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When is the Best Time to Visit Vermont? A Month-by-Month Guide

Is Vermont keeping secrets from you?

You’ve been longing to visit Vermont. To hike through the Green Mountains, photograph the fall colors, meander through a covered bridge, or snowshoe to a backcountry hut.

Vermont in different seasons.
The best time to visit Vermont is whenever you can get here!

So, when is the best time to visit Vermont?

I can tell you that October is the most popular month to visit New England, but you don’t need to win a popularity contest to enjoy a Vermont vacation.

Perhaps you’re looking for the best month to go camping in Vermont. Or skiing. or maple syrup tasting.

I got you!

Vermont is blessed with four distinct seasons (five if you count mud season), and endless opportunities for outdoor recreation and adventure, no matter what time of year you visit.

But first, a disclaimer: The best time to visit Vermont is whenever you can get here! After years and years of living in Vermont, I firmly believe that you can have an amazing visit in any month of the year. Of course, if you’ve got priorities, then some months are better than others.

What is the Weather like in Vermont?

maple on snow in March.
Sugar on snow in March!

There’s a saying that goes – “If you don’t like the weather in Vermont, wait five minutes.” The temperatures can change pretty dramatically, even over the course of the day, but here are some averages. Expect colder temperatures as you go up in elevation.

Another disclaimer: I’m writing this on a sunny day in February, and the temperature is currently 61 °F at my house in southern Vermont, so use these figures as a very loose guide for planning, and then pack your sandals and your snowboots when you come!

MonthAverage High °FAverage Low °F

Best Time to See Fall Foliage in Vermont

Fall foliage at Lake Shaftsbury in Vermont.
Early fall foliage in Vermont. This is Lake Shaftsbury.

I get a lot of messages and emails from folks wanting to know when they should come to Vermont for their fall foliage vacation, and what they are actually looking for is the handful of days considered ‘peak season for foliage’ in Vermont.

This so-called peak foliage is elusive, and it changes from year to year. In very general terms, you can expect to see phenomenal fall colors between late September through the middle of October. In 2023, the colors were still bright toward the end of October.

If you are visiting the mountains, which run north to south through the middle of Vermont, I suggest visiting in late September or early October, especially if you are traveling to the Northeast Kingdom or Stowe.

If you are visiting southern Vermont, the Lake Champlain Valley, or the Connecticut River Valley for Vermont’s fall foliage, I would suggest coming during the first or second week of October. Variations in the peak fall foliage season will depend on temperatures and rainfall, so please don’t send me nasty emails if your vacation dates don’t coincide with peak colors (yes, that has happened!).

Cheapest Time to Visit Vermont

Sunset over a Vermont farm in early April.
Visiting a Vermont farm in early April.

Vermont is gorgeous all through the year, you just might have to look a little deeper to find the underlying beauty in March in April. The plus side to visiting in the spring (March through May) is you will often find fantastic deals on lodging, and very few crowds.

Visit Monday through Friday, and you will save even more money on your trip to Vermont.

Before you book your spring Vacation in Vermont, there are a few things you should think about:

  • Spring mud season in Vermont. Between early March and sometime in May, Vermont’s hiking trails and dirt roads get all squishy and hard to maneuver. In fact, many hiking trails and dirt roads close completely. Here’s an overview of all the awesome things you can do during mud season in Vermont.
  • Spring skiing! If you are looking for deals on lift tickets, March may be the best time to visit! Try out a new mountain for a fraction of the cost. Visit Ski Vermont to start planning your spring ski trip.
  • Late winter/early spring is maple sugaring season. That’s as good a reason as any I’ve got to visit Vermont. The end of March is Maple Open House Weekend, and there are a few fun maple festivals in April. Here are 12 sugar houses you can visit in the spring, as well as the important dates for all the maple events in Vermont.
  • Some restaurants and museums will be closed. Since this is the low season for tourism in Vermont, I recommend checking in with restaurants and attractions to make sure they’ll be open during your visit.

Best Time to Visit Vermont for Camping

A tent set up in a field of wildflowers in Vermont.
Summer camping in Vermont

Summer is the best time to go camping in Vermont, and most state-run campgrounds open on Memorial Day weekend. We love camping in Vermont State Parks, which maintains 50+ campgrounds throughout the state.

I recommend reserving your spot ahead of time so you don’t miss out! Here are six of our favorite Vermont campgrounds for families. Many of the Vermont State Park campgrounds close after Labor Day, but some stay open into October for leaf-peeping!

Vermont State Park campgrounds don’t have electric/water hookups, but they do have hot showers, flush toilets, water spigots with potable water, lean-tos, and lovely camping cabins and cottages that you can rent.

There are also seven national forest campgrounds in the two districts of the Green Mountain National Forest. I have only stayed at Grout Pond in Southern Vermont, which has waterfront campsites that you can either hike or paddle to.

