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Embrace the Chill: 10 Must-Do Winter Activities in Vermont

Photo things to do in vermont winter

Vermont is a winter wonderland, with its picturesque landscapes and abundance of outdoor activities. From skiing and snowboarding to snowshoeing and ice fishing, there is something for everyone to enjoy during the cold winter months. While many people may shy away from the cold weather, embracing it can lead to unforgettable experiences and a deeper appreciation for the beauty of nature. So bundle up, grab your gear, and get ready to explore all that Vermont has to offer in the winter.

Key Takeaways

  • Vermont offers great skiing and snowboarding opportunities for winter sports enthusiasts.
  • Snowshoeing in the Green Mountains is a unique and adventurous way to explore the winter landscape.
  • Vermont’s craft brewery scene is worth exploring for beer lovers.
  • Cozy up with a hot drink at a local cafe to warm up during the cold winter months.
  • Ice skating in Vermont is a fun activity for all ages and skill levels.

Hit the Slopes: Skiing and Snowboarding in Vermont

Vermont is known for its world-class ski resorts, making it a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders from around the globe. With over 20 ski resorts to choose from, there is something for every skill level and preference. For beginners, resorts like Killington and Okemo offer gentle slopes and excellent ski schools to help you get started. Intermediate skiers will find a variety of challenging runs at Stowe and Sugarbush, while advanced skiers can test their skills on the steep terrain at Jay Peak and Smugglers’ Notch.

If you’re new to skiing or snowboarding, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, make sure to dress in layers to stay warm and dry throughout the day. It’s also important to wear proper gear, including a helmet, goggles, and waterproof gloves. Take advantage of lessons or clinics offered at the resort to improve your skills and gain confidence on the slopes. And most importantly, have fun and enjoy the thrill of gliding down the mountain surrounded by Vermont’s stunning winter scenery.

Take a Snowshoeing Adventure in the Green Mountains

Snowshoeing is a great way to explore Vermont’s winter landscapes while getting some exercise. It’s a low-impact activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels. The Green Mountains offer a variety of snowshoeing trails, ranging from easy walks through meadows to more challenging hikes up mountains. Some popular trails include the Long Trail, Camel’s Hump, and Mount Mansfield.

Snowshoeing has many benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, increased strength and endurance, and reduced stress levels. It also allows you to experience nature in a unique way, as you can venture off the beaten path and explore areas that may be inaccessible during other seasons. If you’re new to snowshoeing, start with shorter, easier trails and gradually work your way up to more difficult terrain. Make sure to wear warm, waterproof clothing and bring plenty of water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized during your adventure.

Sip and Savor: Explore Vermont’s Craft Brewery Scene

Brewery Name Location Year Established Number of Beers on Tap Most Popular Beer
Switchback Brewing Co. Burlington, VT 2002 8 Switchback Ale
The Alchemist Brewery Stowe, VT 2003 4 Heady Topper
Zero Gravity Craft Brewery Burlington, VT 2004 10 Conehead
Fiddlehead Brewing Company Shelburne, VT 2011 6 Fiddlehead IPA
Lawson’s Finest Liquids Waitsfield, VT 2008 5 Sip of Sunshine

Vermont is known for its craft beer scene, with over 60 breweries scattered throughout the state. Winter is the perfect time to visit these breweries and sample their delicious offerings. Many breweries have cozy taprooms where you can warm up by the fire while enjoying a pint of locally brewed beer. Some popular breweries to visit in the winter include Hill Farmstead Brewery, The Alchemist, and Switchback Brewing Company.

When visiting breweries in the winter, it’s important to dress warmly as many taprooms are located in old barns or warehouses that may not be well insulated. Be sure to try some of Vermont’s famous IPAs, as well as seasonal brews like stouts and porters that are perfect for colder weather. And don’t forget to grab a growler or some cans to take home with you so you can continue enjoying Vermont’s craft beer long after your visit.

Cozy Up with a Hot Drink at a Local Cafe

If beer isn’t your thing, Vermont also has a thriving coffee culture with plenty of cozy cafes to choose from. These cafes offer a warm and inviting atmosphere, making them the perfect place to escape the cold and enjoy a hot drink. Some popular cafes to visit in Vermont during the winter include Maglianero in Burlington, Capitol Grounds in Montpelier, and Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier.

In addition to the usual coffee and tea offerings, many cafes also serve specialty winter drinks like hot chocolate, spiced cider, and seasonal lattes. These drinks are often made with local ingredients and can be customized to your liking. When searching for the coziest cafes, look for places with comfortable seating, a fireplace or wood stove, and a welcoming staff. And don’t forget to pair your hot drink with a delicious pastry or snack for the ultimate winter treat.

Enjoy a Winter Wonderland: Ice Skating in Vermont

Ice skating is a classic winter activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Vermont has several outdoor ice skating rinks that offer a magical experience surrounded by snow-covered trees and twinkling lights. Some popular rinks to visit include the Waterbury Ice Center, Leddy Park Arena in Burlington, and Riley Rink at Hunter Park in Manchester.

Whether you’re skating with family, friends, or your significant other, there are rinks in Vermont that cater to all types of skaters. Family-friendly rinks often have designated areas for beginners and offer skate rentals and lessons. Couples can enjoy a romantic skate under the stars at rinks that offer evening sessions. And solo skaters can practice their skills or simply enjoy the peacefulness of gliding across the ice.

