15 Best Places To Live in Vermont in 2024

Last Updated on February 17, 2024 by Nikki Jain

Want to wake up breathing the clean mountain air? Want to take a scenic drive through beautiful mountains, forests, and farmland? Feel like doing a dash of hiking or skiing? Want to lull away the hours at fairs and farmers' markets? Then Vermont may be perfect for you, and when it comes to the best places to live in Vermont, you'll be spoiled for choice.

On this page, we will introduce you to the best cities to live in Vermont. We have 15 locations, and we are positive we have something for everybody considering living in one of the most relaxed states in the US.

Best Places To Live in Vermont

Table of Contents [Show]

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1: Norwich

Norwich
Dreamstime/Steve Callahan

We’re starting off with a fantastic place here. With a population of just over 3,000, Norwich is regarded as one of the best places to live in Vermont if you want the small-town America feel and desire a much more laidback lifestyle.

The average home price here is a little over $450,000. This makes it considerably more expensive to live here than the US average, but bear in mind that if you live in Norwich, you will have access to a vast amount of land with your home. In fact, this is one of the more rural places to live in the state.

You won't find much to do in Norwich owing to its size. But some people love that. The only highlight in the center of town is the traditional general store, although you also have an inn, a restaurant, and a pub. You can also enjoy the small but rather unique Montshire Museum of Science.

Things To Do in Norwich

2: Shelburne

Shelburne
Dreamstime/Jiawangkun

Shelburne, with a little over 7,000 population, often tops lists as one of the best towns to live in Vermont. Being just a stone's throw away from Burlington, Shelburne is home to many people who work in the city but want to go home to a much more relaxed area. Shelburne’s median house price is $417,900 and offers a dense suburban lifestyle.

There are some employment opportunities here, with many small offices located in the area. The place is also home to a lot of manufacturers and service-based companies, but the bulk of the people who reside in Shelburne will probably be working in Burlington instead, which offers a decent job market.

As Shelburne sits right on Lake Champlin, residents of Shelburne can regularly enjoy the lake, boating, and various other watersports, particularly during the warmer months of the year. If you live in Shelburne, you can also head to the Shelburne Museum and Vermont Teddy Bear Company whenever you want.

Things to Do in Shelburne

3: Montpelier

Montpelier
Dreamstime/Sean Pavone

Montpelier may be the state capital of Vermont, but it still has a small population, like many of the cities in Vermont. Montpelier is regarded as one of the best cities to live in Vermont for retirees, although the low crime rate, good school system, and employment opportunities will also ensure that Montpelier is great for families too.

Considering the beauty of the area, the median home value in Montpelier is on the lower side of things, at least for Vermont. Homes here go for a median price of $276,100. Rents are below the US national average at $1,106.

Beauty is around every corner in Montpelier, with the stunning North Branch River running through the city. You have a tree-lined road, gorgeous historic buildings, and more. It is truly a feast for your eyes, and we doubt anybody will ever get bored of the sights if they lived here.

There are multiple parks, with Hubbard Park being the main one. You also have the Vermont State House, Vermont History Museum, various theaters and restaurants, and more to enjoy. It may be a small city, but you will never be short of things to do.

Things to Do in Montpelier

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Vermont

4: Jericho

Jericho
Dreamstime/Steveheap

With a population of a little over 5,000, Jericho is one of the less-known places in Vermont, which is a great shame because when it comes to great places to live in Vermont, Jericho is one of our favorites.

One of the best things about Jericho is that a lot is rarely going on. You may get a small community event every so often, but Jericho is a place that is more about relaxation in a lightly populated suburban area. If you love being out in nature, and Vermont is well known for its nature, then Jericho may be for you.

A median home value of $357,800 makes this one of Vermont's better-priced urban areas. However, employment opportunities in the area are limited. If you want to be employed (and we are sure that most of you do), you will need to head to one of the nearby towns and cities instead.

