Vermont’s Beginnings

Vermont is Rich With History

Vermont’s story began in 1791, when it joined the original 13 colonies to become the 14th state. Its name comes from “Les Monts Verts,” French for Green Mountains, in homage to the 67 mountains and states that give our landscape its topography and striking views. The Green Mountain State is bordered by Canada, New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. It is 157.4 miles in length, 90.3 miles wide at the Canadian border*, and 41.6 miles along the Massachusetts border. The Connecticut River forms the eastern boundary, while the western boundary with New York runs down the middle of Lake Champlain for more than half of its length. 

Vermont was the first state whose Constitution banned slavery, and many of its homes were stops on the Underground Railroad, a path slaves used to get to freedom in the North. The African American Heritage Trail explores Vermont’s civil rights roots and Black history. Vermont was also the first state to pass marriage equality laws for same-sex couples through the Legislature. Vermont is the top producer of maple syrup in the country, and is home to about 1,000 dairy farms. Our state forests boast the highest concentration of sugar maples in the U.S., which gives our fall foliage plenty of pop.  About 630,000 people call Vermont home and enjoy more than 1,000 hiking trails, more than 50 state parks, 19 downhill ski areas and more than 100 historic covered bridges. Vermont’s historic sites and museums take visitors through the history of life in Vermont, from early settlement to the state’s role in the Revolutionary War to the many notable figures who’ve called it home.


First-Hand History

Vermont’s historic sites open to the public seasonally and feature museums, historic homes, guided tours and the chance to see Vermont’s beginnings up close.

A man gazing at a framed American Flag inside a museum.

History through Museums

Vermont’s museums bring history to life. Interactive exhibits, family-friendly displays and experiences will leave you wanting more.

Historic downtowns - downtown burlington, Vermont

Vermont’s Historic Downtowns

Vermont is home to 23 historic downtowns, rich with culture, beautiful architecture and the chance to immerse yourself in the experience of Vermont’s communities and villages.

Calvin Coolidge Marker

Explore Vermont’s State Historic Sites

Vermont’s 251 Club members visit a lot of the state-owned historic sites in their travels. Here, members highlight a few favorites.

African-American Heritage Trail


Hit the road to explore Vermont's culture and history - take in sculpture parks, outdoor art and a deeper look at Vermont's rich Black history along the African-American Heritage Trail.

outdoor music fest

Statewide Events Calendar

Concerts, festivals, theatre, and many more large and small events are happening all over the state. See upcoming events and start planning.