Tucked away on the east coast of the United States of America, nestled between New Hampshire and New York lies peaceful and picturesque Vermont. Home to countless acres of mountains which attract families and backpackers alike every year to hit the slopes for skiing and snowboarding.
If the snow isn’t what attracts you to Vermont, then surely the hundreds of hiking trails through the maple trees would be a major draw. As one of the leading producers of maple syrup in the States, agriculture is a big employer here in Vermont.
As best places to live in the United States go, Vermont, small may it be, really punches above its weight. Taking into consideration access to public schools, affordable housing and crime statistics, as well as proximity to major commuter routes and population diversity, we have assessed the top cities, towns, and neighbourhoods to live in Vermont.
So, without further ado, no need to beat around the maple tree about it, here are our 15 best places to live in Vermont.
Norwich is out and out the best place to live in Vermont. Locals are passionate about their town and the beauty it holds.
The general grocery store is something of a community institution, if you up sticks and fall in Norwich, make sure you make your introductions here, a sure fire way to get in on the action.
Rent and house prices would be a deciding factor for many young families aspiring to live in this neighbourhood. With median rent knocking on the door of $1200 a month and house prices towering up at $435,700, you are in fact getting good value for money when you take into consideration the rural feel, safety and commuter distances adopted when moving in.
A strong contender for first place, Charlotte falls in a very competitive second best place to live in Vermont. Again, adopting a rural feel, the public schools in this town are nothing shy of fantastic.
With an impressive 90% of the 3,800 residents living in owned homes, this is a clear indicator of population satisfaction. With home ownership being so high it is fair to assume that locals don’t want to be moving on anytime soon. Renting is still a viable option here, although with a median rent of $1,443, many would encourage you to get onto the property ladder as soon as possible.
Homes in Charlotte all come equipped with generous sized gardens, with few properties on the market being in built-up areas. This is a major draw for many people looking to settle in Vermont, who doesn’t want a huge garden for the kids to run around in and invite the family over to enjoy in the summer?
Parents are honestly spoiled for choice when it comes to schooling their little ones in Vermont. South Burlington, sitting at a secure third best place to live in Vermont, has five A-rated schools in the suburb alone. With this comes ample opportunities to socialise, as parents, as kids, and as a complete family.
Sadly, with excessively low crime rates, excellent schools and good housing come a higher than average cost of living and of course, housing costs too. If your lifestyle and income will allow, then it is an idealistic sacrifice to have to make. With average house prices balancing around the $268,500 mark, house prices are significantly more affordable than say, Norwich.
Homeowners vs renters are somewhat more balanced in South Burlington which reflects the frenetic nature of suburbia. That said, South Burlington is far from a city, with a great many parkland areas, perfect for dog walking and taking the kids out for fresh air.
Just missing out on the top three we find Shelburne. Locals highly recommend it as a wonderful place to raise children, citing the welcoming nature of the residents as a key player in their decision to relocate to the neighbourhood.
The average 4-bedroom house is currently on the market for $495,000, with house prices only set to rise over the coming decade, now is the time to snap up a spacious, light and sturdy house in Shelburne.
A spate of burglaries has jilted the crime statistics somewhat. With this now dealt with, it is reasonable to expect that crime rates will continue to fall over the coming years. With a real family feel to the area, this itself plays a significant role in controlling crime. Being neighbourly can be all the difference.
Now we turn to the Vermont state capital of Montpelier. It is not unheard of for the state capital to fall in lower down the ranks, especially as incomes rise and families have more money to invest in property in more rural, arguably desirable areas.
The weather is a big factor when it comes to moving to Montpelier, sadly on the receiving end of the state’s worst weather fronts but this can be taken with a pinch of salt when you think about the quality schools, health facilities, and nightlife too.
One big draw, mentioned by several locals, is that all the amenities in Montpelier are within walking distance. Given its small size there are reasonable public transport facilities available for when that iffy Montpelier weather rears its ugly head!
Lying adjacent to South Burlington, Williston could be branded as a ‘budget Burlington’ but it is a stand-alone neighbourhood with plenty going for it.
Schooling is universal of a high standard in Vermont, in turn putting Williston on the map for good places to raise a family in Vermont.
Outdoor activities are a key player in Williston, and with plenty of health and fitness amenities, there are no excuses not to be in tip-top condition when residing in Williston.
Another major plus point to Williston is its proximity to Burlington Airport. Within a 30-minute drive, you have access to non-stop flights to Atlanta, Chicago, Washington D.C and Detroit. If you wanted to, you could save yourself the five-hour drive, jump on a daily United flight to New York City.
