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RV Travel in Vermont: Your Ultimate Summer Guide

This post was updated on September 5th, 2023

Weather Note RV Travel In Vermont: In response to the recent flooding in several locations around Vermont in July of 2023, the Vermont tourism site has stated the following:

“There is a lot of beautiful summer left to enjoy and Vermont is open and ready to welcome guests. Many destinations throughout the state were not affected by recent severe weather and the vast majority of Vermont’s small shops and restaurants are open to the public statewide, as well as recreational and cultural attractions.  Even in the areas hardest hit from recent flooding, many businesses are operating, and more are reopening every day. Both Montpelier and Ludlow offer information about local business openings on their websites.

If you have plans to visit Vermont in the next few weeks, we do still recommend calling ahead to ensure specific attractions or recreation destinations are open and accessible.”

VermontVacation.com

Insider Tips For RV Travel In Vermont

RV Travel In Vermont unveils an unparalleled experience. Surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, you’ll be enveloped by lush forests, tranquil lakes, and captivating hamlets, each radiating a distinct aura unique to this locale.

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A summer expedition through Vermont offers scenic vistas, diverse outdoor pursuits, and an authentic touch of New England charm. It’s an idyllic haven for gastronomes and outdoor enthusiasts. This comprehensive summer guide will enhance your RV adventure, ensuring you discover the concealed treasures that render this state truly distinctive.

Why Choose Vermont?

Vermont, the Green Mountain State, is a Northeastern gem filled with picturesque small towns, lush forests, and rolling hills. It’s a paradise for RV travelers, offering everything from outdoor adventures to historical sites. Whether you’re into covered bridges, waterfalls, or craft beer, Vermont’s small-town charm will draw you in.

Embrace spontaneity on your RV journey through Vermont. Take detours, explore hidden gems, and soak in the local vibe. After traveling to 42 states in our RV, Vermont stood out with its unique culture. I even bought a shirt that read “Keep Vermont Weird” during our visit. It’s a refreshing place with a strong focus on local businesses and environmental friendliness.

Gear up for an unforgettable RV summer adventure in Vermont, where majestic mountains, charming towns, and rich history await. Let’s dive into some can’t-miss places to explore!

Top Vermont RV Destinations

When planning your ultimate summer RV trip in Vermont, there are several must-visit destinations that offer a mix of popular tourist spots and hidden gems. You may also stumble upon many sleepy charming towns on your trip, so allow plenty of time to stop and explore as you go.

Stowe, Vermont

Stowe, Vermont, is an idyllic town nestled in the Green Mountains, offering not only stunning scenery but also a wide range of outdoor adventure activities. Its downtown area looks like something straight out of a Hallmark Christmas movie, and there are many covered bridges nearby.

Woodstock, Vermont

Woodstock, Vermont, is another charming town that RV travelers should not miss. Known for its historic architecture and vibrant downtown, Woodstock offers a quintessential Vermont experience.

Burlington, Vermont

Burlington, Vermont, is the largest city in the state which means it has a vibrant arts scene and is packed full of unique things to do. Its location on Lake Champlain makes it both a scenic and exciting destination.

Other Destinations in Vermont

While this guide focuses on these top 3 destinations in the state, Vermont is full of quaint towns and hidden gems like Bennington, Barre, and Rutland, which are additionally perfect for exploring during your RV travels. Keep an eye out for local events like farmer’s markets and food festivals as you drive across the state, which will allow you to truly experience the local culture and cuisine.

Exploring Stowe, Vermont

Stowe, Vermont

Stowe, Vermont, is a picturesque town that’s perfect for a summer RV adventure. This charming destination offers breathtaking scenery, exciting outdoor activities, and fantastic food and drink options. We picked to talk about Stowe, Vermont, as a top summer destination first because it’s our family’s favorite town in Vermont.

Outdoor Activities In Stowe, Vermont

Stowe is the outdoor lover’s paradise. At the foot of the Green Mountains, there are many opportunities for hiking, biking, paddling, and climbing.

Biking

An impressive scenic multi-use trail goes right through the middle of town. The Stowe Recreation Path is a free public path that begins downtown and ends at a covered bridge. It crosses the Little River many times and is popular for biking.

