With a change of seasons, an incredible amount of history, and more, there are plenty of pros to living in Vermont.
Of course, there are also cons.
Understanding what the various cities have to offer can help you to explore the dynamics of calling Vermont home.
25 Pros Of Living In Vermont
Living in Vermont can be exciting, with 11 unique regions to choose from.
Whether you want to live in the city or the country, along a river or in the mountains, you’ll find plenty to make you fall in love with this northeastern state.
1. Housing Is Affordable
The cost of living in Vermont is affordable in comparison to the United States as a whole.
Buying a home will depend on where you want to live, and if you want to live in one of the larger cities, you may end up paying more simply because you will have more around you.
However, when 100 is the living index for the US as a whole, the cost of housing in Vermont ranks at 88.5.
Some of the most popular areas to live throughout the state include Bennington, Brattleboro, Burlington, and Chester.
2. There Are Four Seasons Of Weather
Many people enjoy living in Vermont because there are four distinct seasons for you to enjoy.
While some states suffer from the heat or the cold almost incessantly throughout the year, you can take advantage of it all in Vermont.
According to Weather.com, the weather in the summer typically only reaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
This means that you can count on mild summers that are never too hot.
This also means that it’s not necessary to have (or run) central air conditioning, which can keep the cost of your utility bills low throughout the year.
Through September and October, the leaves start to turn.
This is when many tourists visit to see all of the autumn foliage.
3. Plenty Of Skiing Is Available
Ski and snowboarding opportunities are abundant throughout Vermont.
Some of the most popular areas include Stowe, Killington, and Stratton.
While skiing may be available throughout the winter, March is considered the most popular month as the trails are well covered.
It’s important to recognize that the snow in Vermont is different from that found in Colorado and throughout the West Coast.
The snow is icier, so it’s not the powdery soft snow that tends to result in more carnage.
For those who are still learning to ski, Vermont can offer a better option.
As for the ski resorts, for those who don’t wish to ski, there are plenty of other activities, including ice skating and tubing.
4. Beautiful Hiking Trails Are Abundant
Vermont is full of trails as people venture to the outdoors for their fun.
With various state parks, it’s easy to find a trail whether you want a certain level of expertise or not.
The Colchester Causeway Trail is one of the more popular trails with both locals and tourists.
The 11-mile trail is flat, making it easy enough for those with kids.
Plus, there’s a stunning view of Lake Champlain along the way.
Depending on where the trail is located, it’s possible to park an RV or pitch a tent for an overnight experience.
5. The State Is Rich In History
If you’re a history buff, you’ll love finding all of the historic sites throughout the state.
Vermont became the 14th state in 1790, immediately following the formation of the 13 original colonies.
There are history museums to learn from, sites to see, and more.
There’s both French and American history to be found.
Samuel de Champlain, a French explorer, was the first to claim the area.
Then, there was the Battle of Bennington, which was fought in 1777.
Various historic reenactments happen across the state every year as a way to pay tribute to the history of the state and educate the younger generations.
6. Transportation Is Well-Developed
Vermont has been around for years—and it has learned from some of its neighboring states such as Massachusetts and New York.
As such, the roads and highways are built well so that there’s not a lot of traffic on the main roads.
The overall infrastructure makes it easy to drive around the state, whether it’s to go from one side to the other or to travel to other parts of the country.
For those who live in Rutland, there’s also an Amtrak train that runs directly into New York City.
It offers convenience for those who wish to visit or even to make a regular commute.
7. Schools Are Among The Top In The Nation
Primary schools have been rated very well across the state of Vermont.
Not only does the state boast a high graduation rate in comparison to other parts of the country, but polls also show that many students are better prepared for college.
Of course, different areas rank better or worse depending on the individual school districts.
The Rutland City School District is considered the best within the state.
8. Outdoor Recreation Is Everywhere
There’s more land than people in Vermont, and this is a good thing when you crave outdoor recreation.
The state boasts that there’s something for everyone.
There are hundreds of miles of open space, including lakes, creeks, and rivers.
You can choose to go boating, fishing, hunting, and more.
Each season offers something unique, as well.