Things to do in Jericho

  • Old Red Mill
  • Jericho Café and Tavern
  • Snowflake Chocolates
  • Mills Riverside Park
  • Saxon Hill

5: Essex Junction

Essex Junction
Dreamstime/Jon Bilous

With a population bordering on 10,000, Essex Junction is the largest place on this list so far. Although, let's be honest, in comparison to many other places in the US, 10,000 is a minuscule population. However, most places in Vermont are like this. It is all about rurality.

The median home value in Essex Junction is $312,500. This gets you a dense suburban area, and you’ll be in one of the safest places to live in Vermont.

Employment in Essex Junction is mostly in the IBM factory, with around 3,000 employees. Although, some people in Essex Junction commute to nearby towns and cities. Essex Junction does have a relatively strong retiree population, so not everybody is employed here.

There isn't a huge number of things to do in Essex Junction. It is a small place, after all. The biggest highlight is the Champlain Valley Exposition, a large event area with stadium seating.

Things To Do in Essex Junction

  • Essex Junction Ice Skating
  • Essex Cinemas
  • Hot Air Balloon Rides
  • Champlain Valley Exposition
  • Lots of rural walks

6: Burlington

Burlington
Dreamstime/Sean Pavone

With a population of 44,000, Burlington is the largest city on this list. It is also the most populated city in Vermont. While it does have fewer employment opportunities than other major cities in the US, it is one of the best places for young adults to live in Vermont. In fact, it is one of the best places to live in Vermont for anybody owing to the low crime, excellent schools, and plenty of things to do.

Burlington has a median home value of $338,100. However, this is one of the only places in Vermont where more people rent properties than they own. This is, most likely, down to the fact that many people live in Burlington during the start of their careers, and it can often be rather tricky to afford an actual house to live in at that point.

Sitting on Lake Champlain, there are plenty of activities throughout the year. One of the highlights is the charity Dragon Boat races, which often attract thousands of people. If you love drag, there is a Drag ball almost yearly. On top of this, you can enjoy a booming music and arts season. You can also enjoy a few museums, Battery Park (for great walks), and theater.

Things To Do in Burlington

  • Countless cultural festivals throughout the year.
  • Walk through Burlington Waterfront Park
  • Catch a show at the Flynn Center
  • See the World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Burlington

7: Middlebury

Middlebury
Dreamstime/Jim Lawrence

Honestly, Middlebury must be a tremendous place to live. Every time we see a photograph of the stunning Otter Creek waterfall in the middle of Middlebury, we just fall in love with the place. Anybody that lives here is exceedingly lucky, and it could be you.

Middlebury has a population of over 9,000. It has a median home value of $301,100. This is affordable, considering Middlebury is regarded as one of the top 3 places to live in Vermont.

Middlebury offers a few attractions to enjoy. This includes the Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History, Otter Creek Brewing, and countless walks through town and the various parks. While we can’t say that the place is brimming with activity, it is an incredibly relaxing place to live.

Things to Do in Middlebury:

  • Emma Willard Memorial
  • Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History
  • Take a walk through the town
  • Woodchuck Hard Cider Factory
  • Otter Creek Bowling

8: Bennington

Bennington
Dreamstime/Steve Callahan

With a median home value of $178,600, Bennington is one of the cheapest places to live in Vermont. Because of this, the sparse suburban area is home to several young professionals and retirees looking to save a bit of money living in one of the more expensive states.

Part of the reason why Bennington has such a low median house price is that the main employment opportunities are not in the highest-paying industry in the world, with retail, tourism, fishing, agriculture, and forestry being the biggest employers. Although, there are plenty of jobs to go around.

One of the best parts of living in Bennington is the historic downtown, which offers countless restaurants, bars, and cool stores. Downtown Bennington attracts many tourists, but you'll also find the locals hanging out. In fact, if you live in Bennington, you'll spend a lot of time in the downtown area exploring life in the small city.

