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If you’re aiming for perfection on your next vacation, a Vermont summer adventure should be high atop your list. We’re talking swimming holes and brewery tours, mountain biking and farm-to-table outdoor dining. Championship golf courses and Lake Champlain sunsets. Farmers markets and alpine slides. Warm, sunny days followed by cool, mountain air-filled nights. Vermont in the summer is the best of the best and is primed for adventure. So whether you’re staying in a fifth-generation lakeside cabin, a luxury resort or bed and breakfast, or simply camping out under the stars, Vermont is the place for you. Keep reading for our Vermont Summer Bucket List as well as suggestions on what to eat and drink, where to stay, and what to do on your next Green Mountain getaway.
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Featured summer Resorts

Be a Kid at

Smugglers' Notch Resort

When you’re as family-focused a resort at Smuggs’, summer may just be your favorite season! With award-winning kids programs, waterparks galore, a 26,000 square-foot indoor fun zone, eight heated pools, a zipline course, and a ton more fun - if you’re a kid, this is where you want to be this summer.
Smuggs' Fun

Basin Harbor Resort

If you were to close your eyes and picture the classic Summer Resort, we can pretty much guarantee you’re thinking of Basin Harbor. An idyllic Lake Champlain setting on over 700 acres, including a championship 18-hole golf course, fine dining, adorable lake-front cabins, and just about every summer activity you could hope for, Basin Harbor is picture-perfect and primed for Summer fun.
Classic Summer
The One-stop Summer Destination

Stratton Mountain Resort

Lift-serve mountain biking, summer concerts and festivals, scenic gondola rides, 27-hole championship golf, an alpine village filled with shopping and dining - what can’t Stratton deliver? You’ll find all this and more with stay-and-play packages offered all season long. Stratton is the place to be for an action-packed summer of excitement here in the Green Mountains.
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The Deep Dive

