What is Vermont Known For?

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Vermont is happily known as the Green Mountain state thanks to its gorgeous mountains and green landscapes, with forests, hiking trails and countryside all around. With so much stunning nature, Vermont has also become famous for a few more things to love that are grown in its fields and farms. Some cool things to come out of Vermont include a large amount of America’s maple syrup, delicious cheeses, apple pies and lots of alcohol, thanks to the many vineyards, distilleries and breweries, along with Ben & Jerry’s, which was founded here.

It’s not all food and drink in Vermont, though; thousands of people visit every year in autumn to watch the colours change on the trees, as the state has some of the most beautiful foliage in New England, along with ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, and snowsports in winter, like skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. Other unique local attractions in Vermont include dozens of covered bridges, which are picturesque and popular for photos, and many quarries, which might not sound exciting, but they produce some of the best marble in the US. With all these amazing attributes, anyone visiting is all set for time spent in nature, enjoying wine and fresh local produce and admiring the scenery.

What is Vermont Known For?

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1- Burlington

Burlington is Vermont’s state capital and sits in a scenic location on Lake Chaplain.

The city is home to more than 42,000 people and is well known for its colleges and universities, such as the University of Vermont.

The city’s best drinking, dining and shopping spots are located downtown, mostly along Church Street, where you’ll find some excellent cafes and a lively nightlife each evening.

Burlington epitomises all of the great aspects of Vermont, and visitors will love the fresh produce, shopping at farmers markets or visiting local vineyards.

Many people arrive in autumn to see the colourful foliage or head here in winter and use it as a base for snowsports in one of the state’s ski resorts.

Recommended tours:

2- Green Mountain State

Aerial Over Cliffs On Vermont Coast With Lush Green Forest
The nickname of “Green Mountain State” is what Vermont is known for.

Each state has a nickname, and Vermont’s is the “Green Mountain State’.

This is mainly due to its landscapes, which are covered in miles and miles of lush green forests, which make it one of the states with the highest percentage of forest in the entire US.

The name comes from the state’s original name, ‘Verd Mont’, which literally means green mountains, as it was named by French explorer Samuel de Chaplin.

The mountains after which it is named stretch for 250 miles up and down the state and are 30 miles wide!

This means there are ample opportunities for nature lovers, such as hiking, camping, fishing, skiing and more.

The highest peak, which is popular with tourists hiking to the summit, is Mount Mansfield, although there are lots of other mountains, hills, forests and lakes to explore.

Recommended tours:

3- Ben & Jerry’s

Parlor With Many Different Sorts Of Ice Cream
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is what Vermont is known for.

Not many people know that Ben & Jerry’s was actually founded in Vermont.

It was started by two friends, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, at a petrol station in Burlington in 1978, and the rest is history!

Now, Ben & Jerry’s has developed more than 300 different flavours of ice cream, although some have been discontinued, and the company was bought out by Unilever in the early 200s.

The company has factories all around the world but still maintains one in Waterbury, Vermont.

The best part about this is that the public can visit to enjoy a tour of the factory and, of course, get some free ice cream samples.

There’s also a cool ‘flavours graveyard’ with all the weird and wonderful flavours the company discontinued over the years.

4- Fall Colours

Grandview Farm Barn With Fall Colors In Vermont
Amazing fall colours is one of the things Vermont is known for.

New England is one of the most famous places in the world for watching the changing leaves in autumn, and Vermont stands out among a few other states thanks to its abundance of maple trees, whose leaves glow red, orange and yellow in autumn.

Normally, the leaves begin changing slightly earlier in Vermont, but you can expect to see colours right from September until the end of October, along with thousands of other visitors who will likely join you.

Tourists love visiting to see the beautiful foliage and the state has developed an array of opportunities to make the most of it, such as scenic foliage drives, hikes and lookout points.

There’s a Vermont Fall Foliage Report which has accurate predictions each year to plan a trip, plus a Fall Foliage Map, with photo spots at iconic locations like the Appalachian Trail and the Chaplain Valley.

If you’re short on time or just passing through, head straight for Route 100, which spans from Massachusetts to Canada, as you can see the leaves on the way, along with other forests, waterfalls and bridges.

5- Maple Syrup

Delicious Maple Syrup
What foods is Vermont known for? Maple syrup tops the list.

