Vermont is most famous as a fairytale winter-wonderland state – think twinkling lights, horse-drawn sleigh rides, epic skiing and snowboarding and the home of “White Christmas.” It’s also known as the place you’ll find America’s highest concentration of maple trees, leading to its breathtaking autumnal color display.
But did you know this is also one of America’s favorite great-outdoors states in summertime? Summer is a time for family fun the old-fashioned way here. So throw away those tablets and remember what a summer family vacation is supposed to be all about: playing together!
To maximize family time and views, start in New York City and wind your way into the heart of Vermont along the scenic shores of the Hudson River aboard Amtrak’s Ethan Allen Express. Get cosy in a traditional Vermont inn or an incredible treehouse as you breathe in the Green Mountains.
Take a family hike (or the aerial tramway for the views) to the top of Jay Peak mountain in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom and see how many states you can spot (not to mention a whole other country!). Then head back down for some serious splash time at Jay Peak Resort’s Pump House Indoor Waterpark, featuring lazy river, tubes, surf wave and lots, lots more, all in a tropical indoor environment, but with a retractable roof for sunny summer days.
Keeping the watery theme, head to Burlington, Vermont’s lively university town on the shores of glorious Lake Champlain. While away lazy days sailing, spotting more than 300 species of birdlife, 78 native fish species, 21 types of amphibian and over 50 different mammals that call the lake home. Don’t miss life under the surface at the ECHO Leahy Center, a fantastic lake aquarium and science center dedicated to the stewardship of the Lake Champlain basin.
Of course, Vermont is also home to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and as its factory tour is located at Waterbury, we think it can still be considered a legitimate stop on your watery summer family tour of the state. The toughest thing you’ll have to do in Vermont is pick your favorite flavor.