There’s road and mountain biking in the summer, ice fishing and ice skating in the winter, and plenty of activities that can be done year-round, such as camping and horseback riding.
9. Farmer’s Markets Are Easily Found
With so much land, it’s not surprising to find that many people are choosing to live off of it in the most productive ways possible.
Farmers have plenty of crops that they wish to share, and some have gotten into the habit of canning, jarring, pickling, baking, and more.
It leaves a lot that can be shared, and there are farmer’s markets across the state in both summer and winter.
The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont makes it easy to explore where the many farm stands, pick-your-own fields, and farmer’s markets are located across the state.
It’s one of the best ways to obtain organic, local food.
This also means that the farm-to-table restaurant scene is intense.
10. The Craft Beer Scene Is Growing
Craft breweries are popping up all over Vermont.
The Vermont Brewers Association is keeping track of the various breweries and has counted more than 60 to date.
Many of the beers being brewed can only be sampled and purchased at individual establishments, which makes it even more exciting to travel to various locations.
Some of the brewing companies are found in restaurants while others have food trucks parked there regularly to offer food for visitors.
Various events are hosted across the state every year, making it possible to sample a large number of craft brews at once.
11. There’s An Entire Cheese Trail
Vermont is so serious about their cheese that they have a Vermont Cheese Council.
As such, there’s a full map that will show you the Vermont Cheese Trail.
Many locations are worth driving through, allowing you to enjoy tastings.
Some will provide farm tours while others will only offer retail sales.
There’s quite a variety of cheese being created across Vermont.
This includes cheeses from cow’s milk, goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, and a blend of those types of milk.
It seems as though many of the creameries are getting creative with their cheeses, offering aged and fresh cheese, curds, and so much more.
12. Dairy Farms Provide Fresh Milk
Fresh milk is abundant across the state because of the many dairy farms in the state.
There’s no reason to bring milk in from another state because Vermont dairy farmers produce enough for everyone.
This includes farms in both Weybridge and Sheldon.
Another exciting aspect of dairy farms is that many are open to the public.
It’s possible to go in and get a tour of a working farm.
Some may even allow you to participate in milking the cows.
Plus, you can find raw and pasteurized milk to take home with you.
13. The State Has Gone “Green”
Vermont has been listed as one of the greenest states in the nation for several years in a row.
Why is that? The state government has made it a priority.
Not only do they have low carbon emissions per capita, but they also have policies to promote energy efficiency.
Burlington was also the first U.S. city to ever run 100% on renewable energy.
The aggressive energy efficiency programs by the city’s electric department boast that they use less electricity now than they did in 1989.
Throughout the state, there’s a way of life that focuses on preserving the planet.
Many residents choose to recycle and compost.
Additionally, you’ll find that there are no billboards in the state because there was a law passed back in 1968 to preserve the state’s natural beauty.
14. Various Locally Made Products Offer Sustainability
Sustainability is important in the state.
You’ll find that those in Vermont tend to make a lot of their own items.
This makes it easy to shop locally.
When there’s no need to spend extra money on transporting goods, they’re sustainable (and more affordable).
The Department of Environmental Conservation even has a program to establish businesses as “green” to maintain a sustainable economy.
15. Dogs Are Welcome (Almost) Everywhere
The state of Vermont has been very welcoming to dogs.
Locals and tourists alike will travel with their dogs because of the exceptional weather.
Plenty of dog parks are scattered throughout the state to offer recreation.
Additionally, a number of inns and bed and breakfasts will allow well-behaved dogs to stay in the rooms with their owners.
Also, many restaurants allow dogs to accompany their humans when eating.
Even the breweries have begun inviting dogs, and some will even have special menus for their canine guests.
16. Little Towns Offer Fun Getaways
There are little towns scattered throughout Vermont, each offering a certain level of charm.
In Irasburg, for example, there’s a Bavarian-inspired castle that people can stay at.
Stowe is a popular place to go to see all of the autumn colors.
Meanwhile, Weston offers the Old Grist Mill.
With so many historic sites and parks, there’s always someplace to go.
It all depends on what it is that you’re looking for and the time of year that you wish to visit.
Most of the small towns don’t have chain hotels, so you get the personality of small inns and bed and breakfasts, offering more of that cozy feeling.