Most people associate maple syrup with Canada, and while this is true, America doesn’t get all of the tasty condiments from there – in fact, most of it is made in Vermont!

Around two-thirds of America’s maple syrups come from the state due to its climate and soil, which means thousands of maple trees thrive here.

The state is extremely proud of this export and celebrates Maple Syrup Day each year, which features a maple syrup festival.

You won’t be hard-pressed to find it in restaurants and cafes around Vermont if you go for breakfast, brunch or dessert, and make sure to visit a souvenir shop to pick a few bottles to take home.

You can also go on maple syrup tours to visit syrup shacks and learn more about how the sap is turned into a much-loved topping.

Much of the syrup is produced by local farms, so it’s a great way to support the local community.

6- Winter Sports

Stratton Mountain
Winter activities is another thing Vermont is known for.

With its huge stretch of mountains, Vermont is well-placed to be a mecca for snowsport lovers.

Vermont has a variety of extremely popular ski resorts, such as Killington, Stowe, and Jay Peak; plus, there’s a museum called the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum where you can learn all about the history of the sport, complete with old-fashioned equipment and boards.

Vermont gets some serious snow come winter, which normally begins around November and often doesn’t let up until April.

This means there’s plenty of thick powder for visitors and locals to enjoy a range of activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, sledging and more.

The resorts here also offer lots in the way of relaxation, with luxury accommodation, spas and shopping.

However, if you are planning to head to Vermont for the season, booking in advance is advised – the ski areas are just a couple of hours from New York and Boston, making it a popular weekend getaway.

7- Covered Bridges

Covered Bridge In Vermont
Covered bridge is what the state of Vermont is known for.

Now for a cute and quirky attraction that’s famous in Vermont – its colourful coloured bridges.

The state has more than one hundred covered bridges, which are mostly made from wood and date back to the 1800s.

The state boasts the most covered bridges of any other state in New England and their beauty makes them popular for photographs.

Some of the most famous bridges to add to the list include the Kissing Bridge and the Cornish-Windsor Bridge, and you can still cross them to this day.

Although they were originally designed for walking and carriages, they’ve been reinforced for cars and are often painted red, which looks dramatic against a backdrop of orange and yellow leaves in autumn.

You don’t need to plan an itinerary to see the covered bridges, as you’ll likely come across them if you’re driving, but some of the nicest are located in Bennington, Manchester, Rockingham and Windsor, the latter of which has the longest bridge in New England.

8- Abolishing Slavery

Vermont has a rich political history and was the first American state to abolish slavery, which came about in the first constitution of Vermont in 1777.

The decree also offered universal male suffrage, which meant giving the vote to all black men, something pioneering for the time period.

At this point, Vermont wasn’t technically classed as a state yet, but the area was well established and Vermont quickly declared itself as a sovereign country before they became the 14th state in the USA.

Many other regions of New England didn’t abolish slavery until years later.

Today, you can follow a heritage trail to learn more, which visits the Old Constitution House, Rokeby Museum and the Clemmons Family Farm, one of the largest African-American farms in the state.

9- Cheddar Cheese

Grated And Diceded Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar cheese is a food Vermont is famous for.

This one might surprise people, but overall, Vermont is extremely famous for its fresh, local produce, with hundreds of farms growing fruits and vegetables, farming animals and producing everything from cheese to wine and bread.

Vermont makes around 45,000kg of cheese every year in a range of varieties.

However, their cheddar is made in Cabot, which is why it’s known as Vermont Cabot Cheddar.

It began with The Cabot Creamery in 1919, which is still one of the most famous brands in America.

If you stop by, make sure to take a tour to learn how the cheese is made, enjoy some cheese tasting and take a few slabs home to enjoy, or better yet, for a picnic in the gorgeous Vermont surroundings.

10- Apple Pie

Round Baked Apple Pie On A Brown Wooden Table
Apple pie is another food Vermont is known for.

It seems like Vermont just loves to eat and drink, so the list continues with the state’s famous apple pie.

Apple pie is the official state pie of Vermont because the state has perfect conditions for growing apple trees, along with the maples and other species.

The apples here are sweet and crisp and, in locals’ opinions, far better than you’ll get anywhere else.

To test the theory, don’t miss stopping by a restaurant or cafe in Waterbury or Burlington for a slice of pie, which is on pretty much every menu you’ll come across.

Take some home as a souvenir, or pick up a range of other apple-inspired products that are locally grown.