Vermont Summer Bucket List

Ah, Summer. That glorious time of year when the days are long, the mountains are lush, the rivers are refreshing, and mud season is finally gone. Many Vermonters feel that the stunning beauty of summer is the reward earned for a cold, snowy winter, and while we can’t claim to cast favorites when it comes to the seasons, there is something undeniably special about the summers here. From outdoor concerts to lake-front camping, mountain bike sessions to rounds of golf, brewery tours to farm-to-table dining, we like to squeeze all that we can out of the summer sun. Here are just a few reasons to head to the Green Mountains for your next adventure — our list of things to do in Vermont in summer.
1. Swim at Bolton Buckets
Always included in the best swimming holes in Vermont, Bolton Buckets is a summertime classic. Cool clear water, a great selection of different height cliff jumps, excellent flat rocks for sunning and chilling, and an easy distance from downtown Burlington - this is prime summer fun.
2. Old School Perfection: The Vermont State Fair
Running from August 15th-19th this year, the first Vermont State Fair took place in 1846. One of the oldest state fairs in the country, the VSF has been the summer fair destination of locals and visitors alike for generations.
3. Take a slide at Smugglers’ Notch Waterparks
With eight heated pools, four waterslides, two freshwater reservoirs, and all the water activities you can imagine, staying cool at Smuggs’ is always a blast. Be sure to check out Bootlegers’ Basin for mountaintop SUP and kayaking as well!
4. Climb the Stratton Fire Tower
Whether you hike up from the base lodge or first take the scenic gondola to the summit, this 1.5 mi. out-and-back hike is a summer stunner. Culminating with a trip to the top of the fire tower, on a clear day you’ll be able to see four different states.
5. Take in a totally unique concert at Earth Sky Time
One of our favorite weekly events of the summer, the Sunday Night concert series at Earth Sky Time in Manchester, VT is downright magical. Combining eclectic music, farm-fresh food, and original people galore, Earth Sky Time is out of this world.
6. Grab a Creemee at Burlington Bay
With so many places in the state serving up spectacular creemees, it can be tough to single out one location as king of the hill. Burlington Bay has a lot to help swing the decision in it’s favor though; two serving windows, a sizeable deli, excellent seating selection, and of course, those jawdropping Lake Champlain sunset views.
7. Play a round at Basin Harbor
Speaking of jaw-dropping Lake Champlain views, if you’re looking to hit the links, Basin Harbor’s lakefront location is a hole in one. A well-designed, impeccably maintained course along the shores of Champlain, it’s so pretty here you’ll almost wish for a little more time in the bunkers. Pro Tip: Be sure to stop into the Red Mill for 19th-hole drinks and dinner.
8. Ride like royalty at Kingdom Trails
Widely recognized as one of the top mountain biking destinations on the East Coast, Kingdom Trails is a summer bike Shangri-la. Miles upon miles of downhill, single track, jump runs, and more for every skill level and age group, the mountain fields, forest pathways, and country roads you’ll find yourself enjoying here are nothing short of epic.
9. Eat a meal at Canteen Creemee Company
Mouthwatering burgers, sensational fried chicken, and of course the legendary Creemee, the folks at Canteen Creemee Company may know how to make their food look like it was destined for Instagram, but the quality ingredients and big flavors are what keep everyone coming back in droves. It’s that good.
10. Go camping via Ferry on Burton Island
Burton Island is a 250-acre state park off the shores of St. Albans in Lake Champlain. Every year people hustle to get a reservation at these coveted campsites where the hectic summer pace of life seems to melt away into family cookouts, cotton candy sunsets, and campfire tranquility.
11. Ride the Alpine Slide at Bromley
Bromley in Peru, VT lays claim to North America's first triple-tracked Alpine Slide which even now is still one of the longest slides in the world. What does this mean exactly? Well, between the slide and the rest of the awesome-ness at the fun zone, everyone in your group is going to have one heck of a time!
12. Explore Grafton Trails and Outdoor Center
Miles of trails for mountain biking and hiking for you to explore wait less than five minutes away from The Grafton Inn (one of our favorite boutique accommodations). A true Vermont hiking experience with ponds, fields, and woods, the Grafton Trail network is beautifully kept. Be sure to stop for snacks at the Grafton Cheese shop to refuel and recharge.
13. Rope in a rodeo at Pond Hill Ranch
That’s right, rodeos aren’t just for out West. This generational rodeo is set on the picturesque Pond Hill Ranch, with mountain views for days and just about the best vibes you can imagine. A rodeo out under the summer stars is pretty dang special - enjoy!
14. Bring a picnic and experience Music in the Meadow at von Trapp
A concert venue unlike any other, the Music in the Meadow summer series is set in Stowe, VT at the idyllic Trapp Family Lodge. You’ll find national touring acts, unreal Green Mountain views, and an experience you’ll never forget.
15. Hit the park at Stratton’s Bike Park
Built by the highly respected Sinuosity team, Stratton’s Bike Park is a thing of beauty. Lift-serviced by the American Express six-pack, the park is perfect for groups of all ability levels, and one of our favorite ways to spend a day in the mountains.
16. Bring on the races at Devil’s Bowl Speedway
Touted as New England’s fastest dirt track, if you’ve never been to a summer race series, get ready to be blown away. Devil’s Bowl can be found in West Haven, VT and to see this exciting track appear from seemingly out of nowhere is an absolute must.
17. Stay in a rustic cabin at Sterling Ridge
For a true Vermont getaway, head up to Sterling Ridge in Jeffersonville, VT. The cabins here are the perfect basecamp for all your outdoor adventures. From fly fishing to kayaking, farmers markets to brew tours - when you’re staying at Sterling Ridge, you’re right in the middle of the vacationing sweet spot.
18. See some summer stock at Weston Playhouse
Attracting the best and brightest of the stage for decades, the quality of the productions at Weston Playhouse is second to none. Familiar classics and stunning new additions, through the course of the season there’s something special to pique everyone’s fancy. Be sure to stick around for the cabaret cocktail club found in the cellar after the show.
19. Celebrate the 4th of July with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra
Playing a series of celebrated shows on the days leading up to and including the 4th of July, the venues that the VSO performs at are all singularly stunning. Prepare for a full evening, many folks plan elaborate and elegant picnic dinners, culminating in the 1812 Overture and fireworks display.
20. Play the Mountain, Lake, Forest 27-hole Championship Course at Stratton
Stratton has played host to six LPGA tournaments and the variety and challenge of the course are remarkable. Set in the shadows of the tallest peak in Southern Vermont, you’ll find yourself playing through dramatic mountain fairways, quiet forest greens, and lakefront tees - has golf ever felt this serene?
21. Join the farm at Billings Farm & Museum
Billings Farm is known as one of the finest outdoor history museums in the country and with hundreds of acres to experience, we couldn’t agree more. Meet and greet with the farm animals, learn about the historic significance of the spot, and enjoy an entire day out in nature.
22. Have drinks at Spot on the Dock
A mix of beach vibes and hipster-nautical perfection make Spot on the Dock one of our favorite places to enjoy a cocktail or two. Serving up extremely well-crafted cocktails and delicious eats, the only thing that might surpass the dining experience is the unrivaled view of the setting sun across Lake Champlain.
23. Eat a cone at Ben & Jerry’s
Is it even a Vermont summer without enjoying at least a few cones of Ben & Jerry’s? We think not. They’re iconic for a reason, they’re just that good. Stop into a B&J location all over the state - you’ll know you’re in the right place as soon as you get a hint of that mouthwatering waffle cone smell!
24. Ride on over to the Vermont Summer Festival horse show
Every Summer from the end of June to the middle of August, the fields of East Dorset are transformed into show rings, paddocks, and grandstands as the Vermont Summer Festival equestrians come to town.
25. Follow the cheese trail
Vermont is renowned for its cheese and thanks to the good folks at the Vermont Cheese Council, you can plan a road trip entirely around cheese tasting. With dozens of cheese makers, gas up the car and hit the trail hungry!
26. Stay on the lake at Basin Harbor
The idyllic lakefront cabins at Basin Harbor are the perfect spot for both a romantic getaway or a family vacation. With many families quite literally coming back for decades of summer retreats, you know that your time at Basin Harbor will be exceptionally memorable.
27. Fly through the trees with the zipline at Smugglers’ Notch
Offering canopy tours and everything from serene to extreme zip lining, you’re going to have an absolute blast on your Smuggs’ high-flying adventure. Be sure to check out their treetop obstacle course for some added thrills!
28. Shop local at the Dorset Farmers Market
Vermont is lucky to have an unbelievable selection of Farmers Markets to enjoy and the summer market in Dorset outside H.N. Williams happens to be one of our favorites. An excellent assortment of farm stand produce, artisan-made home goods, and prepared foods is our idea of a perfect weekend morning.
29. Drinks and sunset at St. Johns Club
It’s true you have to have a membership to enjoy drinks at this locals' favorite hangout but trust us, it’ll be worth it. Inexpensive brews and cocktails, unrivaled Lake Champlain views and vibes, and completely unpretentious. We love it.
30. Go fly fishing in the Battenkill
Manchester is home to two legends in the fly fishing world: Orvis Flagship Store and the Battenkill River. Our suggestion is to head to the first to learn about and gear up for a day out in the waters - they even have classes and a museum to make a full trip of it.
31. Eat dinner on the patio at the Inn at Shelburne Farms
Fine dining and farm-to-table are deliciously paired at this exquisite restaurant. During the warm summer months, start your evening with a cocktail while walking the grounds and move to the patio for one of the best meals around.
32. Dance into the night at the Green Mountain Bluegrass and Roots Festival
Set at the base of Mt. Equinox Manchester’s Green Mountain Bluegrass Festival is three days of top-tier musicians performing in a pastoral, bucolic setting. August 18th-20th don’t miss this magical festival.
33. Tip back a pint at Vermont Brewers Festival
With dozens of brewers showcasing the latest and greatest brew creations, consistently groovy musical acts, and the perfect Waterfront Park location, Brewers Fest has always been one of our favorite events of the year. Get your tickets early and don’t miss out!
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Where To Stay This Summer

