Nestled in the heart of New England, the quaint state of Vermont attracts thousands of visitors who want to experience rural charm and simple natural beauty. Despite the state's cold climate, visitors can find plenty to do while enjoying the outdoors and walking between popular attractions. The state's largest city, Burlington, offers plenty of urban attractions, including seasonal festivals, art galleries, traveling museum exhibits and concerts.
- Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction, VT
[For COVID-related security reasons, the 2021 edition will be an online virtual festival]: This largest and oldest quilt festival in New England runs for three days over the last weekend of June. For over 30 years, this annual event has hosted over 80 vendors and has displayed 400 quilts for our visual pleasure. Learn all there is to know about quilting from the 75 or so classes and lectures available and find supplies at more than 70 booths devoted to quilting. Bring quilts to be appraised and find out their value; compare and contrast antique and contemporary quilts. The air-conditioned Champlain Valley Exposition hall keeps everyone comfortable during demonstrations and gift-buying forays. Come in and be amazed.
Over a long weekend in mid-July, at Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa, about 25 colorful hot air balloons ascend and descend morning and evening into the valley. Food, live music and a beer garden provide other diversions, and balloon rides are available. Kids' activities add to the mix as visitors peruse the tethered balloons while they're on the ground.
From about mid-July through mid-August, over five or six weekends, classical music is performed by world-renowned concert artists and music students from around the world. A young Yo Yo Ma attended this festival and decided that he would take the professional track, and that worked out well. Founded by Rudolf Serkin in 1951, this more than 60-year-old festival continues to bring in talented young artists who love to study and perform classical music in several forms. This small town becomes a gold mine of musical talent every summer, and the concerts reflect the students' intensive study and exchange of ideas.
- Champlain Valley Exposition Essex Junction, VT 5453 in Essex Junction, VT
About a week into September, the chance for one last summer fling for thousands of visitors presents itself with all the bells and whistles. It began as an agricultural event and stays true to its roots; there are educational exhibits, too. For over 90 years, ten days of food, rides, exhibits and free shows have entertained the crowds, and this fair draws big names in entertainment. It has made a lot of vendors very happy.