Written by Kimberley Rupe
As a fourth-generation Vermonter, there are hundreds of reasons why I love our Green Mountain State and why it is the place I have decided to plant my roots.
Today on October 12, 2021, we are celebrating our great state for National Vermont Day. To celebrate, I am sharing my top five reasons for my love for Vermont – although the list truly is endless.
Our Green Mountains
Regardless of where you are standing in Vermont, you can see our famous Green Mountains from all angles and take in the breathtaking view that comes with it. While the fall season is typically the favorite time to take in the views, you can still fall in love with them year-round with their bursts of varying colors based on the season.
Speaking of the views, Vermont banned the use of billboards in 1968 to allow residents and visitors the ability to experience the natural beauty of the state. Many visitors do not notice the lack of billboards as they are easily distracted by our mountainous views but as soon as you cross over the border, you will not be seeing any more billboards and can truly take in the scenery that is at your fingertips. Our friends at The Vermont Country Store have historically been advocates for anti-billboards and shared a little history with their visitors.
These mountains also provide some of the best hiking within minutes of any spot you may be visiting that all vary in difficulty so that individuals can select which trail is best for their family. Each trail offers a new view to take in. While I love all of our trails, one of my personal favorites will always be the Lewis Deane Loop in Poultney which offers the perfect trail length to sneak in a quick hike after work with a view of Lake St. Catherine.
Rural Lifestyle with Easy Accessibility
Some parts of Vermont are certainly more rural than others. However, it is a common misconception that Vermont living is entirely rural with the inability to access certain amenities. Since I live and work in Rutland County, let’s use this as our prime example.
Rutland County is made up of 27 towns and the City of Rutland. Each town provides its own unique lifestyle but no matter which town you live in, you are only about a maximum of 30-40 minute drive from Rutland City (or one of our neighboring counties) with an impressive downtown that conveniently homes a station for Amtrak which provides daily trips directly to New York City for a weekend getaway. Amtrak also makes a stop in nearby Castleton, especially convenient for students and families of Castleton University.
Also located within Rutland County is the Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport that provides daily trips to Boston’s International Airport.
As someone who loves our rural lifestyle here in Vermont, I find so much appreciation for our accessibility to other attractions around the world, especially when I want to take a visit to New York City to visit family for the weekend.
Year-Round Outdoor Activities
It truly doesn’t matter the time of year; you can take advantage of the outdoors year-round with different activities.
We are famous for our winters because of our mountains and world-renowned ski resorts. In my home county of Rutland, we are fortunate enough to hold the address for Killington Ski Resort who is also the host for the FIS World Cup. Even if you may not be into skiing or snowboarding, individuals can participate in snowshoeing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, hiking, sledding, ice fishing, biking, and more!
Our warmer months bring a long list of outdoor activities with hiking, boating, swimming, mountain biking, fishing, and so much more. With several bodies of water available, it is easily accessible to take a drive around the county and check each of them out for your favorite water activities.
Even in our spring and fall months, there are lots of opportunities to do some hiking and mountain biking. In fact, many of our activities can be done year-round with the right equipment – including horseback riding.
Tasting Your Way Through Our Towns
Throughout Vermont, there are hidden gems of local restaurants and the ability to purchase your local foods to even cook at home. It can be fairly easy to find a local restaurant that your taste buds will thank you for later – especially the many options of farm-to-table style ingredients.
Having lived here my entire life, I have been fortunate enough to see many different parts of Vermont – which also conveniently comes along with the opportunity to taste test my way through the state. For everyone’s enjoyment, I’ve listed my top 5 restaurants in Vermont.
- Mister Ups, Middlebury
- Sarducci’s, Montpelier
- Shanty on the Shore, Burlington – pro tip! Shanty on the Shore is right on Lake Champlain and the views are spectacular!
- TASO on Center, Downtown Rutland
- Thai Basil, Manchester
The entire state is filled with some of the best restaurants and there are so many more I could mention but I list would be pages long.
In addition to our restaurants, Vermont also has some of the best local farmer’s markets. You will often find me on my Saturday mornings strolling through the Rutland Farmers Market (open year-round!) to purchase my local products.
Vermont is a special place – from the food to our Green Mountains. But the one thing that makes this the best play to live, work, and play is the people that live here. Individuals throughout Vermont are constantly finding volunteer opportunities to give back to their community and make a positive change – and that isn’t always the case in other states.
Our neighbors check in on us, welcome a new friend to the neighborhood, lend a helping hand without having to be asked, the list goes on.
Vermont has a long list of what makes it an amazing place to live. As we celebrate National Vermont Day, I cannot help but think how grateful I am to live in a state that has so much to offer both personally and professionally. If you have never visited before, I encourage you to come to check out our great state any time of year – I promise you won’t regret it.
Kimberley Rupe is the Communications & Community Engagement Director at Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region and lives in Poultney.