Vermont is a four-season destination. Fall is famous for colorful foliage from mid-September through mid-October, and winter brings ski season from late December through March. Spring weather can be unpredictable with the potential for late season snowstorms, a lot of rain, or even sunny skies. Summer has warm weather and is a popular time to visit, especially for families.
- high season: late June to mid-October, late December to March
- low season: late October to November, April
- shoulder season: May to mid-June, early December to mid-December
Sporadic downpours happen throughout the year, but they occur more frequently during the summer months when travel is at its peak. However, clear days with temperatures reaching into the 70s are also common in summer. The fall offers cooler temperatures and colorful scenery. Winter snow attracts skiers.
Foliage season (mid-September through mid-October) attracts the highest number of visitors. However, as there isn't a specific spot where people gather, Vermont feels less crowded than it actually is in autumn. During holiday weekends in the winter, ski resorts get busy. Local events may cause automobile traffic and crowds in specific areas.
Many hotels, restaurants, and shops stay open year-round, but it is wise to confirm since some smaller properties may close in November or from late April through early May.
Two of the best-kept secrets in Vermont are May and the week after Columbus Day. May is an excellent time to visit because the weather is starting to warm up, and spring blooms are out all over the state, but prices are reduced. Columbus Day weekend typically represents the peak of leaf-peeping season, but visitation dwindles shortly after this. The following week still offers great foliage viewing (dependent on weather) at lower elevations like the Champlain Valley and Connecticut River Valley, while lower prices are offered for lodging and dining.
When to Save
With a lull in visitation, off seasons can offer the cheapest prices of the year. Hotels and airlines lower their prices and many offer package deals. During high season, weekends are crowded and more expensive. Plan a visit during midweek for reduced rates on hotel rooms and cheaper fares on flights, especially for trips during foliage season or ski season.
When to Book
Prices tend to be set seasonally, so you won't get a huge cost advantage by booking way in advance or waiting until the last minute. However, if you're looking to stay at a specific place in a specific town on a specific date, book as far ahead as possible to ensure availability. It's especially a good idea to book in advance for fall foliage season—many people book rooms a year in advance. Also book in advance for stays during the summer, when small properties can be completely booked due to weddings, and the holidays. At other times of the year, rooms tend to be readily available.
Information provided by the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing.