Memorial Day weekend in Vermont marks the end of a long winter season, as well as the return of warm summer weather. This charming New England state is packed with scenic areas perfect for outdoor adventures: boating on the Finger Lakes, hiking in the Mount Mansfield State Forest, and golfing in Jay, to name a few. Vermont vacation rentals in these lovely cities and towns place you close to the best Memorial Day weekend events and activities.

1. Stowe

By Memorial Day, the cold Vermont winter has ended and most of the snow has melted in the mountains – which marks the start of hiking season. Celebrate with other outdoor enthusiasts in Stowe, which offers some of the state’s best hikes, such as Summit Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak, on Long Trail. If you’re after a bigger challenge, reach the top via the steeper Hell Brook Trail. On the holiday head into Stowe to watch the town’s charming Memorial Day parade.

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2. Burlington

Enjoy a laid-back holiday in historic Burlington. Book vacation rentals near the beautiful Church Street Marketplace for easy access to shops and restaurants, such as Pascolo Ristorante and El Cortijo. After some shopping and a meal, enjoy the spring weather by the shores of Lake Champlain. Each Memorial Day weekend, the Champlain Valley Flyer offers a special scenic trip between Burlington and Middlebury; military members and veterans can ride free. If you’re a runner, start the summer season off right in the Vermont City Marathon and Relay, which routes along the water and through the city.

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3. Vergennes

Experience Vermont’s largest Memorial Day parade in Vergennes, a cozy little hamlet on Otter Creek. Each year, the parade showcases bands, classic cars, and beautifully made floats. The parade draws enormous crowds, so it’s a good idea to arrive early to get a great spot. On the weekend, bring your kayak or canoe, launch from the municipal docks and paddle over to the stunning Vergennes Falls. Lake Champlain sits just a few miles away; enjoy easy access at Button Bay State Park.

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4. Dover

Escape the hustle and bustle with a Memorial Day vacation to Dover, the gateway to the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests. Book a cabin in the rolling hills and enjoy complete serenity. When you’re tired of relaxing, head to Mount Snow for 18 holes at the Mount Snow Golf Club or a hike to the summit. Memorial Day makes a great time for the first fly-fishing excursion of the summer; cast for rainbow trout in the nearby Deerfield River. In town, the Dover Historical Museum offers a fascinating look at the military and farming history of the region.

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5. Westmore

Spend Memorial Day fishing off a private dock in Westmore, a small town on the shores of stunning Lake Willoughby. Book early to find a waterfront rental, and enjoy lazy days of grilling and swimming. Otherwise, head to Willoughby Lake Beach for some of the most beautiful views in the area; kids can swim in the clean, cool water or fish for lake trout from the shore. For an aerial view of the crystal-clear lake, hike the Wheeler Mountain Trail.

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6. Woodstock

Celebrate the advent of summer in Woodstock, one of Vermont’s most picturesque towns. Pack your camera to capture the new leaves and spring flowers that blanket the town and surrounding areas at the end of May. After a morning coffee on the village green, head to Sugarbush Farm to meet the animals and stroll through the breathtaking hills; be sure to take home some freshly made cheese. Later, enjoy a craft beer at Long Trail Brewing or hike Suicide Six ski hill. On Monday, close out your visit at the American Legion Memorial Day Parade.

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7. Dorset

Get out into Vermont’s dense forests in Dorset, which is located on the northern end of the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests. Spend your weekend exploring the wilderness – hike the Town Forest Trail, explore the historic Gettysburg Quarry, and ride the zipline at the Mountain Adventure Park at Bromley Ski Area. Emerald Lake State Park, which opens on Memorial Day weekend, offers swimming and fantastic, kid-friendly nature trails through the forest. On Memorial Day, join the Dorset community in a parade and a special honor ceremony.

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8. Jay

Celebrate the end of the winter and the return of golfing season in Jay, which is home to the Jay Peak Championship Golf Course. Enjoy the peace of the north woods on this gorgeous, friendly course – you might even see a deer or fox trotting across the greens. If the weather is cool, head to the Jay Peak Pump House indoor water park or climb the slopes to the summit to see a panorama of forests and hills.

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9. Burke

Shake off the winter blues and transition into summer sports with a Memorial Day getaway to Burke. This beautiful pastoral area is hiding one of the state’s best-kept secrets: the Kingdom Trails mountain biking area. Pack your sturdiest bike and helmet for this thrilling trail system, which features huge berms and exciting curves. Don’t miss the Sidewinder single track trail, which is sure to get your heart pounding. If you’re bringing little ones, the area also has a variety of beginner-friendly trails to suit the whole family.

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