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Vermont is known for its tranquility, beautiful scenery, and peaceful way of life. This makes it an attractive spot to move to, especially for people who are looking to slow down or experience a quieter lifestyle.

However, like any state, Vermont has its pros and cons, and it’s a good idea to get a feel for the best and worst things about the state before you take the plunge of moving there.

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Key Takeaways

  • Vermont has a low population density and few large cities.
  • Transportation options are limited in Vermont.
  • People in Vermont can be reserved, but they are often self-sufficient and have a deep sense of community.
  • Vermont is home to many gorgeous landscapes that offer varied recreational activity opportunities.
  • Vermont’s summers are beautiful, but winters can be challenging.
  • Vermont is politically liberal.
  • Vermont has a low crime rate and excellent school rankings.
  • Vermont has a high cost of living and high taxes.
  • The job market in Vermont is limited.
  • Vermont is known for its delicious local foods.

Vermont’s rural setting and small towns

Vermont is a small state that’s mostly made up of small towns. It has the second-lowest population density in the U.S. after Wyoming. This means that even Vermont’s biggest cities are relatively small.

If you purchase a home in one of Vermont’s small towns, you’ll most likely have a large yard and will be some distance from your neighbors.

For many people, the state’s rural setting offers a peaceful way of life, but if you enjoy going out to shows or exploring a city’s nightlife, Vermont might not be the place for you.

Montpelier, Vermont
Montpelier, Vermont

Limited transportation in Vermont

Public transportation is limited in Vermont. If you want to travel anywhere, even within a single city, you’ll need a car to get around.

However, because Vermont has such a low population, there is little traffic, so it doesn’t take too long to get from place to place.

Check out: Pros and cons of living in New Hampshire

Self-sufficient lifestyle in Vermont

People in Vermont are known for their somewhat reserved personalities. It may take them some time to open up to newcomers, and this can make it a bit challenging to get to know your new neighbors, make friends, or feel like part of the community.

Vermont residents are also known for their self-sufficiency. Many people grow their own fruits and vegetables, and people in the state’s more rural areas might own chickens or other livestock.

Although they’re reserved, Vermont residents also have a strong sense of community, and community members often come together to share or trade whatever they’ve grown or made.

Vermont has beautiful landscapes

Vermont, like much of New England, is known for its breathtaking scenery. The Green Mountains cover parts of Vermont, and residents can enjoy amazing hiking, camping, and mountain biking options during the warmer months.

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During the winter, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, and snowmobiling are all popular.

Unlike every other New England state, Vermont has no access to the Atlantic Ocean. However, anyone living in Vermont can still enjoy time spent on the water by visiting Lake Champlain.

This large lake is one of the most popular in the area and offers excellent fishing, boating, and swimming opportunities.

Even Vermont’s towns are known for their beauty and charm. You can often stroll down a street lined with flowers or seasonal decorations.

Mountains over Woodstock, Vermont
Mountains over Woodstock, Vermont

Weather in Vermont can be challenging

Vermont is known for its beautiful summer weather when temperatures hover between 75 and 85 degrees.

The area also has some of the most spectacular fall foliage, and tourists often flock to Vermont to view the beautifully colored leaves.

Spring weather can also be pleasant, and there are many blooming flowers to see, but because of snowmelt, spring can also be quite dreary and muddy.

Although summers are lovely, the warmer weather also brings out many bugs. Vermont residents know they’ll have to deal with mosquitos, midges, and ticks. The winter months can also be difficult.

Temperatures hover well below freezing for most of the winter, and Vermont gets about 86 inches of snow each year.

Liberal Politics

Residents of Vermont are often deeply engaged in politics, and the state is known as one of the most liberal in the country.

This is great for anyone with similar political views, but it can make fitting in and relating challenging for people with more conservative political ideas.

In keeping with their liberal politics, Vermont is also a very green state, and most residents use programs, such as recycling, to benefit the planet and reduce their carbon footprint.

Vermont state house
Vermont state house

Low crime rate in Vermont

Vermont has one of the lowest crime rates in the U.S. It has a violent crime rate of just 1.87 and the third-lowest murder rate in the country. It also has low robbery, property crime, and aggravated assault rates.

Vermont has excellent schools

Vermont is known for its excellent school systems and has the third-best school rankings in the country. Vermont also has the highest annual spending per student, which helps to support its school programs.

Vermont is also home to several exceptional colleges, including the University of Vermont, Bennington College, and Middlebury College.

Cost of Living is high in Vermont

Vermont’s cost of living is quite high, and the state usually falls within the top 10 most expensive states to live in. In Vermont, yearly utilities cost about 20% more than the national average.

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This is largely due to the extreme cost of heating your home during the winter months. Groceries also cost about 7% more than the national average.

The average cost of a home in Vermont is about $353,000, which is about $5,000 more than the national average. Only about 16% of households in Vermont can afford a mortgage.

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Taxes are high in Vermont

Like the cost of living, taxes in Vermont are also high. Income taxes are charged on a sliding scale, so the more you make, the higher your tax rate will be. The highest income tax rate is 8.75%.

Retirees will also find that their retirement and social security payments count as income, so these payments are taxed and increase the tax rate.

Vermont also has some of the highest property taxes in the United States, with rates close to 2%.

Job Market in Vermont is poor

It can be hard to break into the job market in Vermont. There are few major industries to work in, and turnover within these industries is low.

Industries that employ the most people in Vermont are in the education, government, medical, and insurance sectors, and there are few opportunities for work outside these industries.

Companies outside of these fields are small and employ fewer people. This means that most people who are job searching in Vermont will end up with blue-collar work.

The state of the job market can also make it quite difficult to advance your career.

Local foods are plentiful in Vermont

Vermont is known for its fresh, delicious local foods. Many people in Vermont own dairy farms or a few dairy cows, so fresh, local cheeses and ice creams are common.

Vermont is also one of the top maple syrup producers in the country. You can purchase real maple syrup that was made right in the state, and you can also buy other treats, such as maple candy, that are made with the same local syrup.

Because there are so many family farms and orchards in Vermont, you’ll also find fresh, locally-grown produce in the grocery store.

You can also stop at a local farmstand to buy fruits or veggies that might have been picked the same day. Restaurants often use local items in their dishes, so you can enjoy the finest, freshest foods.

Because these foods come from Vermont, though, the cost is lower, so you won’t need to spend a fortune when eating out.

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