Things To Do in Bennington

  • Bennington Museum
  • Apple Barn Country Bake Shop
  • Bennington Battle Monument
  • Molly Stark Trail
  • Silk Road Covered Bridge

Also Read: Charming Small Towns in Vermont

9: Rutland

Rutland
Dreamstime/Jon Bilous

Rutland is another one of the more affordable places to live in Vermont, with a median home price of $153,700. The median rent is $809, both far below the US national average. To be honest, despite the low price, Rutland isn't a bad place to live in the slightest. Sure, it doesn't quite have the beauty that some other places in Vermont have, but if you're looking to live in this beautiful state on a budget, it can't be beaten.

Rutland is mostly going to have employment in retail, although the Rutland Regional Medical Center is the second largest healthcare facility in Vermont, and this provides a sizeable amount of jobs for the area.

Rutland has a full calendar of events throughout the year, with highlights being the various farmers' markets, the Vermont State Fair, Rutland Winter Fest, and Art in the Park. Since the 1960s, the Halloween Parade has also attracted people from far and wide.

Things to do in Rutland:

  • Chaffee Art Center
  • Green Mountain Rock Climbing Center
  • Wonderfeet Kids Museum
  • Pine Hill Park
  • Green Mountain National Forest

10: Williston

Williston
Dreamstime/Harris Shiffman

Only recently did the Burlington suburb of Williston really start to develop. While Williston has had a population for many centuries, it was mainly used as rural farmland, with barely a home in sight. However, the growing population of Burlington needed somewhere to go, and Williston was born.

The population of Williston is a little under 10,000, but it is growing rapidly. This means we wouldn't be surprised if it hit 15,000 to 20,000 over the next decade or so. The growing demand for housing in the area suggests that the current median home value of $366,300 is great, as the price will likely increase.

If you want things to do in Williston, then you may be sorely disappointed. The area has been purely developed for retail and housing. If you want something exciting, you'll need to head into Burlington.

Things to do in Williston

  • Catamount Outdoor Family Center
  • Various big box stores
  • Visit Burlington
  • Windswept Farm

11: Colchester

Colchester
Dreamstime/Erin Elliott

With a population of 17,500, Colchester is the largest town in Vermont. In fact, the town is so large that there is some debate about whether it should receive city status.

We love the position of Colchester. It is close to the Green Mountains (a fantastic walking spot), sits on the shore of Lake Champlain, and isn't too far from Burlington. Meanwhile, the median property prices may be a little too high for some people, coming in at $289,000. It isn't too bad considering how wonderful this town is.

Employment for Colchester is mostly in the tourism industry. However, a few service-based industries, retail outlets, and some manufacturers are in the area. Those looking for professional jobs will likely need to commute to one of the larger towns or cities.

Living in Colchester will put various pieces of nature on your doorstep. We already mentioned the lake and the mountains, but you can enjoy the Niquette Bay State Park.

Things to Do in Colchester:

12: Dummerston

Dummerston
Dreamstime/Arenacreative

Vermont has a lot of covered bridges. They're everywhere. Lots and lots of people tour the state purely for the covered bridges. Dummerston attracts many of these tourists, mainly because it has the longest covered bridge in the state. It is cool and everything, but you will probably need more time to convince yourself to live there. But we promise you that Dummerston is a tremendous place to live, particularly if you love the rural, small community vibe.

With a little over 2,000 people living in Dummerston, the place isn’t exactly a hotbed of activity, and many people love this. The median home value is $289,000, which isn’t too bad for a rural community like this.

Because this is a rural location, there isn’t a huge amount to do. However, if you are a fan of hikes and nature, then Dummerston is perfect. You’re right at the base of the Black Mountain.

Things to Do in Dummerston:

  • Visit the Black Mountain
  • Visit the longest covered bridge in Vermont
  • Visit Naulakha, the home of Rudyard Kipling

13: Brattleboro

Brattleboro
Dreamstime/Jon Bilous

Last but certainly not least, we have Brattleboro. This dense suburban area sits about 10 miles away from the Massachusetts state line. It is a booming tourism economy because it is one of the first places encountered by people driving in from Massachusetts. This means a lot of Brattleboro is focused on tourism and amenities for tourists, although it is still a tremendous place to live.