Finally, if you are looking for camping with electric/water hookups, check out some of Vermont’s private campgrounds. Vermont Campground Association is a fantastic resource.

Best Time to Visit Vermont for Skiing

Skiing at Stowe Mountain Resort

I’ve already mentioned spring skiing in Vermont, which is great for finding deals on lodging and lift tickets, but if you’re thinking about the best time to find lots of snow, book a trip in February, which is historically the snowiest month.

Jay Peak in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom gets the most snow of all of Vermont’s ski resorts, and Killington Resort opens the earliest stays open the latest — mid-November to April in a regular season, but sometimes staying open well into the summer, depending on the severity of the winter and the amount of snowfall.

Best Time to Visit Vermont for Fishing

Rowan holding a few small trout at Woodford State Park in Vermont.
Rowan’s catch at Woodford State Park in April.

Anglers coming to Vermont to fish the rivers, lakes, and streams for the elusive trout can take advantage of a long season, lasting from mid-April to late October. Lakes and streams are stocked in April, and 36 lakes and 9 river sections are stocked with two-year-old trout for trophy catches.

The best time to visit Vermont with a casting or fly rod depends on what you’re looking for. Trout Bum Guide Service has a nice overview of fishing Vermont’s water in different seasons and months.

Best Time to Chase Waterfalls in Vermont

Bingham Falls Vermont.
Summer at Bingham Falls in Vermont

Planning a Vermont vacation and want to include some fabulous waterfalls in your itinerary?

Vermont is probably more well-known for its beer and ice cream than its waterfalls, but just because they aren’t famous, doesn’t mean they aren’t beautiful.

Waterfalls in Vermont will be nice and full in the spring, starting in mid-April and running through early June.

If you want to take photos of gushing falls, come in May or late spring. If you want to check out some awesome Vermont swimming holes, come in July. And if you want a dose of fall colors with your Vermont waterfalls, come in October!

Best Time to Visit a Vermont Sugar House

Maple sap buckets on maple trees in Vermont.
March means maple in Vermont!

If you want to learn more about how Vermonters turn fresh maple sap into maple syrup, visit in March. For the sap to run, the maple trees need nights that are below-freezing and days that creep into the 40s or 50s.

The grey days and muddy roads of early spring go hand-in-hand with one of Mother Nature’s most wonderful inventions!

Drive any back road in Vermont during early spring, and you will undoubtedly come across metal buckets hanging on roadside maple trees and lines of plastic tubing running from sugarbush to sugar shack, where clear maple sap is magically converted into pure maple syrup.

Many of Vermont’s hundreds of sugar houses open their doors to the public in March. Here are 12 Vermont sugar houses you can visit to learn how maple syrup is made.

Best Time to Visit Vermont: Month-by-Month

I firmly believe that you can have an amazing Vermont vacation any time of year! Here’s my complete breakdown by month for the best month to visit Vermont, depending on what you want to get out of it.

January in Vermont

Snowmobiling in January in Vermont.
Snowmobiling in January

January is Vermont’s coldest month, and with any luck, the ground will be covered with snow, ski resorts will be bustling, and winter lovers will be taking advantage of snowshoeing, winter hiking, ice skating, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing.

Outside of the mountain towns that support ski resorts, January is a quiet month, and perfect for a winter escape with affordable lodging. Here’s an overview of our favorite winter getaways in Vermont.

February in Vermont

Ice fishing shanties on frozen Lake Shaftsbury in Vermont.
Ice fishing in February

Temperatures in February are a little warmer than in January, and it’s generally the snowiest month to visit. February is a great month for planning a ski trip or a romantic Vermont vacation to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Small mountain ponds and the bays in Lake Champlain will (hopefully) be completely iced over, and ice shanties will pop up with anglers all over Vermont. In January and February, you’ll find winter festivals all over the state.

March in Vermont

Kids peeking into maple sap buckets.
Checking the sap buckets in March

March is maple season in Vermont and the best time to visit to learn how maple syrup is made. In the lower elevations, it’s also mud season, which means too much snow mixed with rain and dirt roads and trails that are virtually impassable.

Cars, boots, and clothing become caked with the stuff, making spring cleaning a fruitless endeavor. Mud season is the cheapest time to visit Vermont and a perfect month for a spa getaway.

April in Vermont

Brattleboro's Creamery Covered Bridge in April
Brattleboro’s Creamery Covered Bridge in April

Spring in Vermont is gorgeous, but April is a little early to really feel that warm sunshine. The trees are still bare in April, but you’ll start seeing spring bulbs and wildflowers, which will make your heart swell with anticipation.

The ice melts off the lakes and rivers in late March, which means it’s a perfect time for spring paddling and fishing. Baby farm animals are frolicking in new pastures, and all of Vermont is outside in their shirtsleeves, even when the temperatures dictate otherwise.

