2022 Best of New England | Vermont

With an eye on what’s new for 2022, Yankee’s editors round up the best attractions, eateries, and hotels in top Vermont travel destinations, including Burlington.

By Yankee Editors

Jun 10 2022



Photo Credit : Luke Moore Photo (Stowe)
With an eye on what’s new for 2022, Yankee’s editors round up the best attractions, eateries, and hotels in top Vermont travel destinations, including Burlington.


ArtsRiot Burlington

Having grown into an essential South End Arts District fixture since opening in a former auto-body shop in 2012, this art/food/performance venue changed hands in 2020, but its grand reopening last September shows the beat goes on. Adding to the lure of art shows, poetry and theater performances, film series, and live music: an expansive new deck, a fledgling distillery, and three huge garage doors that can be opened in warm weather for maximum summer-hangout vibe.

Café Mamajuana Burlington

As someone who’s “extremely motivated to create space for women of color in the Vermont food industry,” Maria Lara-Bregatta wasted no time blasting out her own niche in the Burlington dining scene with explosively flavored, endlessly creative cooking that draws on her Dominican, Spanish, and Italian background. She capped off the first year at her Oak Street eatery (a space shared with a top-notch veggie sandwich café, Poppy) with a James Beard nomination for best new restaurant. One bite of her flawless empanadas, and you’ll know why.

Farmers & Foragers Dockside Burlington

Given how faithfully Sol Bayer-Pacht and Lauren Johnson have been schlepping the freshest flavors of Vermont’s small producers to the public via food truck, it’s only fair for we diners to return the favor by coming to them for a change. And they’ve made that a highly attractive proposition by setting up this seasonal venue at Burlington Harbor Marina, where from May to October diners can graze on Farmers & Foragers’ acclaimed organic, locally sourced fare—including their flagship cheesesteak, stuffed with beef raised a mere 20 miles away—and enjoy a bar, tent seating, live entertainment, and one of the city’s best water views.

Local Motion Burlington

To call Local Motion just a bike rental outfit is akin to calling the nearby Island Line Rail Trail just a cycling path. The group’s seasonal bike ferry service on Lake Champlain adds to the splendor of what might be New England’s most idyllic ride, a 14-mile route that includes island and mainland stretches, punctuated by a causeway that will have you feeling as though you’re gliding atop the water.

Made Inn Vermont Burlington

For overnight stays with that personal touch and a feeling of home, you need, well, a real person and a real home. Here, that’s innkeeper Linda Wolf and her elegant/funky Victorian mansion, both brimming with personality and now celebrating their 10th year of welcoming travelers (along with kids and pets) to a one-of-a-kind Vermont getaway. Lose yourself in the wide-ranging library of board games, books, and vinyl records; relax in the outdoor hot tub; and tap into Wolf’s insider recommendations for making the most of her hometown.

Shelburne Museum Shelburne

After seeing the eclectic holdings of fine and folk art, furnishings, quilts, dolls, decoys, horse-drawn carriages, and circus memorabilia—exhibited in an equally encyclopedic collection of 39 structures at this must-see Vermont museum—you’ll get how apropos it is that PBS’s Antiques Roadshow will film its first-ever Vermont episode here on July 12. Spend a summer day exploring the 45-acre campus, though, and you still won’t have seen everything there is to offer: One of its newest attractions is a holiday light display that even adds twinkle to the museum’s 1906 steamboat, Ticonderoga, and it’s worth coming back for this winter.

Whistling Man Schooner Co. Burlington

It’s fitting that a schooner named Friend Ship, a fixture on Lake Champlain since the ’90s, is now sailing on the buddy system: Whistling Man’s longtime flagship was joined in 2019 by a sibling, Wild Rose. Both Maine-built replicas of a 1904 fishing schooner, today the two offer passengers the chance to take home not lobster and cod but lifelong memories of adventure, camaraderie, and sherbet-colored #nofilter sunsets. Two-hour tours depart daily from mid-May to early October; private cruises available.


The Blackback Pub Waterbury

Boasting a killer beer list that looks like a who’s who in craft brews—Hill Farmstead Brewery, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, and Freak Folk Bier have all been in the rotation—this friendly watering hole was fond of saying that it had more taps than bar stools (32 and 30, respectively). That is, until a recent upstairs expansion added 12 more stools, four more taps, more tables, and a lounge area, all the better for tucking into the pub nachos with Great Hill blue cheese, bacon, maple, and smoked crema, and other seasonally focused fare.

Haymaker Bun Company Middlebury

This is what resilience looks like: a steady march of plump and tender swirls of brioche, emissaries of hope from the kitchen of Caroline Corrente. Her bakery/café was not yet three years old last fall when its sister restaurant, The Arcadian (run by Corrente’s husband, Matt), was shuttered by Covid-era hardship. Buoyed by local support and earnest craving for its stellar pastries and piled-high brioche-bun burgers and sandwiches, Haymaker carried on and even expanded its hours—opening the window a bit wider for regulars and newcomers alike to come in and feed their soul.

Lamoille Valley Rail Trail Swanton to St. Johnsbury

New England’s longest rail trail is a whopping 93 miles that runs across northern Vermont, along the former Lamoille Valley Railroad, from St. Johnsbury to within just a couple of miles of Lake Champlain. Mountain ranges, swimming holes, and inviting small towns all play starring roles, as does a heightened appreciation for the Green Mountain State that’s only possible while on two wheels.

