Night lights shining on the downtown skyline
Sliding down a hill for winter fun
Strolling the grounds of the Vermont Statehouse
Cattle grazing amid fall foliage and mountain views
Snow blanketing the landscape at the Coburn Covered Bridge
Stately brick Washington County courthouse downtown
Historic buildings lining State Street
The Winooski River crossing through the center of the city
Casual, small-town fun in Vermont’s capital city
Step Downtown for a History Lesson
Take a free tour of the gold-domed State House; look for the statue of Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen on the grounds and the Roman goddess Ceres atop the dome. Learn about the state’s history at the Vermont Historical Society Museum. Behind the state house is one of the best hikes in town. Take the steep, wooded hill to Hubbard Park and climb the circa 1930 observation tower for a great view.
Too Sweet to Pass By
Vermont is synonymous with maple syrup. Tour the farm and take home a bottle of syrup from the gift shop at Bragg Farm Sugarhouse & Gift Shop, family-run for eight generations. The maple creamies here, known as soft-serve ice cream elsewhere, are phenomenal. Another sweet must-visit that is more than 200 years old, Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks, has a farm life museum, woodshed theater, nature trail and free maple syrup tastings.
Cultural Pursuits in Montpelier
Catch a stage performance at Lost Nation Theater, concert by the Montpelier Chamber Orchestra or indie film screening at the Savoy Theater. Craft beer and food are a big deal here, especially with the New England Culinary Institute based in Montpelier. Taste-test dishes created by student chefs at one of the school’s five restaurants. Browse the year-round farmers market for specialty breads, cheeses, herbs and handcrafts.
Uniquely Vermont a Short Drive Away
Check out art made from real spider webs at Knight’s Spider Web Farm, dubbed “The Original Web Site.” Hope Cemetery is famous for its elaborate and unusual gravestones; look for a racecar, huge soccer ball, biplane and lounge chair, among others. Explore more than 175,000 objects from the natural world at the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium. Hike to the mountain summit at Camel’s Hump State Park, or Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest mountain.
The State House’s gold dome is indeed covered in real gold, 23.7-karat gold leaf, the purest that can be obtained.