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.
- Woodstock, Vermont in Woodstock, VT
"Say that five times real fast," as the saying goes. The second weekend of December, three days of festivities and entertainment heightens the holiday spirt in the decorated winter wonderland of Woodstock; you know what to do with the last four words. Horses and carriages reflect a beautiful 19th century Christmas. A medieval banquet takes you back even farther, and a visit to the Billings Farm & Museum brings you back to the 1800s. Holiday shows and parades top it off, and you'll be all ready for Christmas, if only in your mind.
Mid-January is a drag, so break out, and hit the carnival. About five days of "blah-relief" is available in this winter wonderland, snow sports and ice carving included. Kids Carnival Kaos brightens up the days for the younger set, and you can get going again with snow volleyball and snow golf tournaments. The Village Night Block Party has been termed "infamous," so don't miss that, and "zany" sporting events occur throughout the carnival. The annual NICA ice carving competition is not to be missed; young and old enjoy this event.
About three days at the end of April, sugar house tours and sap runs celebrate the glories of maple syrup. The carnival, arts and crafts, food, entertainment, contests and antique show lure visitors, and the art exhibit, grand parade and youth talent show keep them here. Naturally, there is a pancake breakfast, but the 5K and 10K runs work off the calories. Oh wait, maple syrup has no calories during this festival, does it?
The whole state participates in this event on Memorial Day weekend by inviting the public to more than 260 studio sites. Celebrating the creative process in the visual arts, artists and craftspeople of Vermont display their pieces all around the state. It's a nice springtime drive through scenic areas of Vermont.
- Marshland Farm 91 Village Green Quechee, VT 5059 in Quechee, VT
A three-day weekend in mid-June brings 20 hot air balloons to the Village Green, and rides can be booked online in advance or during the event. Over 60 craft artisans and other vendors show their wares, and there is plenty of food and a beer and wine garden. Many kids' activities keep the young ones busy with a bounce house, train rides and freeze dance. Yankee Magazine listed this festival in the "top 20 events of the summer." Music and entertainment run continuously, so no one is bored. Celebrate the summer!
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.