You probably already know a few things that Vermont is known for, including idyllic rural landscapes, maple syrup, quaint towns and stunning mountain vistas. But there’s so much more to the Green Mountain State than just that. In fact, I have 29 things to share with you that have put Vermont on the map, each one as fun as the next!
What Is Vermont Known For? Let’s Get Started!
1. Ben & Jerry’s
Founded in the 1970s at an old gas station in Burlington, Vermont, Ben & Jerry’s is a household name that pretty much everyone knows and loves. The company’s playful and fun flavors, as well as social justice advocacy, have made it a favorite among ice cream lovers everywhere.
Most people know that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream started in Vermont, but did you know that much of it is still produced there, too? They have a few factories around the world, one of which is in Waterbury, just outside of the charming town of Stowe. And, you can actually tour the facility (which includes a free sample!).
At the factory, you can also visit their flavor graveyard that showcases tombstones for discontinued flavors, and also stop by their scoop shop for a cone.
2. Covered Bridges
Vermont is home to more than 100 beautiful covered bridges, and over the years, they’ve become a symbol of Vermont’s rural heritage and charm. In fact, Vermont has the most covered bridges of any other state in the New England region, making is one of the best to visit if you’re hoping to see (or drive over!) one of them.
Looking to take a road trip to see as many covered bridges in Vermont as possible? Click the link below to check out my perfect Vermont covered bridges itinerary!
3. Top Ski Resorts
Vermont is well-regarded as one the top destinations in the Northeast for skiing since it’s home to absolutely incredible ski resorts.
Stowe is probably the most popular, and is often named by publications has one of the top ski resorts in the entire country. You’ll find the highest peak in Vermont, Mount Mansfield, here, as well as Spruce Peak Lodge, a luxury ski-in, ski-out resort.
Other amazing ski resorts in Vermont include Sugarbush, Killington, Okemo, Mad River Valley, Jay Peak and Saskadena Six.
4. Fall Foliage
Vermont is pretty much synonymous with fall foliage, and for good reason. In fact, it’s the No. 1 destination I recommend to anyone looking to experience foliage in New England for the first time because it’s truly spectacular.
Because of the high number of maple trees (which is also why Vermont is famous for maple syrup, but more on that later!), the entire state seems like it’s just ablaze with reds and oranges during peak foliage season. It’s simply one of the most magical things about Vermont, and it’s absolutely worth experiencing it once in your life.
5. The Vermont Country Store
You’ve probably gotten the catalogs in your mailbox as some point in your life, and the Vermont Country Store has since become a favorite that specializes in old-fashioned products, penny candy, quality flannel and other apparel, and general goods for the home. Walking in, you’ll also feel like you’ve stepped back into time, and it’s pretty much impossible to walk out empty-handed because of their amazing selection.
The Vermont Country Store has an online shop, as well as 2 location in Vermont: Weston and Rockingham. Having been to both, I can tell you that they’re equally worth your time, so if you’re planning a trip to Vermont, you can’t go wrong with either location!
6. Simon Pearce
You’ll see Simon Pearce shops all over New England, but the first-ever shop, and also the flagship store, can be found in Quechee, Vermont – and it’s still in business today.
Known for stunning and simple glass pieces, as well as expertly crafted pottery, Simon Pearce is an inspiring destination to visit in Vermont (or really, any of the shops around the Northeast). Each glass piece is hand-blown by a trained artisan, and the Quechee location even has a viewing area where you can watch the artisans at work, and ask them questions about their craft.
To bring home a Simon Pearce piece means a true appreciation for art that’s also beautifully functional.
7. Farmhouse Pottery
Speaking of beautiful and functional, I could say the same for Farmhouse Pottery. I’ve been a fan of these pieces for years, and their hand-thrown pottery is now sold in stores all over the country (and has since been named an Oprah favorite). But their original and flagship store can be found in Woodstock, VT.
