Where to Stay in Vermont for a Local Experience

Experience the serenity of a secluded hideaway, nestled amid natural Vermont scenery
Experience the serenity of a secluded hideaway, nestled amid natural Vermont scenery | Courtesy of Edson Hill / Expedia

While tourists have traditionally been drawn to Vermont’s resplendent foliage, quaint clapboard charm and endless open-air activities, there’s another less-touristy side to this New England enclave. Increasingly a honeypot for innovators, artists and eco-warriors, the Green Mountain state has become a haven for creativity and sustainable living, bringing a hipper vibe to many of its ’hoods. Check out our list of the best places to stay in Vermont, where you can inch ever closer to living like a local.

1. Hotel Vermont

Boutique Hotel, Hotel, Luxury

A light-filled, rustic-chic guest room with a window seat at Hotel Vermont
Courtesy of Hotel Vermont / Expedia

With its irresistible Scandi-chic-meets-rustic-lodge aesthetic, Hotel Vermont is understandably one of the most popular places to stay in the state. It also boasts an enviable location in the centre of Burlington – a quirky cool kid of a town, thanks largely to its healthy student population, numerous craft breweries and thriving food scene. The epicentre of the latter is a couple blocks away on Church Street, a buzzing cobblestoned lane lined with top local eateries. Don’t miss the nearby Farmers Market, too, where the best of homegrown Vermont is squeezed into one place.

2. Lilac Inn

Inn

The two-story Lilac Inn surrounded by lush landscaping
Courtesy of The Lilac Inn / Expedia

Built in the early 20th century in Georgian Revival style, this former grand summer home has been a local landmark in the tiny town of Brandon ever since. Despite its size, the town has been dubbed the ‘art and soul’ of Vermont thanks to its high ratio of artists, as well as its warm and welcoming reputation. Stroll into the historic centre and take a seat at local favorite Mae’s Place – where you won’t feel like an outsider for long.

3. Field Guide Lodge

Budget Hotel

The outdoor pool with loungers and shaded cabanas at the Field Guide Lodge
Courtesy of Field Guide Lodge / Expedia

While best known as a ski resort, Stowe boasts plenty to do off the slopes, too – and the Field Guide Lodge is in the centre of it all. Right in the nearby village, art enthusiasts can find a healthy cluster of galleries showcasing the work of local talent. If all that chin stroking gives you a thirst, head to the Stowe Cider taproom and rub shoulders with locals enjoying this popular Vermont tipple.

4. Edson Hill

Boutique Hotel

A wood-paneled sitting room with wall art at Edson Hill
Courtesy of Edson Hill / Expedia

As one of the least-populated states in the US, Vermont residents have a lot of open space to enjoy. To feel that sense of freedom in the big outdoors, Edson Hill is a superb place to stay. Strap on some snowshoes and experience how Vermont locals have traditionally navigated the thick snow – Edson Hill’s trail network was created in the 1950s and is tirelessly maintained. Return to the cosy tavern bar to refuel on locally reared ribeye or creamy cauliflower soup.

5. Lang House

Bed and Breakfast

A traditional guest room with a four-poster bed at the Lang House
Courtesy of Lang House / Expedia

While hip downtown Burlington offers visitors plenty of buzzy spots, there’s still a side to the town that remains happily frozen in an America of yesteryear. With its leafy suburban setting and chocolate-box Queen Anne architecture, Lang House epitomizes this quaint age-old image of Vermont. Sink into a wingback armchair with the morning paper, surrounded by period details and antique ornaments, and you’ll soon feel yourself slipping back in time and living like a local of yore.

6. The Inn at Manchester

Inn

A cozy sitting room with a fireplace at the Inn at Manchester
Courtesy of The Inn at Manchester / Expedia

Wake up to the smell of a home-cooked breakfast, get a front-row seat of the mountains from a rocking chair on the porch, or lose yourself in a good book next to one of the many fireplaces. Life at this classic clapboard hotel in Manchester is infused with the simple pleasures that Vermont locals value most. The family who run this charmingly intimate address take the time to get to know each guest, ensuring they experience the warm fuzziness of feeling at home.

7. The Reluctant Panther

Luxury, Hotel, Boutique Hotel

The lovely yellow exterior of the Reluctant Panther Inn in autumn
Courtesy of The Reluctant Panther Inn / Expedia

If feeling local means tasting local, then curiously named The Reluctant Panther is just the ticket. Popular with Vermonters as much as out-of-towners, their award-winning restaurant is among the highest rated in New England thanks to its unwavering dedication to capturing the flavours of southern Vermont. They also offer finely crafted, locally made spirits, that distil homegrown heritage produce – such as maple, apple and juniper – into warming aperitifs.

8. Rest, a Modern Motel

Hotel

The sprawling Rest, a Modern Motel property backed by tree-covered hills
Courtesy of Rest, a Modern Motel / Expedia

There are few things more American than a traditional motel, but the reality of actually staying in one can be underwhelming. Rest, however, is a smartly updated take on the traditional roadside reststop, in which refurbished rooms still capture the spirit of this iconic all-American accommodation. It’s also just a short drive from Manchester Center with its family-run stores, delis and diners to immerse yourself in the local life.

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