Vermont has four distinct seasons, with spring being the shortest and winter the longest. Spring lasts about a weekend and is very muddy. Summer can be quite humid and buggy, but hikers and bikers abound and the scenery is breathtaking. Autumn presents one of the most spectacular foliage shows in the country. The winter is long and usually has three months of snow.The daily average temperature in winter is around minus 6 degrees (Celsius). It’s not unusual for a cold snap to settle in for a week or so with temperatures in the single digits during the day, and colder at night. A few days in summer can reach 30 with nights in the mid-teens.
When to fly to Vermont
The peak seasons for Vermont flights are fall and winter followed by summer. Autumn foliage begins in mid-September in northern Vermont and peaks by mid-October in the southern part of the state. The summer season runs from July 4 to Labour Day (September). Sacred ground for snow sports, winters bring lots of crowds, particularly around school vacations.
Spring is very short and is known as the “mud season.” It’s still advisable to call ahead for lodging as many places are closed for repairs.
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Getting around Vermont
If you are staying in one of the larger towns, walking is a great way to get around, see the sights, and visit the shops and galleries. Renting a car is the best bet for getting around the state. The roads tend to be in good condition, and snow removal in the winter is better than most places. Traffic tends to be light, but does get congested during rush hour in the larger towns and cities.
North-south travel is straightforward. But driving across the state — over the mountains and through gaps — requires a good map. You can still find dirt roads that go on forever, with charming towns along the way.
Pay heed to "moose crossing" signs. Collisions between moose and cars are becoming more and more common. Moose eyes do not reflect in a car’s headlights, which makes moose very difficult to see at night, and they can cause considerable damage to a car.
Bus service is available between the larger towns and cities. If you prefer to fly, the Burlington International Airport is the largest in the state, and the Rutland State Airport also provides commercial flights
Vermont insider information
- The Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory in Waterbury offers guided tours. The tour starts with a seven-minute “moovie” in the Cow Over The Moon Theatre.
- Vermont is famous for its farms and local produce can be picked up at farmers markets around the state.
- Sugarbush Farm in Woodstock, VT, and the Luce family are famous for their pure maple syrup. Enjoy a free sample, explore the farm attractions, a nature trail and pick up some delicacies in the 1850's farm house gift shop.
- There are also Maple Ridge Sheep Farm in Braintree, the first to import Shetland sheep into the US, and Orb Weaver Farm in New Haven where they make cheese. You can tour the barn, cheese-making facilities and cheese cave before tasting Orb Weaver's Vermont farmhouse cheese; and Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, on the shores of Lake Champlain.
- Explore the Long Trail, part of the Appalachian Trail along the Green Mountains from Massachusetts to Canada.
- Vermont has more than 100 covered bridges. Middlebury’s Pulp Mill Bridge dates from 1820 and is the oldest in the state.
- Hope Cemetery in Barre dates back to 1895 and boasts an amazing array of memorials on its 65 acres. Some memorials are breathtaking such as the hand-carved Pieta from the original Michelangelo for Palmisano, an arm chair for Bettini, and a mausoleum with eight crypts for the Vanetti family.