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Introducing Vermont

Whether seen under blankets of snow, patchworks of blazing fall leaves or the exuberant greens of spring and summer, Vermont's blend of bucolic farmland, mountains and picturesque small villages make it one of America's most appealing states. Hikers, bikers, skiers and kayakers will find four-season bliss here, on the expansive waters of Lake Champlain, the award-winning Kingdom Trails Network, the 300-mile Long and Catamount Trails and the fabled slopes of Killington, Stowe and Sugarbush. Foodies will love it here too: small farmers have made Vermont a locavore paradise, complemented by America's densest collection of craft brewers. But most of all, what sets Vermont apart is its independent spirit: the first state to endorse same-sex civil unions, the only one to elect a socialist senator in the 21st century and the only one without a McDonald's in its capital city remains a haven of quirky creativity unlike anyplace else in America.