Known for their simple, farmhouse designs that serve a functional purpose in your home, as well as being heirloom quality, a Farmhouse Pottery piece is made to last, and crafted individually at a wheel by a trained artisan.
Inside the shop in Woodstock, you can actually watch the potters at work, and also ask them questions. In fact, you can even book a wheel workshop to make your own piece as the ultimate Vermont souvenir.
As of writing this post in 2023, there are over 60 breweries in Vermont, so craft brewing is definitely something Vermont is known for! The Green Mountain State produces some of the best beers in the entire country, and with top brands like Fiddlehead and The Alchemist, they’re pretty much all worth a visit, too.
Breweries in Vermont can be found all over the state, but Stowe and Burlington are the best places to visit if you’re looking to sip on the most incredible brews.
Not only does Vermont do beer extremely well, it’s also home to some award-winning distillers. Several, in fact! Smuggler’s Notch Distilling has won awards for its Vodka, and Caledonia Spirits has won several awards for its Barr Hill Gin, including Gin Of The Year, Best Overall Gin and Spirit Of The Year, to name a few.
In fact, a lot of people visit Vermont just to come to Caledonia Spirits and see the place where the famous Barr Hill Gin is produced. The distillery offers tours, and also has an awesome cocktail bar with drinks featuring their spirits.
10. Farm To Table Dining
With an abundance of farmland and local produce, Vermont is a well-known destination for farm-to-table dining. Many restaurants in the state prioritize locally-sourced and organic ingredients, making every meal a true taste of Vermont, as well as a special experience. It’s actually hard to find a place to eat in Vermont that’s not featuring local food products in one way or another.
For foodies, it’s a hard place to beat! Come hungry, and leave absolutely thrilled with your meal.
11. Vermont Teddy Bear Factory
If you don’t have kids, you may not know about the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, but it’s actually kind of a big deal. These cute little plush toys have been in production since 1981 when the founder began to sell them on Church Street in Burlington, and it’s since flourished into a huge factory campus that people can visit and shop from.
These teddy bears are heirloom quality and are guaranteed to last forever. And to know you bear is authentic, they’re stitched with their signature green Vermont Teddy Bear tag. The factory offers tours during your visit, where you can watch the artisans sew together these cute little guys. And the store even allows you to customize your own bear.
12. Picturesque Towns
When it comes to charming and idyllic small towns in New England, Vermont has quite a few of them. In fact, it’s hard to not find one while driving around. And while Vermont’s cities like Burlington and Montpelier are also beautiful, there’s something special and cozy about spending time in picturesque, quiet town.
Many of these places are home to the beautiful covered bridges mentioned earlier, white steepled churched, babbling brooks and rivers, rolling hills, lovely boutiques, and quaint restaurants. All these reasons and more are what draw visitors to Vermont hoping to escape a busy lifestyle, and have a magical getaway.
It just also happens to be a bonus that each small town has a unique community spirit that defines them, making them even more special to experience.
Some of the most magical towns to visit in Vermont are Stowe, Woodstock, Manchester, Grafton, Middlebury and Shelburne … just to name a few!
13. The Green Mountains
Vermont’s Green Mountains are an iconic feature of the state, and one of the main reasons why so many people visit. These mountain ranges, including the Green Mountain National Forest, are home to some of the best hiking, skiing, and other incredible outdoor activities in the region.
The Green Mountains run along the center of Vermont making them pretty unmissable, and also lending dramatic, mountainous backdrops to many of the state’s picture-perfect towns and villages.
Some epic hikes on the mountains to check out are Camel’s Hump, Mount Mansfield, Mount Pisgah, and Owl’s Head.
14. Stunning Country Landscapes
Okay, so you know when you see those postcards with white steepled churched nestled amongst gorgeous farmland, rustic barns and rolling hills? Yeah, those are pretty common in Vermont, and one of the things this state is most known for. It’s the only New England state that doesn’t border the Atlantic, but it more than makes up for it with these stunning country landscapes.
