There are plenty of low-cost and enjoyable things to do in Vermont! It offers endless places to explore; including serene forested mountains, ski resorts, museums, bridges, historical monuments, and more. This fabulous state is charming, friendly, and is filled with numerous sites and activities. It is a dream destination for foodies and nature lovers. Here are some fun and unique things to add to your Vermont itinerary.
For a quick look into the budget-friendly things to do in Vermont, glance though the below slides:
- 1 Rock of Ages
- 2 Dog Chapel
- 3 Bellow Falls Petroglyphs
- 4 Floating Bridge of Brookfield
- 5 Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium
- 6 Freedlyville Quarry
- 7 Emily’s Bridge
- 8 Hildene – The Lincoln Family Home
- 9 Church Street Marketplace
- 10 Marsh- Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park
- 11 Killington Ski Area
- 12 VINS Nature Center
- 13 Montshire Museum of Science
- 14 Green Mountain Railroad
- 15 In summary
Rock of Ages
This astoundingly enormous quarry is the largest deep-hole dimension granite quarry in the world. A van drives the visitors through a bumpy road to the actual site. The quarry, which once employed over 100 men, is now managed by just 7 people utilizing some impressive machinery.
Upon reaching the Rock of Ages, you can embark on a self-guided tour of the quarry. You will come across massive blocks of granite being moved, polished, and engraved for gravestones. Most of the granite headstones in America come from this place. Interestingly, the Rock of Ages developed granite bowling lanes in the 1950s. However, the concept never picked up. There is a lane still in the place which was developed as a prototype; it has been restored for the visitors to have some family fun. Visitors can take back free souvenirs of granite before leaving.
This small chapel celebrates the deep bond shared between humans and dogs. Folk artist Huneck died in 1998 battling Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome and miraculously came back to life within five minutes. Upon recovering, he returned home to his wife and his three dogs. Due to his near-death experience, Huneck wanted to build a chapel that would be open to both people of any belief system or faith and their dogs. He built the chapel on Dog Mountain located on his farm in St. Johnsbury.
Huneck styled the chapel as a small village church. As soon as you enter the chapel you can explore the images of dogs on the glass windows and dog carvings on the walls. The interior walls have notes and photographs of dogs and other animals that have passed on. The table offers treats to canine visitors. You will also come across numerous dog sculptures scattered around Dog Mountain.
Bellow Falls Petroglyphs
Bellow Falls is home to clusters of petroglyphs and is located 50 feet to the south of Vilas Bridge that crosses the Connecticut River. Here, you will come across mysterious carvings depicting rounded heads with minimalist features. Several of the heads in the carvings have protuberances that appear to be antennae or horns. Their origin is still unknown and, as per various hypotheses, these appear to be anywhere from 300 to 3,000 years old.
The first written account of these carvings was done by a researcher, David McClure in 1789. He attributed the etchings to the presence of evil spirits and mentioned just three faces in his writings. However, there are over 24 carvings today.
Floating Bridge of Brookfield
This is the only floating bridge you can find east of the Mississippi River. It was built by Luther Adams along with his neighbors in 1820. It sinks occasionally and is not operational due to damage. However, you can walk across it and picnic across the shores of the river. Repairs commenced in 2014, but the official approval for the usage of this bridge is yet to come. If you are looking for cheap things to do in Vermont, then you won’t be disappointed with this one.
Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium
Fairbanks was a businessman who inherited the family trade of producing scales and later became a politician. He was an amateur naturalist and would spend most of his time in the fields. Throughout his life, he collected natural specimens from Vermont and all over the world. This includes unique birds from India and the Philippines, some of which are extinct now. Upon Fairbanks’ death, his collection was donated to the museum.
Fairbanks had a love for taxidermy and gathered animal-group dioramas. There are over 175,000 specimens in the collection in this museum. It also houses Exploratorium elements including a Butterfly House, Wildflower Flower Table, Exploration Station, and Bug Art.
This quarry site sits over the town of Dorset and remains a testimony of the city’s colorful past. Dorset played a crucial role during the mining boom in the late 1700s. The site had high quality, colored marble that sat in the bedrock of mountains around the town. The marble from Dorset quarries has been used in designing the top architectural wonders in Washington and New York.
The invention of Portland cement resulted in a drop in the use of marble and forced many of the quarries to be shut down. What makes Freedlyville quarry unique is its arch-shaped cavern dug on Mount Aeolus slopes. This cave features several passageways as well as a pond of water that freezes during the wintertime, turning into a perfect spot for ice skating during the wintertime. In the summer, you can trek into the cave and explore the Green Mountain forests. This is one of the best cheap things to do in Vermont.
