Seasons of Montpelier Love
No matter when you visit Montpelier, you're sure to find great activities and events, world-class dining, boutique shopping, and beauty in nature. Join us as we take you through the Seasons of Montpelier Love, and you'll fall in love with Montpelier too, and keep coming back, season after season!
Spring is in the Air
Spring in Montpelier is like turning the knob on a jack-in-the-box. Anticipation builds as the snow begins to melt, animals come out from their winter homes, and temperatures begin to rise. Then suddenly spring explodes and the beautiful colors and smells take us by surprise. A walk through downtown can feel like a visit to a botanical garden. Here are a some of our favorite things to do in spring:
Sugar on Snow
Enjoy an early spring tradition in Vermont: sugar on snow! As the sap begins to flow, the local maple sugarhouses serve up the season's first syrup on top of ice-cold snow. It quickly freezes into maple caramel, and is served along side hot cocoa, donuts, and a pickle to cut through the sweetness!
Catch a Flick
The Green Mountain Film Festival brings dozens of amazing films from around the world to Montpelier each March and screens them at our downtown independent theater!
The Muddyist Race Around
The Muddy Onion Spring Classic Gravel Grinder is a 36.9 mile gravel grinder covering the beautiful dirt roads of central Vermont. A great way to come out of winter hibernation.
Celebrate Natural Diversity
Photo by Paul Richardson
Honor the awakening Spring with song, dance and puppet pageantry at the annual All Species Day event! Everyone is invited to come dressed as their favorite species and join in the festivities!
A Taste of Spring
Photo by Paul Richardson.
The community comes together to celebrate spring's first harvest at the Capitol City Farmers Market. The market takes over State Street downtown. Savor Vermont's finest meats, cheese, and produces. Try one of the locally foraged spring specialties, like fiddlehead ferns or ramps!
A Poem a Day
Montpelier celebrates National Poem Month with dozens of events for the word lovers, and hundreds of poems lining the windows of downtown businesses. A poem a day keeps the doctor away!
Summer in the City
Some would say that summer is the best season in Montpelier. Even though we can make the case for every season, it's hard to argue with gorgeous weather (escape the humidity and visit our magical land where the average high in July is just 83!), long summer evenings, front porch living, and dips in the swimming hole. Here are some of our summer favorites!
Enjoy the State House Lawn
photo by Paul Richardson
Join the crowd on Montpelier's front lawn, the Vermont State House Lawn! A beautiful setting for a picnic or a game of catch, you'll find locals and visitors soaking up the sun on the lawn. Join a pickup game of Frisbee, Tuesdays and Fridays at 6pm, and you might find yourself playing against Montpelier's Mayor, Anne Watson, named one of the Five Coolest Mountain Town Mayors by REI!
The Farmers Market
Photo by Wayne Fawbush
Is there anything quite like biting into the perfect summer tomato and having the juice roll down your chin? The Capitol City Farmers Market, every Saturday from 9am-1pm Downtown, was named Best Vermont Farmers Market in Vermont by Yankee Magazine! Enjoy farm-fresh produce, probably grown just a few miles down the road, delicious prepared foods, and crafts by Vermont artisans!
It is in this capital city that can you go on a hike on the mountain behind the gilded dome of the State House, hop on a bike path or offroad trail in the heart of downtown, and enjoy parks unrivaled in beauty, Come cherish the outdoors with us. Consider a hike in Hubbard Park, or through one of our beautiful historic cemeteries.
Catch a Ball Game
The Vermont Mountaineers are Montpelier's own collegiate summer baseball team. Enjoy a fun and affordable night at historic Montpelier Recreation Field, with all your favorite ballpark foods and a beer tent! Fun for all ages!
Go for a Swim
Photo by John Snell
In addition to the public swimming pool at the Recreation Field on Elm Street and the beach at Wrightsville Reservoir north of town, there are many swimming holes along the Winooski and North Branch rivers (check out Dog River Beach!) Explore the area and ask the locals for their favorites. Even your dog can get in on the action, with the late-summer Dog Days of Summer event to benefit the local Humane Society!
Paddle on the Winooski River from the boat launch at the Gateway Park on Lower State Street across from Green Mount Cemetery, or head up the North Branch from the Mill Pond Park on Elm Street. You can also launch your boats for an easy lake paddle at Wrightsville Reservoir. Follow Route 12 North to the boat launch sign on the right.
Go for a Ride
Photo from Onion River Outdoors
One local's favorite: "Mountain biking up the North Branch trail to Sparrow Farm and beyond, then back downtown for a beer and a burger at Three Penny Taproom!" Sounds like a great day to us! For more extensive road and mountain biking, pick up a biking map at Onion River Outdoors on Langdon Street.
Great Events Downtown
Montpelier is abuzz with summer festivals, concerts, and events! The season kicks off with our uniquely Montpelier July 3rd Celebration, featuring family fun, a parade, fireworks, and more. Our Hunger Mountain Co-op Brown Bag Concert Series brings live music downtown every Thursday in August and September. Learn about these events and many more here.
