Nestled in the northeast corner of New England, Vermont is the region’s only state without an Atlantic coastline, but the Green Mountains that give the state its name (from the French verts monts) more than make up for this lack of ocean playground. Each year, crowds flock to the celebrated slopes of Killington, Mt Snow and Stowe for the finest skiing and snowboarding on the East Coast. These same mountains help form the Long Trail, a hiking path that courses the length of the state and lures countless repeat visitors – especially during the autumn months, when the state erupts in a blaze of spectacular foliage.
Much of Vermont is serene farmland, yielding up the state’s famous maple syrups and cheeses as well as the fresh produce that make it home to some of the nation’s finest restaurants. This attention to quality can also be savored at Vermont’s microbreweries; their fine craft brews help stoke the nightlife in bars up and down the state.
But above all, Vermont is home to the eccentric and the unexpected. From a puppet museum lurking in a massive barn and an old mill converted into a first-class restaurant; to llamas grazing in the backyard of a rural bed-and-breakfast and the only state capital without a McDonald’s. So, arm yourself with a good map, leave the main roads to the masses, and find your own charmed back-way along the capillary network of dirt roads that hug the banks of squiggling rivers, lead through tunnels of trees and lure you to unexpected discoveries.