Road Trip in Vermont
People often imagine a green state when thinking of Vermont. The license plates are green, the attitude towards agriculture is very “green," and the state's residents are in many instances committed to a “green" lifestyle.
Of course, Vermont has more to offer than that. From the many skiing opportunities which constitute a huge draw in the winter, to the terrific summer wilderness activities like camping, hiking, fishing, and the like, Vermont has a great deal to provide residents and tourists alike.
And, if you're not into outdoor activities, don't worry. The many little towns in Vermont offer wonderful shopping and dining opportunities.
State Traffic Rules
A good place to start when learning about traffic rules and driving in Vermont is in the Vermont Driver Handbook. Here you'll understand laws you need to adhere to, such as:
- Speed limits on major and minor highways.
- Age requirements for licensed and permitted drivers.
- Safety laws regarding seat belts, car seats, cell phones, and more.
For a quick glimpse of these, you can also check out our VT Safety Laws page.
Driving in Vermont
Visitors to the Green State are welcome to drive using their valid driver's license from their home state. If you're a new Vermont resident, you have 60 days to obtain a Vermont driver's license.
Please note that if you are a teen driver, your state's graduated driver's licensing (GDL) requirements may be different from those in Vermont, and you may not necessarily be allowed to drive in the state. Please check with the VT DMV for details on how your current learner's permit or provisional license translates to Vermont's guidelines.
Vermont's major highways include:
- Interstate 91—I-91 shuttles drivers north and south from Canada to the Massachusetts border.
- Interstate 89—Head towards Burlington on I-89, which branches off I-91 and heads northwest from there.
- Smaller roads include U.S. Route 4, which crosses the southern part of the state from New Hampshire to New York and connects some of the ski resorts, and U.S. Route 7, which runs parallel to the New York border.
Culture & Creameries
Satisfy your sweet tooth with a trip to America's favorite factory. Located in Waterbury, the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream factory is in northern Vermont, just a little east of Burlington on Interstate 89. Check the Ben & Jerry's website for information on touring their facility.
Waterbury itself, like many towns in Vermont, is a great place to stop and enjoy the local color. Vermonters take their food very seriously—especially its sustainable and organic qualities—and plenty of restaurants offer meals good for you and the planet. A few other Vermont cultural centers to see are:
- Famed for its craft beer selection—some say the best in New England—Burlington is a great place to stroll and sip once you've put your keys away for the day. Some breweries offer guided tours and bus transportation from taproom to taproom.
- Filled with artist galleries, shopping and restaurants, and easily reachable from Interstate 91, Woodstock is a very popular destination.
- Home to the Vermont State Capitol, Montpelier is known for its quirky demeanor and hip restaurant scene, owing to the presence of the New England Culinary Institute and Vermont College of Fine Arts.
The Great Outdoors
Vermont is a destination for both beginner and advanced skiers. Home to some great mountains and slopes (think Okemo Mountain, Sugarbush, and Killington), these adventures are easily accessible from the nearby states thanks to Interstate 91 in Massachusetts, Interstates 93 and 89 in New Hampshire, and Interstate 87 in New York.
In the summer, these slopes turn into wonderful hiking trails, including the famous Long Trail, with spectacular views from the top of Mansfield Mountain, Vermont's high point. The valleys are also home to wonderful little towns and villages, each quainter than the next. Here are a few must-see destinations in Vermont's natural world:
- Appalachian Trail
- Roughly 150 miles of the famed Appalachian Trail pass through Vermont, whisking hikers through the Green Mountains and river crossings on their way between Massachusetts and New Hampshire. You also can shuttle cars between stops and just bite the trail off in chunks throughout the state if you'd like.
- Lake Champlain
- This famously massive freshwater lake demarcates part of the border between Vermont, New York, and the Canadian Province of Quebec. Known for its islands and hiking, Champlain is also home to “Champ," a rumored Loch Ness Monster-type creature haunting its depths.
- Green Mountain National Forest
- With no tall buildings, Vermont's vertical claim to fame is its Green Mountain Range. It's one of the few places east of the Mississippi where hikers and campers can find true year-round alpine climates. Pack your jacket, because snows as late as June and as early as September are not unheard of in the high country.