What do you think of when I say Vermont? You might say the home of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, or some of the best skiing on the East Coast, or the home of the political figure Bernie Sanders, or maybe even the University of Vermont. This state isn’t the most populated or largest state by any means, but Vermont makes up for this with its vast forests and beautiful nature.

The largest city in Vermont, Burlington, with a population of just under forty-five thousand people, speaks for itself when talking about city life and population density in this state. I love Burlington and love the small-town feel that you can experience all across Vermont. There’s just something special about the people there and the friendliness that’s true for most statewide.  

Vermont, being wedged in between New York and New Hampshire, isn’t a terrible or far drive from your neighboring states, considering Vermont’s size. So, if you enjoy the small-town feel but crave that city life every once in a while, don’t worry. From Burlington to the Big Apple, it is only a five-hour drive that could be done in the afternoon! We’ve established this state has a great deal to offer and that we didn’t have to work hard at adjusting to Vermont, but let’s go a little more in-depth with the following: 

  • Skiing 
  • Burlington 
  • Rural areas/Nature 
  • Ben and Jerrys 

Traveling to Vermont

A few winters back, my brother, my Dad, and I took a road trip from our home state of Michigan to Vermont for a ski trip. For the most efficient route, we actually ended up leaving the country and driving through Canada to make our trip shorter.

Once we got to Vermont, we stayed in Burlington, but we skied at the renowned Stowe resort. If you are planning a trip to Vermont for skiing, I definitely would recommend staying in Burlington to experience the city, but also because it’s only an hour’s drive from Stowe, and pricing for hoteling definitely increases the closer to the resort.

Our drive to Stowe was absolutely breathtaking. On our way, we ventured through mountains, valleys, forests, and little small towns along the way. Seeing everything covered in snow was incredibly lovely, as was the icing on the cake for a “wintery” vibe. Once in Stowe, you can definitely see and understand why this resort is one of the most exclusive and luxurious resorts.

Snowboarding in Vermont

Before I was even strapped into my snowboard, as soon as you enter the resort, you are greeted with multimillion-dollar ski chalets and condos bordering the mountains, designer stores near the lodge like Louis Vuitton, Goyard, Rolex, Cartier, and Montclair. Not to mention, you can’t walk through the parking lots without noticing their crawling with Mercedes G-Wagons and Escalades.

Everything here is thought out to the very last detail: our ski tickets/passes for the days we were there weren’t just stickers that you usually get. They were printed with credit card-like passes printed with our pictures on them. They had QR codes on them so we could scan them at the chair lift and around the lodge along with various stores so the charges could just be sent directly to our accounts without having to worry about cash.

Once on the chair lift, I saw the absolutely breathtaking views. While exiting the lift and making your way down, you can easily make it so it takes you over an hour to get down the mountain, depending on the exploring and runs you take. That aspect was probably my favorite overall; growing up, I skied primarily in the state. A lot of our resorts are more significant, but they aren’t mountains. So the idea of skiing down for a long time compared to a quick five minutes, if that, down to the chairlift is so mind-boggling to me.

How do I spend a day in Burlington, VT?

On our second day, we took a day off from skiing to explore the city of Burlington and the surrounding areas. Walking around the city, one of the first things you notice is the amount of inclusivity. At almost every corner and in every store or restaurant, there was a pride flag. LGBTQ people will feel completely safe if they were to choose to move or vacation here. I even witnessed a peaceful protest going on near the city center. This city is definitely very progressive and has a large amount of young minds, considering the University of Vermont is also in Burlington.

Burlington offers a plethora of shopping options, including small, locally-owned shops, trendy boutiques, popular national chains, and high-end designer stores. Additionally, the city’s prime location on Lake Champlain allows residents and visitors to enjoy its stunning views and swim in its refreshing waters during the appropriate seasons.

Multiple beaches along this lake make it easy to enjoy this freshwater mountain stream glacier lake. It seriously can’t get any more clear than this. When talking about Burlington, it would be a disgrace not to mention the variety and quality of restaurants. While there, I had some of the best and most authentic Ramen I’ve had in my entire life, and my Brother and Dad agreed. There’s a reason they have four stars.

We also dined at a Mexican restaurant that had the spiciest salsa and the best food I’ve ever had the pleasure of having. Even my father, who has been to Mexico multiple times and eaten in people’s homes in rural Mexico, agreed it was some of the best Mexican he ever had.

On our last full day before our road trip back, we skied again but, on our way back, stopped at Ben and Jerry’s headquarters. This was such an exciting experience for our whole group. We got to tour some of the factories and, at the end, were greeted with an entire store of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, other sweet products, clothing and merchandising, and so many cool nick-nacks. I was able to get some exclusive ice cream with a flavor that was only sold at their headquarters. 

What is there to do in Vermont? 

Vermont has the small-town feel, a university town with a freshwater lake, world-renowned skiing, vast mountain ranges, legalized marijuana, some of the best ice cream there is, and inclusivity for all. One of the most interesting and exciting places to live; just make sure you splurge on that Canada Goose parka for the subzero winters, and thank me later!  

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