Southern Vermont, United States

A paradise for hikers, cyclists, antique enthusiasts, equestrians, history buffs, foodies, skiers and pretty much everyone who loves clean air and beautiful surroundings, the Green Mountain State has been a favourite escape destination for East Coast urbanites since practically before the United States was a country. The towns are charming and well preserved, the farm-stands overflow with fresh produce and the hiking trails still feel as remote as they did centuries ago. The best souvenirs? Vermont cheese and maple syrup, and broken-in walking boots.

When to go

Leaf-peeping season in autumn is officially considered high season, but there’s no real off-season here. Winters are cold and snowy – perfect for skiing and snowshoeing – and summers don’t usually get too hot. The only time to avoid is late spring – known as ‘mud season’ – when most of the inns close for a few weeks, anyway.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    The nearest major airport is Bradley International, in Connecticut, an hour-and-a-half to two-hour drive away. Albany International Airport, in New York, is approximately the same distance. Direct flights to and from many eastern American and Canadian cities are available on airlines such as American (www.aa.com), JetBlue (www.jetblue.com) and United (www.united.com).
  • Trains

    The towns of Brattleboro and Bellows Falls, on the state's eastern border – and Claremont, in western New Hampshire – all have Amtrak stations. Both New York City and Boston are easily accessible by train, the former a five-and-a-half-hour trip, the latter about two hours away.
  • Automobiles

    You’ll want a car in order to explore the spread-out region and get around easily. You can hire a car from most major rental companies at either Albany or Bradley airport. Avis (www.avis.com) have an office near the Brattleboro train station. New York City is approximately a four-hour drive away; Boston is approximately two-and-a-half.