Other states have their selling points, but when it comes to these 11 products and activities, the Green Mountain State is king.
1. Maple Syrup
Vermont is the United States’ undisputed maple syrup champion. The state produces 5.5 percent of the global supply of the sweet stuff, making it the country’s leading producer. It even has its own quality grading system that maintains a higher standard of density than the rest of the country. Maple syrup enthusiasts can swing by the New England Maple Museum in Pittford to check out the biggest jug of syrup in the world.
2. Corn Mazes
You can’t beat the Great Vermont Corn Maze in Danville. Every year, the maze gets more and more elaborate. Stretching over 10 acres, this gigantic attraction can take anywhere from two to five hours to complete and features 10-foot-tall corn. Within the labyrinth, there are four bridges, huge tractor tires to sit on, and a field complete with lawn chairs for when you need a break.
3. Brewing and Cider Making
Vermont’s climate, soil, and water make it perfect for making cider and beer, and the artisans who make these drinks have put down roots in the state — Vermont ranked number one among all states for most breweries per capita in 2012 and is now commonly referred to as “the Napa Valley of cider making.”
4. Dairy Cows
From amazing ice cream to sharp white cheddar cheese, it’s easy to see that Vermont knows dairy. The industry generates over $68 million and 7,500 jobs a year. The average dairy farm has about 130 cows and the state has the highest ratio of cows to humans in the country — there is one cow for every 3.8 Vermonters!
Vermont is constantly being named the healthiest state in the country in polls and studies, and with good reason. The residents are less likely to be obese, exercise more, and have easy access to a doctor, with 99 percent of the population having health insurance. The fresh air and wide-open space probably helps a lot, too.
Although snowboarding can trace its distant origins to Michigan, the sport in its modern form was birthed in Vermont. The state now has an active snowboarding community and offers a large variety of slopes for riders to enjoy.
7. Embracing Quirkiness
If you’re searching for something a little offbeat, Vermont is a great place to look. No other state in the country (or the world) can say they have a spider web farm. The webs are painted and preserved so that they can be used to make pieces of artwork for tourists. If spiders aren’t your thing, Vermont also has a number of quirky museums, including one dedicated to giant puppets and another just for telescopes (located underground).
8. Fresh Produce
For fans of farm-to-table dining, Vermont is a paradise. It leads the nation in farm stands, CSAs, and farmers markets per capita. If you want to know who grew your produce, Vermont is the state for you. The state is particularly proud of its apple orchards, which have been bountiful since colonial times and are noted for their production of the celebrated McIntosh apples.
Vermont takes pride in its reputation as a charming, rustic location. It has historically been very resistant to welcoming large chains into its cities. Vermonters prefer to shop nearby and support local businesses. Vermont is so dedicated to its natural beauty and charm that it even outlawed billboards in 1968.
You may not be able to read billboards in Vermont, but the state leads the nation in libraries per capita. Public libraries don’t receive state funding — which means some of them are small, quaint, and quirky — but rather stay open with local funds or through donations and endowments. In other words, locals chip in to keep their libraries open.
11. Natural Beauty
Thanks to an incredible park system, Vermont boasts hundreds of thousands of acres of preserved land. Regardless of the season, the state is gorgeous. Visit in the summer for hiking and kayaking, the fall for the foliage, or winter for skiing and snowboarding. With over 39 parks that offer camping, there’s no reason not to enjoy the vast outdoors.
Now you see why Woodchuck Cider is so proud to be from Vermont. Grab some Woodchuck and enjoy a real cider, from a real place. Click here to join our community on Facebook.