Vermont is a long, thin state, rolling and rural throughout, humped along its spine by the Green Mountains. Enter from any direction and you notice the absence of billboards and the beauty of things both natural and man-made: the tilted woods and fields spotted with lakes and white, clapboard villages.
Visitors come to Vermont year-round to stay at country inns. In summer they browse through the antique and craft shops, and they attend country fairs, concerts, and theater. In winter they ski downhill and cross-country, and in spring they sample new maple syrup. Fall attracts visitors in droves to see the mountains coated in color.
Southern Vermont, because it is the most accessible part of the state tends to get the most visitors. There is lodging near Mount Snow and near the other long-established ski resorts: Stratton, Big Bromley, and Magic mountains. Inns are particularly plentiful throughout the southern hills, and motels cluster around Manchester (an old summer resort which now wears its winter hat well) and around the two delightful shopping towns of Bennington and Brattleboro.
Central Vermont is an area of hill towns, divided by wooded peaks. It is bounded on the south by busy US 4, which runs through the exquisite old town of Woodstock and climbs westward by Killington, a prominent ski resort boasting one of the world's longest gondola rides. Stowe is a long-time summer resort at the base of Mount Mansfield. This peak now forms the centerpiece of the ski capital of the East. Stowe is in northern Vermont, where mountains, old hill towns, and mill towns extend to the Canadian border.
There is also the Champlain Valley, rolling west from the Green Mountains to the immense lake which forms Vermont's western border. It extends from Grand Isle on the north down through Burlington, Vermont's only big city and a college town. It also takes in Shelburne, site of the outstanding Shelburne Museum, and Middlebury, home of the Vermont State Craft Center at Frog Hollow, the state's prime crafts outlet.