If you’re looking for a warm getaway in the northeast, you absolutely can’t miss out on summer in Vermont. This small state is often overlooked compared to Maine and Massachusetts, but it truly does pack a punch.
Vermont in summer is incredible, and this post is going to introduce you to all the best things to do and places to visit during the warm season.
Whether you’re the type of person who loves outdoor adventures or you’d rather learn at museums, you’ll soon find that the state of Vermont has it all.
Most people will opt to visit Vermont in the winter, too, because of its ski season, so you’ll be able to visit with fewer tourists in the summer.
From charming small towns with local shops to sprawling cities next to gorgeous lakes and a variety of events, Vermont is a summer destination worth visiting.
Things to Do in Summer in Vermont
Here are our favorite things to do in Vermont in the summer. Enjoy!
Shop Local at the Vermont Farmers Market
One of the main slogans in Vermont is to “shop small.” So, do just that by attending one of the biggest markets in the whole state: the Vermont Farmers Market!
Located in Rutland, this market is filled with more than 50 different vendors that you can shop from.
Once inside, you’ll be able to explore tons of tables featuring everything from local cheeses to maple syrups.
Be sure to try some of the maple syrup plain, too; you’d be surprised to taste the difference between a dark and light syrup.
Stay in a Secluded Cabin
Why not enjoy the natural beauty that Vermont is so well known for by staying in a cabin?
This cozy chalet near Okemo Mountain and Lake Pauline is perfect for just that. It sleeps about six people at a time and is quite large at 1400 square feet.
Visitors can enjoy a huge outdoor deck with seating, privacy in a forest, and huge ceilings. A short drive will bring visitors to the Fox Run Golf Course, Jackson Gore Adventure Resort, and more. Plus, Killington Mountain is right nearby too!
Read next: Cozy Cabins in Vermont
Attend the Vermont Antique and Classic Car Meet
One thing to know about Vermont and its locals: they love their antiques and history. Join in on the fun by attending the one and only Vermont Antique and Classic Car Meet!
The event takes place every June, usually for just a weekend. It happens right in Manchester, one of the best places to visit during summer in Vermont.
During the event, guests can eat great food, mingle with locals, and of course, walk around and check out antique cars. Be sure to talk with the owners to learn more about each car you see!
Hit the Beach
While Vermont technically doesn’t have what you may think of as a beach, there are so many local lakes worth stopping at to cool off.
Many people don’t know this, but it can get scorching and humid during summer in Vermont!
Some of the top lakes with beaches to visit in the state include Emerald Lake State Park, Lake Shaftsbury (near Bennington), Boulder Beach State Park, and Lake Iroquois.
Truthfully though, no matter where you are in the state, you can find a spot to swim nearby, even if it’s just a local swimming hole.
Go Biking at the Kingdom Trails
The Kingdom Trails in northern Vermont absolutely can’t be missed if you love to get outdoors when traveling to places.
They’re a series of trails that are open for mountain biking. In fact, there are just shy of 90 miles of trails open for you to check out!
The best time of year to use the trails is in the summer, and luckily a lot of them are well shaded with trees.
There’s a variety of trails, from easy ones to those that are more difficult for skilled bikers. Be sure to pack a lunch in a backpack to have along the way.
Read next: Weekend Getaways in Vermont
Hike in the Green Mountain National Forest
Hiking is one of the best things to do during a Vermont summer getaway. So, head to the Green Mountain National Forest, which covers a lot of the state, and go on an epic hike with even more breathtaking mountain views.
One of the best moderate trails is the Lye Brook Falls Trail, which is about 4.5 miles long and only takes 2.5 hours or so to complete.
For something a bit more complicated, try the Equinox Mountain and Lookout Rock trail, at 6.3 miles, which takes closer to 5 hours to finish.
Have a Drink at the Vermont Brewers Festival
A classic Vermont festival is the Vermont Brewers Festival! When visiting Vermont in summer, you absolutely can’t miss out on the fun festivities. It’s located right on Lake Champlain so that you can have good drinks with a view.
The event takes place in Burlington, usually in July. You do have to purchase a ticket ahead of time, so be sure to do that as soon as you know you’d like to attend. During the event, you can try some incredible drinks from local breweries.
Read next: Best Vermont Breweries
Cruise on Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain is easily one of the best spots to see when visiting Vermont in summer. This breathtaking lake is stunning, and the top thing to do when visiting the lake is to book a cruise.
Book a wonderful scenic cruise through the Spirit of Ethan Allen, which is a local favorite. They have tours daily for affordable prices when they’re in season (usually around $40 to $60).
This cruise line offers various cruise types, including sunset cruises, champagne on Champlain brunch cruises, and of course, lunch and dinner cruises.
Eat Ice Cream at Ben & Jerry’s
If you happen to spend summer in Vermont and you don’t stop at the Ben & Jerry’s Factory, then you did something wrong! Located in Waterbury, this is an absolute must-visit for any ice cream fanatic.
