Home to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, the Von Trapp family lodge, and Bernie Sanders, Vermont is more than just a state with less than a million hipster progressives. It is deservedly on the map of both American and international tourists, especially those who are seasonally inclined. Whether you want to hike the Green Mountains in the peak of spring, ride jet skis along Lake Champlain in the heat of summer, head out on a fall foliage tour, or hit the slopes of Killington and Smuggler’s Notch in the frigid winter, Vermont is calling your name.
The southern half of the state is a wonderland for all nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts. The Green Mountain and Finger Lakes Park has miles of trails and roaming rivers, just north of historic center Bennington and south of small city Rutland, ski town Killington, and New Hampshire border town White River Junction. Though hostels aren’t aplenty here, one or two can be found in each of the aforementioned towns, many of them in restored New England mansions with expansive yards and organic restaurants.
Fittingly, in the middle of Vermont is Middlebury, known for its highly competitive liberal arts college of the same name. The town is truly a college town, bustling with nerds of all kinds, from Quidditch players to vegan biology students. In the summer, Middlebury opens its immersive language camps and the town fills with students who must attempt to shop or visit restaurants without speaking a word of English. If you can find a hostel here, the town and university campus are not to be missed.
North of Middlebury and along the Winooski River are Montpelier, most famous for being the only state capital in the U.S. without a McDonald’s, and Burlington, Vermont’s largest city. Burlington is by far the biggest tourist destination in the state, and also the most hostel-friendly. It sits right on the shores of Lake Champlain and is another college town, the University of Vermont being much larger and more diverse than Middlebury. In the heart of downtown Burlington is Church Street, a pedestrian road filled with the best shops, restaurants (with outdoor seating in the summer), and dogs found anywhere in the state. The bottom of Church Street leads into a large Farmer’s Market park beside the Flynn Theater, where musical acts like Grace Potter and Phish were first discovered. Vermont offers endless activities for travelers, even those who can’t get farther out than Burlington, and even though hostels may seem limited, the search will be well worth your while.
Hi, I'm yyyamihere,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Vermont hostels. Welcome.