Despite Vermont’s absence of an ocean coast, summer visitors never feel let down.
Freshwater beaches, family-friendly resorts, outdoor activities, golf courses, boutique breweries, and farm-to-table restaurants thrive in this quiet state that is recognized for its rural and natural beauty.
Here are some of Vermont’s most memorable escapes and activities for summer tourists. We know that summer in Vermont will leave you satisfied and without regrets.
1. See A Rodeo
Castleton, Vermont, has an unexpected but genuine Wild West feel. Family-friendly Saturday night rodeos are held at Pond Hill Ranch, a real, 2,000-acre working ranch, from July through Labor Day weekend.
For an authentic experience that will transport you to the American West, Pond Hill Ranch Professional Rodeo Company has been the go-to location in the Green Mountain State for 50 years.
So, if you’re interested and want to see a rodeo, you can visit a ranch and experience it yourself!
You’ll see top-tier professional bull riders as well as thrilling competitions like steer wrestling, calf roping, and barrel racing. You can even take part in their beginner bull riding competition!
2. Swim In A Lake
When you discover Vermont’s many freshwater beaches, you won’t miss being near the coast.
Several of them, including Boulder Beach in Groton, are nestled away in Vermont’s state parks, where entry fees are reasonable for families and swimming can be accompanied by park activities like hiking, biking, or kayaking.
One of the top lake beaches in New England is on Lake Willoughby’s North Beach, which is located in the town of Westmore.
The largest of all the lakes in Vermont, Lake Champlain, has more than a dozen public beaches. When you’re ready for an adrenaline-pumping dip, Vermont also has more than 80 traditional swimming holes.
3. Check Out The Farmer’s Market
Visiting the many indoor and outdoor farmer’s markets, which provide a cornucopia of delicious food, entertainment, and much more, is one of Vermont’s defining joys.
Fruit, vegetables, herbs, meats, eggs, and dairy products are all produced locally, as are baked goods, wines, beers, flowers, honey, jams, maple syrup, and arts and crafts.
The best markets have so much more to offer than just fruits and vegetables, like the Waitsfield Farmers Market on the Mad River Green.
You can take advantage of the countless events for children and the entire family, including music and demonstrations.
While taking in a summer day outside, you’ll be helping Vermont growers, artists, and business owners.
4. Try Fly Fishing
In all of New England, Vermont is the ultimate fly fishing hotspot. Some of the most renowned and revered dry fly waters in the state are found here.
In addition, it contains one of the best lakes in the Northeast (Also check out Best Places To Visit In The Northeast USA) for warm water fly fishing, where non-traditional fly rod fish like gar, bowfin, and freshwater drum are plentiful.
Vermont also has you covered if you have zero fly fishing experience.
In Manchester, you can sign up for a one- or two-day fly fishing lesson that includes instruction options tailored especially for women or for parents and their children.
On Vermont’s fish-rich rivers and streams, Maple Country Anglers of Burlington also provides guided fishing excursions.
You can also visit Manchester’s American Museum of Fly Fishing, where the largest collection of fishing-related artifacts in the entire world is kept.
You can find rods that belonged to famous people like the artist Winslow Homer, the writer Ernest Hemingway, and the baseball player Babe Ruth among its many treasures.
5. Go To The Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival
In the first week of July every year, Stowe hosts the Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival. Everyone in the town arrives at the crack of dawn for this occasion to watch a large number of people launch their hot air balloons.
A twilight balloon launch is also held as part of the festival for those who prefer evening activities. Watching the balloons disappear into the kaleidoscope of colors in the starry night sky is especially beautiful and not to be missed.
It’s a major festival, and the sky becomes incredibly colorful. Every year, there are often between 25 and 30 different balloons.
Sometimes residents will even set up tents or bring food trucks so you can eat while you watch the balloons rise!
6. Follow The Cheese Trail
The map of the Vermont Cheese Trail will help you find and visit cheesemakers throughout the state. The state takes pride in the high quality and variety of its dairy products.