Neat and tidy rural Jericho is a quaint and unchanging neighbourhood. With 89% of proprieties being owned by the inhabitants, if you are looking for stability and rural living, then Jericho would be an ideal choice.
Renting a house in Jericho is a viable option but with house prices on the $290,800 mark, it is easy to see why people have chosen to strike while the iron is hot and jump on the property ladder. With a three-bed, two-bathroom family home fetching just over $210,000, you really can get great value for money.
We sound like a broken record but again, the schools in Jericho are well above average. Although a little less culturally diverse than say Montpelier, this can be explained by the small population of just 5,000 people.
In 2017, Jericho was voted at the best place to buy a house in Vermont. If you’re looking to invest then Jericho is the place for you.
Located near the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain, this town surrounded by nature has a landscape both urban and rural.
Essex is ideally located within an easy reach of Burlington Airport but not so close enough that your peace and quiet is disturbed by air traffic.
Nightlife in Essex is on the up and with 20,000 people to meet, you are bound to find a social circle waiting to embrace someone new like you.
Essex is an up and coming home destination for Millennials, which makes sense, when you think about it, given the proximity to the airport and the median house prices coming in at just $270,00.
With 17,290 people calling Colchester home, this suburban neighbourhood is a little more expensive than Essex in terms of median rent, but counterbalance is proved by home values of around $260,400.
Swinging round one of the countless bays of Lake Champlain, many homes in Colchester offer idealistic lakeside views. A little further out from Burlington Airport than South Burlington, for example, it is still possible to get to the terminal building in well under an hour, even at peak times.
Niquette Bay State Park is a popular spot for outdoorsy locals to head to over the weekends and holidays. Get your hiking boots at the ready!
Tucked away in Addison County lies Cornwall. A classic and tranquil rural village, houses are built to last, spacious and highly desirable. As ever, with desirability comes a cost. Although far from the most expensive place to buy a property in Vermont, you should start saving now for median home values right now are on the $351,200 and set to rise.
Renting property in Cornwall is more reasonable than many other areas of the state. You will have to hunt to find rental properties as 77% of the residents own their homes.
Schools, hospitals, and other amenities are shared fairly between the small and lovely community of 1,071 people.
You really are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing where to live in Vermont. Despite missing out on the top 10, Dummerston has everything going for it.
It goes without saying now that the schools in Vermont are outstanding and this trend is true in Dummerston too.
Perhaps due to the small population of 1,939 people, the diversity ranking is a little lower than one would want, but with home ownership flying high at 86%, there are fewer properties on the market for newcomers to snap up.
Dummerston comes in a strong sixth place as best places to buy a house in Vermont.
Now, don’t go confusing South Burlington with Burlington itself. Although in reality, they are both phenomenal places to buy property and raise a family, it is the availability of housing that sends Burlington shooting down the ranks.
Futile as it is, the weather has a hold over resident’s satisfaction in Burlington and, on a more serious note, job opportunities too. Team this with a higher than state average cost of living and you can start to understand why people tend to lean towards South Burlington than the city itself.
Thinking about job opportunities though, with Burlington Airport on your doorstep, options for commuting are high.
Residents note a supportive and friendly community amongst the top reasons why they love Middlebury. This area of Vermont is another example of how some areas rank high, but that there is little wrong with those who rank below. After all, Middlebury is coming in at number 13 on our 15 best places to live in Vermont.
With a college in the centre of town, there is an eclectic mix of people coming in and out of the town centre, creating a nice hubbub of activity.
There are lots of properties available to rent in Middlebury, namely due to the large student population but this, in turn, drives the median rent down to a very affordable $847; affordable for Vermont that is!
With a decent selection of property on the market, it seems that Essex Junction is an up and coming town and have really put themselves on the map.
There are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you occupied, and with outstanding infrastructure, there is little not to love about Essex Junction.
Arguably the downside is that the population of just 9,700 people gives the place a very small town feel. Then again, there are ample job opportunities, particularly for youngsters in one of the many cafes and restaurants.
The community really comes together on the weekend Farmer’s Markets, sharing local produce and supporting local agriculture.
And to round off our list of 15 best places to live in Vermont is Underhill. In fact, Underhill is the fifth best place to buy a house in the state. You can invest in a spacious 3-bed 3-bathroom family home with ample garden area for just $299,000.
Almost equidistant, certainly in terms of time, from Burlington and Montpelier you get the best of both worlds in Underhill; as far as location goes that is.
Bitterly cold in winter but nice and balmy in the summer months, Underhill can boast low crime rates, good schools, and outdoor activities too.