17. It’s Home To The Fiddlehead Festival
Every year, there’s a Fiddlehead Festival held in the southern part of the state.
It’s all designed to celebrate the Fiddlehead Fern, a unique vegetable that has a curly design.
Many refer to it as the “harbinger of spring” to show that the winter months are finally gone for the year.
At the festival, there are usually plenty of vendors who will show off the creative ways in which to prepare and eat the Fiddlehead Fern.
There are also children’s activities, craft fairs, and more across the two-day event.
18. People Are Happy
There’s a logo that you might see around the state: Happy Vermont.
People are happy living in Vermont, and the state continually appears on various polls as the state with some of the happiest people around.
The positive disposition may be as a result of the fresh air, the constant source of outdoor recreation, and more.
There’s also the fact that the state ranks as being one of the healthiest.
That may have to do with all of the recreation around as well.
It keeps people active.
19. Lake Champlain Is Worth A Visit
Lake Champlain is not only a historic site but also one of the best places to go fishing.
The freshwater lake boasts more than 90 species of fish.
Additionally, Bassmaster magazine has ranked it as one of the top 10 lakes within the Northeast.
20. The Vermont State Fair Is A Good Time
The Vermont State Fair is hosted annually in Rutland, Vermont.
It’s run by the Rutland County Agricultural Society and guarantees a good time for all.
It typically takes place in late August or early September.
There are rides, entertainment stages, and plenty of unique cuisines served up.
Since there are no theme parks in the state, many people anticipate the arrival of the state fair every year.
21. Embrace Historic Covered Bridges
Vermont has a long history of covered bridges.
There are more than 100 of them spread out across the state.
While many people believed that the bridges were designed to keep snow off the roads and make it safer for traveling during storms, it was actually to protect the bridge infrastructure itself.
Covered bridges were typically constructed from 1825 to 1875.
They don’t get constructed anymore, so many people make the drive into Vermont just to see and admire the architecture.
22. Lake Towns Offer Plenty Of Excitement
There are a number of lake towns that have a charming way of life.
They border Lake Champlain, so they offer the next best thing to coastal life.
Some of the cities include Burlington, Charlotte, Shelburne, Addison, South Hero, and Panton.
Many of the towns offer picturesque waterfronts with restaurants, shopping, and more.
It’s a way to go and spend the weekend or enjoy a place to retire.
Many offer family-friendly communities, too.
23. Enjoy The Home Of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
Vermont is home to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
This is a fact that many in the state are quite proud of.
It’s considered the only acceptable brand of ice cream to eat.
Besides, why would you eat anything else when this is the brand that has done so much for the state?
For those who want to see where the magic happens, there’s a factory tour and ice cream shop located in Waterbury.
Many people make the trip out to the location every summer as a way to pay homage to the greatest ice cream ever created.
24. The Best Maple Syrup Is Everywhere
Prepare for the people of Vermont to be maple syrup snobs.
It’s produced everywhere across the state.
There are the purists who will stick with the straight maple flavor while others will experiment by adding in various fruit flavors.
Either way, if you shop at enough of the farmer’s markets and fairs, you’re bound to find dozens of varieties of locally made maple syrup.
If you stick around long enough, you may even find that you’re able to note that some areas of the state make better syrup than others.
25. The State Is Politically Engaged
It’s hard not to pay attention to politics.
Much of that has to do with the commitment of Bernie Sanders.
Anytime that the senator and former presidential candidate speaks, he speaks highly of Vermont.
With Sanders speaking often of the state, it means that everyone has an opinion on politics.
Most people are not afraid to speak up about their opinions, regardless of whether it is the popular opinion or not.
25 Cons Of Living in Vermont
Just as there are advantages to living in the northeastern state, there are disadvantages that you’ll want to consider, as well.
1. The State Is Land-Locked
Vermont is a land-locked state, which means that there’s land on every side.
Since there’s no coastline, it means that it’s difficult to get out to the sea (or ocean).
While there are rivers and lakes, they don’t offer the same level of beauty.
In the event that you want to take a cruise or travel by sea, you would have to drive out of Vermont in order to take advantage of any of it.
