Ben & Jerry’s, maple syrup, and fall foliage are some things we instantly associate with Vermont, but besides these, what is Vermont famous for?
Located in New England, Vermont shares internal borders with Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, New York to the west, and an international border with Canada (Quebec) to the north. Despite being the second-largest New England state, it doesn’t have a maritime coast. It is also the second least populous state in America.
Nicknamed the green mountain state, Vermont used to be called Verd Mont, which translates precisely to Green Mountain. In 1791, Vermont was the 14th state to join the union, so it wasn’t one of the original 13 colonies. In fact, before joining the USA, it was independent for a few years, from 1777 to 1791.
So, let’s explore what is Vermont famous for!
10 Things Vermont is famous for
Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s may well be America’s favorite ice cream brand and Vermont’s most famous company. And they are proud of it. If you notice their package, you’ll surely see the slogan “Vermont’s Finest” right in the center and above their logo.
Founded in 1978 in Burlington, Ben & Jerry’s manufactures ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet. In 2000 it was sold to Unilever, and since then, it operates globally as a subsidiary of the conglomerate. However, it still has its headquarters in South Burlington and a factory in Waterbury, Vermont.
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is delicious, and they have so many different flavors that you are bound to find one (or 10) that you love. Why? Well, besides the creative punny names, Ben & Jerry’s ice creams are made with premium ingredients (sugar, milk, and cream), less air, and more butterfat. And apparently, that’s their secret, less air!
Ben & Jerry’s is also known for its efforts to be a socially conscious and environmentally friendly company. Thus, their ingredients are carefully chosen and non-GMO. The eggs are cage-free, the hormone-free dairy and the sugar, bananas, vanilla, coffee, and cocoa are fairtrade certified.
What is Vermont famous for? Maple Syrup is one of the things that immediately come to mind. With a production of about 2 million gallons per year, Vermont produces half of the maple syrup in the USA. Though it is not only the quantity, Vermont’s Maple syrup is reputed as the best in the country.
Maple Syrup is one of the main produces of Vermont. And Vermonters are proud of it and their sugarmakers. Maple syrup is made with a simple process. It’s all-natural – no additives nor conservatives are needed.
You just need to harvest the sap from the tree and boil it until it becomes the nectar we love. One average maple tree produces about 10 gallons of sap. Forty gallons of sap make one gallon of syrup.
In the end, maple syrup is a great gift or souvenir – not only do you bring a delicious ingredient but also a small piece of Vermont with you. Plus, you are supporting the local economy and the rural heritage of Vermont. We strongly suggest you stop in one of the treehouses and buy directly from the producer; you’ll probably enjoy the experience, as some of these producers also have tours and explain the process.
The maple trees that produce maple syrup are also responsible for another famous thing in Vermont, the spectacular fall foliage. Fall foliage is also typical in most of the other New England states, but the abundance of Maple trees in Vermont makes it special.
Depending on the year’s climate, the fall foliage in Vermont usually comes earlier than in other states. The colorful foliage typically starts in early September and stretches through mid-October. The peak season is generally in the last two weeks of September when the reds, yellows, and oranges are bright.
If you are thinking of going there, plan ahead. It is really popular, with leaf peepers coming from all over the world. The most popular route to see the autumn splendor is Route 100 it goes from Massachusetts in the south all the way to Canada in the north. It goes through several waterfalls and lovely bridges while exploring the picturesque Green Mountains.
The green mountains are the most prominent geographical feature of Vermont. They are so notorious that Vermont is usually nicknamed the green mountains state. Furthermore, some scholars believe that when the French explorer Samuel de Champlain named Vermont, he called them Verd Mont, meaning green mountain in French. With time, Verd Mont became Vermont.
The Green Mountains are part of the much larger Appalachian Mountains system. They extend for 250 miles, crossing Vermont from North to South, through the center with a width of about 30 miles. The highest point of the green mountains is Mount Mansfield, with 4,393 feet, which is also the highest peak in Vermont.
Despite geologically existing different mountain ranges, all of the Vermont mountains are usually called the green mountains because they always seem to have a green hue. Even in winter, when the snow covers the mountains, they still appear green because the trees hide the snow.
Snow and Ski resorts
The green mountains are well known for their green hue and scenic beauty, but they are also popular winter destinations with good skiing facilities and other snow-related activities. Many of these resorts open as early as November and don’t close until mid-April, sometimes in May.
The ski resorts in Vermont aren’t located at really high altitudes like the ones in Utah or Colorado. However, they still have enough variety and terrain to challenge any expert skier or bodyboarder. The resorts are also known for their luxury lodging, fine restaurants, indulgent spas, and high-end shops. On the other hand, there are still some more basic and budget options.
