Vermont in the summer is a gorgeous vacation destination for people who enjoy spending times outdoors in a rural setting. The weather temperatures are great for enjoying outdoor adventures and lake living. Things to do in Vermont in the summer include exploring charming little towns, visiting farmers’ markets and exploring the Green Mountains. If you are looking for outdoorsy things to do, Vermont summer will not disappoint you.
8 Things to do in Vermont in Summer
Here are some of the cool things to do in Vermont in summer. Although the state does not have an ocean front, it has plenty of lakes with beaches as well as having a famous factory dedicated to that most summer of treats – ice cream!!
These things to do in Vermont in summer include ideas for quick summer weekend getaways as well as a full-fledged summer vacation. Included in the list below are some things to do in Vermont in the summer suggested by fellow travel enthusiasts.
Taste Test Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory
For many people, summer means ice cream. And, what would ice-cream be without Ben & Jerry’s and their fun unique flavors?
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream factory in Waterbury factory makes over 350,000 pints daily. Take a factory tour of Ben & Jerry’s and see where the magic is made. You also get a free sample and can also see the fun graveyard of retired ice-cream flavors!
Vermont prides itself on its individuality and that quirk shows up in the fact that it has over 60 breweries. In fact, Vermont is credited with creating the beer style known as New England IPA.
Some of the great breweries to visit include the Alchemist located in Stowe. Established in 2003, the Alchemist is famous for its American double IPA named Heady Topper.
Venture to the Northeast Kingdom, and you’ll come across one of the best breweries in Vermont, possibly the world, Hill Farmstead.
In Burlington VT, you can find breweries like Zero Gravity Brewery and Foam Brewers. In fact, Burlington is ranked as one of the best beer cities in the USA.
One of our personal favourite things to do in Vermont in summer though has to be a visit to the riverside brewery at Long Trail Craft Brewery.
Stop By Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site
A couple of former presidents have left their mark on Vermont, too. You can visit Hildene mansion built by Robert Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s son, a popular tourist attraction in Vermont.
Alternatively, there is the childhood home of the 30th President, Calvin Coolidge.
“The President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site is the birthplace and childhood home of President Calvin Coolidge.
His entire small village has been preserved to look like it did when he was alive. The beautiful buildings are surrounded by typical bucolic Vermont countryside, so the site is incredibly beautiful.
Coolidge was actually sworn in as president on August 3, 1923 in the parlor at his family home when President Harding suddenly died.
You can tour the house and learn more about his life and presidency.
In addition to his family home, which became the ‘Summer White House’ while he was president, there’s a small village green, historic church, cheese factory, school house, post office and barns, all dating from the 1800’s.
There are also a Museum and Education Center, museum stores, a restaurant and picnic area, as well as walking trails in the surrounding countryside. Plus, the cemetery where Coolidge is interred.
You can even visit the functioning Plymouth Cheese Factory in the village and buy some artisanal cheese for a picnic before or after you visit the president’s house and museum.
The historic site is located in Plymouth Notch. It’s open Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm from Memorial Day Weekend through mid-October.”
– James Ian from Parks Collecting
Take A Camel’s Hump Hike
Vermont is home to the famous Green Mountain National Forest but also 55 state parks. About 76% of its land is covered is forested. Outdoor lovers will love spending time hiking in Vermont.
One of the easier hikes is Quechee Gorge located in Quechee State Park in Quechee Vermont.
Alternatively, consider one of the harder hikes at Camel’s Hump for an all-day hike as suggested below.
“Situated in the town of Huntington just 60 miles from the Canadian border, a hike up Camel’s Hump is one of the most popular summer things to do in Vermont.
Covered in a vast variety of flora and fauna, hikers are rewarded with incredible views of the surrounding mountains and are continuously surprised by stunning lookouts.
Camel’s Hump has dozens of trails to satisfy every experience level from active children to the elite athlete and lures in outdoor enthusiasts from around the world!
If you do decide to hike Camel’s Hump in the summertime, you’re likely to find many French-speaking tourists from nearby Canada and Europe. Just be sure to get there before 9:00am to get parking at the upper trailhead, otherwise, you’ll need to walk along the road until you reach the start of the trail.
If you have the opportunity to attempt one of the Camel’s Hump day hikes, then it is highly recommended to consider the Burrows Trail as well as the Monroe Trail. The trails, respectively, range from 4.5-7 miles roundtrip and offer diverse terrain, varying degrees of elevation gain, and beautiful scenery.
Keep in mind that the Monroe Trail is considered “difficult” owing to its steep ascent and rocky nature, while the Burrows Trail is more of a gradual ascent to the summit.
The weather is often beautifully sunny and warm in the summertime on Camel’s Hump, but it’s recommended to bring a light jacket as it is often 20+ degrees cooler (in Fahrenheit) on the summit.
Once you make your way off the mountain, consider grabbing a bite to eat at Harrison’s Restaurant and staying at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe.