Don’t have a bike? There are many rental places in town. Mountain biking is also a huge deal in Stowe, with many popular trails and courses. Some of the local ski resorts also offer mountain biking trails and clinics during the summer months.

Hiking

Hiking is abundant around Stowe and in the surrounding mountains. One of the most popular easy hikes is to Moss Glen Falls. This short hike is only .25 miles and ends at the falls, where you can explore both above and below the waterfall.

For a more peaceful and quiet trail through the woods, check out the Quiet Path hike. This 1.8-mile nature trail is easy and great for ages.

For adventure seekers, hiking Mount Mansfield, the highest peak in Vermont, should be added to your list. It can be reached by many trail combinations. One option is to reach the summit on a 3.2-mile loop on the Hellbrook Trail and the Long Trail, which is an elevation gain of about 2,600 feet.

Summer Resorts

You may think of ski lodges during winter in Vermont, but Stowe’s many lodges and resorts also offer exciting summer activities and even day passes perfect for RV travelers. Don’t miss the Gondola SkyRide that Stowe Mountain Resort offers. Another popular summer resort is Smugglers Notch, which has a waterpark, zipline, and tree canopy tour, and the can’t-miss Llama Trekking experience!

Scenic Drives

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take in the stunning Vermont landscapes with these amazing drives:

  • Smugglers’ Notch Pass (VT Route 108): This winding route offers spectacular views of the Green Mountains and is an adventure in itself.
  • Green Mountain Byway (VT Route 100): This scenic drive takes you through charming small towns and past lush farmland with picturesque mountain backdrops.
  • Mt. Mansfield Auto Toll Road: Not up for hiking up Mt. Mansfield? No worries! You can drive the 4.5 miles to the top on the Auto Road. Note that this road is not for RVs. It has tight turns with winding switchbacks. 

In addition to scenic drives in the area, take advantage of the many historic covered bridges nearby. This nostalgic charm is a must-see in Vermont.

The most popular local bridge is the Gold Brook-covered bridge, also known as Emily’s Bridge. Legend has it from locals that this bridge is actually haunted. It’s a great place to explore and take pictures.

Food And Beverage Spots

Satisfy your taste buds by exploring some popular food and drink options in Stowe:

Must-Visit In Stowe

Don’t miss driving up and checking out the Von Trapp Family Lodge. Some of the Von Trapp grandchildren still run this beautiful mountaintop lodge. Vermont reminded the family of their Bavarian homeland, which is why they chose to settle here after moving to the US. 

Von Trapp Family Lodge Stowe VT
Von Trapp Family Lodge Stowe VT – Photo by Scott Russell of TheAdventureDetour.com

Sound Of Music fans can take a tour to learn more about the history of the family and discover if the movie was really true to life. Make sure to get your tour tickets in advance. There are also many other day-pass events to enjoy at the lodge.

RV Camping Near Stowe

The best big rig-friendly campground near Stowe is Gold Brook Campground. It offers large open sites, mountain views, and a small pool. The campground is near a stream and has full hookups available.

Discover the Charm of Woodstock, VT

Covered Bridge in Woodstock, Vermont

Despite being the smallest town in Vermont on our list, Woodstock compensates with its immense charm and beauty. It’s a haven for history enthusiasts, offering a unique blend of past and present.

Immerse Yourself in Outdoor Activities

Quechee Gorge, the deepest gorge in Vermont, is the top outdoor attraction in Woodstock. Nestled within the Quechee State Park, it’s often referred to as Vermont’s Grand Canyon. You can reach the gorge via Route 4.

The Quechee Gorge Bridge, perched 165 feet above the river, offers an iconic photo opportunity. The best view is from the bridge itself, overlooking the river.

Popular activities in the park include hiking along the rim and descending to the bottom of the gorge. The Quechee Gorge Trail, an easy 1-mile hike, is a favorite among visitors. You’ll also find numerous swimming holes along this trail.

Another must-visit outdoor attraction is the Billings Farm and Museum. This working Vermont dairy farm offers a glimpse into the past. Recognized as one of the finest outdoor history museums in the US, the farm showcases a restored 1890 farmhouse and various hands-on activities. It served as a model Jersey dairy farm for others across the country. Here, you can interact with live animals and sample raw milk cheddar cheese.