The sweeping landscapes are dotted with farms, orchards, and covered bridges, highlighting the state’s heritage and abundance of farm fresh foods. And, the winding country roads that connect the different areas of Vermont are as lovely as they are serene, and I always tell people that the best things to do is to simply get lost. You’ll probably stumble upon something even prettier than the last scene you just came from.
15. Rock Quarries
Vermont is home to some pretty epic rock quarries, and I know that doesn’t seem too interesting, but wait until you see them for yourself.
Danby Quarry is the largest underground marble quarry in the world, and all the marble harvesting for home construction is done inside the mountain – as it has been for the last 100 years. Pretty cool, right? To have Danby Quarry countertops is a true honor.
Smith Quarry is another cool place Vermont is known for, and it’s the largest operating deep-hole quarry in the world. This one is open for tours, too, and it’s quite a sight to see in person.
16. The Vermont Flannel Company
Vermont Flannel stores are sprinkled throughout New England, and they also now have an online shop for shipping worldwide. But it still remains a husband and wife-led operation with each piece handmade in the U.S. Known for it’s quality and low shrink rate, this is the place to buy your flannel apparel in New England!
17. Darn Tough Socks
Another amazing company to come out of Vermont that’s now sold in stores all over is Darn Tough Socks. And guys, you won’t ever find a better pair of socks out there! These now-famous socks are guaranteed for life, and they’re still made right in Vermont to this day.
Selling pairs of socks specially designed for different activities from running to skiing, this iconic New England brand has you covered, and keeps you comfortable and warm.
18. King Arthur Baking Co.
If you’re at all into cooking or baking, you’ve probably heard of King Arthur Baking Co. flours and breads. And while this company began in Boston, its campus and flagship store has been headquartered in Norwich, Vermont since 1984. Now, it’s proudly synonymous with the Green Mountain State.
Their flagship store packages baking ingredients and mixes every day, and is home to a cooking school, cafe and retail shop.
19. The First State To Abolish Slavery
Known for its liberal political views, it comes as no surprise that Vermont was also the fist state to abolish slavery. And not only were they the first to make this important declaration, they voted to provide full voting rights to black men.
This decision came days before Vermont also declared themselves a sovereign country, which they remained as for 14 years until joining the U.S. as the 14th state.
What Food Is Vermont Known For?
20. Maple Syrup
One of the most well-known products that Vermont is famous for is maple syrup. Vermont produces more than 40 percent of the country’s maple syrup, making it the largest producer in the U.S. The state’s ideal climate and soil conditions create the perfect environment for sugar maple trees to thrive, making them abundant in Vermont.
All throughout the state, you’ll find maple shops and sugar shacks where you can taste the different grades of syrup to find your favorite. And if you think it tastes better than maple syrup you can find anywhere else, there’s a reason for that! The state of Vermont holds a higher purity standard than the U.S. Government, which creates a better, richer and more complex flavor.
Vermont is also famous for its cheese, which has a long and rich history dating back to the 1800s. The state’s abundant supply of milk and dairy farms help make Vermont one of the top cheese-producing states in the country.
Vermont cheddar cheese is particularly popular, with Cabot putting Vermont on the map for this variety of cheese. In fact, you can even visit the Cabot Cheese Farmer’s store in Waterbury, VT to sample different kinds, and buy pretty much everything they produce to take home with you.
But there’s way more than just Cabot – you’ll find artisanal and farm-fresh cheeses of all varieties all over the state. Some of my favorites are Shelburne Farms and Sugarbush Farms, so be sure to swing by if you can.
22. Maple Creemees
Another famous food item in Vermont is the maple creemee, a soft-serve ice cream made with maple syrup that originated right in Vermont. And while you can find maple creemees all throughout New England now, it’s not likely you’ll find them in the rest of the country.
Most maple creemees are pretty standard, but if you’re looking for an extra special one to try out, head to Canteen Creemee Company in Waitsfield. You can get the basic one there, but also have your pick of different and unique creemee flavors, and sundaes decked out to Instagram-worthy perfection.