If you’re new to ice skating, it’s important to take it slow and start with small strides to get your balance. Make sure to wear warm clothing and thick socks to keep your feet comfortable on the ice. And don’t forget to bring a thermos of hot cocoa or tea to enjoy during your skating session.

Embrace the Cold: Ice Fishing in Vermont

Ice fishing is a popular winter activity in Vermont, with many lakes and ponds freezing over and providing excellent fishing opportunities. Some of the best lakes and ponds for ice fishing include Lake Champlain, Lake Memphremagog, and Lake Willoughby. These bodies of water are known for their abundance of fish species, including trout, bass, and pike.

Before heading out on the ice, it’s important to check the conditions and make sure it is safe to fish. Ice thickness should be at least four inches for walking and six to eight inches for snowmobiles or ATVs. It’s also a good idea to bring a friend or let someone know where you’ll be fishing in case of an emergency.

When it comes to gear, you’ll need an ice auger to drill holes in the ice, an ice fishing rod and reel, and bait or lures. It’s also important to dress warmly in layers and wear waterproof boots to keep your feet dry. And don’t forget to bring a thermos of hot coffee or soup to keep you warm while waiting for the fish to bite.

Take a Scenic Drive to See Vermont’s Winter Landscapes

Vermont is known for its stunning landscapes, and winter is no exception. Taking a scenic drive through the state allows you to see snow-covered mountains, frozen lakes, and charming small towns. Some of the best scenic drives in Vermont during the winter include Route 100, Route 108 through Smugglers’ Notch, and Route 7 from Bennington to Burlington.

When embarking on a winter drive, it’s important to be prepared for changing weather conditions. Make sure your car is equipped with snow tires or chains and that you have an emergency kit with essentials like blankets, food, water, and a flashlight. It’s also a good idea to check road conditions before you leave and to drive slowly and cautiously, especially on winding mountain roads.

Bundle Up and Go Sledding or Tubing

Sledding and tubing are fun activities that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Vermont has several hills and parks that are perfect for sledding and tubing, including Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Bolton Valley Resort, and the Stowe Recreation Path.

When sledding or tubing, it’s important to choose a hill that is safe and appropriate for your skill level. Make sure the hill is free of obstacles like trees or rocks and that there is plenty of space at the bottom to come to a stop. It’s also a good idea to wear a helmet for added safety.

Relax and Unwind: Visit a Vermont Spa or Wellness Center

After a day of outdoor activities, there’s nothing better than relaxing and unwinding at a spa or wellness center. Vermont has several spas that offer a variety of treatments to help you rejuvenate and recharge. Some popular spas to visit in Vermont include The Essex Resort & Spa in Essex Junction, Topnotch Resort in Stowe, and The Spa at Stoweflake in Stowe.

During the winter months, many spas offer seasonal treatments that are designed to combat dry skin and promote relaxation. These treatments often incorporate ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and essential oils to nourish the skin and soothe the senses. Some popular winter treatments include hot stone massages, hydrating facials, and body wraps.

When choosing a spa or wellness center, look for one that offers a tranquil atmosphere, experienced therapists, and a variety of services to choose from. It’s also a good idea to book your appointment in advance, especially during peak times like weekends or holidays.

Experience the Magic of a Winter Festival in Vermont

Winter festivals are a great way to embrace the cold weather and celebrate the season with family and friends. Vermont hosts several winter festivals throughout the state, offering a variety of activities and entertainment for all ages. Some popular winter festivals to attend include the Stowe Winter Carnival, the Burlington Winter Festival, and the Brattleboro Winter Carnival.

Winter festivals often feature activities like ice carving, snow sculpting, sleigh rides, and live music. There are also usually food vendors selling hot drinks and winter treats, as well as craft vendors selling unique gifts and souvenirs. Attending a winter festival is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the magic of Vermont in the winter.

Vermont offers a wide range of winter activities that allow you to embrace the cold weather and make the most of the season. Whether you’re hitting the slopes, snowshoeing through the Green Mountains, or sipping hot cocoa at a local cafe, there is something for everyone to enjoy. So don’t let the cold weather keep you indoors – bundle up, get outside, and explore all that Vermont has to offer in the winter. You may just discover a new favorite activity or develop a deeper appreciation for the beauty of nature in its frozen state.


What is Vermont known for in the winter?

Vermont is known for its winter sports and activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and ice skating.

What are some popular ski resorts in Vermont?

Some popular ski resorts in Vermont include Stowe Mountain Resort, Killington Resort, Sugarbush Resort, and Jay Peak Resort.

What are some non-skiing activities to do in Vermont in the winter?

Non-skiing activities to do in Vermont in the winter include snowshoeing, ice skating, sleigh rides, visiting hot springs, and exploring winter hiking trails.

What is the weather like in Vermont during the winter?

The weather in Vermont during the winter can be cold and snowy, with temperatures ranging from the teens to the 30s (Fahrenheit).

What should I wear when visiting Vermont in the winter?

When visiting Vermont in the winter, it is recommended to wear warm, waterproof clothing, including a heavy coat, gloves, hat, and boots.

What are some winter festivals and events in Vermont?

Some winter festivals and events in Vermont include the Stowe Winter Carnival, the Burlington Winter Festival, and the Vermont Winter Renaissance Faire.