The second largest state in New England, Vermont is located on the northeastern coast of the United States. Its largest city is Burlington. The spring months are a bit chilly and often rainy, summers are mild, while winters are cold and snowy. Vermont is a popular destination for hiking and skiing (its mountains include Jay Peak, Killington, Stowe, and Mount Snow). The state has many rural sites, with farms throughout its valleys. It is also a popular destination for seeing the changing colors of its fall foliage. Among its many popular food items, Vermont is known for its delicious maple syrup and cheese products. Some of the most popular spots include the Lake Champlain district, the Vermont State House, maple sugar farms, the Rock of Ages granite quarry in Barre, Revolutionary War historic sites, among many others. To travel around the state, it is most convenient to rent a car, or purchase a bus or train ticket. For more information browse our pages below or visit vermontvacation.com.
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The Vermont Civil War website shares a list of 46 sites that had a role to play in the Civil War, including stops on the Underground Railroad, monuments to the war and various museums.
Cultural exchange participants can also find a list of historical sites in Vermont at the state government website.
Church Street in downtown Burlington is a popular tourist destination for shopping, restaurants, cafes and bars. The area often has community events, like the Christmas tree lighting, a Discover Jazz Festival, a street theater festival and more.
The ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington is a science education facility with interactive exhibits and educational programs for children and adults.
Visit the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory!
Vermont Ski & Snowboard Museum in Stowe offers a glimpse into local history and Vermont’s contributions to skiing and snowboarding. Visit the museum website for information on the exhibits and museum hours.
Adventure Trek USA provides adventure tours including guided half-day and full-day adventures, and multi-day trips. Visit the Adventure Trek website for tour information, pricing and bookings or call 802.591.0328.
Mountain View Tours offers a variety of trips for cultural exchange participants, including Taste of Vermont tours and other trips near Stowe and throughout the state.
Vermont Adventure Tours in Rutland offers year-round recreation tours, including rock and ice climbing, snowshoeing and whitewater rafting.
Vermont Tourism Websites
Church Street, Burlington, Vermont. Photo by Jared and Corin.
Vermont offers a variety of cultural learning opportunities through the arts. Dance, music, theater, opera, art museums and festivals are just some of the options available to international visitors who wish to learn more about the U.S. and its culture.
Art Museums & Galleries
Each year, the Vermont Open Studio Tour sees over 200 artists and craft artisans open their studio doors to visitors for free. See how the artists work while also traveling through Vermont. For more information and a map of available studios, visit the Vermont Craft Council website.
The Shelburne Museum is a diverse art and Americana museum located just south of Burlington. The museum is made up of 37 exhibition buildings and gardens on 45 acres of land.
Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, located in a former train station in southern Vermont, exhibits a variety of artwork of both local and international artists.
The Norman Rockwell Exhibition showcases the work of Norman Rockwell during his time in Arlington, VT from 1939-1953, including his famous “The Four Freedoms” works, which used local neighbors as models.
Find more information about Vermont’s thriving arts and culture scene at the Vermont Vacation website.
The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington offers many cultural experiences in multiple performance spaces, including dance performances, comedy shows, film screenings, opera, theater and live music.
In Stowe, the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center presents performances from local, regional and international artists.
The Vermont Symphony Orchestra is based in Burlington but performs in over 20 Vermont communities, for a total of approximately 40 performances per year. The VSO also participates in educational programs, children's concerts, and chamber and choral music concerts.
Paramount Theatre in Rutland hosts a variety of performances, including musical acts, theater, comedy acts and films.
For more performing arts venues, browse the Vermont Theater and Playhouse Guide by region.
Ski slopes on Burke Mountain, Vermont. Photo by Patrick McCaffrey.
Many Americans are passionate about sports – and not just baseball and football! Get a glimpse into this aspect of American culture by watching or participating in a favorite U.S. sport or recreational activity in the local area.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Skiing and snowboarding are the most popular winter sports in Vermont, and there are many areas where participants can try these activities out in the Green Mountain State. Beginners can take ski and snowboard lessons, rent equipment from resorts, and enjoy easier "bunny" trails specifically for first timers.
Stowe is located on Mount Mansfield just east of Burlington and is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders thanks to its 116 trails.
Bromley and Stratton are options in southern Vermont, or you can try Killington or Sugarbush in central Vermont. Search for the right Vermont ski resort for more modest budgets and location on the Ski Vermont website.
College and Minor League Sports
The University of Vermont is home to the UVM Athletics program and the Vermont Catamounts. Popular sports include ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse and soccer. Visit the UVM Athletics website for schedules and ticket information.
The Vermont Lake Monsters are a minor-league baseball team affiliated with the Oakland Athletics. Catch a game between June and September and maybe you’ll see the next big Major League Baseball superstar. The team plays at the University of Vermont campus.
Fitness and Health Clubs
Visit the Vermont Sport & Fitness Club in Rutland to stay in shape and have some fun at the tennis/racquetball courts, a group fitness class or the gym.
Vermont is a popular destination for enjoying autumn foliage. Photo by chensiyuan.
Vermont is home to a variety of landscapes and climates to support all types of fun activities. The courageous traveler can find outdoor sports and adventure tours, while others may want to keep both feet on the ground in a national park or forest. Whatever your interests, take advantage of the many outdoor options available during your time in the United States.
Lake Champlain/Burlington/Stowe area
Lake Champlain is located in the north of Vermont along the border of Vermont and New York. When they’re not looking for Champ, the mythic lake monster that lives in Lake Champlain, visitors and residents enjoy many outdoor activities in and around the lake. In winter, try ice fishing (if available) or cross-country skiing and snowshoeing when the lake is frozen and safe for such recreation.