Tours of the factory are free to all visitors, and you’ll be brought behind the scenes to see how the ice cream is made.
In the end, you get a free tester of whatever flavor they’re making that day. After, don’t forget to stop by the Flavor Graveyard to see all the retired ice cream flavors!
Visit Shelburne Farms
Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont, is a perfect place to visit when spending summer in the state. This nonprofit education organization focuses on educating others about sustainability, agriculture, and more.
Kids will particularly love visiting, as they can attend hands-on events, like butter-making.
There are also walking trails that the public can visit at the farms and lookout points, a farm store, a restaurant, and even an inn where you can spend the night if you’ll be staying in the general area.
Attend the Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival
The Stoweflake Hot Air Baloon Festival takes place in Stowe every early July. During this event, everyone in the town gathers early in the morning to see many people take off in their hot air balloons.
It’s a huge festival, and the colors in the sky are incredible. There are usually around 25 to 30 different balloons any given year.
Sometimes, locals will even bring food trucks or set up tents so you can grab a bite to eat while you watch the balloons go up.
Are you not a morning person? Don’t worry; there’s usually another balloon launch in the evening too. The twilight launch is specifically beautiful because the sky colors are just as wild as the colors on the balloons!
Have Fun at Music in the Meadow Concert
Another of the best things to do during summer in Vermont is to attend the Music in the Meadow Concert.
This event takes place on multiple Sundays throughout the summer, usually starting in July, and is seen more as a “music series.”
Most artists are local, and the event takes place in the evenings. You can chill out, relax, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy the excellent music.
In the past, this event has taken place at the Trapp Family Lodge and has been put on by the Stowe Performing Arts Center.
Once the lineup is officially announced, a calendar of events can usually be found online on the Stowe Performing Arts website. To be honest, they typically don’t have a single bad band in their lineup!
Places to Visit in Vermont in Summer
Here are some places to visit in Vermont that you can’t miss in the summer!
Even though it’s not the state’s capital, Burlington is Vermont’s main city. In fact, it’s technically the only large city in the state, even though it has less than 50,000 residents!
As the largest city, there are tons to do there for a Vermont summer getaway.
First of all, be sure to do some shopping on Church Street, the main pedestrian-only shopping center in the city.
Shop both local and larger retail stores and find almost everything you could possibly need.
Other fun places to visit include the Fleming Museum of Art (perfect if it’s raining) or the Island Line Rail Trail, where you can go for bike rides or a jog from Waterfront Park following the Colchester Causeway to the middle of the lake.
Looking for accommodation? Then check out our guide to where to stay in Burlington, VT, which covers a range of hotels and apartments.
Located in the southern part of the state on the border of Massachusetts and New York, Bennington is one of the most underrated places to visit during summer in Vermont.
This small town is packed with rich history and outdoor activities also for active families.
During the summer season, locals and avid hikers will take a trek up Bald Mountain to the summit. This is a great day hike that’s best for experienced hikers.
Of course, if you’d rather stay in town, you can grab an ice cream at local’s favorite Tastee Freez, shop on Main Street, or have fun and get outdoors at Willow Park.
Montpelier is Vermont’s capital city and is said to be one of the most beautiful places to visit in the northeast, especially in summer. Despite its city status, it feels more like a small town, which is part of its charm.
The city definitely comes alive in the summer. Spend some time exploring the beauty of Hubbard Park, marvel at the gold dome on top of the Vermont State House, and step back in time at the Vermont Historical Society Museum.
The city also hosts many local events throughout the summer, like farmer’s markets, on the weekends.
Manchester is a popular destination in Vermont, even for locals! This town is located a bit more central and is absolutely beautiful in summer.
The best summer activity to get outdoors when visiting Manchester is to take a day trip to Emerald Lake State Park, one of the best Vermont state parks that are filled with campsites, hiking trails, and of course, a lake.
This town is known for its arts too, which you can further explore at the Southern Vermont Arts Center.
Other popular attractions include hiking Equinox Mountain, shopping at the outlets, and learning at the American Museum of Fly Fishing. Don’t forget to stop by Zoey’s Deli for an excellent sandwich!
Not to be confused with Woodstock in New York, but Vermont’s own Woodstock is an incredibly picturesque town surrounded by mountains. It only looks prettier in the summer under a blue sky, which is why it’s perfect for a warm holiday!
The absolute can’t-miss place in Woodstock is the Billings Farm & Museum, which is top-rated among families visiting the area.
There’s also the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Sugarbush Farm (where you can learn about maple syrup production!), and Coolidge State Park.
Don’t forget to make a pit stop at the Taftssville Covered Bridge, either. Vermont is well-known for its covered bridges, and all are worth visiting. Many locals will go on a covered bridge road trip at least once while living in the state!
Summer in Vermont is unlike any other. No matter what you choose to do or where you choose to visit, you’ll truly have a blast visiting this little state in the northeast.
The locals are incredibly kind, the scenery is impeccable, and the maple ice cream is unmatched!
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