February 21, 2024
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The Very Best Things to Do, See and Enjoy in Vermont This Summer

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This is a comprehensive overview of the top things to do, see, and enjoy across Vermont in the summer, covering outdoor activities, attractions, small towns, festivals, shopping, dining, arts, and more.

Vermont is a beautiful state filled with charming small towns, rolling green mountains, clear lakes, and endless opportunities for outdoor adventure. Summer is the perfect time to experience everything Vermont has to offer. Here are some of the top things to see and do in Vermont this summer:

Hike the Long Trail and Enjoy Other Great Things to Do in Vermont!

The Long Trail is the oldest long distance hiking trail in the US, running 273 miles from the Massachusetts border to the Canadian border along the spine of the Green Mountains. Hiking a portion or all of the trail is a rite of passage for many Vermonters. Some of the best sections to hike include:

  • The stretch from Killington to Rutland with its panoramic mountain views
  • The “Holy Trinity” of Stratton, Bromley and Magic mountains
  • Mt Mansfield, the highest peak in Vermont
Bestseller No. 1
Hiking Vermont: 60 Of Vermont's Greatest Hiking Adventures (State Hiking Guides Series)
Hiking Vermont: 60 Of Vermont’s Greatest Hiking Adventures (State Hiking Guides Series)
Pletcher, Larry (Author); English (Publication Language); 208 Pages – 05/22/2008 (Publication Date) – Falcon Guides (Publisher)
$15.95 Amazon Prime
Bestseller No. 2
AMC's Best Day Hikes in Vermont: Four-Season Guide to 60 of the Best Trails in the Green Mountain State
AMC’s Best Day Hikes in Vermont: Four-Season Guide to 60 of the Best Trails in the Green Mountain State
Roberts, Jen Lamphere (Author); English (Publication Language); 304 Pages – 05/01/2023 (Publication Date) – Appalachian Mountain Club Books (Publisher)
$19.95 Amazon Prime
SaleBestseller No. 3
Best Hikes with Dogs New Hampshire and Vermont
Best Hikes with Dogs New Hampshire and Vermont
Densmore, Lisa (Author); English (Publication Language); 256 Pages – 08/17/2005 (Publication Date) – Mountaineers Books (Publisher)
$15.51 Amazon Prime
SaleBestseller No. 4
Hiking the Green Mountains: A Guide to 40 of the Region's Best Hiking Adventures, Second Edition (Regional Hiking Series)
Hiking the Green Mountains: A Guide to 40 of the Region’s Best Hiking Adventures, Second Edition (Regional Hiking Series)
Ballard, Lisa (Author); English (Publication Language); 216 Pages – 05/01/2022 (Publication Date) – Falcon Guides (Publisher)
$14.49 Amazon Prime
SaleBestseller No. 5
Day Hiker's Guide to Vermont Exploring the Green Mountain State (Vermont Hiking Trails Series)
Day Hiker’s Guide to Vermont Exploring the Green Mountain State (Vermont Hiking Trails Series)
Detailed trail maps and descriptions; Summaries of distance, hiking time, and elevation change
$6.25
Bestseller No. 6
AMC's Best Day Hikes in Vermont: Four-Season Guide To 60 Of The Best Trails In The Green Mountain State
AMC’s Best Day Hikes in Vermont: Four-Season Guide To 60 Of The Best Trails In The Green Mountain State
Roberts, Jen Lamphere (Author); English (Publication Language); 304 Pages – 06/05/2018 (Publication Date) – Appalachian Mountain Club Books (Publisher)
$21.96 Amazon Prime
Bestseller No. 7
Northern Vermont Hiking and Biking Trail
Northern Vermont Hiking and Biking Trail
Map Adventures Northern Vermont Hike & Bike – 9781890060480; Angela Faeth (Author); English (Publication Language)
$9.95 Amazon Prime
Bestseller No. 8
The Long Trail Vermont Hiking Log | Vermont Hiking Journal | Long Trail | Thru-hiking journal | Hiking Gift
The Long Trail Vermont Hiking Log | Vermont Hiking Journal | Long Trail | Thru-hiking journal | Hiking Gift
Co., ATinyBooks (Author); English (Publication Language); 35 Pages – 07/14/2021 (Publication Date) – Independently published (Publisher)
$12.00 Amazon Prime
SaleBestseller No. 9
Beer Hiking New England: The Tastiest Way to Discover Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island
Beer Hiking New England: The Tastiest Way to Discover Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island
Kish, Carey Michael (Author); English (Publication Language); 320 Pages – 03/07/2023 (Publication Date) – Helvetiq (Publisher)
$19.69 Amazon Prime
Bestseller No. 10
Explorer's Guide 50 Hikes in Vermont (Explorer's 50 Hikes)
Explorer’s Guide 50 Hikes in Vermont (Explorer’s 50 Hikes)
W.W. Norton & Co 50 Hikes: Vermont by Lindemann, Hayden, Gmc – 9781581571998; Green Mountain Club (Author)
$19.95 Amazon Prime

