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8 quaint Vermont towns you need to visit right now

Plenty to do, plenty of charm

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Vermont. Land of maple and manly beards, covered bridges and craft beer. Easily reachable from the Boston area, the Green Mountain State is an alluring weekend getaway, a charming redoubt roaring with pin-drop quiet. Which places to visit, though?

These! Our map of quaint Vermont towns takes into account not only beauty—human-made and natural—but activity. Visitors need something to do when they turn off I-89 or I-90.

And, if Vermont doesn't do it for you, check out these options in New Hampshire and right here in Massachusetts. Summer is fading. Act now.

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This town of about 500 is for the heartier weekender. For one thing, it's just about at Vermont's northern tip and therefore only a hop from Quebec. For another, it's noted for its skiing, biking, snowmobiling, and hiking (and golf) through the local Jay Peak Resort and surrounding peaks and valleys.

2. Burke

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Burke is nestled amid Vermont's so-called Northeast Kingdom (a.k.a. the remote northeastern portion of the already remote state). The town of about 1,700 is popular for all manner of outdoor activities, including mountain biking, skiing, hiking, and snowmobiling.

3. Shelburne

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Get a taste of city living in Vermont with Shelburne. The Burlington suburb tops out at nearly 8,000 residents. Its Lake Champlain location provides plenty of natural beauty and there is plenty of shopping to be had, too. There's also the Shelburne Museum (plus a public beach on said lake). It's a short hop to Burlington, too.

4. Waitsfield

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The town of about 1,700 is mostly a skiing destination, but the rest of the surrounding Mad River Valley can provide plenty of other outdoor activities. Waistfield also has some good restaurants.

5. Woodstock

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The town of about 3,000 is achingly scenic, much of its 19th-century architecture expertly preserved, thanks in part to the Rockefeller family, which took a shine to Woodstock at one time. The Billings Farm and Museum is a must-see.

6. Chester

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The town of barely 3,100 souls is well-known for its Stone Village and Chester Village historic districts. There are also several notable taverns, art galleries, and inns as well as popular fall and winter festivals.

7. Dorset

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Dorset has about 2,000 residents and lots to do. Check out the Marble House Project artists hub and the Dorset Quarry swimming hole. Or just luxuriate in the antiquing and the eating. How can you not like a town that has an annual gingerbread-house contest?

8. Grafton

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Visitors have a sporting chance of meeting every resident of Grafton. There are only about 650, after all. Should strolls amid the quietude grow old, check out the hiking and skiing options nearby. For the cultured set, seek out the Grafton Village Cheese Co.

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1. Jay

Jay, VT 05859

This town of about 500 is for the heartier weekender. For one thing, it's just about at Vermont's northern tip and therefore only a hop from Quebec. For another, it's noted for its skiing, biking, snowmobiling, and hiking (and golf) through the local Jay Peak Resort and surrounding peaks and valleys.

2. Burke

Burke, VT

Burke is nestled amid Vermont's so-called Northeast Kingdom (a.k.a. the remote northeastern portion of the already remote state). The town of about 1,700 is popular for all manner of outdoor activities, including mountain biking, skiing, hiking, and snowmobiling.

3. Shelburne

Shelburne, VT

Get a taste of city living in Vermont with Shelburne. The Burlington suburb tops out at nearly 8,000 residents. Its Lake Champlain location provides plenty of natural beauty and there is plenty of shopping to be had, too. There's also the Shelburne Museum (plus a public beach on said lake). It's a short hop to Burlington, too.

4. Waitsfield

Waitsfield, VT

The town of about 1,700 is mostly a skiing destination, but the rest of the surrounding Mad River Valley can provide plenty of other outdoor activities. Waistfield also has some good restaurants.

5. Woodstock

Woodstock, VT

The town of about 3,000 is achingly scenic, much of its 19th-century architecture expertly preserved, thanks in part to the Rockefeller family, which took a shine to Woodstock at one time. The Billings Farm and Museum is a must-see.

6. Chester

Chester, VT 05143

The town of barely 3,100 souls is well-known for its Stone Village and Chester Village historic districts. There are also several notable taverns, art galleries, and inns as well as popular fall and winter festivals.

7. Dorset

Dorset, VT

Dorset has about 2,000 residents and lots to do. Check out the Marble House Project artists hub and the Dorset Quarry swimming hole. Or just luxuriate in the antiquing and the eating. How can you not like a town that has an annual gingerbread-house contest?

8. Grafton

Grafton, VT

Visitors have a sporting chance of meeting every resident of Grafton. There are only about 650, after all. Should strolls amid the quietude grow old, check out the hiking and skiing options nearby. For the cultured set, seek out the Grafton Village Cheese Co.