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Although a small state, Vermont, is very interesting. One of the most liberal states and open minded states it has been a pusher for liberal policies for decades including civil unions, liberal drug laws and the last state to put photos on drivers licenses. Its beauty is also stunning and the falls are not to be missed.
Vermont in located in New England, in the northeast corner of the United States. It is the 8th smallest state in the USA, sharing borders with New York to the west, New Hampshire to the east, Massachusetts to the south and Canada to the north. Between New York and Vermont is Lake Champlain, the sixth largest body of fresh water in the USA, and between New Hampshire and Vermont in the Connecticut River. The tallest mountain in the State is Mount Mansfield, at 1,340 metres. The most iconic mountain in the state is Camels Hump, at just over 1,200 metres. Both mountains can be seen from Downtown Burlington on a clear day. Burlington in Vermont's largest City, with a population of 38,000. This sits on Lake Champlain, in Chittenden County in the north.
Huntington Gorge, located on Dougway Road in Richmond, is a stunning sight. The Huntington River is a wide rocky river before it reaches the gorge. At the gorge the river narrows and disappears into a cleft only a few feet wide. In the gorge the river goes over several drops, ranging from 2 to 3.5 metres in height. Swimmers beware as this gorge has claimed dozens of lives throughout the last century. Swimmers can easily become pinned in potholes formed by strongwater currents. Never the less swimming here is possible and very enjoyable as long as common sense and caution are exhibited.
Summers last from June to September and are nice and warm, between 25 °C and 30 °C during the day and between 15 °C and 20 °C at night. Winters last from December to March with average daytime temperatures mostly around zero or slightly above. Nights are well below zero during this time. Precipitation is quite evenly distributed throughout the year, with sometimes very heavy snowfall in winter. During summer, heavy showers can occur, especially after periods of hot weather. The rural northeastern section is colder than the southern areas of the state during winter. The annual snowfall averages between 1.5 and 2 metres depending on elevation. Vermont is the seventh coldest state in the country. In winter, until typical El Nino conditions, Vermont's winters are "too cold to snow"; the air is too cold to contain sufficient moisture to prompt precipitation. The highest recorded temperature was 41 °C, at Vernon, on July 4, 1911; the lowest recorded temperature was -46 °C, at Bloomfield, on December 30, 1933; this is the lowest temperature recorded in New England (Big Black River, Maine, also recorded a verified -46 °C) in 2009). The state receives between 2,000 and 2,400 hours of sunshine annually.
Burlington International Airport (BTV) is the largest commercial airport in the state. It hosts United Airlines, JetBlue, Delta Airlines and US Airways flights everyday. Destinations include New York City, Orlando, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Newark, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. It also has flights by Porter Airlines (to/from Toronto seasonally) for the ski/snowboard season.
Two trains operated by Amtrak serve the state of Vermont:
Interstates in Vermont include I-89, running from White River Junction, through Montpelier, Burlington and to the Canadian Boarder. I93 also starts at Brattleboro on the Massachusetts border, and runs north to St. Johnsbury. Route 7 is the most used road from southern New York, crossing into Vermont below Lake Champlain. Also, several bridges and ferries from New York cross into Vermont further north.
Lastly, there are several different small border crossings along the Canadian Border, for which a passport is needed.
Check Greyhound buses for more information.
Ferry service is available from three locations in Vermont that provides access to New York across Lake Champlain from Burlington,VT to Port Kent, NY, Grand Isle, VT to Plattsburgh, NY and Charlotte, VT to Essex, NY.
There are no internal flights within Vermont unless hired by an private company.
The Champlain Valley Flyer offers scenic rail journeys in western Vermont and the chance for passengers to ride in vintage rail cars. Running from Burlington to Charlotte, the train stops in Shelburne Village and at the Magic Hat Brewery south of Burlington. Trains run every Saturday and Sunday during summer and fall, three times per day.
The Amtrak service listed above has information for any destinations between St. Albans and Washington, D.C..
Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.
For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.
Vermont has a number of National Scenic Byways which offer a great way to explore the state crossing beautiful landscapes. Mostly, there are lots of national parks, state parks or monuments along the way and it's generally a better alternative than the faster but boring Interstate Highways.
Check Greyhound buses for more information.
There are many outstanding restaurants throughout Vermont that use local produce. Burlington, the largest population center in the state, has the greatest variety of restaurants, but there are gems hidden even in the smallest towns, like Hardwick and Plainfield. Montpelier, the Route 100 corridor from the Mad River Valley through Stowe, and Manchester are other areas with high concentrations of quality restaurants. Vermont also offers a variety of ways to see the farm to table connection, from guided tours of the people and places behind the flavors of Vermont to on-farm lodging.
Vermont is home to some very original and high quality breweries. When in the Green Mountain State, stop by for a tour.
Vermont is also home to a growing number of vineyards and wineries. Although the climate is very cold, winemakers have found ways to make quality wines with cold hardy grapes. Vineyards located in the Champlain Valley can take advantage of a slightly milder climate due to the presence of a large lake.
Vermont is home to a number of both regular and hard cider producers including Woodchuck, the largest hard cider producer in the U.S.
There are dozens of hotel and motel chains, ranging from budget to top end. Allthough they are not the most charming accommodations, they usually have a very decent midrange service with good rooms and are generally good value. At least you know what to expect and in some cases they are either the only or the best option in the area. Some of them include:
Ask Cassi a question about Vermont
Vermont is my home state, I have and always will consider myself a Vermonter before anything else.
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