Explore Quaint Small Towns

Vermont is filled with quaint small towns that look like they’re straight out of a postcard. Some of the best to visit include:

  • Stowe: Situated at the base of Mt Mansfield, this charming town has great restaurants, shops and art galleries. Don’t miss seeing the Von Trapp family lodge of Sound of Music fame.
  • Woodstock: Full of beautifully preserved Georgian and Federal style architecture. Shop the boutiques, have a meal at the Wobbly Barn farm-to-table restaurant, and visit the Billings Farm and Museum.
  • Manchester: Known for its upscale outlet shopping and the famous Hildene estate, once home to Abraham Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln.

Tour Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory

What could be more Vermont than Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? Take a 30 minute factory tour to see how the iconic ice cream is made, and sample the flavors at the end. Tours run year round at the factory in Waterbury. Don’t forget to check out the Flavor Graveyard memorializing retired flavors!

Go Biking

Vermont is an extremely bike-friendly state with quiet country roads, designated bike paths and challenging mountain biking trails. Road cyclists will love biking the rural roads through the idyllic Vermont countryside. Some scenic routes include the islands of Lake Champlain, the Mad River Valley and the Route 7A corridor. For mountain biking, the Kingdom Trails in East Burke offers over 100 miles of acclaimed mountain bike trails through the woods.

Visit Shelburne Farms

This 1400-acre working farm and National Historic Landmark on the shores of Lake Champlain is a fascinating place to visit. Tour the stately manor house, learn about the farm’s sustainable agricultural practices, walk miles of nature trails, see cheesemaking demos, and even stay overnight. Don’t miss the Children’s Farmyard with milking demos, pony rides, and interactive exhibits.

Go Shopping in Manchester

In addition to the famous outlet shops, Manchester also has a thriving local artisan culture. Check out galleries like Gallery at Equinox Village, Mark Richey Woodworking, and Kennedy Studios to see incredible contemporary artwork, furniture, and home goods made by Vermont artisans. Manchester’s shopping scene has something for all tastes and budgets.

Take a Vermont Brewery Tour

Beer lovers will be in heaven touring Vermont’s famous breweries like Alchemist, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, and Hill Farmstead. Many offer tours and tastings in their beautifully converted old barns and brew houses. Don’t miss the world famous Heady Topper from Alchemist – consistently rated one of the world’s best IPAs.

Attend a Concert at Shelburne Museum

The grounds of this sprawling museum of Americana make an amazing concert venue in summer. Concerts run the gamut from classical to folk to classic rock. Pack a picnic, bring the blankets and enjoy music under the stars after exploring the museum’s exhibits.

Go Antiquing

Vermont is full of wonderful small antique shops, especially along the scenic Route 7A corridor. Look for early Americana, quality reproduction furniture, quirky folk art, weathervanes, and more. Some favorite shops include Old Red Mill Antiques, Scott Antique Marketplace, Village Antique Group Shop, and Camelot Village Shops.

With so much natural beauty, charm, and opportunities for adventure, Vermont truly offers the best of summer. It’s easy to pack your days exploring this special state.

Go Lake Swimming

On a hot summer day there’s nothing better than jumping into the cool, clear waters of a Vermont lake. Some of the best for swimming include:

  • Lake Champlain – Miles of sandy beaches along the shore
  • Lake Willoughby – Strikingly beautiful glacially carved lake
  • Green River Reservoir – Popular swimming hole with a floating raft and diving platform
  • Branbury State Park – Large lake with beach, as well as hiking trails and a waterfall

Attend a Summer Festival

Vermont has some incredible summer festivals showcasing music, food, and the arts. Top festivals include:

Take a Farm Tour

Get an inside look at daily life on a real working farm in Vermont. Many dairy farms provide tours where you can meet the farmers, see the cows being milked, learn about sustainability practices, and sample their homemade ice cream. Some popular farms that offer tours include Shelburne Farms, Butterworks Farm, and Blue Spruce Farm.

Go Whitewater Rafting

Vermont’s rivers offer an adventurous ride through the spring and summer. Outfitters like Northern Outdoors offer rafting trips on the Deerfield River with stops for swimming through class II-IV rapids. No experience necessary for guided tours. For families, opt for a calmer float down the Connecticut River.

Visit Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home

Once home to Abraham Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln, this stately 412 acre estate provides a glimpse into the lives of the Lincoln family. Tour the 28 room Georgian Revival mansion, check out Lincoln family artifacts, stroll the formal gardens, and walk the nature trails.

Take a Cruise on Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain is a boater’s paradise, with scenic cruises offered from several ports. Cruise options include daytime scenic tours, sunset dinner cruises, and fun themed cruises featuring DJs and dancing. Don’t miss the popular Rumrunner Brunch Cruise.