Lastly, don’t miss out on the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park. This historic mansion boasts beautiful gardens and hiking trails. Guided tours and programs are popular, so remember to book your reservation early.

Experience Scenic Drives

As you plan your RV journey, make sure to include some of the scenic drives that showcase the stunning landscapes of Woodstock.

  • Vermont Route 4: Don’t miss the scenic 15-mile drive from Killington through Woodstock to Quechee. This route features 4 covered bridges, including the Lincoln Covered Bridge, Middle Covered Bridge, Taftsville Covered Bridge, and Quechee Covered Bridge. The journey concludes at the picturesque Quechee Gorge.
  • Route 100: This route takes you through miles of iconic Vermont countryside, adorned with rolling hills and farms.
  • Route 110: If you’re a fan of covered bridges, head north to South Royalton and take Route 110. You’ll encounter 5 covered bridges on your way to Chelsea, Vermont, including the Howe Bridge, Cilley Bridge, Mill Covered Bridge, Larkin Bridge, and Moxley Covered Bridge.

Savor Local Food and Beverages

No trip to Woodstock is complete without sampling the local cuisine and beverages. From farm-to-table eateries and Vermont’s famous maple syrup to local food trucks, there’s something for everyone.

For craft beer enthusiasts, a visit to the German-inspired Long Trail Brewing Company is a must. They offer a variety of brews to sample. If you’re more of a wine person, the Putney Mountain Winery offers a delightful tasting experience.

One of the most unique food experiences in the area is also a historical journey. Be sure to visit the Sugarbush Farm. Here, you can learn all about maple syrup production through a self-guided tour. You can also sample 15 different kinds of cheese and 4 grades of syrup.

Other Unique Things To Do Near Woodstock

  • Vermont State House: Explore the nearby Vermont State House located in Montpelier, America’s smallest capital city. Free guided tours are offered, allowing visitors to appreciate the unique Greek Revival architecture and history. Self-guided audio tours are also available.
  • Simon Pierce Workshop: This scenic glass factory, located near the Quechee Gorge, offers a unique experience. Watch glassblowers at work and find a souvenir to take home.
  • Woodstock Town Center: Enjoy the quaint charm of the downtown shops.

RV Camping Near Woodstock

The best big rig-friendly campground near Woodstock is the Quechee/Pine Valley KOA Holiday. Located close to the scenic Quechee Gorge and situated on the river, this campground offers canoe rentals and a swimming pool for your enjoyment.

Burlington, VT

Burlington, Vermont

Burlington, Vermont, is a must-visit location for RV travelers looking for a perfect blend of outdoor adventures, scenic beauty, and a vibrant food, craft beverage, and arts scene. In this beautiful New England city, you will be captivated by its natural charm and cultural attractions.

Outdoor Activities*

Many travelers assume that since Burlington is Vermont’s largest city, it’s not a destination for outdoor activities. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. This beautiful city sitting on Lake Champlain is stunning and is known for its outdoor activities.

The Burlington Greenway is an 8-mile paved multi-use path for biking, running, and walking. It’s popular due to the gorgeous views of Lake Champlain. 

You can even take a seasonal Bike Ferry out to the Champlain Islands for more biking opportunities. This by-donation ferry ride is short, scenic, and relaxing. The Island Line Bike Trail is one of the most scenic bike trails in the US.

Lake Champlain doesn’t just offer beautiful scenery. It also provides many water activities. Hit one of the many lake swim beaches or rent a paddleboard or kayak for a relaxing day out on the water.

A great place to soak in some of the best views in the area while enjoying a picnic is Mount Philo State Park. Drive or hike to the top of Mount Philo for a spectacular view (no RVs allowed). The hike is a steep elevation change of about 1,000 feet and is 2 miles round trip.

More Burlington Activities To Add To Your List

  • Church Street Marketplace: Church Street Marketplace is a 4 block outdoor pedestrian-only shopping area surrounded by historic buildings. You can take a walking tour or even hit one of the local breweries in this area.
  • ECHO Leahy Center For Lake Champlain: This open-air science center focuses on the care of the lake. It has interactive marine biology exhibits as a mix of indoor and outdoor offerings.

