski trails and all levels of ability are catered for. There is also the opportunity for snow boarding and the use of snow mobiles and quads. The resort also remains open in the summer and there are several attractions that visitors can experience including the Beast Mountain Coaster. This is a corkscrew coaster that turns riders 360 degrees as it snakes through the forest.

Bennington Battle Monument

8. Bennington Battle Monument

According to Trip Savvy, the Bennington Battle Monument is the tallest structure in all of Vermont. The monument was erected to celebrate the victory of the New England army, made up of local people, over the professionally trained British army. There was an arsenal in Bennington that the people of New England wanted to protect. The monument is on the site of this arsenal and you can get a view of the whole battlefield by climbing to the top. The Bennington Battle was considered to be one of the most important in the Revolutionary War.

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

7. Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park covers over 550 acres and each part of it is very distinctive, which is the reason for the three names. There are activities that are held at the park all year round. Guided tours of the park are available which also include a tour of the mansion that is located within the park. The park had connections to the Underground Railroad which are highlighted through special events. The slopes of Mount Tom can be used for skiing during the winter months and there are hiking trails that can be followed in the summer.

Church Street Marketplace

6. Church Street Marketplace

The Church Street Marketplace is an outdoor mall in Burlington that covers four blocks. There are over one hundred shops and places to eat in this area, including one of a kind venues that you will not find anywhere else. If you are looking for a memorable dining and shopping experience, then this is the place to head to. There is also a lot of historic architecture that can be found in this part of the city. No matter which time of the year you are visiting, you will always find live music and street entertainment being performed.

President Calvin Coolidge

5. President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site

Vermont Historic Sites lists this house as the birthplace of President Calvin Coolidge. It was also the home in which he spent his childhood and where he took his presidential oath of office. The site also includes a school house, church, post office and dance hall which were all constructed in the 19th Century. The site has not changed much since the time that President Coolidge lived there. A museum was built in 1972 and this was enlarged in 2010 to house more exhibits that document his public and private life.

Shelburne Farms

4. Shelburne Farms

Shelburne Farms is a National Historic Monument that is set over 1400 acres. It is a working farm and there is also a substantial area of forest. It is a not for profit organization that provides education for a sustainable future. Tours are available that will show you different aspects of the farm and the work that is done there. There are also walking trails that you can follow which will take you all around the farm which is located at the edge of Lake Champlain. You have the chance to buy some products from the farm in the gift shop.

Ethan Allen Homestead

3. Ethan Allen Homestead

If you are visiting Burlington, then you probably won't be able to avoid hearing about Ethan Allen. He was the revolutionary hero that helped protect the rights of homesteads in Vermont during the war. The homestead that Allen and his family lived in was built in 1797. It has been carefully preserved so it still looks the same as it would have done when Allen lived there. There are artifacts and historical documents inside the homestead that give you an insight into what his life was like.

BIllings Farm

2. Billings Farm And Museum

According to Vacation Idea, Billings Farm and Museum is one of the best outdoor history museums in all of the United States. Billings is a Jersey dairy farm that is fully operational and the site also includes a museum. The museum is housed in a restored farm house that dates back to 1890. The museum includes photographs and other artifacts that tell the history of the farm, and how important farming was to Vermont in the past. There is also the chance to view the animals that live on the farm including cows, horses and sheep.

Hildene - The Home Of The Lincoln Family

1. Hildene - The Home Of The Lincoln Family

Hildene was the home of the descendants of President Lincoln until 1975. The estate was designed in Georgian style by Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, an architectural firm from Boston. It was first owned by Robert Todd, who was the only one of Lincoln's children who survived into adulthood. As well as the mansion itself, there are also thirteen other historical buildings to explore in the 400 acre grounds. Guided tours are available or you can explore at your own pace. There are also several walking trails that you can follow around the grounds.

Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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