By living in a land-locked state, the cost of goods can be higher, too.
The reason is that you aren’t close enough to any seaports, so products will have to travel by rail or by truck to get all the way to you.
2. Winters Can Be Brutal
Snow is common from November through April.
With the possibility of snowfall for five months out of the year, it can lead to a constant struggle to keep driveways and roads clear.
Blizzards are relatively common, and the state average for snowfall is 71 inches.
The U.S. average is only 27 inches, proving that Vermont gets considerably more snow than many other states across the country.
With brutal winters also comes the need to maintain a home.
There may be the added cost of firewood or gas to keep a fireplace lit.
Further, too much snow can have detrimental effects on a roof because of the added weight.
3. The Economy Can Struggle
The economy is often a struggle in Vermont because of the income disparities.
Top earners make more but low earners are barely making enough to afford the cost of living across the state.
The economic struggles are often a result of the job challenges that many people face.
Forbes has also identified that the state has the smallest economy in the U.S. even though the unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the U.S.
4. Cost Of Living Is High
Although the cost of housing is lower than the average in the U.S., the other aspects of living are higher.
With 100 being the U.S. average, groceries sit at 106.7, health sits at 107.7, and utilities sit at 117.4.
This means that even with finding a “deal” in the housing market, the overall expense of living in the state can be considerably higher than in other parts of the country.
5. There’s A “Mud” Season
In addition to the four traditional seasons, residents of Vermont have gotten used to the “mud” season.
This is the time between winter and spring where everything begins to thaw.
The snow is melting on the ground, but the grass has been dormant for so long that it gets muddy all over the place.
Depending on when the snow starts to melt, mud season doesn’t often end until sometime in early June.
It can lead to difficult driving conditions and landscaping nightmares.
6. It’s Not Culturally Diverse
The demographic spread of the population tells you everything you need to know.
More than 94% of the population in Vermont identifies themselves as white alone.
Then, there’s only 1.9% Asian and 1.4% Black or African American.
With there being very little diversity across the state, those who fall into one of the minority categories are often painfully aware of it.
7. Air Pollution Is High
While the state is well-known for being “green,” it is not without its faults.
Particularly, the air pollution in the winter months can be detrimental.
Much of this is attributed to all of the wood burning to maintain a sense of warmth.
This means that no matter how much is being done in the major cities to be identified as “clean,” it all goes away once everyone starts burning their firewood to stay warm.
8. Job Opportunities Are Low
The entire population of Vermont is lower than some of the neighboring major cities in other states.
Many in Vermont have an old-fashioned way of thinking.
They don’t want major shopping centers coming into their state and commercializing it.
Remember, this is the same state that didn’t see their first Walmart until 1996.
Without many industries in Vermont, it leads to low job opportunities.
You wouldn’t know it by looking at the unemployment rate, but that’s because many have to cross state lines just to find work.
9. Taxes Are High
There are a lot of taxes that residents need to be aware of.
A progressive state income tax can be particularly expensive for those who are earning a high amount, and Vermont’s one of the highest in the country.
Many who are on Social Security will find that they, too, are taxed.
Additionally, property taxes are consistently ranked as one of the highest in the nation.
10. There’s No “Major” City
Tourism comes in spurts because there is no “major” city.
The largest city in the state has a population of 43,063.
The state’s capital, Montpelier, is only home to 7,248.
Since there aren’t many populated cities, the state has yet to grow into its full potential, even after more than 200 years.
For those looking for “big city” fun, they have to visit such cities as New York City or Boston, which can take several hours of driving to get to.
11. Renting Can Be Costly
Buying a home is less expensive in Vermont, but renting is more expensive.
Since not everyone can afford to buy a home, the cost of rent is a problem for many.
The costly rent comes down to availability.
There are very few apartment complexes.
Those that do have homes for rent know that they’re able to raise the rent—and they do.
12. Commuting Is Almost A Necessity
The state is sparsely populated, so most of the jobs are found in the bigger cities of Burlington and Essex—and even they don’t have large populations.
This leaves many people commuting to where they can find a job.
Depending on where a person lives in Vermont, it may be easier to find a job in a different state.