Where To Eat This Summer

What to Do This Summer

Kingdom Trails Sunset Berm
Kingdom Trails
The Kingdom Trail Association is a nonprofit organization with the mission to provide recreation and education opportunities by managing, maintaining, and building trails to foster the health of our local community, surrounding environment, and regional economy.
Burlington Parks & Rec - Waterfront Park Springtime
Burlington Parks, Rec, and Waterfront
With over 35 parks, covering  more than 550 acres, the Burlington Parks, Rec, and Waterfront department is your BTV home to hiking, boating, festivals, and everything outdoors in the Queen City. Dive in and explore!
Weston Theater Company - Playhouse Exterior
Weston Theater Company
For over 85 years, Weston has flourished as a home for exceptional theater in an exceptional community. At both The Playhouse, with its rich history, and our modern Walker Farm venue, Weston Theater Company presents beautiful, entertaining stories performed by astonishingly talented artists from near and far.
Vermont River Tubing Company - Guests floating on Red Tubes
Vermont River Tubing Co.
Experience the stunning White River, which is more than 60 miles long! We’ll set you up with all the equipment you need, so all you need to do is wear some sunscreen, river shoes, and a smile. You can also bring your own snacks and beverages if you want to enjoy a treat while you’re floating along.
Stratton Mountain Golf Course Early Morning Putt
Stratton Mountain Golf
Rich in history and scenic beauty, Stratton Mountain offers one of New England's finest golf experiences. Stratton's first nine opened for play in 1964, making Stratton one of the first to offer year-round recreation.
Hill Farmstead Brewery - Summer Exterior
Hill Farmstead Brewery
The Hill family legacy in the Northeast Kingdom spans 8 generations, stretching back to the arrival in Greensboro of father and son, Peleg Hill Sr. and Peleg Hill Jr., in 1788.
Catamount Arts
The only full-service arts center in northeastern Vermont, Catamount Arts has grown to be the cultural, entertainment, and arts home for 40,000 visitors each year.
Green Mountain Lifestyle

Chic Stays: Boutique Vermont Hotels

Our exclusive guide to the state’s most Instagram-able boutique hotels. Each blends captivating design with unique Vermont flair, delivering picture-perfect moments and stylish getaways.
Sponsored by The Grafton Inn
Check it out
Grafton-Inn Exterior Summer Exterior Barn and Front Porch
Green Mountain Lifestyle

Chic Stays: Boutique Vermont Hotels

Our exclusive guide to the state’s most Instagram-able boutique hotels. Each blends captivating design with unique Vermont flair, delivering picture-perfect moments and stylish getaways.
Sponsored by The Grafton Inn
Check It Out
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