23. American Flatbread Pizzas
American Flatbread pizzas are now sold in grocery stores nationwide, and you may have bought one for yourself in recent years. But these awesome pizzas started right in Vermont, and are kind of a big deal in the Green Mountain State.
With 5 locations in Vermont (including the original in Waitsfield) and 6 locations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut, this pizza joint is known for wood-fired flatbread style pizzas in a cozy atmosphere, and utilizes farm-fresh and local ingredients (it is Vermont we’re talkin’ about, after all).
All their locations feel like a warm hug, and usually have a fireplace, great craft beers on tap, and absolutely delicious food.
24. Country Breakfasts
You’ll see “full Vermont country breakfast” a lot of menus all over the state, and this is something Vermont does very well. Typically including local bacon or sausage, farm-fresh eggs, hearty toasts, fluffy buttermilk pancakes, fresh orange juice and local coffee, it’s pretty much to die for. And it’s the best way to start your day in Vermont.
My favorites places for breakfast in Vermont are the Butler’s Pantry in Stowe, Blue Benn’s Diner in Bennington, and Sugar & Spice Restaurant in Mendon.
25. Apples & Apple Pie
The official state dessert of Vermont is apple pie, and since Vermont also has ideal growing conditions for apple trees, it’s also known for its incredible orchards.
You’ll find apple pie for dessert on almost every menu during prime apple season in Vermont, and it may be some of the best you’ve ever had. And also, the secret ingredient might just be maple syrup!
Famous People From Vermont
26. Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders is a politician and senator from Vermont who is well known for his outspoken liberal views on politics, social justice, global warming, the economy, and well … that meme. We all know which one I’m talking about, right?
While he was born in Brooklyn (hence the accent), he moved to Vermont in the 1960s to start his political career. After serving as the mayor of Burlington, he went on to become a congressman, and then a senator.
Sen. Sanders currently has two homes in Vermont: One in Burlington, and one in North Hero, which he enjoys when not working in Washington.
27. Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge was the 30th president of the United States, serving from 1923 to 1929, and was born in Plymouth, Vermont, where he attended school before going on to become a lawyer. His family also had deep roots in Vermont’s political sector, with family serving in the state’s House of Representatives and Senate.
Fun Fact! President Coolidge is the only president to have been born on July Fourth!
28. John Deere
John Deere was a blacksmith and inventor who was born in Rutland, Vermont, and is best known for inventing the steel plow, which revolutionized agriculture in the United States.
Deere’s innovative ideas made it possible for farmers to cultivate the soil more efficiently, which helped spur the growth of agriculture in the United States. Now, John Deere is one of the most popular brands for quality and reliable farming gear nationwide.
29. Damon Wayans Jr.
Damon Wayans Jr. was also born in Vermont, and has made a name for himself as a notable comedian, writer and producer for both TV and movies. Son of Damon Wayans, Wayans Jr. has been in Happy Endings, Let’s Be Cops, The Other Guys, and New Girl.
Other posts you may like reading:
- Vermont In The Fall: All The Most Fun Things To Do!
- Best Things To Do In Waterbury, VT
- Christmas In Vermont: All The Most Festive Things To Do
- Best Things To Do In Stowe, VT
- Best Things to Do In Woodstock, VT
- Best Places To Stay In Vermont In The Fall
- Best Things To Do In Vermont In The Winter
- 60+ Things To Do In Vermont
- Vermont vs. New Hampshire In The Fall
- Best Vermont Pumpkin Patches & Farm Stands To Visit In The Fall
- Awesome Corn Mazes In Vermont
That’s A Wrap On What Vermont Is Known For
And there you have it! If you’re looking to travel to Vermont, you’re now a pro at all the cool things Vermont is known for, including the classics like good ‘old Ben & Jerry’s, maple syrup and gorgeous countryside. And hopefully you learned a few more things from this post as well, including other great foods the state is known for, as well as famous people from Vermont. Thanks for stopping by to read!