In Vermont’s Waterbury Center, the Cabot Cheese Farmers’ Store is a well-liked destination.
You can peruse their range of award-winning dairy products, microbrews, hard ciders, and domestic and foreign wines while you’re there.
Don’t pass up the chance to learn about small-batch artisan cheeses at places like Salisbury’s Blue Ledge Farm, where a self-serve farmstand is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from April through December.
7. See The World’s Largest Granite Quarry
One of the most amazing things you can do in Vermont is taking a tour of the largest deep-hole dimension granite quarry in the world.
You can ride a bus to the 600-foot-deep Smith Quarry to observe equipment hoisting 400-million-year-old stone blocks there.
Back at the 160,000-square-foot manufacturing plant, self-guided tours give visitors the chance to see memorials being carved and sculpted by artists using both contemporary and antique tools.
Free samples of durable Vermont granite are available for visitors to take home from the grout pile, as well as the opportunity to play outdoor granite bowling!
8. Cycle Along The Kingdom Trails
Mountain bikers are drawn to the vast network of multi-use trails in Vermont’s rural Northeast Kingdom.
Everyone congregates there for long weekends, festivals, and long days spent hiking, followed by generous amounts of beer and river bathing.
The Kingdom Trails has developed into a hotspot for mountain bikers all around the world with its over 100 miles of singletrack, which includes a lift-served downhill bike park and dozens of miles of cross-country routes for all kinds of riders.
You can access the extensive riding possibilities at the Kingdom Trails for riders of all skill levels by purchasing a one- or two-day membership.
You’ll be astounded by the care that goes into preserving these paths, which this non-profit has obtained through legal access agreements to private property in one of the state’s most beautiful natural locations.
9. Drink At The Vermont Brewers Festival
The Vermont Brewers Festival is a must-attend festival in Vermont. It would be a shame to miss this exciting event if you were to visit Vermont in the summer.
It is situated directly on Lake Champlain so you can have excellent beers while taking in the scenery.
Usually the third weekend of July, the festival is held in Burlington. You must buy a ticket in advance, so make sure you do so as soon as you decide you want to go.
You can sample some amazing beverages from a variety of reputable beer producers and exhibitors from the Green Mountain State throughout the event.
More than 10,000 people attend this legendary adult-only summer festival, which also offers local cuisine.
10. Go To The Vermont Antique And Classic Car Meet
One thing about Vermont and its people is that they are history and antique aficionados. And you can experience it by heading to the Vermont Antique and Classic Car Meet!
The occasion normally lasts for just one weekend each June. It happens right in Manchester, a hotspot for activities during summer in Vermont.
Visitors to the event can enjoy delicious food, socialize with locals, and, of course, stroll around and admire old vehicles.
There are many knowledgeable professionals there who are eager to answer any questions you may have about various cars and antiques.
11. Hike Through Green Mountain National Forest
One of the best activities to do while on vacation in Vermont is hiking. Go for an incredible hike with stunning mountain vistas in the Green Mountain National Forest, which spans much of the state.
The Lye Brook Falls Trail, which is around 4.5 miles long and takes about 2.5 hours or so to finish, is one of the nicest moderate treks.
Try the 6.3-mile Equinox Mountain and Lookout Rock trek for something a little trickier; it takes closer to 5 hours to complete.
12. Indulge At Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory
You must visit the Ben & Jerry’s Factory if you happen to spend the summer in Vermont! The Waterbury factory is a must-see for any ice cream enthusiast.
It’s a free tour, which takes you behind the scenes to learn how this delicious ice cream is made.
The guided portion of the Factory Experience will lead you to a short movie viewing of the company’s history followed by an explanation of how their pints are made, all the while overlooking the production room floor and enjoying a sample of their ice cream chunks.
Finally, you receive a complimentary sample of the flavor being made that day. After that, you can visit the Flavor Graveyard to see all the ice cream flavors that have been discontinued!