Fall in Love with Montpelier
It's easy to fall in love with Montpelier when you visit during foliage season. Cool misty mornings give way to crisp days filled with sunshine. Leaves burst with color and no matter where you look, you'll be struck by the natural beauty. Fill your day with hikes in Hubbard Park, taking in the view from St. Augustine's Cemetery, or popping into our independent book stores and finding a book to curl up with. Here are some of our fall favorites:
A Walk in the Park
Photo by John Snell
Hubbard Park is a natural oasis just steps from downtown. Breathe in the crisp fall air - you'll need it when the incredible foliage vistas try to take your breath away. We recommend that you take the State House Path up to the historic Hubbard Park tower.
Don't Be Frightened
photo by John Snell
Fall in Montpelier is full of fun events, including Moonlight Madness, where stores stay open late with amazing specials and street performers entertain the crowds, and downtown Trick-or-Treating, where our independent boutiques hand out free candy!
Curl Up with a Book
photo by Richardson Photography
Montpelier is home to 8,000 people and two amazing independent bookstores. Fall is the perfect time to curl up with a page turner under a blanket on the porch of the Inn at Montpelier or at a picnic table on the State House Lawn.
Fall at the Farmers Market
The Farmers Market continues outdoors on Saturdays from 9am-1pm in October. Stop by for the best local fall produce, including sweet crisp Vermont apples and decorative gourds. The Saturday before Thanksgiving, join the locals at the special Thanksgiving Market at Montpelier High School and stock up for the holiday. The market moves indoors in December, with storage crops, prepared foods, artisan crafts, and more!
Sip a Warm Beverage
Photo by Richardson Photography
Warm your soul and take the edge off that late fall cool with a Pumpkin Spice Latte or a hot tea at a local cafe. And don't forget a delectable freshly-baked pastry from one of our amazing bakeries!
Our local bakeries and cafes ->
Tour the State House
The Vermont State House is the only one with a forest backdrop, and that makes for stunning foliage shots. After taking in the view, head inside for a free guided tour of one of the nation's best preserved State Houses.
Winter Magic in Montpelier
Winter is Montpelier is pure magic. Autumn's leaves give way to a blanket of pristine white snow. Twinkling holiday lights cast a merry glow on downtown streets. And while a hush falls over town, don't think for a second that we've entered hibernation mode. Winter is the favorite season of many locals, with abundant outdoor activity and plenty of cozy restaurants and cafes to tuck away in and watch the snow fall. And with some of the East Coast's best skiing within an easy hour's drive, Montpelier makes the perfect base camp for all your winter adventures. Here are some of our winter favorites:
Take in a Film, or 40
The annual Green Mountain Film Festival brings diverse, international, and important films to Montpelier. Enjoy dozens of films at various venues across town each March.
Skate Under the Golden Dome
The Vermont State House serves as Montpelier's town square and collective front lawn. Each winter, strap on some skates and enjoy the magical setting at The Rink at State Street.
Enjoy a Concert in the State House Chamber
The Farmers Night Concert Series is a longstanding State House tradition. Artists from around the state, in genres ranging from classical music to bluegrass to barbershop, perform in the well of the House Chamber each Wednesday night during the legislative session.
Spice on Snow
Turn up the heat at this four-day celebration of roots and contemporary folk music. The festival features outstanding Cajun and Old Time musicians from Louisiana and Southern Appalachia, together with premier touring folk musicians and regional performers. There are concerts, dances, workshops, family events, jam sessions and free performances city-wide.
Ice on Fire
We love every excuse to get out in the winter, and Montpelier is full of fun events and festivals all season long. Ice on Fire is a community celebration of deep winter. Dance, theater, music, storytelling and poetry performed by local artists and community members, winter games, kids activities and hot food and drink to warm the soul.
Holiday Craft Fairs
Vermont is one of the epicenters of the crafts revival in America. Central Vermont is home to dozens of amazing artisans, and each winter they showcase their goods at one of many craft shows in Montpelier. Check out the Orchard Valley Waldorf School Holiday Market, the Touch of Vermont Holiday Gift Market, the Solidarity Craft Fair, and many more during November and December.
Cozy up at a Cafe
Photo of Capitol Grounds by Richardson Photography.
There's no better way to enjoy winter than cozying up indoors with a hot drink and a freshly-baked pastry. Montpelier offers just the spot (or eight!) to watch the snow fall.
Be One with the Snow!
Photo of Sugarbush Resort by Robbie Shade. CC BY 2.0.
In case you didn't know, we're pretty excited about winter sports here in Vermont. Whether your passion is alpine or cross-country skiing, Montpelier is conveniently located within an hour of some of the east coast's best venues. Make Montpelier your base camp for epic winter adventures.
Indoor Farmers Market
Photo by John Snell.
The Capital City Farmers Market operates year-round, hosting an outdoor market, a Thanksgiving holiday market and an indoor winters market. More than 60 percent of the products you’ll find at market represent local agriculture. Listen to live music, watch a cooking demo, support young vendors on youth day, you’ll always find something new at market.