The town of Stowe, located to the east of Burlington, is known for its ski resort but it is also home to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, sleigh rides and ice skating. Find details on these winter outdoor activities at the Go Stowe website.
Southern and Central Vermont
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Park in Woodstock offers snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in winter along the 20-miles of carriage roads.
Green Mountain National Forest is located in southern Vermont and is broken up into a north half and south half. Winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and are all available in the forest, while snowmobiling is only available in the south half. In warmer weather, fishing, camping, bicycling and other activities are available throughout the forest.
And for details on skiing and snowboarding in Vermont, visit the Sports & Recreation section of the Vermont cultural guide.
One of the best ways to experience cultural exchange is through food and cooking. Visitors will enjoy exploring the regional specialties and local cuisine during their time in the United States.
Vermont is known for foods like Vermont cheddar cheese, maple syrup and the ever-popular Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. It is also home to many farms, artisan foods, fresh produce, wineries and breweries.
Find local products at Vermont Farmers’ Markets and farm stands in all seasons. Visit the Vermont Agency of Agriculture for more information on where to buy local around the state.
Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the U.S. and it’s a popular part of Vermont culture. Learn more about Vermont maple syrup and visit the New England Maple Museum in Rutland or a local sugarhouse where maple syrup is made.
For a unique and local perspective on American culture, check out festivals and events around the area; they are a fun and interesting way to interact with locals and to learn more about American culture by experiencing it firsthand.
“Christmas at the Farm” events at Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock allow visitors to experience what Christmas was like in the late 19th century. Horse-drawn carriage and wagon rides are also available. Visit the Billings Farm website for more information on this event held on weekends in December and January.
"Winter Wassail Weekend" is an annual Christmas celebration taking place in Woodstock, Vermont. Caroling, the Annual Wassail Christmas Parade, and a Victorian Christmas village are all highlight's of this festive celebration.
The Stowe Winter Carnival in January hosts winter activities for kids and adults, including ice carving demonstrations, a “snowvolleyball” tournament, snow golf and parties.
In February, the Winter Festival comes to Burlington for one weekend of snow sculpting competitions, a Church Street Light Walk and Street Party, live entertainment and more.
Great Ice in Grand Isle is an event held over the last two weekends of February on Lake Champlain. Miles of thick, smooth ice lets visitors try ice skating, biking, dog sled rides and even ice golf!
Magic Hat Mardi Gras Parade and Party in March celebrates the New Orleans-style event with a giant parade through downtown Burlington to the waterfront. Food, music and family events will also be held over the weekend.
While host employers may be able to assist with housing during an international participant's time in the United States, securing housing may take some extra research. When looking for housing during a cultural exchange program, consider the cost of the accommodation, the distance to the work place and the amount of time in the United States.
It's also important to avoid fraudulent housing. It is highly recommended that visitors secure short-term housing upon arrival (e.g. in a hostel) and conduct a housing search once they are in the U.S. Visitors are advised never to give financial information to a stranger over the Internet. Housing Information guides for InterExchange participants are listed below for more tips and advice.
General Housing Information
- Housing information for Work and Travel USA participants
- Housing information for Career Training USA interns and trainees
Vermont Housing Resources
Some examples of housing and accommodation resources for Vermont participants include:
- Craigslist for Burlington/Vermont
- American Homestay Agency
- Hostelling International
- Apartments.com – Vermont
- Vermont Housing Codes
- Vermont Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Public transportation options can be hit or miss, depending on your location in the United States. Buses are a common transportation option for short and long-term travel in the U.S., while some areas will also have trains, subways and other options. Visit the American Public Transportation Association website for a complete list of public transportation options in your local community. For general transportation information for Vermont, visit the Vermont Agency of Transportation and Go Vermont – Connecting Commuters.
CCTA has bus routes through 8 towns and cities in the Burlington area.
Mount Snow area
DVTA MOOver is a community transit system with routes to Mount Snow, West Dover, Wilmington and many others.
Marble Valley Regional Transit District, known as “The Bus”, serves the greater Rutland area.
The Current services numerous communities near Rutland, Springfield, Brattleboro and White River Junction.
The Stowe and Lamoille Valley area is served by GMTA, the Green Mountain Transit Agency.
GMTA also provides transportation to the Capital District, Mad River Valley and Franklin/Grand Isle. View the regional map of service areas for GMTA.
Amtrak runs through the entire state via the Vermonter line between Washington, D.C. and St. Albans, VT. New York City, Baltimore and Philadelphia are also stops on this route.
Lake Champlain Transportation Company provides ferries between Grand Isle, Charlotte and Burlington, VT and several New York locations.
For more on Vermont transportation, visit the Vermont Agency of Transportation or the American Public Transportation Association website.
Participants in Vermont can use the following resources in case of an emergency or extreme weather event in their area:
Emergency Management Agencies
VEMA updates on Twitter @vemvt
Vermont FEMA updates on Twitter @femaregion1
Interacting with others and experiencing volunteering in a local community is a great way to learn more about U.S. culture. Volunteer organizations are often looking for short-term volunteers or for individuals to help with a single event, making it an excellent option for InterExchange participants.
United Way has offices throughout Vermont offering short-term volunteer opportunities that can last for a few hours or a few months. Visit the United Way website and enter the local zip code to find your nearest United Way office.
Vermont State Parks also need volunteers, including short-term help, to support the cultural, historical, natural and scenic heritage of Vermont state parks.