For all of this, Vermont is a paradise for skiers, snowboarders, and anyone who loves snow activities on the east coast. The resorts are ideally located and easily reached in less than 3 hours from Boston and less than five from New York. Some of the best ski resorts include Okemo, Killington, Jay Peak, and Stowe.
Marble is one of the most famous products from Vermont. While it isn’t as renowned as Italian marble, it is very popular because of its quality and beauty. Apparently, besides being a fine natural stone and used in historically significant architecture, it is considered some of the most durable marble in the world.
Vermont has been producing marble for more than 100 years now. Established in the 1850s, the famous Danby Marble Quarry in Dorset Mountain, Vermont, was the first marble quarry in the US. The exterior of the quarry isn’t too impressive, but inside it twists and turns for one and a half-mile deep. Most of Vermont’s marble production comes from the Champlain Valley and Vermont Valley.
Vermont’s marble is famously durable because it’s a very dense stone that doesn’t stain easily like most other marble stones. The low absorption rate means it is less likely to absorb strain substances that cause permanent damage.
Different varieties of Danby Marble have been used to construct many famous structures in the USA, such as the US Supreme court, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
Vermont Cheddar cheese
What is Vermont famous for? Foodies be like: Vermont Cheddar cheese!! While Vermont is not the state that produces more cheddar cheese (that’s Wisconsin), Vermont cheddar cheese is extremely popular for its quality and unique flavor.
Vermont cheddar cheese is notable for its sharp, bitey, and bitter flavor. This means that it has a pleasant, rich flavor and smooth, creamy texture.
Another characteristic of Vermont Cheddar is that it doesn’t contain annatto. Yet, you should note that Cheddar without annatto is usually tagged as Vermont Cheddar, even if it is not produced in Vermont. So, if you want the real thing, look at where it is made. Or if you are traveling in Vermont, but locally.
We don’t usually include famous personalities in this list, but Bernie Sanders is the exception. He is possibly the most famous person in Vermont and clearly one of the most influential politicians in the USA in the last decade. Though, we should note that Vermont has two former US presidents, Chester A. Arthur (21st President) and Calvin Coolidge (30th President).
Bernie Sanders has been the junior senator of Vermont since 2007. Between1991 and 2007, he was Vermont’s Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and before, he had been the Mayor of Burlington between 1981 and 1989.
Despite technically being an independent, Sanders is mostly famous for two unsuccessfully runs for the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States in 2016 and 2020, finishing in second place in both campaigns. In 2016 he lost to Hillary Clinton and in 2020 to Joe Biden, who became the 46th US President.
Bernie Sanders identifies himself as a “democratic socialist.” He has been one of the most influential politicians in the Democratic Party and has been credited for its leftward transition since 2016. Sanders advocates for social democratic and progressive policies and opposes economic inequality and neoliberalism. He is highly influential, and people tend to love him or hate him for his political views.
Vermont is nationally known as one of the four states that don’t have billboards, and the others are Maine, Hawaii, and Alaska. Billboards are so prevalent on US roads, and people are so used to them that it is too evident when missing. Though, it’s not really a case that we miss it, is it?
With the 1968 State Billboard Act, Vermont was the second state to ban billboards, particularly off-premise advertising signs. On-premise signs are still allowed under certain conditions. Instead of billboards, travel information signs are used along Vermont’s highways.
This groundbreaking law was created to clear road corridors from visual clutter. Billboards are, by nature, very distracting, diverting attention from traffic safety and the beauty of a place. Tourism is Vermont’s largest industry, and this law helps preserve its beauty. According to a study (Gibson 2012), the “lack of advertising is one of the most commonly reported things visitors appreciate about Vermont.”
Records and fun facts about Vermont
Finally, Vermont holds a variety of records, and it is home to some unusual and fun facts. Many of those facts are globally recognized, helping further the state’s popularity. Let’s explore these Vermont facts and records:
- Vermont was the first state to enter the union after the 13 original colonies.
- Vermont is one of the four states that were once independent. The others were Texas, California, and Hawaii)
- When independent, Vermont was called Republic of New Connecticut. This happened between 1777 and 1791.
- The first constitution of Vermont was adopted in 1777. It abolished slavery and provided universal male suffrage without property qualifications.
- It was also the first state to abolish slavery.
- Vermont was the last state to have a Walmart. The first shop opened in 1996.
- Montpelier is the capital of Vermont. With only 8247 people, it is the least populous state capital in America.
- Montpelier is the only state capital that doesn’t have a McDonald’s
- The first person in the US to file and be granted a patent was from Pittsford, Vermont;
- Vermont is the only US state without buildings taller than 124 feet. Thus, Vermont doesn’t have skyscrapers.