13. See Musicians At The Music In The Meadow Concert
Attending the Music in the Meadow Concert is another excellent summer activity in Vermont. Throughout the year, starting typically in July, this event is held on several Sundays.
The inaugural performances, organized by Stowe Performing Arts, took place in Whisker’s Field on Mountain Road in 1976.
At Johannes von Trapp’s request, the concerts were transferred to the Trapp Family Lodge meadow in the early 1980s, where they have been held every summer since.
The majority of the performers are local, and the event happens in the evenings. You can unwind, eat some delicious food, and enjoy the amazing musical talent at their best!
14. Catch A Show
If you love the theater, then you’ll love the incredible shows at the intimate, 300-seat Weston Playhouse in Weston, Vermont, this summer.
For more than 80 years, plays have been performed in this converted Greek Revival church. A wonderful evening might start with meals in the playhouse’s restaurant next to a waterfall.
And there will be even more fun after the final bow! In the cabaret downstairs, Young Company players join the show’s performers for an entertaining hour of additional entertainment.
15. Visit The Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site
For a slice of American history, you can visit the Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site if you’re interested in Vermont’s past. Learn more about the 30th President of the United States right here.
Although he was dubbed “Silent Cal,” President Calvin Coolidge’s influence endures in Plymouth Notch, Vermont.
The majority of the rural community where Coolidge was born, sworn in as president after Warren Harding’s death, and where he established his “Summer White House” during his presidency is preserved as the Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site.
You can even stop by the general store and Plymouth Cheese Factory, one of America’s oldest still-running cheese factories, founded in 1890 by Coolidge’s father.
16. Play A Round Of Golf
Vermont boasts over 75 picturesque golf courses, some of which are modern and others of which are historic.
The chance to play nine or 18 holes is dispersed throughout the state, although resort towns like Stowe and Killington have the highest concentration of courses.
Vermont is a great area to play golf because of the mild summer temperatures.
There are many lovely public golf courses in Vermont where you can play, like the mountainside course at Equinox Golf Resort & Spa, despite the fact that some of the state’s top-rated courses are only accessible to members.
17. Walk Your Dog Up Dog Mountain
In St. Johnsbury, Vermont, Dog Mountain is situated on a 150-acre mountainside. People and their dogs are welcome on the grounds at all times.
This natural oasis is dotted with hiking trails and dog ponds and is home to the Stephen Huneck Gallery and The Dog Chapel.
The walls of the dog-themed chapel at Dog Mountain are covered in tributes to pets that have made people’s lives better. Additionally, the gallery’s revenues assist in funding this nonprofit.
Long walks are ideal on the verdant slope.
There are no leashes required on Dog Mountain because dogs are not only accepted but also loved in this place. Dogs may run, play, swim, and best of all – meet other dogs without restriction!
18. Stay In A Cabin
Vermont is renowned for its natural beauty and stunning scenery, so it only makes sense to see it all by staying in one of the many beautiful remote cabins you can find all across the state.
New England is home to many family resorts where you can stay in your own cabin and enjoy a plethora of activities and excursions right on your doorstep.
Enjoy acres of land, delicious farm-to-table restaurants, bike rides, or even something more daring! Then, once the fun is done, you can unwind in a cozy cabin and enjoy the serene sounds of the forest on your deck.
19. Visit Shelburne Farms
A great spot to go when visiting Vermont in the summer is Shelburne Farms in Shelburne. This nonprofit educational organization focuses on informing people about agriculture and sustainability.
Kids would especially like going because they can participate in interactive activities like making butter.
A farm store, a restaurant, and even an inn where you can spend the night if you plan to remain nearby are all available to the general public at the farm and lookout points.
Vermont is often overlooked as a vacation destination, but there is so much to see and do in this state during the summer months!
Memories from a trip to Vermont are bound to last a lifetime, so consider this list when planning your itinerary.
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