Montpelier is the only U.S. state capital that doesn’t have a McDonald’s restaurant.
Montpelier was named after Montpellier, France, to recognize the French assistance to the American colonies during the Revolutionary War.[/pullquote]
Situated along the Winooski River, Montpelier has a French name that means “green mountain.” Vermont is covered in scenic greenery, lively culture and a vibrant bustle.
“Vermont’s capital, Montpelier, is perfect for student group visits,” said Karen Ballard, program manager for Vermont Tourism Network of Vermont Chamber of Commerce. “Watch government in action under the golden dome of the Vermont State House. Learn the process of, and the science behind, making Vermont’s tastiest treat: maple syrup at Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks. Take in a show at Lost Nation Theater in the heart of town. Montpelier is a small, walkable town suitable for free time.”
While the capital city may be small, it offers the largest urban historic district in Vermont with exquisite historic buildings. The downtown is busy with a variety of independently-owned book and clothing stories, cafes and delis, and a thriving arts community. And students should take time to enjoy the green mountain state’s many recreational opportunities.
[dropcap]1.[/dropcap] Vermont State House
The state house is one of the best preserved and oldest state capitols in in the United States; it has original interiors and active House and Senate chambers. The building also is home to significant Vermont artwork. The building can be experienced through self-guided tours year-round or through a 30-minute guided tour for walk-in guests from June to October. Guided student tours can be scheduled year-round.
[dropcap]2.[/dropcap] Vermont History Museum
Learn all about the beginnings of Vermont at the history museum. The “Freedom and Unity: One Ideal, Many Stories” exhibit shares more than 400 years of state-inhabitant history. Explore an Abenaki wigwam and examine the impact of the railroad. Take a walk through the National Life Gallery, showcasing 3½ centuries via a 50-foot mural, Salute to Vermont.
[dropcap]3.[/dropcap] The Tower in Hubbard Park
Just north of the Vermont State House is the 194-acre Hubbard Park. The park contains miles of hiking trails, a sledding hill, two sheltered pavilions and sporting fields. Walk to The Tower and climb to the top for panoramic views of Vermont’s capital and beyond. Fruit and nut trees were planted at the base of the tower to attract wildlife for visitor viewing.
[dropcap]4.[/dropcap] Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks
With more than 200 years and eight generations of experience, Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks is sure to teach groups something new. Take a tour to discover how it all began, watch a video and hear live presentations at the theater and sugarhouse. Tasty treats are available for purchase, including the popular sugar-on-snow and maple creemees, as well as other Vermont-specialty foods.
[dropcap]5.[/dropcap] Rock of Ages Granite Quarry
Take a tour of one of the largest granite quarries in the nation. A visit includes a tour of the quarry itself, as well as a self-guided tour of their gigantic granite plant. Students can observe as blocks of granite are moved, cut, polished and engraved. The visitors center is where groups can watch a video about the quarrying manufacturing process. Don’t forget to grab a piece of granite to take home from the granite scrap bin.
Vermont Tourism Network