Vermont is a slice of “Old World” New England with sleepy pre-Revolution towns, green mountains and rolling farmland stretching to the Canadian border. And with maple syrup, artisan cheeses and microbreweries, it’s a culinary force to be reckoned with.
Created in 1910, the Long Trail is a 250-mile north-south path and the USA’s
first long-distance hiking route. Day hikers enjoy the views from the Green
Mountain National Forest. The Green
Mountain Club visitor centre has routes (00 1 802 244 7037).
Snow Farm Winery, situated on
the island of South Hero in Lake Champlain, is Vermont’s first vineyard. You
can sample its much-vaunted whites or an ice wine – a dessert wine made from
grapes frozen on the vine. The vineyard hosts free concerts in summer (00 1 802
372 9463; open May-Dec).
more craft brewers per person than any other state – the Magic Hat Brewery in Burlington is possibly
the most celebrated and eccentric. Their “Artifactory” tour ends with the
chance to try seasonal and experimental concoctions (00 1 802 658 2739; free).
The Robert Frost Stone House Museum in
Shaftesbury was once the great poet’s home. And just a short distance away is
the picturesque town, Old Bennington, where Frost is buried (museum closed
December-April and Mondays; £3).
anti-Vietnam War to nuclear disarmament demonstrations, the folks from the Bread and Puppet Museum in Glover have
been staging politically charged, life-size puppetry performances for decades (00
1 802 525 301; 753 Heights Road, Glover; closed Sun; free).
Eat and drink
producers gather every Saturday at Burlington Farmer’s Market.
As well as vegetables, artisan cheeses and meats, many stalls offer soups,
stews and breakfast sandwiches (8:30am-2pm; cakes from £4.50).
Burlington’s most experimental restaurants, the Bluebird Tavern might offer smoked fallow deer or mussels with
smoked almonds on its menu. There’s also live music (00 1 802 540 1786; dishes
One of the
best restaurants in the state, Pangea
in North Bennington mixes and matches New England produce with more
international influences. Try the grilled mahi-mahi with ginger broth or
Maryland-style crab cake with remoulade (00 1 802 442 7171; mains from £11).
kitchen for the New England Culinary Institute, Montpelier’s Main Street Bar and
Grill describes itself as a gastronomic “production lab”. You can watch its
students at work in the open-plan kitchen, and the Sunday brunch buffet is
popular (00 1 802 223 3188; mains from £14).
Said to be
haunted, the White House of Wilmington
is a colonial revival mansion with views of Deerfield Valley. Mains might include
homemade crab cakes, roasted Vermont duckling or Cajun pork. There’s a pretty
heavyweight wine list, too (00 1 802 464 2135; mains from £18).
A ‘40s building
with rustic wood-panelled rooms and brightly coloured quilts, the Inn at Mad River Barn is one of the last
old-time Vermont ski lodges. There’s a massive stone fireplace, deep leather
chairs and a deck overlooking landscaped gardens (00 1 802 496 3310; VT 17
Waitsfield; from £60).
house since 1908, Sunset House is the
only bed and breakfast in the centre of downtown Burlington within walking
distance of the waterfront. Four cosy guest rooms are tastefully decked out
with antiques and ceiling fans (00 1 802 864 3790; 78 Main St; from £75).
The Inn at Shelburne
Farms was once the 19th-century summer mansion of a wealthy family
connected to the Vanderbilt dynasty. Inside, spacious rooms still display
reminders of the previous occupants, with antique furnishings and ornate
fireplaces. Don’t leave without exploring the hiking trails around the outlying
countryside (00 1 802 985 8498; closed Oct-Apr; from £100).
The Inn at Round Barn Farm in
Waitsfield is a decidedly upscale bed and breakfast – cosy rooms feature gas
fires, antiques and canopy beds. Most overlook the meadows and the Green
Mountains, plus there’s a hearty breakfast with Vermont roasted coffee (00 1
802 496 2276; from £110).
One of New
England’s grandest hotels, Equinox
in Manchester traces back to the 18th century and was frequented by Theodore
Roosevelt and Ulysses S Grant. It’s now a luxury complex – bag a room in the
Charles Orvis Inn with its own library and veranda (00 1 802 362 4747; 3567
Main St; from £160).
When to go
Winter sees throngs
of skiers descend on Vermont’s resorts, while summer is festival season – the Discover Jazz Festival brings jazz
luminaries to Burlington in June. Autumn is best for landscapes, with swathes
of forest turning rusty red and amber.
transportation is neither frequent nor widespread in rural New England, so the
easiest way to get around Vermont is by car. Hertz,
operate car hire centres at Burlington International airport (from £60 per day).
Delta Air Lines flies from Heathrow to
Burlington International airport via New York JFK (from £430). British
Airways flies from Heathrow to Boston, Massachusetts (from £360). Greyhound buses run between Boston and
Burlington (from £31).
The article 'Mini guide to Vermont, USA' was published in partnership with Lonely Planet Magazine.