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Overview

It may be the smallest state capital, but with Montpelier’s size comes an approachable coziness that makes visitors feel immediately at home. The presence of New England Culinary Institute (NECI) raises the dining bar, not only with the school’s own restaurants but by raising local culinary awareness. Its tidy downtown is almost perfectly preserved, and a walking tour brochure available at the Historical Society points out the architectural features of historic Main Street buildings. These include the State House, whose ornate interior is of — what else? — marble, and excellent examples of Queen Anne, Federal, Georgian and Greek ...

It may be the smallest state capital, but with Montpelier’s size comes an approachable coziness that makes visitors feel immediately at home. The presence of New England Culinary Institute (NECI) raises the dining bar, not only with the school’s own restaurants but by raising local culinary awareness. Its tidy downtown is almost perfectly preserved, and a walking tour brochure available at the Historical Society points out the architectural features of historic Main Street buildings. These include the State House, whose ornate interior is of — what else? — marble, and excellent examples of Queen Anne, Federal, Georgian and Greek Revival.

Close to the capital is Barre, Vermont’s center for granite quarries. Visit the enormous Rock of Ages quarry in Graniteville for tours, and Hope Cemetery, where the expert early 20th-century stone carvers created their own elaborate monuments. West of Montpelier, and also along Interstate 89, Waterbury is the home of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Tours of this and Cold Hollow Cider mill are offered year round.

Lura Seavey
About the Expert

Lura Seavey is the author of Fun with the Family in Vermont and New Hampshire and she has contributed to several Thomas Cook guidebooks, including Drive Around Catalonia, Travellers Mallorca, and Travellers Barcelona.

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Lura Seavey for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The best weather is from May through October; for maple sugaring, come in March.