11- Vineyards

Rows Of Grapes Growing In A Vineyard
Vineyards in Vermont.

Moving on to Vermont’s drinking scene, the lush valleys, hills and mountains here are optimal for wineries.

There are more than twenty wineries around the state, which can easily be explored via the Vermont Wine Trail or individual tasting trails in different local areas.

For a great foodie experience, you could combine the wine, cheese and distiller trails to sample some of the best food and drinks in Vermont.

In terms of vineyards, head to places like Snow Farm Vineyard, Honora Winery and Vermont Vines to explore the different varieties of grapes that are grown, enjoy lunch and do a few wine tastings in the sunshine.

The most common grape varieties are Frontenac, Marquette, and La Crescent, which are mixed with fresh local fruits like raspberries, rhubarb and apple to create divine flavours.

12- Long Trail

Ottauquechee River Flowing Through The Quechee Gorge
Quechee Gorge State Park is a place Vermont is known for.

Hiking lovers will have an endless choice of trails when heading to Vermont, but if you only pick one, try the famous Long Trail.

The name is apt since it’s one of the oldest long-distance hiking trails in the whole of America! It runs all the way from Massachusetts to Canada and is around 273 miles long.

It was created by the local Green Mountain Club back in 1930 and is most popular for hiking during the summer months between June to October, although most people only hike short sections, as the entire trail takes up to four weeks to complete.

Along the way, you can enjoy spectacular views of Vermont’s mountains, forests and rivers and stay at any of the 70 backcountry campsites.

The trail is well-marked and in the warmer months, hundreds of people set out to tackle the trail mostly on day trips, but some ‘end-to-end’ hikers attempt the full route.

13- Breweries And Distilleries

Craft Beer Flight Wooden Tray
Breweries and distilleries are what Vermont is known for.

If you’re not a fan of wine but still enjoy a tipple then Vermont well and truly has you covered with its range of breweries and distilleries.

The state holds one of the biggest craft beer festivals in New England, the Vermont Brewers Festival, which normally takes place in July and hosts dozens of stalls, events and brewers where you can sample beer to your heart’s content.

There are also more than 60 breweries in Vermont, with lots of great ones in Stowe and Burlington, and you can try well-known Vermont brands such as The Alchemist too.

Not forgetting about the sprites, there are also a few distilleries to explore, whether you’re keen on vodka or gin.

Check out brands such as Smuggle’s Notch and Caledonia Spirits – you can visit the latter to go on a tour, have a few cocktails at the bar and, of course, buy some famous Bar Hill gin.

14- Bernie Sanders

Vermont can’t lay claim to producing very many famous people, but it has produced three of the most prominent in America.

These are Chester A. Arthur, who was the 21st President of the United States), Calvin Coolidge (30th Presiden) and Bernie Sanders.

The politician and senator is well-known in the US for his strong opinions and although he was born in New York, he very quickly moved to Burlington in Vermont to start working in politics, which led him to become a congressman and then senator.

Locals say that he can often be seen supporting the community or out and about, as he has homes in Burlington and North Hero.

He’s a much-loved figure are also served as the Mayor of Burlington from 1981-1989.

15- Marble

Quarrys may not seem like a thrilling attraction when visiting Vermont but you’ll be impressed once you start learning more.

Vermont exports huge amounts of marble, which the quarries are used to mine.

The biggest one is Danby Quarry, which is also the largest underground marble quarry on earth.

The quarry is inside a mountain and any construction of furniture, such as tables, columns or baths, is done right there, underneath the mountain!

There’s also the Rock of Ages Quarry and Smith Quarry, the biggest deep hole quarry in the world, where you can do tours between May and October.

There’s a visitors centre and gallery, and you can learn about marble production – which may seem boring until you hear that Danby Marble was used to make sights like the US Supreme Court and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

Map Of United States With Vermont Highlight

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India Jayne trainor
India-Jayne Trainor is a British/Australian freelance writer, photographer and contributor to various online blogs and travel websites. She has travelled to almost 30 countries, most recently Cuba and Sri Lanka. Her work focuses on solo female travel, having spent two months backpacking alone through South East Asia as well as living in Germany for a year. Her favourite country to date has been Hong Kong, but she is happy in any country by the ocean. Her next destinations are Uzbekistan and a road trip through the American Mid-West. India is currently based in London, UK.