New England is one of the most visited destinations in the country thanks to its charming towns filled with history and culture, beautiful natural wonders including coastal beaches, forests, and mountains, and much more. Vermont, in particular, is a very popular destination in part thanks to its perfect combination of outdoor adventures and history. Those who visit the state can enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities such as skiing and hiking in addition to excellent dining, museums, entertainment, and more.
Since there is so much to see and do while spending time in Vermont, it can be hard to figure out just which experiences should be at the top of the list. Luckily, there are some attractions in Vermont that are so wonderful that they cannot be missed. Here are the six must-see attractions to check out while traveling through Vermont!
Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tour
One of the most well-known ice cream brands in the country is Ben & Jerry’s and the company began with the two founders in Burlington, Vermont. As their business grew, they constructed a factory in the town of Waterbury which is open to the public each day.
Visitors can enjoy a wonderful and free tour that lasts for a half-hour and showcases the history of the company, how the ice cream is made and packaged, and business strategies that have been used. At the end of the tour, visitors can check out the factory’s gift shop, enjoy ice cream from the Scoop Shop, and even check out the Flavor Graveyard to honors retired flavors of the past. This free tour is a great way to check out a national favorite that got its start in the heart of Vermont!
Cabot Visitor’s Center
Vermont is also home to another popular company that has its roots in the dairy that is produced in the region. Cabot, Vermont is home to the Cabot Visitor’s Center where cheese is celebrated and produced. Since first beginning in 1919, the company has continued to grow in popularity and size and the history of its business and products can be explored through a complimentary video tour that showcases the cheese-making process as well as photos and artifacts from the past. The Cabot Visitor’s Center also allows visitors to sample some of the cheeses produced by the company as well as store filled with both cheese and other artisan products produced in Vermont.
Billings Farm & Museum
Another wonderful location to visit in Vermont shares the history of both farming and dairy production for visitors to enjoy. Billings Farm & Museum is located in the town of Woodstock and was first established as a farm in 1871 by Frederick Billings. Growing over the years, the farm continues to produce milk, cheese, and other dairy products each day.
Open to the public during the warmer months, visitors can enjoy exploring the beautiful grounds, checking out the animals that call the location home, and browsing the Museum Shop & Dairy Bar. The museum’s exhibits are featured in four different barns where visitors can learn about the history of farming, what a day on the farm was like in the past, and how maple syrup is produced. Billings Farm & Museum also features a Farm Manager’s House from 1890 which has been fully restored and is adjacent to a garden and apple orchard.
In addition to a rich history in dairy farming, Vermont is also home to beautiful and original artworks that can be found in an array of museums. Shelburne, Vermont is home to the Shelburne Museum which was initially founded in 1947 by Electra Havemeyer Webb as a location to preserve a collection of horse-drawn carriages. Webb soon expanded the museum’s scope to focus on the arts of America in a variety of exhibits.
Visitors who check out the Shelburne Museum today can enjoy browsing exhibits such as Ogden Pleissner and the Working Landscape, Joel Barber & the Modern Decoy, and Ink + Icons: Album Quilts from the Permanent Collection. There are also extensive collections featured in the Shelburne Museum’s thirty-nine buildings including Impressionist Paintings, Textiles, Folk Art, and American Paintings. With a rich and expansive look into the arts of America, the Shelburne Museum is a wonderful location to visit in Vermont.
Hildene: The Lincoln Family Home
Manchester, Vermont is home to a historical residence of an important figure in American history that visitors love to explore. Hildene: The Lincoln Family Home was first constructed by Robert Lincoln, son of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, in the late 1800s and the expansive home is situated on nearly four hundred acres of land.
Now operating as a non-profit, visitors can explore Hildene’s fourteen historical buildings through self-tours or a guided tour for a small fee. In addition to the tours, visitors to Hildene can also check out the Farm & Goat Dairy, Pullman Car Sunbeam, and extensive system of trails. With lots of historical details, architecture, furniture, and artifacts, a visit to Hildene: The Lincoln Family Home is a wonderful way to spend time in Vermont.
Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium
Travelers of all ages will absolutely love visiting the town of St. Johnsbury, Vermont to experience a one of a kind museum in a beautiful setting. The Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium was founded in 1889 by Franklin Fairbanks and originally focused on natural science specimens, historical artifacts, and ethnological items before expanding to include the Lymann Spitzer Jr. Planetarium in 1961.
With over thirty thousand items in the permanent collection, visitors to the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium can explore exhibits such as Bug Art, the Wildflower Table, and the Exploration Station as well take a guided tour of the planetarium. The planetarium also offers two films- What’s Up Tonight which showcases what will be in the sky that very night and The Sun: Our Living Star which shares the science and amazing images of the sun. The Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium is a wonderful way to learn about amazing new things while spending time in Vermont.