When it comes to that quaint New England charm, two states, in particular, often come to mind: Vermont and New Hampshire. Both of these states offer stunning mountain views, small towns to explore, and plenty of local history. However, they're also quite different. In terms of more rural towns that feel quite like a piece of countryside heaven, Vermont is likely to appease. On the other hand, those who wish for steeper mountains and more cities might find that their heart takes them to New Hampshire.
They both offer something for the adventurous traveler and each one has its pros and cons, as well, when it comes to a vacation. If you're looking for the right state to start off your New England adventures, here are some comparisons that might make the decision a little easier.
Scenery And Outdoor Recreation
In terms of mountains, you'll certainly find both in either state. However, when it comes to the most mountains and lush greenery, the better bet is Vermont. It's not so much the fact that Vermont has more of it as much as it's the fact that many of the state's lands still remain undeveloped. Further to the north, Vermont is about as rural as New England gets, with incredible scenery featuring anything from dramatic mountain backdrops to waterfalls if you're game for a hike.
Speaking of which, this is something that both states offer in all of their state parks. Kayaking, canoeing, and swimming at the lakes are also popular activities, so, in terms of outdoor recreation, it's a tie. Vermont's tallest mountain summit is just over 4,300 feet, but there are plenty of easy options that still offer panoramic views. New Hampshire's tallest mountain is Mount Washington, which towers over 5,000 feet and isn't for the inexperienced. Both provide hiking trails throughout the states that encompass a wide array of difficulty levels, though.
Where To Find Food In Vermont Vs. New Hampshire's Cornucopia
New Hampshire's food scene is very much shaped by the fact that it is more populated and is home to more cities and large towns than its neighbor to the west. That's not to say that the food isn't better but it is to say that there's more of it, which also brings with it more variety. So, if the food in a destination is something that plays a major role in shaping a trip, then New Hampshire might be worth looking into over Vermont.
However, Vermont does have two secret weapons, and, sometimes, they're used together: creemees and real maple syrup. While these two won't likely convince a person to visit the Green Mountain State, they are worthy competitors when you consider the sugar house tours and summers spent lakeside with a big scoop of soft serve. Burlington, Vermont's biggest and most populated city, is also home to a slew of unique eateries and restaurants. If it's Vermont that you're leaning toward, then this Chittenden County area is where you should be headed. A close second is Stowe, while is also home to the official Ben & Jerry's Factory and is always worth a visit.
Lodging Options And Tourist Attractions
Both states have plenty to offer in terms of lodging. The best way to determine which one is better is to first pick out one destination in each, and then see what's in the immediate area. When it comes to larger hotel chains, especially resorts, New Hampshire is bound to have more, and also might have better deals. Vermont's hotels are usually located within its larger towns and cities, and its resorts are centered only around its ski areas. When it comes to quaint inns and B&Bs, it's really a toss-up - both states are famed for their cozy accommodations, although Vermont has the added benefit of the remote countrysides or small towns that surround most of them.
One of New Hampshire's biggest attractions is the White Mountains, with Mount Washington and its auto toll road or the cog railway being the center of it. The state is also home to places such as Franconia Notch State Park, which is also home to The Flume Gorge, another popular geological feature. Hampton Beach is also something the state offers that Vermont does not have (no shoreline), along with several unique villages and adventure parks. In contrast, Vermont offers rural exploration in the form of hiking and better ski slopes than any in New England. Historical stops and museums also make up much of Vermont's landscape, along with some of the best breweries in the region.