Brattleboro has a median home price of $206,000. The median rent of $917 is below the national average, although bear in mind that a good proportion of the people who rent are students, and since they live in smaller rentals, it pushes the average down.

Brattleboro is a picturesque town with a unique topography, resulting in buildings bunched together. It almost has a European vibe to it. If you live here, you'll be a stone's throw away from the Green Mountains and the Connecticut River. If you prefer more urban adventures, there is plenty of art, festivals, and farmers' markets to enjoy.

Things To Do in Brattleboro

  • Walk the Green Mountains
  • Visit the Connecticut River
  • Fort Dummer State Park
  • Brattleboro Museum and Art Center

14: South Burlington

South Burlington
Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream | Flickr/Shannon McGee

Love Ben & Jerries Ice Cream? Well, you can thank South Burlington for that. The international brand of ice cream was born in this town of just 20,000 residents. Although, we wonder if that is why South Burlington has been classed as the number 1 place to live in Vermont.

Many people regard South Burlington as one of the best places for families to live in Vermont. This is thanks to the fantastic educational establishments (both public and private schools), low crime rate, and decent infrastructure, including several parks and recreational activities.

Considering how fabulous South Burlington is to live in, the average property price is relatively low. It is not as low as some other places in the US, but the median home price of $327,000 does make this one of the more affordable of the 'good' places to live in Vermont, especially since South Burlington is a place that makes it so easy to build a life.

Employment opportunities in South Burlington are decent, with most people employed by the local government in education and medicine. GE Healthcare and Ben & Jerries remain major employers in the area. There are several recreational activities to enjoy in South Burlington, including Lake Champlain, Overlook Park, and Jaycee Park.

Things to Do in South Burlington

  • Visit Lake Champlain
  • Overlook Park
  • Church Street Marketplace
  • Red Rocks Park

15: Cornwall

Cornwall

If you’re looking for good places to live in Vermont with a low population, Cornwall in Vermont may be right. With a population of a little over 1,000 people, you can't get much more rural than Cornwall, and, once again, the median home value is quite low for a rural area like this. Expect to pay around $374,100 for a home.

The one issue with Cornwall is that it is a little bit too rural. There are not that many businesses that operate here, so most people are going to need to work in the surrounding towns and cities. However, if you do opt to live in Cornwall (and you really should consider it), you'll live in one of the safest places in Vermont. In fact, the place is so safe that crime barely registers on the stats here.

There are limited things to do around Cornwall, owing to the rural location. Expect most of what you do to be nature walks, farm walks, and more. Although, the Lemon Fair Sculpture Park is a particular highlight.

Things to Do in Cornwall:

  • Natural Stone Bridge and Caves
  • Lemon Fair Sculpture Park
  • Monument Farms Dairy

FAQs

What are the Pros and Cons of living in Vermont?

Vermont is one of the more picturesque states and is a firm favorite among those who enjoy a rural lifestyle. However, even the largest towns are very small, and prices are high.

Where is the best area to live in Vermont?

Norwich and the surrounding area is a fantastic place to live in Vermont, but anywhere in the state is fantastic.

Is Vermont considered a good state to live in?

It is a good place to live if you love nature and the rural lifestyle, but it may not be so fantastic if you enjoy city life and tons of employment opportunities.

What is the safest place in Vermont to live?

Everywhere in Vermont is safe. It has one of the lowest crime rates in the US.

Final Thoughts

Vermont is one of the most beautiful states in the US. It is the perfect place for those who like the more rural lifestyle or perhaps those who want nature adventures around every corner. While Vermont does have a few downsides, namely the higher cost of living and the low population of even the biggest towns and cities, most people can find somewhere to live on this list of the best places to live in Vermont.

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