Most of the covered bridges of New England are popular for their picturesque qualities. However, Emily’s Bridge has an infamous reputation. It was a single land bridge built in 1844 and is 50-foot long. The frame of the bridge is made out of dark wood and has grown weathered over time. According to legend, a girl with a broken heart committed suicide over this bridge. Several tales have been heard from travelers about bloody scratches along the backs of pedestrians crossing the bridge and the sound of loosely dragging feet on the roofs of cars. This spooky bridge is among the list of popular cheap things to do in Vermont!
Hildene – The Lincoln Family Home
This stunning Georgian Revival mansion was once the family home of President Lincoln’s descendants. This estate was designed by Boston architectural firm Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge. The house was occupied by Lincoln’s descendants until 1975 and was later opened up to visitors. You can take a self-guided tour of the exceptionally maintained 400-acres of the estate, including 13 historic buildings and a stately mansion. The highlights of this tour are the formal garden, an observatory, a 1903 Pullman car, a historic carriage barn, and a solar-powered goat cheese and dairy facility. There are also several walking trails all around that you don’t want to miss.
Church Street Marketplace
This marketplace consists of four blocks of exceptional shopping and dining space in Burlington. This renowned outdoor mall has over one hundred places for visitors to shop and dine. It hosts festivals all year round and is always abuzz with street entertainers and local music. You can meander around this public place and enjoy the historic architecture and unique shops. This mall boasts of seasonal events all year and provides vibrant experiences of everything from artist markets to miniature horse rides. This is one of the most entertaining cheap things to do in Vermont.
Marsh- Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park
This national historical park is an amazing blend of three distinct places in Woodstock and Vermont. It covers over 550 acres of stunning forest and a mansion that housed families focused on conservation of the surrounding forests. You can participate in seasonal activities while here, varying from ranger-guided tours to special programs. You can ski, hike, walk, and snowshoe through this remarkable landscape while enjoying your time in Vermont on a budget.
Killington Ski Area
This area comprises skiable terrain of over 1,500 acres with 73 miles of a variety of easy and difficult trails. There are diverse terrain options for snowmobilers, quad riders, snowboarders, and freeskiers. You can also take part in a variety of mountain adventures including sleigh rides, a scenic gondola ride, snowshoe tours, snowmobiling, and a tubing park. During the summers, you can experience fun with attractions such as gliding, mountain coasting, and more. These activities provide mesmerizing views of the surroundings, proving itself as undoubtedly one of the best cheap things to do in Vermont.
VINS Nature Center
The Vermont Institute of Natural Science Center is a 47-acre area that supports environmental education, avian rehabilitation, and research in Quechee, Vermont. It has over fifteen enclosures, four spaces for exhibits, and two classrooms. You can sign up for animal encounter classes and explore onsite exhibits. Apart from enjoying the scenic beauty, you will also get opportunities to watch animals feed and receive rehabilitation at the center.
Montshire Museum of Science
This museum is situated on 100 acres of land near the Connecticut River in Norwich. The property displays over 140 exhibits linked to natural and physical sciences, ecology, and technology. The ambiance of the museum amplifies the overall experience. A treetop viewing platform and a half a mile trail running along the lagoon make the entire experience unique and memorable. You will truly enjoy the interactive experiences and learning about the native plants, astronomy, and the environment.
Green Mountain Railroad
If you find scenic train rides particularly enjoyable, then you shouldn’t miss out on this one while exploring Vermont. Although sometimes known forr unpredictable schedules, using Green Mountain Railroad services is an experience you won’t soon forget. It is popular for winter holiday and fall foliage themed rides. During other times, the schedule is limited to weekends and some holidays. The ride through the countryside lasts anywhere from 35 minutes to an hour. Dinner train rides are also offered during the fall. For other rides, you are permitted to bring your own snacks and food. You can also purchase snacks and drinks on board. You shouldn’t miss this while looking for cheap things to do in Vermont.
Vermont is a beautiful place with a lot of things to explore. If you own a property here, you can monetize it by turning it into a vacation rental. You can list the property on Rentaltrader.com. This will require a simple signup process. Also, if you are a traveler, you can choose between numerous properties listed on the Rental Trader to book the best one of your choice anytime. For more information about Rental Trader, see our Contact page to fill out the web form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.