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Almost like a siren, Vermont beckons road-trippers to its many miles of lazy country roads that spin through rolling pastoral landscapes. We’re thinking this sounds pretty great, too.
Vermont’s capital city of Montpelier is a good place to start. While you’re in town, check out the historic State House before heading to Morse Farm, a working sugar and maple farm located just outside of town. For a unique perspective on Vermont, consider a side-trip south on US-302 to the town of Barre, where you’ll find the impressive 500-foot-deep Rock of Ages Quarry; it’s the world’s largest granite quarry.
From Montpelier, let’s head north along US-2, running parallel to I-89, to the town of Burlington. Home to the University of Vermont, Burlington is the largest city in the state, and home to nearly a third of the state’s population in its greater metropolitan area. Nestled along the banks of the scenic Lake Champlain, the historic district along Church Street is excellent for spending the afternoon soaking in the local atmosphere. Just outside town, consider a visit to Shelburne Farms, an historic 1,400-acre estate-turned-city-park.
From Burlington, head north along US-7 as it parallels the eastern banks of Lake Champlain, until you reach the town of St. Albans. Trivia buffs take note: Lake Champlain is the site of the northernmost skirmish of the Civil War. Today, this railroad town is your starting point for exploring Franklin County in the northwest corner of the state. Throughout the area you’ll find adventure-filled trails, lush forests, and rolling pastures–everything that captures the essence of Vermont no matter what time of year. One of our favorite pastimes is exploring the expansive Missisquoi River National Wildlife Refuge, a 6,000+-acre peninsula surrounded by the chilly waters of Lake Champlain.
Blink your eyes, and you might miss East Alburg. However, this little town offers so much that we think it is worth a stop. For nature lovers, the place to be is the Alburg Dunes, a veritable oasis near Lake Champlain, where wild deer, turkey, and a host of feathered fowl can be seen in their natural environment. If your legs need a stretch, consider taking a bike ride on many of East Alburgs short, but exciting, bike trails. And if you make it to town in August, make sure not to miss the Lake Champlain Bluegrass Festival, where some of the biggest stars in Bluegrass put on one of the best live concerts this side of the Mississippi. You will be tapping your toes the rest of the trip.
Close out your Vermont tour by taking Hwy 78 west to US-2 south. This road allows for a little island hopping thanks to a series of beautiful Lake Champlain Islands such as Isle La Motte and North Hero located on charming Grand Isle.