Scenic Drives

For those who enjoy relaxing and picturesque drives, Vermont offers scenic byways showcasing its stunning landscapes. 

  • Lake Champlain Byway: This can’t-miss scenic drive features views of Lake Champlain, New York’s Adirondack Mountains, and Vermont’s Green Mountains. You will also cruise past many scenic farms, forests, and charming New England towns along the way.
  • Covered Bridges: While not on a single scenic route, there are several covered bridges to explore near Burlington. South of town, you can check out Shelburne Museum Covered Bridge, Holmes Creek Bridge, Quinlans Covered Bridge, and Spade Farm Covered Bridge.

Food And Beverage Spots

One of the most interesting places in town to enjoy dinner is at ArtsRiot. This one-of-a-kind entertainment and art studio is a full restaurant with live performances. You can find everything from comedy to theatre and concerts to artwork displays here. 

Another great place to grab a bite is American Flatbread. This local pizza eatery features wood-fired pizza made with local and organic ingredients that pair perfectly with their in-house-made beer.

Speaking of beer, local craft breweries are a big deal in Burlington, and there are many great options to choose from. Check out Four Quarters Brewing, 1st Republic Brewing, Black Flannel Brewing Co., and Stone Corral Brewery And Food.

RV Camping Near Burlington

One of the best RV camping locations in Burlington is North Beach Campground. This scenic campground is located across the street from Lake Champlain. Not all campsites in this city park campground have full hookups, but you will have access to a convenient lake swim beach.

Tips for RV Travel in Vermont

As you head out on your RV adventure in the beautiful Green Mountain State, it’s important to be prepared and aware of some practical tips that will make your trip safe and hassle-free. Vermont’s unique terrain, winding backroads, mountain drives, and picturesque landscapes can be a challenge for RVs.

It’s crucial to plan your route in advance to be sure it is RV friendly.

Low Bridge Clearances

First, be on the lookout for low-clearance bridges on Vermont’s backroads. The state is known for its charming covered bridges, but even some regular bridges in the state may not have sufficient height clearance for larger RVs. Know your RV’s height and have a reliable GPS system designed for RVing to keep you off of low-clearance roads.

One of the best choices for an RV-specific GPS is the RV LIFE RV Safe GPS included in RV LIFE Pro. This turn-by-turn navigation stores your specific RV’s height, so you don’t need to worry about ending up on a route with low clearances or steep mountain passes. The RV LIFE App can even work offline for areas with little or no service when driving through the mountains.

Big Rig Friendly Campgrounds Are Limited

Another important consideration is the large RV accessibility of RV parks and campgrounds in Vermont. Many of them are not designed for big rigs, so it’s important to research your desired destinations ahead of time. Check campsite length, maneuverability, and access to facilities, like hookups and dump stations, in advance. 

We mentioned the RV Life Pro suite of RV trip-planning products above. Another great included feature is the RV LIFE Campground Reviews to help you find a campground that will work well for your RV’s size, and that meets what you are looking for. Another resource is the Vermont Campground Association, which can be a helpful resource for finding suitable accommodations.

Avoid Scenic Drives In Large RVs

While driving through scenic routes and mountain roads may be tempting, avoid it in large RVs. Roads might be narrow, steep, or have sharp turns that can be challenging, even for experienced drivers. To stay safe and prevent any damage, stick to primary highways and well-traveled roads.

Help Keep The Environment Beautiful

Finally, respect the local environment and practice responsible RVing. This involves properly disposing of waste, abiding by any state park rules, and minimizing your impact on the natural surroundings. By doing so, you can enjoy the breathtaking beauty that Vermont has to offer and help preserve it for future generations.

Are you excited to plan an RV trip to Vermont?

Vermont is an incredible summer RV travel destination, offering a perfect blend of natural beauty, outdoor fun, and historical landmarks. With its lush green landscapes, clear mountain lakes, and vibrant small towns, there is something for every RV traveler to enjoy. Now is the perfect time for you to start planning your incredible summer RV adventure to Vermont!

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