The state of Vermont is tucked away in the middle of New England with the lovely Green Mountains and Lake Champlain on the west, while the Connecticut River is situated on the east. In the springtime, the state’s sugarhouses produce a rich flow of maple syrup, filling the air with sweetness. Moreover, bright blossoms begin to bloom, farmers markets vend to the public, and skiers and snowboarders continue to hit the slopes. Near many vacation rentals in Vermont are abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation, sightseeing, shopping, and fine dining. Here are the best spring break destinations in the state.

1. Burlington

The beautiful city of Burlington is in the northwest corner of Vermont on the shore of Lake Champlain. Explore Church Street Marketplace, the hub of downtown Burlington, which has over 100 shops and restaurants. City Hall Park hosts the year-round Farmer’s Market, where you can shop for fresh produce, tasty snacks, local cheeses, and handmade crafts. Don’t miss the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, with its interactive exhibits and fascinating displays of fish, amphibians, and reptiles. Rent a bicycle at Waterfront Bike Rentals, and pedal the famous Burlington Greenway, a dedicated bike path with 8 miles of trails through parks and along the shoreline. Alternatively, tour downtown and the waterfront in relaxed comfort with Burlington Segways. To satisfy your sweet tooth, join a factory tour and enjoy product tastings at Lake Champlain Chocolates.

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2. Montpelier

Montpelier, the capital of Vermont, lies alongside the lovely Winooski River surrounded by emerald hills. Be sure to check out the majestic State House near the town center. Renowned for its local artists, Montpelier hosts several awe-inspiring galleries, including the Front Art Gallery, the T.W. Wood Art Gallery and Museum, and the Vermont Arts Council Gallery and Sculpture Garden. Visit the Bragg Farm Sugarhouse and Gift Shop to sample and purchase local maple sugar. For some excellent skiing and snowboarding, take a bus to nearby Sugarbush Resort in Warren or Mad River Glenn in Waitsfield.

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3. Rutland

Located between the Green Mountains and Taconic Mountains in south-central Vermont, the town of Rutland has a fascinating downtown area with over 100 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Rent a bicycle at Col Cycling and explore the downtown area, or head for the 16 miles of mountain bike trails in 300 acre Pine Hill Park. The Vermont Marble Museum has beautiful exhibits that highlight the state’s marble industry, and the New England Maple Museum in nearby Pittsford focuses on the history of maple syrup. Killington Peak, just a few miles to the east, provides several great ski slopes. For some fine dining, pair an excellent cut of meat with the perfect wine at Southside Steakhouse. Sample handcrafted ales and lagers at the Hop ‘N Moose Brewing Company.

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4. Bennington

The charming town of Bennington lies in the southwestern corner of Vermont on the western side of the Green Mountains. The numerous historic covered bridges in the area look magnificent when surrounded by luxuriant spring blossoms. Visit Bennington Museum for an impressive collection of work by local Vermont artists. Take advantage of the Bennington Area Trail System on Mount Anthony, which provides multiple mountain bike trails of varying levels of difficulty, to explore Vermont’s gorgeous wilderness. Enjoy a unique shopping experience in downtown Bennington, which has over 40 locally owned businesses. Slake your thirst with craft beers at local pubs and breweries, such as Madison Brewing, the Tap House, and JC’s Tavern.

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5. Brattleboro

Located in the southeastern corner of Vermont on the bank of the Connecticut River, the lovely town of Brattleboro is famous for its artistic community, historic downtown area, and proximity to fine skiing. Visit the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center to view the work of local artists and the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum for a fascinating glimpse at the ecology of the area. Rent a bike, and receive help planning an itinerary of the numerous state and local parks in the area at Brattleboro Bicycle Shop. Hike the trails, and enjoy panoramic views of gorgeous spring foliage at Mount Wantastiquet, Mount Monadnock, and the Appalachian Trail. Head for the Vermont Canoe Touring Center to rent a canoe or kayak and explore the local rivers. Nearby Mount Snow offers great spring skiing.

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6. Newport

The town of Newport lies on the southern shore of beautiful Lake Memphremagog at the far northern edge of Vermont near the border with Canada. Stroll along historic Main Street, and browse through the plethora of unique shops and restaurants. Stop in at the Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center to sample sweet cider, maple treats, and other local delicacies. Take a cruise on the Northern Star, an elegant inland waterway steamer, to discover the beauty of the majestic lake, or rent a boat or kayak from Clyde River Recreation, and explore the lake on your own. Head for nearby Jay Peak Resort for spring skiing and snowboarding. Try the Eastside Restaurant and Pub, which overlooks the waterfront, for delicious and rib-sticking New England cuisine.

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7. Vergennes

Vergennes is in a beautiful region of western Vermont near Lake Champlain. Founded in 1788, it is the state’s oldest town. Many historic buildings line downtown’s Main Street, including the Opera House and the City Hall. Lovely, tree-lined City Park regularly hosts cultural programs, and Vergennes Falls Park features a 37-foot cascading waterfall. Rent a bicycle from Little City Cycles, and tour the downtown area, the banks of Otter Creek, and the cycling paths in nearby state and local parks. Fish for salmon and trout on Lake Champlain with Cloud Nine Charters. Play 18 holes amidst spectacular scenery at Basin Harbor Club. Learn about the area’s nautical history and nearby shipwrecks at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

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8. St. Johnsbury

The beautiful town of St. Johnsbury is in northeastern Vermont at the confluence of the Moose, Sleepers, and Passumpsic Rivers. Don’t miss a visit to the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, an architecturally significant historic building that now houses an art gallery. Tour the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium for fascinating displays on local ecology and history. For amazing ATV or snowmobile tours of the breathtaking surrounding countryside, head to NEK Adventures. Have some delicious steak or succulent seafood paired with a fine wine at Bailiwicks on the Mill.

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