6 Best Road Trips in Vermont, USA
Vermont might be the sixth smallest state of the United States of America, but it sure packs a punch when it comes to nature and stunning landscapes. With numerous state parks and scenic drives in Vermont, one has a plethora of options for both long road trips as well as shorter day trips. Whether you want to experience the serenity of scenic places in Vermont, or hike up to a spectacular waterfall, or even explore historic little towns, there is something for every kind of traveller here.
Without further ado, let’s jump right into what we think are the best road trips in Vermont.
1 – A Day Trip to Burlington
If you’re flying into Vermont, your flight will, in all probability, land at Burlington International Airport. A day spent in Burlington is worth it, since this little city has a vibrant culture and is appealing all year round. Visit the many museums, art galleries, and eateries that this city offers if hiking or other outdoor activities are not your thing.
If you’re not flying to Burlington, a day trip to this city is an equally fun idea, especially during the many festivals that Burlington hosts. Location wise, Burlington is on the shores of Lake Champlain, which means that there is no dearth of good views and stunning beaches. One of the most scenic drives in Vermont is to the Sand Bar State Park, especially if you are looking for a place to chill by the beach, get a few snacks, and even rent a boat.
Duration: Could be done as a day trip or can be spread over two/three days
Highlights: Sand Bar State Park, Church Street Marketplace, several beaches
Best Season: All year round
2 – Burlington to Grand Isle via South Hero
Another great day trip in Vermont, especially during summers, is from Burlington to South Hero. While a drive to South Hero via U.S. Route 2 is one of the best road trips in Vermont, you can also take the bike ferry there.
South Hero is a quaint little place with quirky attractions such as miniature castles spread throughout the town and a unique Birdhouse Forest. A stop at Snow Farm Vineyard & Winery for one of their cold wine slushies is also recommended.
Driving from South Hero to Grand Isle takes less than an hour. If you have the time, camp in the Grand Isle State Park or the Champlain Adult Campground. Both options are two of the most scenic places in Vermont and promise beautiful views of the lake.
Duration: Two days
Highlights: Ironwood Nature Trail, Grand Isle State Park, Snow Farm Vineyard & Winery
Best Season: Summer and Fall
3 – Route 100 Vermont road trip
Route 100 will often be the highlight of your Vermont road trip itinerary and is called one of the best road trips in Vermont, especially during the fall, when so much of the route will be spent ooh-ing an aah-ing over the fall colours of Vermont’s foliage. After all, it is called one of the most scenic drives in Vermont for a reason!
While the entire route can be done non-stop in under six hours, we recommend taking your time to savour the many scenic places in Vermont along Route 100. Here are a few highlights to experience.
If you are driving with children, one of your to-dos must be a stop at the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury. A $5 ticket gives you a free sample of ice cream plus a tour of their factory. Kids (and adults!) will love a walk through the Flavor Graveyard where you’ll find the graves of discontinued flavors.
A Route 100 Vermont road trip is incomplete without a trip to the Cold Hollow Cider Mill which is less than three miles away. Their cider is freshly pressed from locally picked apples. Try a free sample while you make up your mind if you want to take some cider home!
Route 100 is more than just one of Vermont’s most scenic drives. Much of it is also a skier’s gateway to paradise, since many of Vermont’s ski towns – such as West Dover (aka, home of Mount Snow), Stowe, Okemo Mountain Resort, Mad River Glen among others – are located on or near Route 100. On a side note, if you’re a skiing fanatic, also consider a stop at Suicide Six, Vermont’s oldest ski resort and a definite contender for any bucket list.
Route 100 is also where you will find so many covered bridges that are characteristic of Vermont. Honestly, you don’t even need a guide for this, because you’ll find so many on the way. More on Vermont’s covered bridges in the next section.
Duration: Four/five days
Highlights: Scenic Fall foliage, covered bridges, ski spots
Best Season: Fall and Summer
4 – Vermont’s Scenic Covered Bridges
No road trip in Vermont can be considered complete without a stop to photograph this state’s numerous scenic bridges. There is something so quintessentially vintage and romantic about Vermont’s covered bridges that they can instantly transport you to simpler days. While there is no want of scenic places in Vermont, some of our favourite covered bridges are:
- The Kissing Bridge in Rockingham
- The Brown Covered Bridge in Shrewsbury
- Moseley Covered Bridge in Northfield
- Creamery Covered Bridge in Brattleboro
- Montgomery Covered Bridge in Waterville
If you find yourself short on time but you still want that iconic Vermont covered bridge picture for the Gram, one of the best road trips in Vermont is through Bennington County where its five covered bridges can all be explored in the span of a day. This also makes for a fabulous day trip in Vermont, if you are looking for some inspiration.
Duration: One day for Bennington County
Highlights: covered bridges, hiking trails
Best Season: Fall and Summer
5 – Vermont is so Cheesy!
Puns aside, no Vermont road trip itinerary is complete without tasting some of Vermont’s famous cheeses. Did you know the Vermont Cheese Council has a handy map of the many cheesemakers in the state? There are several icons of barns on the map which indicates that these are especially scenic places in Vermont and are worth adding to your Vermont road trip itinerary.
If you are looking for some inspiration, check out places like Plymouth, Grafton Village, Leicester (especially the Blue Ledge Farm).
Duration: Three days for the entire Cheese Trail
Highlights: Artisanal cheeses, heritage towns
Best Season: All year round
6 – Chasing Waterfalls in Vermont – Stowe to Granville
One of the best road trips in Vermont is our chasing waterfalls scenic route which extends from Stowe to Marshfield. This Vermont road trip itinerary includes stops at Moss Glen Falls and Bingham Falls, both in Stowe, before continuing onto Bolton Potholes and then to the Falls of Lana in Salisbury.
There’s another Moss Glen Falls in Granville which is equally stunning as its namesake in Stowe. This waterfall is also located in the Green Mountain National Forest making the drive there one of the best scenic drives in Vermont.
Well, there you have it. These were some of our suggestions for the best road trips in Vermont. If we’ve missed out on any, let us know your favourite scenic drives in Vermont in the comments below. Till next time, happy and safe travels!