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7 of the Most Beautiful Places to See in Vermont

Jamie Delos Reyes

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Vermont is known as the Green Mountain State. It is famous for its ski resorts, its maple syrup, and it’s always popular Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. But what many people don’t know is that Vermont is also a state full of gorgeous places and interesting history. Scroll down to see the most beautiful places to see in Vermont!

1. Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain, Vermont
Source: Flickr | Sara Bernheisel

By all accounts, Lake Champlain is massive. One of the most beautiful places to see in Vermont takes up 120 miles between Vermont and New York. Its northernmost tip is actually in Canada!

The lake was named for Samuel de Champlain, a French explorer who found it in 1609. It has over 500 miles of mostly pristine shoreline and hosts many species of plants and wildlife. As such, there are many wildlife reserves that protect Lake Champlain.

Interested visitors can learn about the plants and animals that call the lake home in the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center. There is also the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum for history buffs, and for those who love the outdoors, visitors can go canoeing or kayaking in the lake.

2. Rock of Ages Quarry and Hope Cemetery

Rock of Ages Quarry and Hope Cemetery, Vermont
Source: NYNJERC

The world’s largest quarry, measuring at 550 feet wide, 450 feet deep, and over a quarter of a mile long, resides in Vermont. The Rock of Ages granite quarry at Barre was founded after the War of 1812 and still operates today.

It drew many expert stone workers, most of them from Italy, and led them to settle in Vermont. Visitors are invited to tour the quarry and learn about the qualities of Barre granite. Learn why its fine grain makes it ideal for outdoor sculptures.

Tours also offer visitors the chance to sand-blast their own granite souvenirs. Go bowling in an outdoor granite bowling lane, which is thought to be the only one of its kind in the world! The sculptures of the Italian stone workers can also be found in the nearby Hope Cemetery. If you love art, you can lifelike sculptures and unique carvings on many of the graves.

3. Quechee Gorge

Formed by glaciers around 13,000 years ago, Quechee Gorge is Vermont’s deepest gorge. One of the most beautiful places to see in Vermont, it continues to get deeper as the free-flowing Ottaquechee River slowly cuts through the rock over the years.

An iron bridge connects the two banks of the gorge. Additionally, its walkway is considered the best place to view Quechee Gorge. For those who wish to see it up close, there is a trail that goes through the woods all the way down to the water level.

Visitors who wish to learn more about the gorge may also visit the Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences. This nature center rehabilitates injured raptors and releases them into the wild when they are recovered.

4. Green Mountain National Forest

Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont
Source: Sierra Club

Vermont’s immense Green Mountain National Forest, which gave the state its nickname, is cut into two sections by a great chain of mountains. Many major highways and roads cross this mountain range.

Be warned: some of the roads are closed during the winter, as the snow makes the mountain passes too dangerous to travel.

However, the rest of the year, these mountain roads are home to some of the most spectacular views in the state. Many adventurers follow these roads to find waterfalls, campgrounds in the Forest, scenic places, and hiking trails.

Route 125, in particular, goes over the Middlebury Gap and passes Texas Falls. Route 17 takes you over the Appalachian Gap, climbing over 2000 feet. It is the highest road that is still open in the winter, making for fantastic views of snow. Some of the roads connect Vermont’s many skiing areas.

5. Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium

The Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium is a natural science museum and a planetarium in one. Businessman and politician Franklin Fairbanks founded the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium in 1980.

Today, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of its exhibits come from Franklin Fairbanks’ personal collection. In fact, he originally built the museum as a place to keep his large collection of Native American stone tools, Civil War memorabilia. You can even see portraits of people such as Abraham Lincoln and George Washington made entirely out of beetles!

It is also home to the well-loved Eye on the Sky weather report, which has been reporting since 1893. The planetarium regularly hosts astronomy shows and has regular exhibits on its research.

6. Mount Mansfield and Smugglers’ Notch

Mount Mansfield and Smugglers' Notch, Vermont
Source: RootsRated

Mount Mansfield is Vermont’s highest mountain. At the top, visitors are rewarded with spectacular views, and adventurers can experience ridge-top hiking for over two miles, above the tree line.

It is also one of only two places in Vermont where you can find arctic-alpine tundra, a rare natural ecosystem. A road between Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak is so narrow that at times, only one car can pass through. This leads to Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont’s most enchanting natural attraction.

In the winter, the road closes due to the fact that snowplows can’t get through. But when the snow melts, visitors can walk amongst the giant boulders of glacial rock and discover the caves where smugglers hid in the 1800s, giving the area its name. Truly one of the most beautiful places to see in Vermont put this at the top of your travel list!

7. Hildene

Robert Todd Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln, built Hildene after he became president of Pullman Company early in the 20th century. It is a beautiful example of the homes that wealthy magnates built for their families as quiet country estates in the early 20th century.

Furthermore, featured are pieces from Mary Todd Lincoln’s family, and houses personal belongings of President Lincoln himself. The Lincoln family-owned and preserved it until 1975. In 1978, a non-profit organization bought the property and restored it to its original glory. The estate is open daily all year for interested visitors.

Many people think of the weather, maple syrup, and cheddar cheese when they think of Vermont. But the Green Mountain state is home to some of the most beautiful mountains and sceneries in the country. Discover Vermont’s most beautiful places to see, and don’t miss the best activities, too!

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