The Gateway State (El Estado Pórtico)Iyna Bort Caruso
In many ways, Vermont is the getaway state. As one of the country’s least populated, it’s the place to get away from traffic, congestion, noise and even visual assaults. You won’t find a billboard on its highways. They’ve been banned since 1968.
In getting away from it all, however, folks find much that draws them in. Covered bridges, crisp air, 300,0000 acres of state-own forestland, towns with a Saturday Evening Post kind of patina and, of course, maple syrup. The Green Mountain State is the nation’s largest producer.
The lifestyle is active all four seasons, even among its population of retirees, with biking, golf, bird watching, boating and all things snow. Winter is no deterrent to life in the great outdoors. It is, in fact, the catalyst.
Some 4.5 million skiers and snowboarders descend on Vermont’s mountain resorts every winter in the hunt for trails of untracked powder. That’s tops in the East as a ski destination and third in the country. The Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum with its own Hall of Fame is a testament to the love schuss. Every mountain in Vermont has its champions as well as its unique alpine culture. Stowe is sometimes referred to as the Aspen of the East. A resort with rustic elegance, its trails were cut by hand during the Depression Era, which gives many a handcrafted quality. Killington is the largest destination ski resort on the East Coast, comprised of seven mountains. Stratton is a snowboarders magnet because of its terrain parks.
New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut are the dominant feeder markets for Vermont vacation homes, whether it’s mountainside residences with ski in/ski out access or lakeside retreats. Many single-family new builds are contemporary adaptations of traditional Vermont architectural styles such as farmhouses or carriage barns. Lofty spaces and native woods are infused with a modern sensibility. Owning a second home in Vermont is more than a real estate investment for many. It’s an investment in quality time. Young families like the idea of owning a home where everyone can bond over shared activities. Baby Boomers, in particular, embrace the idea of a kind of multigenerational headquarters from which to create a legacy of memories.