Lawson’s Finest Liquids Waitsfield

More than three decades after Sean Lawson began experimenting with maple brews as an undergrad at the University of Vermont, the flavors of his home state continue to drive his creations. At this destination brewery, opened in Waitsfield in 2018, we suggest lingering in the timber-frame taproom or outdoor beer garden and nursing a glass of Lawson’s potent Maple Tripple or the delightful Brave Little State pale ale—and don’t miss the retail store, where you can stock up on freshly canned goodness to bring home.

Smugglers’ Notch Jeffersonville

The resort affectionately known as Smuggs is a perennial winner of “best family ski resort” acclaim, and that high bar carries over to summer. Park your car once, then let family members find their favorite spaces. Indoors, there’s the $4.4 million, 26,000-square-foot FunZone 2.0, with a climbing wall, an obstacle course, laser tag, mini golf, and practically anything else a kid could dream of doing. Outdoors, meanwhile, has heated pools, hikes, mountain biking, and supervised camps for the younger set.

Sugarbush Soaring Warren

It may be rare that 20 minutes of a vacation adventure can leave a memory so full of wonder that it never fades, but that is what a glider flight over the Mad River Valley delivers. Taking off from a plateau two miles outside Warren Village, these FAA-authorized glider pilots let the wind currents carry you over a landscape that has drawn glider enthusiasts to the valley since the 1950s. As you float in silence over mountains and water, you know you will always remember what it feels like to be an eagle.

Tälta Lodge Stowe

Kayak strapped on top? Bikes stacked in the rack? Kids, pups, duffels, fly rods in the back? If loaded-to-the-max is how you roll, you’ll fit right in at this ’60s-meet-the-’20s mountain lodge, which began welcoming adventurers last autumn under the hotel brand Bluebird by Lark. A bike shed and in-room modular gear wall make it easy to stow your equipment after a day of exertion on Stowe’s legendary terrain, and the indoor pool, sauna, and hot tub are your remedy for weary muscles.


Abracadabra Coffee CO. Woodstock

This is Woodstock’s answer to the cool-vibes coffee shop, complete with a sleek interior space with cozy seats, an outdoor fire pit, and mountain views, plus a 1964 Shasta camper turned mobile café. Baristas work their espresso-machine magic every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the barn, serving up seasonally changing signature drinks like the Vermont maple horchata latte, crafted with house-made syrup, as well as warm Liége waffles and canelés.

King Arthur Baking Company Norwich

To understand the new name of America’s oldest flour company, which had been known as King Arthur Flour from 1790 until 2020, just shop the dazzling realm of products (Vietnamese cinnamon really should be in your spice arsenal) at its flagship store. Or take a class at the on-site baking school, where even beginners come away feeling accomplished. Now, the rebranding makes sense: It wasn’t an impulsive response to the pandemic-fueled baking surge, but rather a reflection of the company’s expanded mission to support and inspire everyone who dips a rubber spatula into this ancient art.

Parker Hill Farm Springfield

Discover glamping as imagined by Dr. Doolittle at Peter and Patty Fuller’s 18th-century farm, which in 2021 became Vermont’s first true luxury campground and began pampering overnight guests in addition to the permanent residents: chickens, ducks, Jersey cows, and a dozen adorable alpacas. While the amenities at this 18-and-older retreat are grown-up (rustic-chic tents with luxury bedding, Wi-Fi, and en suite bathrooms; smokeless firepits and tent-side grills), everyone’s a kid when they try their hand at trout fishing, catch a barn-side movie night, or take their morning coffee with a sweet alpaca at their elbow.

Ransom Tavern South Woodstock

Who knew that the best Neapolitan-style pizza could be found in the hamlet of South Woodstock? Located inside the country-modern Kedron Valley Inn, Ransom Tavern thinks globally and eats locally, piling Vermont meats, cheeses, and produce on bubbling rounds of dough made according to the strict standards of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. Don’t miss the impressive list of hard-to-find Vermont beers and Italian wines.

The Silver Fork Manchester

Like a beloved book re-read through the years, the Silver Fork, first opened in 2011, is the kind of culinary destination that demands revisiting. You never know what global inspiration chef Mark French will be channeling—German, Caribbean, Turkish, Baltimorean—or what creative, locally flavored libations his wife and co-owner, Melody, will have on offer. Even more reason to return? The restaurant’s über-stylish new home in a former library, where soaring windows and midcentury-modern panache are the backdrop for a storybook night out that you’ll never want to end.

Southern Vermont Arts Center Manchester

Blessed with 103 acres of forest and fields in the heart of the Green Mountains, and the home of Vermont’s largest sculpture park, SVAC made the most of its natural gifts during the pandemic: increasing outdoor programming, debuting a “story walk” trail, and hosting open-air seating for music and theater performances. But a boundless spirit extends throughout its indoor spaces as well, from its airy, modern curATE café to its galleries and exhibits packed with the creative expression of artists from the 19th and 20th centuries as well as those working today and looking to the future.

Woodstock Inn & Resort Woodstock

If you’ve traveled to Vermont only to leaf-peep or slope-schuss, let this luxury landmark be your gateway to the glories of summer in the Green Mountain State. Still sparkling from $16.5 million worth of enhancements in 2018, the historic 142-room inn and resort is known for pampering guests indoors (the 10,000-square-foot spa is a Forbes Four Star experience) before sending them outdoors to play on an 18-hole championship golf course, area mountain biking trails, tennis courts, and more. Meanwhile, the flavors of summer are delivered right to diners’ plates, courtesy of the inn’s three-acre gardens and executive chef Rhys Lewis; look for his seasonal Red Barn Dinner Series, one of the hottest tickets around for Vermont foodies.

See More: Best of New England 2022