Families or couples looking for a quiet vacation filled with charm and wholesome fun should look no further than summertime fun in Vermont. Many people consider Vermont a great winter vacation spot for skiing and snowshoeing, but a Vermont summer vacation should not be passed up. Fly into Boston or Burlington International Airport, rent a car, and go on a mini-road trip where you can fully enjoy the sweeping views of lush green mountains and the small towns tucked in between them. Who knows where your destination within Vermont will be, but here are some tips that can help you craft the perfect Vermont summer vacation.
Vermont Summer Vacation Highlights
Quechee Hot Air Balloon Craft and Music Festival
If you are planning your Vermont summer vacation in June, then stop by the Quechee Hot Air Balloon Craft and Music Festival. This multi-day festival features more than 20 hot air balloons that float through the sky. Enjoy the colorful view while taking in live music from up-and-coming bands and live entertainment, like a sky diving demonstration or competitive disc fetching dogs. Guests can even ride in a hot air balloon, as long as they book in advance. While you are in Quechee, go ahead and stop by the Simon Pearce Restaurant. Glass blowing demonstrations happen every night in the basement.
Want a restaurant that is less touristy? Go a few minutes away from Simon Pearce to find the Parker House Inn. Their rotating menu is also fresh, local, and delicious.
Read More: Where to Go this Summer – Travel Deals
King Arthur Flour
You have probably seen the King Arthur brand in your grocery store, now it is time to see the place where it all happens – King Arthur Flour’s Bakeshop and Cafe. Have a meal and watch the bakers do their magic. Get in on the fun and take a baking class while you are there.
Catch a Stage Show
Vermont has incredible live theater from Summer Stock to Regional Theater. There will definitely be something playing during your Vermont summer vacation.
White River Junction, an old railroad town with a booming arts culture, is home to Northern Stage. Northern Stage has taken over the Upper Valley with a brand new theater that delivers world-class productions. You can catch a classic musical like Sound of Music or a brand new play before it heads to New York City. If you find yourself in Weston on your Vermont summer vacation, then you must pay a visit to the Weston Playhouse. Their summer season is filled with classic summer stock hits. After the show, you can catch a more intimate cabaret with their summer company.
Hike The Appalachian Trail
In 1968 Vermont banned billboards. Once you visit during your Vermont summer vacation, you will understand. The scenery is incredible and something to be appreciated. Carve out some time to hike. Some local favorites include the Appalachian Trail, the Long Trail, and the Quechee Gorge.
Did you plan a hike for a hot day? Vermont has beautifully scenic waterfall hikes with natural swimming holes. Plan your trek to include a mid-day dip.
Is a northern town not your idea of summer vacation? Check out A Family Friendly Vacation at Dreams Riviera Cancun for a more tropical option.
Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour
Did you know that Vermont is the home of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream? While enjoying your Vermont summer vacation, stop by for a 30-minute guided tour of the factory, a free ice cream tasting, and a visit to the Flavor Graveyard. Flavor Graveyard? Yes, this is the graveyard where all of the ice cream flavors that could not make the cut now lay to rest.
Are you a super fan of ice cream? Ben and Jerry’s offer the “Flavor Fanatic Experience”. In addition to a tour, these guests will help create an ice cream flavor in their very own tie-dyed lab coat. The experience also comes with a gift shop discount, you must buy the “pint lock”, and ice cream tasting perks.
After a long day of ice cream eating, it might be time for a nice sit-down. Enjoy Ben and Jerry’s Summer Outdoor Movies Series.
Are you a fan of Gilmore Girls? Have you always wanted to step foot in Stars Hollow? Well even if you are not a fan, you will still love the quaint charm of Woodstock, Vermont. This quintessential New England town is filled with historic buildings, covered bridges, small shops, and Vermont’s only national park. After a morning of exploring the town during your Vermont summer vacation head to the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. Take in the stunning views from the Billings Dairy Farm and the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Mansion. Do not forget to meet Bernard, the tallest tree in Vermont, located right next to the mansion.
SculptureFest/Art on the Farm
This is one incredible outing! This free event is open to anyone wishing to see unbelievable sculptures on the scenic King Farm in Woodstock. See one-of-a-kind works by local artists at this “outdoor gallery” during your day in Woodstock.
This oddball site is for all animal lovers who come on a Vermont summer vacation. Sitting atop Dog Mountain is a sanctuary dedicated to man’s best friend. The inside walls are covered with notes and pictures of pet’s that have passed. Throughout the sanctuary, you will find art and stained glass motifs of dogs. This excursion can be a somber but an uplifting experience. Show your appreciation to man’s best friend, then sit on top of Dog Mountain and take in the view.
Norwich Farmers Market
Locals call this the best Farmer’s Market in Vermont. On top of featuring local farmers with fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, and eggs, there are also pastries, arts and crafts, live music, and seasonal events. Enjoy a summer morning at the Farmer’s Market on your Vermont summer vacation while picking up the ingredients for a one-of-a-kind, local family dinner.
This is not exactly in Vermont, but it is close enough to count in your Vermont summer vacation. Hanover, New Hampshire is the stomping ground for the Ivy League College – Dartmouth. As soon as you enter the small town, you will see “The Green”, a large quad where students and locals can lay out a blanket and appreciate a sunny day. Just within walking distance are the beautiful buildings that make up the campus, as well as diners like Lou’s Diner, boutiques, and finer dining options like Market Table and Pine. Walking through the town, you can feel the energy of a college town. Pick up some Dartmouth merchandise while you are there. No one needs to know you are not an alumni.
Taste of Vermont: Brewery Tours and Tastings
Vermont has lots of popular breweries, and those breweries do allow children to be present in their taprooms. Some breweries worth mentioning by locals are Long Trail (Bridgewater Corners), Alchemist (Stowe), Hill Farmstead (Greensboro Bend), Harpoon (Windsor), and Magic Hat (Burlington). For those who are fans of craft beer, you must stop at one of these Vermonter watering holes.
Drive-in Movie in Fairlee
Take a trip into the past during your Vermont summer vacation. Watch the latest Blockbuster movie in a vintage drive-in movie setting. After your movie, do not forget to pause and catch a glimpse at the night’s stars.
Burlington is the largest city in Vermont and the first city in the United States to run entirely on renewable energy. Needless to say, Burlington is a cool place, filled with cool people, and a must for a Vermont summer vacation. Start your day on Church Street Marketplace, an open-air mall. Street performers and local artists are a few of the gems you will find hidden within Church Street. There are plenty of bike and walking paths for the active family, or oddities like The Burlington Earth Clock and The World’s Largest Filing Cabinet.
Vermont is a unique state filled with art, music, and values for the natural world and local business. It is important to keep your eyes open during your Vermont summer vacation. You never know what hole-in-the-wall diner, farmer’s market or oddity will be around the corner.
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