May in Vermont

Sunrise at Little River State Park in Vermont.
Sunrise at Little River State Park in May

May is one of my favorite months in Vermont because it’s finally the growing season! Farm stores start opening with spinach, lettuce, asparagus, and seedlings. Farmers’ Markets move outside, and the trails dry up just in time for all the hikers that descend upon them. Waterfalls are at their fullest in May, and migrating birds have returned.

Green Up Vermont happens on the first Saturday in May, and communities all over the state come out to clean up trash from our parks, roads, and riverways. And finally, most Vermont State Parks open for the season on Memorial Day weekend.

June in Vermont

Shelburne Farms in Vermont.
Walking at Shelburne Farms in June

June in Vermont means strawberries, wildflowers, long days, and black flies. It’s one of the best months to visit Vermont for outdoor activities, although swimming will still be cold unless you’re a hearty soul. Outdoor patios at restaurants will be reliably open in June, and campgrounds will start filling up. June is a great time to meander down Church Street in Burlington for a little al fresco dining and shopping.

July in Vermont

Fourth of July festival in Bristol, Vermont.
Fourth of July in Bristol, Vermont

This is high summer, which means Fourth of July fireworks all over the state, summer concert series, maple creemees, farmers’ markets bursting with fresh produce, and swimming holes full of people. July is a great time to visit the Lake Champlain Islands or the mountain town of Stowe for a hiking vacation.

August in Vermont

A view from the meadow at Taconic Mountains Ramble State Park in Hubbardton.
Taconic Mountains Ramble State Park in August

In August, the corn is ready. Not to mention fresh tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. It’s a time for outdoor cookouts, long days at the lake, and county fairs. Vermonters hold tight to August, lest those long summer days slip through our fingers before we’ve eaten enough corn-on-the-cob, or danced at enough concerts in the park.

There’s nothing like an August afternoon spent exploring Vermont’s small towns and villages, discovering hidden swimming holes, and checking out the last of the summer festivals.

Need some end-of-summer inspiration? Celebrate August in Vermont by putting these fabulous events on your calendar.

September in Vermont

A woman paddles a canoe on Spectacle Pond in Brighton State Park, Vermont during the fall.
Brighton State Park in September

September in Vermont is magical — the leaves are just starting to change, the days are warm and the nights are cool.

The foliage season isn’t quite here, so you won’t be competing with throngs of tourists for hotel rooms and restaurant reservations. You will, however, get to experience an abundant supply of farm-fresh veggies, apple picking at local orchards, several old-fashioned harvest festivals and fairs, and the friendly hospitality Vermont is known for.

This is the perfect time of year to go for a scenic drive to explore Vermont’s small towns. Try Wilmington, Manchester, Shelburne, Bristol, or Brattleboro.

October in Vermont

A fall foliage view of a canoe paddling the calm waters of Grout Pond in Vermont.
Grout Pond in October

The Green Mountain State shines in just about every season, but Vermont in October is special. October is when people travel from near and far to get a glimpse of the thrilling carpet of colors that blanket the mountains, forests, and fields.

Of course, there’s more to Vermont in the fall than colorful leaves. Do you want to hike beautiful Vermont trails and drive country roads? Visit tourist attractions? Enjoy fall festivals? The best places to visit in Vermont in the fall depend a lot on what you enjoy doing.

There’s one thing for certain — October is the busiest month to visit Vermont and the most expensive too. Make your reservations early and be prepared to share the state with all the other visitors who come for a glimpse of those fall colors!

November in Vermont

Lake Paran in Vermont
Stick season in Vermont

This is what we call stick season, and it’s such a peaceful time to visit. While the bright colors of October have disappeared by early November, there are still shades of rusty orange and yellows in the November woods. November is deer season in Vermont, so if you do venture into the woods, be sure to wear blaze orange so everyone can see you.

November is another great month for finding lower hotel prices, and you may even catch an early snowstorm!

December in Vermont

Woodstock Inn & Resort in Woodstock Vermont in the Winter.
Woodstock VT in Decmeber

If you’ve never enjoyed a small-town holiday festival in Vermont, sipped a cup of cocoa while watching a festive Christmas parade, or enjoyed a boisterous New Year’s Eve in Burlington, this is your year!

Vermonters love the winter holidays — the snow (of course), but also long nights, twinkling lights, and unique shopping opportunities in local stores.

December in Vermont is magical, especially if you are merrymaking at one of these spectacular holiday events or shopping for that classic Vermont gift.

Every month in Vermont holds something special for visitors, so if you’re looking for the best time to visit Vermont, my advice is to come when you can! You’ll be rewarded with beautiful scenery, friendly people, and lots of amazing things to do!

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A collage featuring the best time to visit Vermont - all the seasons are represented.

Tara Schatz is a freelance writer and the founder and editor-in-chief of Vermont Explored and Back Road Ramblers, an American road trip blog. She is also the co-author of the 3rd edition of AMC’s Best Day Hikes in Vermont, released in May 2023, and the author of 100+ Wonderful Ways to Experience Vermont.