It’s not uncommon for people to commute an hour in one direction just to find quality employment.
13. Car Maintenance Is Often A Struggle
Car owners will often struggle with maintenance.
The main reason for this is the snow in the winter.
The salt to keep the snow and ice at bay leads to potholes that have to be dealt with in the summer.
Additionally, the salt can take the finish off of a car.
As such, many car owners spend money every year on car alignments.
Many have chips, dents, and rust from experiencing the brutal winter.
14. There’s More Land Than People
With more land than people, you’ll often have to drive further to get what you need.
If you live in one of the towns on the outskirts of a city, you may have to drive an hour or more to find a shopping center or even to visit with a friend.
Just as the land can be desirable to those who want to enjoy the recreation, it can act as a divider when you’re looking for socialization.
15. Wood Rot Is A Common Problem
Wood is a popular building material in Vermont.
However, with all of the snow that lands on homes, it also leads to wood rot.
As the snow melts, it turns into excessive amounts of water.
It’s often enough to rot various aspects of a home if it’s not dealt with quickly enough.
16. Art & Culture Is Lacking
Just as the population isn’t very culturally diverse, the art scene isn’t very diverse, either.
The state has chosen to focus more on history than it does on art.
Museums tend to be few and far between.
Theaters are found in some of the larger cities and are only operational for a few months out of the year.
If you’re interested in these things, you’ll find that you’ll have to make the trip to New York City or Boston to fulfill your cultural wants and needs.
17. Higher Education Opportunities Are Limited
Vermont isn’t the largest state, and the low population means that there aren’t many higher education opportunities.
Beyond the University of Vermont, there aren’t too many opportunities for those who want a public education.
This can increase the cost of tuition for those who want to attend a four-year university as they’ll have to go out of state and pay out-of-state tuition rates.
18. Public Transportation Is Almost Nonexistent
Most of the cities are too small to have any kind of public transportation.
This means that there are no subways, trams, or even buses.
It means that there are a lot more vehicles on the road than there need to be.
Some cities are starting to feel the excessive traffic.
19. Snow Tires Become A Way Of Life
Snow tires are an expensive investment that most living in Vermont have to incur in order to drive throughout the winter months.
Snow tires are only for when there’s snow on the ground, so there’s an ongoing expense of having the tires mounted and unmounted throughout the year.
When the snow tires aren’t in use, they have to be safely stored in a garage.
20. No Major Sports Teams Are In The State
There are no MLB, NBA, NFL, or NHL teams in the state of Vermont.
This means that it requires one to drive across the state borders to go see a professional sports team play.
Further, sports fans will have to “adopt” a different team, such as the Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots, or Bruins which are all based in Massachusetts.
21. Tourism Is Limited
Unless you’re interested in a historic town around a lake, there aren’t too many tourist attractions.
The state offers no theme parks, no beaches, and no real draw beyond the ski resorts and the cheese trails.
With such limited tourism, it can leave many bored.
Further, it can hurt entrepreneurs who want to make something of themselves within the state.
22. It’s Home To Some Of The Worst Drivers
Vermont is continually listed as one of the top 10 states with the worst drivers.
Much of this comes down to the number of accidents that occur, the number of speeding tickets issued, and even drivers who are charged with a DUI.
23. Wildlife Can Be A Nuisance
Wildlife can be a nuisance, especially when you live closer to nature.
The state’s forests are saturated with coyotes, and they can often enter communities at night.
There are also black bears, which may enter people’s backyards, destroying property and turning over trash cans.
It’s also important to note that deer ticks are considered the most dangerous of the animals in Vermont.
One bite and they can cause Lyme Disease.
24. The State Can Lean Too Progressively
Just as Bernie Sanders gets everyone talking about politics in a healthy forum, the state can also lean too progressively for some people.
There are a lot of taxes to help pay for those who cannot afford the cost of living.
There are also various programs that focus on the needs of everyone, whether you want those programs or not.
25. Those From Vermont Get A Bad Reputation
“Vermonsters” get a reputation for being snooty.
They know what they like—local, organic, and sustainable.
Plus, many are used to the high taxes and, therefore, have the fat checkbooks to maintain it all.