Located in the northeastern New England region, Vermont is well known for its stunning natural beauty and quaint colonial towns. Take a look at our list of the most beautiful towns and villages to visit across Vermont.
Windsor County’s town of Chester is best known for its Stone Village and Chester Village Historic Districts, both of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Stone Village got its name for the predominance of granite houses, and Chester Village features a typically New England Federal and colonial aesthetic. A popular tourist destination for its character, Chester is home to the Chester Fall Festival in September, charming inns, antique shops, galleries and great restaurants. Additionally, Chester offers opportunities for cyclists, boaters and skiers, lying in close proximity to Okemo, Mount Snow and Killington. For a quintessential Vermont experience, Chester provides a quiet and relaxing atmosphere. Breathe in the fresh air at this idyllic cabin house retreat just outside Chester. Housing up to eight guests, it’s cozy, private and provides incredible access to the New England countryside.
The town of Dorset lies amid the hills of Bennington County in southern Vermont. Chartered in 1761, Dorset was the site of Cephas Kent’s famous tavern, which hosted meetings that eventually led to Vermont’s statehood. Dorset is also the location of America’s oldest marble quarry, which provided stone for the town’s sidewalks and the marble church next to the village green, as well as the main branch of the New York Public Library. A quiet and charming community in the highest valley between New York City and Montreal in Canada, Dorset has been a summer destination since the early 20th century, when artists and wealthy city-dwellers discovered the peaceful allure of the countryside. Take a swim in the quarry, partake in the Dorset Theatre Festival and explore the historical scenery for a relaxing and restorative mini-vacation. This four-person contemporary barn-house is the perfect blend of modern and old-fashioned. It also happens to be situated on 70 acres (28ha) of woodland, with two fresh water ponds and jaw-dropping views over the Green Mountains, leaving you plenty of room to stretch your legs in the most scenic of locations.
Discover Grafton’s scenic beauty and historic buildings for a glimpse into America’s early colonial days. In the 1800s, Grafton was a popular stagecoach stop for those traveling to Albany, New York through the Green Mountains. As a result, the area acquired a market for hospitality, and maintains the Grafton Inn (formerly known as the Old Tavern), which dates back to 1801 and remains one of the oldest operating hotels in the United States. This picturesque village lies in the mountains of southern Vermont, and the residents have restored many of its original buildings to preserve its authentic New England atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy snow-covered hills and cross-country skiing, or wander the town’s array of shops and galleries. This adorable two-person cabin is actually built with wood from the very forest which surrounds it. Delightfully decorated, it’s small but incredibly cozy. With a hammock and outdoor fireplace, its secluded location next to a rushing brook makes this the most peaceful of escapes.
A popular tourist destination for New Yorkers, New Englanders and even Europeans in recent years, Manchester is well known for its factory outlets and local businesses in the town center. Located in Bennington County, Manchester offers lots of recreational activities from shopping and dining to skiing and hiking. Manchester village has a vibrant cultural scene with museums, galleries, concerts and theatrical performances in addition to its natural and historical allure. Visitors can tour old buildings, peruse craft fairs and dine in one of many artisanal restaurants and cafés. Experience the best of authentic, old-world Vermont from covered bridges to rustic farmhouses in conjunction with the sophistication of a cultural town. Within walking distance of central Manchester, this classic New England house can house up to six guests in its sophisticated furnishings. With a huge living area, plenty of garden space and even a nursery room, this one is perfect for the traveling family.
Montpelier may be the state capital of Vermont, but as the smallest state capital in the United States, it possesses all the charm and character of a small town or village. Since becoming the capital of Vermont in 1805, Montpelier’s primary focus has been in government. However, this small city offers a vibrant cultural scene with something for art, music, history and nature lovers alike. Visit the Vermont Historical Society Museum, the T.W. Wood Art Gallery and the Vermont State House, wander Hubbard Park and the Kellogg-Hubbard Library and peruse farmers’ markets and quaint shops. As the site of the New England Culinary Institute, Montpelier also possesses a fantastic food culture with locally owned restaurants and cafés. This tucked-away studio flat, a 10-minute walk from downtown Montpelier, strikes the perfect balance between peace and convenience. Overlooking a large garden with pear trees, fruit-bearing bushes and beautiful peony flowers, it won’t take long to get home, but once you do you’ll feel a million miles away from civilization.
