Green mountains, fertile valleys, and forests that cover nearly 80% of the state help make Vermont the pastoral beauty that it is. Rolling hillsides are dotted with white farmhouses and herds of dairy cows and each village and town seems more picture-perfect than the last. The scale is intimate here and Vermont’s many small cities, from Burlington to Brattleboro, St. Johnsbury, Newport, and St. Albans, are filled with interesting restaurants, shops, and inns. Places like Barre, Bennington, Lyndonville, Rutland, Middlebury, Stowe, and Bellows Falls are treasure troves of 19th- and even 18th-century architecture. The only landlocked New  England state, Vermont is still rich in watery pursuits, thanks to the Connecticut River on its eastern boundary and over 400 lakes, including Lake Champlain in the west and the glacier-created lakes of the wilderness called the Northeast Kingdom.

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