The team at Coldwell Banker Classic Properties is looking forward to helping you find a home in Central Vermont. We know the area well, we live here. We can provide you with some great reasons for moving to the beautiful Green Mountain State. Whether you are looking for a perfect day skiing or riding on the slopes of the Mount Mansfield forest, or a more casual yet in depth history of the common soup cracker, Vermont will provide. We have a lot of fun. We trust you will too when you move to our beloved state. Here are some fun things to do in Montpelier, VT.
Government, History & Museums
Vermont State House: Montpelier is the smallest capital city in the United States. The Vermont State House is over 160 years old and one of the oldest state capitols in the country. The legislative session runs from January to May, where you can observe official activities in the chambers (no reservations necessary). Self guided tours are available all year long and guided tours are offered from late June to October. Most of the tours are free.
Vermont History Museum: You, your friends, and your family can learn a great deal about the history of Vermont with a trip to the Vermont History Museum. Located at 109 State Street, right next to the State House, the museum features a comprehensive interactive exhibit “Freedom & Unity: One Ideal, Many Stories”. The exhibit tells the story of Vermont from 1600 to the present day. The rotating exhibits at the museum are rich and varied currently including an exhibit on the history of soup crackers in Vermont. The humble food staple has been carefully researched and lovingly presented to the delight of bakers, advertisers, sellers, and consumers alike. “Common Cracker-The Exhibit” is on view from August 4, 2022-January 28, 2023. The museum is operated by the Vermont Historical Society, which also operates the Vermont History Center in neighboring Barre, VT.
Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium: The 35+ mile drive from Montpelier to neighboring St. Johnsbury is well worth the trip if you’re looking for a planetarium show. The museum has the state’s only public planetarium, with a variety of shows guided by experienced astronomers. The museum also has a very large collection of taxidermy on the first floor with many full-habitat dioramas created in the 19th century. The second floor has an incredibly unique display of mosaic art on the second floor. The mosaics were created by John Hampson using insects! The beetles, moths, and butterflies were carefully chosen for color and shape and arranged to create some very interesting artwork. Each creation by John Hampson uses 6,500-13,500+ insects. You can also enjoy the color and life of living insects in the museum's Butterfly House. The exhibit constantly changes, as it follows the life cycles of dozens of native butterflies (including Tiger Swallowtails and Mourning Cloaks). It is a seasonal exhibit to enjoy during the summer. The eggs are carefully taken in and cared for, and the remaining butterflies are released into the wild, in the fall.
The Great Outdoors
North Branch Nature Center: The nature center is just 2 miles from downtown Montpelier. It’s a great place to enjoy the outdoors with a walk through the trails, a swim in the Winooski River, or a little cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on the 28-acre preserve in the winter (weather permitting). The center features nature programs, summer camps for children, after-school programs, and a Forest Preschool.
Wrightsville Beach Recreation Area: The Wrightsville Reservoir is at the intersection of Montpelier, Middlesex, and East Montpelier. It’s a great place for boating and fishing. You can also cool off in the water at the designated beach (operated by the town of Middlesex). There is a disc golf course, 5 miles of trails to explore by foot or mountain bike, and a fleet of kayaks, canoes, and paddle-boards are available to rent.
Hubbard Park: This is Montpelier’s largest park and is very popular. There are 7 miles of trails to explore and enjoy hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. The park also includes a soccer field, a ball field, and a popular sledding hill. The park hosts several events throughout the year including the Nighttime Snowshoe Romp, Hubbard Park Easter Egg Hunt, and Parkapalooza (a free summer concert series).
Mount Mansfield State Forest: Your perfect mountain adventure is waiting for you in Mount Mansfield State Forest, and it’s just a short 30+ mile drive away when you find your perfect home in Montpelier or a neighboring town. There are three state campgrounds, the Waterbury Center Day Use Area, two cross-country/nordic ski areas (Mt. Mansfield Touring Center and Bolton Nordic Center at Bolton Valley Resort), and two alpine ski areas to enjoy (Smuggler’s Notch and Stowe Mountain Resort). Bolton Valley Resort is another popular alpine ski area very close to Montpelier and just outside the state forest (the nordic trails peak into the forest). There are miles of challenging hiking opportunities and incredible mountain biking trails throughout the forest. Hunting, fishing, and trapping are permitted throughout the forest. Boating is very popular on the reservoir.
Music & Art
Lost Nation Theater: This community theater in downtown Montpelier has been delighting audiences with performances since 1989. The intimate theater has 150 seats. You will be close to the drama. Upcoming performances include “Both Eyes Open: The Annie Oakley Story” in September 2022 and “Side by Side by Sondheim” musical revue in October.
Farmers Night Concert Series: Our government is cultured. The Vermont State House also hosts a concert and entertainment series on Wednesday nights during the legislative session (including bluegrass, barbershop, dance, and theater) and rotating art exhibits. The musical performances are held in the well of the House Chamber. The exhibits are displayed in the cafeteria (where breakfast and lunch are available Monday-Friday).
Coldwell Banker Classic Properties is Central Vermont’s oldest Coldwell Banker franchise. We look forward to helping you find the perfect home…the good life is here! Contact us today or browse current listings in Montpelier or surrounding towns.