Located on the shores of scenic Lake Champlain, Shelburne is a lush and affluent suburb of Burlington, Vermont’s largest city. Shelburne has three main tourist attractions – the Shelburne Museum, Shelburne Farms and the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, in addition to a nature park and a beach on the lake with a boat launch. Roam the 19th-century Shelburne Farms estate, complete with a 110-room summer residence, five-story barn and two-acre (0.8ha) courtyard with hayrides, a walking trail and theatrical performances in the summer and autumn months. History buffs can enjoy learning about Vermont’s heritage at the Shelburne Museum, with a real lighthouse, steamboats, barns and a railway station, as well as daily demonstrations of printing, blacksmithing and weaving. Enjoy stunning views of the lake from every room in this five-person house. Overlooking Shelburne Bay, this modern home sits directly on the shoreline and, in the heat of the summer, provides a couple of kayaks for you to go out and enjoy the water.
The lively town of Stowe is an ideal destination in all four seasons, but attracts a large number of visitors each winter to the highly popular Stowe Mountain Resort. The looming Mount Mansfield is the highest point in Vermont, perfect for visitors who enjoy skiing and snowboarding. In town, visitors can wander arts and crafts fairs, museums and galleries, attend musical and theatrical performances and partake in seasonal activities such as outdoor film festivals. Stowe is breathtakingly beautiful year-round, world famous for its vibrant fall foliage, rolling green hills in summer and cozy, snow-covered winters. Whether you’re an avid outdoors enthusiast or simply looking for a beautiful change of scenery, Stowe is one of Vermont’s most picturesque and beloved towns. Mountainous views are even better when enjoyed from the comfort of an outdoor hot tub, which is exactly what you get in this private four-person apartment just five minutes’ drive from Stowe. With access to a large backyard and a natural outdoor swimming pool, pick your spot and spend an evening enjoying the amazing scenery.
Located in the heart of the Mad River Valley in Washington County, Waitsfield is a popular destination for skiers who come to explore the area around Sugarbush Resort and Mad River Glen. As is common throughout the state of Vermont, Waitsfield is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, which has, in turn, attracted numerous talented artists and restaurateurs to set up shop in the town. Consequently, Waitsfield has a number of galleries and studios for tourists to visit, as well as movie theaters, live music venues and theatrical performances to attend. Those who love the outdoors can visit several farms, roam farmers’ markets and participate in nature-based recreational activities. With a rich heritage and broad selection of things to do, Waitsfield offers a relaxed yet lively atmosphere. Release your inner child with six other friends at this luxury treehouse found amidst thousands of acres of wilderness. Once you’ve gotten over the excitement of this brilliantly designed home, there’s so much outdoors to enjoy, from campfires and balconies to a whole host of great hiking trails.
The small town of Weston, located in Windsor County, offers visitors an authentic New England country experience. Weston is home to several charming bed and breakfasts, inns and lodges, perfect for a cozy romantic weekend or a fun family getaway. Visit quintessential country stores and shops selling Christmas ornaments, crafts and artisanal goods, galleries and craft studios – all of which are still family-owned and operated. Dine at welcoming restaurants and taverns to experience everything from relaxed bites to sophisticated meals. Weston is the perfect place for a quiet change of scenery in a picturesque town with a charming and well-preserved heritage. This four-bed riverside cottage, originally built in 1900, is just a five-minute walk from central Weston and a 15-minute drive to ski territory. The cozy balcony overlooking West River will quickly help you forget just how accessible this classic New England home is.
The shire town and capital of Windsor County, Woodstock is one of Vermont’s most prized possessions. The town was settled in the mid-18th century and continues to exude charm as the “quintessential New England village,” equipped with a centrally located covered bridge, a village green, restored Greek Revival, Federal and Georgian-style homes as well as old country farms and parks. Wander around the town center, sample maple syrups and cheeses at Sugarbush Farm and explore the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. Visit in the autumn to attend the Billings Farm and Museum‘s annual Harvest Weekend, or simply enjoy the picturesque surroundings, beautiful year-round. For all the quaint colonial character of New England, Woodstock makes for the perfect weekend destination. You won’t find a barn-house as impressive as this six-person conversion in the whole of Vermont. With a completely open-plan design, dramatic wooden beams and soul-warming stone fireplace, you’ll never want to leave this warm hug of a home.