There are 14 counties in the state of Vermont, each offering wonderful agriculture and culinary tourism experiences. To make Vermont easy to explore, we’ve divided the state into 5 regions – Northwest, Northeast, Central West, Central East, and Southern. Each area of the state has organizations active in bringing agriculture and culinary tourism to life. Whether you are looking for a fine dining experience with the freshest, most local ingredients or ready to get working on the farm, you will find what you are looking for in Vermont.
From the islands and lakeside communities of Grand Isle, home to an ice cream maker using local dairy, to the Maple Festival in St. Albans, nestled in the valley between our Green Mountains and Lake Champlain; from the small town feel of Morrisville where you can get a meal emphasizing locally grown and organic ingredients to the big skiing in Stowe; from the hands-on farm experience in Shelburne and the Intervale Center, where they are working to maintain Vermont’s working landscape, to the dining experiences in Burlington, Northwestern Vermont is a region to explore and experience.
Often referred to as the Northeast Kingdom, this area of Vermont is special for its forests and pastures, quaint villages, and lasting farmsteads. The Kingdom offers a town steeped in agriculture with a visit to Hardwick and a town that is bringing agriculture downtown with a farmers’ market in the heart of St. Johnsbury. The Kindgom is home to many sustainable farms producing vegetables, maple syrup, yogurt, cheese, ice cider, and meat; ingredients that might just show up on many area restaurant menus. Explore the Kingdom with the Northeast Travel and Tourism Association.
The Addison County Relocalization Network (ACORN) is an organization active in Addison County that helps the communities in the County provide sustainable sources of food, water, energy, employment and other essential resources, and to promote conservation and a healthy environment. The work ACORN does exemplifies the ethic of conservation and the value of agriculture present in both Addison and Rutland Counties. The Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL) in Rutland works to support the growth of a thriving agricultural system that connects farm, local communities, and consumers. In both Rutland and Addison counties, you will find beautiful farms, lively farmers’ markets, natural food co-ops, and restaurants serving local food. If you want to taste a microbrew, something Vermont is known for, Middlebury is one place to go. There is a lot to discover in Addison and Rutland Counties.
For top quality dairy, there are wonderful farmers and food producers in Randolph and Strafford making cheese and ice cream from the finest milk that Vermont is known for. In Montpelier, you’ll find a natural food co-op and a thriving farmers’ market, in the summer and winter. Organic, hearth-baked breads are being created in Middlesex using high quality ingredients. In Waterbury, you’ll find a restaurant serving seasonal American food celebrating the farms of Vermont and the northeast. Woodstock, a beautiful quaint Vermont village, has opportunities for fantastic dining and strolling around town. There are active working farms in this region of Vermont that welcome visitors to stay on the farm and find out what farm life is like. For a taste of handcrafted ales, visit the small town of Bridgewater Corners. Keeping agriculture in the forefront of the communities in the Upper Connecticut River Valley of Vermont and Hew Hampshire, Valley Food & Farm, a program of Vital Communities, carries out its mission to foster the relationships that make agriculture a vital part of daily community life in concrete and practical ways. There is no shortage of things to experience in this region.
Southern Vermont has a lot to offer. From the shopping and restaurants in Manchester, to the B&B’s in Bennington, from the many farms, organic and conventional, in the Brattleboro area, as well food co-ops, farmers’ markets, and Octoberfest, Southern Vermont is thriving. Post Oil Solutions is a small, community-based non-profit organization dedicated to building sustainable communities including building a community-based food system. Another great opportunity is the Strolling of the Heifers. Strolling of the Heifers has worked for ten years with the mission of "supporting family farms by connecting people with healthy local food." The Strolling of the Heifers parade and festival, and Slow Living Summit are not to be missed!