Both offer wonderful hospitality and cozy, countryside charm that makes any full-day hike worth the effort!”
– Emily Cuneo, Emily Embarks
Browse Farmer’s Markets
Most places in Vermont have a farmer’s market because the state is proud of its local farm production and farm-to-table ethos. There are about 70 farmers’ markets in Vermont that happen in the summer of varying sizes and offerings.
Things you can find at Vermont farmers markets include local fruits and vegetables, pickles, maple syrup and cheeses. You are encouraged to bring your own reusable bags to take home your goodies!
Lots of farmer’s markets have live music making it a family-friendly event.
Play in Lakes in Vermont
Lakeside living is one of the best things to do in Vermont in the summer. Vermont has several large lakes like Lake Champlain but also hundreds of smaller lakes and ponds.
The largest lake in Vermont, Lake Champlain, has 54 public beaches to pick from!
Get out on the water by renting a boat or a paddle a kayak to explore further. Take a ferry like the Spirit of Ethan Allen if you want to have someone else do the work for you!
The Leahy Center is great for learning more about Lake Champlain itself. Visit the pretty town of Shelburne which is home to the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory.
Located in the Green Mountains, Lake Dunmore is a freshwater lake with a big sandy beach making it a popular destination for summer activities like swimming and water sports.
Lake Willoughby is known for its crystal clear water. Lake Willoughby State Forest occupies its southern shores. Willoughby Lake beach There are also good hiking trails nearby on Mount Pisgha.
Embrace Small City/Town Charm
The most populated city in Vermont, Burlington, lies on the shores of Lake Champlain and has only about 45,000 people.
“Burlington in Vermont is a chilled city that sits on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, making it a great summer destination.
Things to do in Burlington include, hiking, shopping, water-based activities, food, and losing hours to slow drinks in beer gardens.
Burlington is a very outdoorsy city, so there are plenty of hiking and biking trails to consider, such as the 8-mile Burlington Greenway or 2.5-mile trail at Centennial Woods Natural Area.
You can also SUP and kayak at Lake Champlain, the nation’s sixth-largest lake! If you don’t have equipment, you can rent boards from PaddleSurf Champlain.
Burlington is all about shopping local, and where better to do it than the Farmers’ Market on Pine St? Here, you can buy bread and products from across the state.
Or you can hit the stores at the pedestrianized Church St Marketplace, where you’ll also see various summer events, such as the marathon and music festivals.
Have you heard about the Vermont specialty, a ‘creemee’? It’s simply a soft-serve ice cream but a must for sweet tooth visitors! You can pick up one at Burlington Bay Market and Cafe.
Finally, Burlington’s beer scene is pretty renowned, so it would be rude not to sip away a warm afternoon at the likes of The Farmhouse Tap & Grill or Zero Gravity Brewery’s Beer Hall.
For accommodation, the Hilton Burlington Lake Champlain is a central modern hotel with views over the lake, or the G.G.T. Tibet Inn in South Burlington is a cheaper option for those on a budget.”
By Amanda, Hey! East Coast USA
Other equally charming small cities are college towns, Bennington and Middlebury, as well as the capitol of Montpelier Vermont.
Let’s not forget the small towns either! For example, Woodstock Vermont is regularly voted prettiest small town in Vermont. Next door, the town of Quechee is well known for its natural landmark, Quechee Gorge and the Simon Pearce Factory.
In fact, there are 252 small cities and towns dotted throughout the state of Vermont to explore!
Check Out The Mad River Valley
The beautiful Mad River Valley seems to have a little of all the things to do in summer in Vermont – from hiking, water sports, ice-cream and excellent food!
“Nestled in the Green Mountains of Vermont, the Mad River Valley is a veritable paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
In the summer months, the Mad River, which is both the geographical and spiritual heart of the community, is perfect for swimming, tubing, and kayaking. Swimming holes abound here!
The valley also has an extensive network of mountain biking and hiking trails to explore.
The Blueberry Lake mountain bike trails provide easy grades and steep switchbacks that challenge both beginner and advanced riders alike.
Hiking trails can be accessed throughout the valley but the views from the top of Mount Abraham, the third highest peak in the state, will be appreciated by serious explorers.
After a long day of adventure, visitors can enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants in the Valley. For happy hour you can enjoy a fresh brew in the beer garden at Lawson’s Finest Liquids.
From upscale dining at Peasant or The Pitcher Inn to more casual fare at The Mad Taco or The Worthy Burger Too, there is something to suit every taste.
Don’t miss out on the near-famous Canteen Creemee for a memorable ice cream, where you can also eat a savory mouth-watering meal before your sweet treat.
A stay at The historic Waitsfield Inn will give you a beautiful place to rest your head after an activity-filled day.
Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation, the Mad River Valley is sure to please.”
– Heather Kasvinsky, This Noshtalgic Life
Things To Do in Vermont Summer Mapped
Here is a map of things to do in Vermont in summer to help guide you for planning purposes.
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