Go Horseback Riding

Vermont’s rural countryside provides the perfect backdrop for seeing the landscape on horseback. Many stables offer guided trail rides for all experience levels through meadows and forests. Enjoy the scenic views from the saddle during this classic Vermont summer activity.

Bestseller No. 2
Vermont Christmas Company Horse Farm Jigsaw Puzzle 1000 Piece
Vermont Christmas Company Horse Farm Jigsaw Puzzle 1000 Piece
Jigsaw puzzle includes 1000 pieces & measures 26 5/8″ x 19 1/4″ when completed.; Fully interlocking and randomly shaped pieces.
$17.95 Amazon Prime
Bestseller No. 3
Vermont Christmas Company 'Christmas Horse Farm' Jigsaw Puzzle 1000 Piece - Fully Interlocking & Randomly Shaped Pieces - 26 5/8' x 19 1/4'
Vermont Christmas Company ‘Christmas Horse Farm’ Jigsaw Puzzle 1000 Piece – Fully Interlocking & Randomly Shaped Pieces – 26 5/8″ x 19 1/4″
Jigsaw puzzle includes 1000 pieces & measures 26 5/8″ x 19 1/4″ when completed.; Fully interlocking and randomly shaped pieces.
$17.95 Amazon Prime
Bestseller No. 9
GUND Cozys Collection Horse Stuffed Animal Plush for Ages 1 and Up, Pink/Red, 10”
GUND Cozys Collection Horse Stuffed Animal Plush for Ages 1 and Up, Pink/Red, 10”
Includes: 1 GUND Cozys Collection Plush, Poly Bag; Covered by the Spin Master Care Commitment. See below for full details
$24.94 Amazon Prime
Bestseller No. 10
Silver Forest Silvertone Horse Dangle Earrings Made in USA
Silver Forest Silvertone Horse Dangle Earrings Made in USA
Surgical steel earwire; Made in Vermont, USA
$31.98 Amazon Prime

Pick Your Own Fruit

Berry picking is a popular summer tradition in Vermont. Head to a pick-your-own orchard or berry farm so you can select the ripest, juiciest strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cherries to take home. Nothing tastes better than just-picked fruit!

With so many ways to experience Vermont’s natural beauty and rural charm, you’ll find plenty of fun activities to fill your summer itinerary. It’s no wonder people flock to Vermont in the summertime!

Here are even more things to enjoy in Vermont during the summer months:

Canoe or Kayak on a Pristine Lake

Paddle through crystal clear waters and take in gorgeous mountain scenery on one of Vermont’s many tranquil lakes. Rent a canoe or kayak and spend a relaxing day on the water at places like Lake Willoughby, Lake Bomoseen, or the Lamoille River. For a challenge, paddle the Northern Forest Canoe Trail which spans 740 miles across New England.

See a Show at Weston Playhouse Theatre

This renowned Vermont theatre company puts on a full season of plays, musicals and cabaret shows in the charming village of Weston. Attend an evening performance under the stars in their open-air theatre, or catch a matinee in the intimate indoor theatre.

Check Out the Stowe Cider House & Distillery

Vermont is known for its craft cider and spirits, and this producer allows you to taste award-winning ciders and spirits like vodka, gin and bourbons at their tasting room in Stowe. Take a tour to see cider production and barrel aging, with Vermont’s stunning Green Mountains as a backdrop.

Attend the Vermont Mozart Festival

This two-week festival held in early August features world-class performances of Mozart’s works held in unique Vermont venues like historic theaters, churches and farms. Listen to renowned orchestras and soloists while taking in the beautiful Green Mountain scenery.

Take an Electric Bike Tour

E-bikes make exploring Vermont’s hills and backroads easy and fun. Take a guided e-bike tour through places like the Mad River Valley and visit farmer’s markets, sugar shacks, breweries and swimming holes along the way. It’s a breeze on an e-bike!

What Activities and Attractions Can I Expect at Vermont State and County Fairs?

Vermont county fairs offer a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. From the thrilling rides and games to the entertaining live performances and concerts, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Indulge in delicious local foods, explore the livestock exhibits, and admire the skilled craftsmanship showcased in the competitions. Vermont County Fairs create an atmosphere of community and celebration, making them a must-visit event.

See Hot Air Balloons at the Quechee Balloon Festival

Nothing epitomizes a Vermont summer more than hot air balloons sailing over the Green Mountains. Attend this iconic summer festival in Quechee to see mass balloon launches, concerts, crafts, and lovely evening balloon glows synchronized to music.

With its unspoiled nature, charming villages, and wealth of summer activities, Vermont offers something fun for everyone. It’s easy to have an unforgettable summer in this beautiful state.

With its natural beauty and wealth of outdoor activities, Vermont offers the perfect summer getaway. Take a road trip through this gorgeous state to hike trails, visit charming towns, eat amazing food and ice cream, and swim in crystal clear lakes. It’s sure to be a memorable summer!

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