Vermont, home of “les monts verts” (green mountains), evokes the gentlest of words: Pastoral, serene, bucolic, woodsy, green. I had always imagined it a place of rolling green fields in the summer and quiet, snowy landscapes in the winter, fields filled happy cows and views of never-ending shades of green.
My imaginative visions couldn’t have rang more true, particularly during fall’s gorgeous foliage season in New England. Trees compete for your attention in shades of yellow, red, plum, orange and green. The fields are ripe with fall’s harvest, apple orchards and pumpkin patches abound.
And then there’s Vermont’s true specialty: dairy. The state is home to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, sweet chocolate treats and savoury cheeses. Coupled with fresh, crunchy apples and local cider, spontaneous picnics happen virtually anywhere.
Getting around Vermont is easy, with no huge metropolitan areas to navigate. Its Interstates are free of billboards, and the largest city (Burlington) is the smallest largest city in any U.S. state, at around 42,000 people. Just down the road from Burlington is Vermont’s capital, Montpelier, featuring historical charm and a population of just under 8,000 (Montpelier is the U.S.’s smallest capital city by population).
The state is also home to beautiful Lake Champlain, the sixth largest body of freshwater within the United States. A series of islands at its north end provide a stunning and meandering drive as you head north to the Canadian border (Montreal is less than an hour from the Vermont border).
In the Green Mountain State Forest, get inspired along the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail, located in the area where Frost lived for 23 summers. His poems dot the trail, providing the perfect harmony between words and nature.
At Mount Philo State Park, the very approachable 968 foot high summit features stunning views of Lake Champlain and New York’s Adirondack mountains to the west, (a great vista to plot your next picnic spot), and Vermont’s Green Mountains to the south and east.
With its winding roads, quaint towns, New England churches, farmers’ markets and quiet mountain spaces, Vermont is the postcard-perfect escape from the noise of city living.