Vermont may be small, but it certainly maintains its position as one of America’s most livable states. We have country roads leading to historic covered bridges in pretty New England villages, the college towns are lively and Burlington provides besurban flair along the shores of Lake Champlain. Approximately 625,000 residents enjoy outdoor activities during four distinct seasons (five including mud season). Low crime, low density population and an above-average investment in education and environment are but a few highlights of why we love to live here. But what are the best places to live in Vermont?
While compiling the best towns to live in Vermont, we understandably had a hard time narrowing down the list. After all, every town in Vermont is wonderful, each in their own individual way. We ultimately researched many sites such as
www.city-data.com, quickfacts.census.gov and www.areavibes.com and looked at factors such as crime rate, housing costs (state average is $216,800), commute time, income (state average is $52,776), education and amenities.
Here is what we found, but we would love to hear your thoughts. Where do you live and why do you love it there? Let us know!
16. St. Albans
With the cost of living and crime rates lower than the state average, St. Albans is a desirable place to live. Now when you pair that with its charming Main Street, historic buildings, bustling downtown and popular local festivals, this makes it a wonderful place to be. St. Albans is known for a strong sense of community and pride (not to mention friendly neighbors), and this lovely town with excellent schools produces amazing athletes as well!
With a population of 1,222, Shoreham is known for its many orchards, dairy and niche farms, home-based businesses and scenic views, making it the perfect destination for a day of exploring or a lifetime of living. Shoreham is a thriving lake-shore town lying on the outskirts of the growing communities of Burlington, Middlebury, and Rutland and is halfway between Montreal, Canada, and Albany, N.Y., on New England’s west coast: the shore of Lake Champlain.
This bustling town has a high cost of living, but the amenities (both natural and manmade) are plentiful. The school system consistently tops the state charts, and the children are even transported to the mountain every Friday during the winter months ensuring that they are healthy and athletic as well as academically bright.
In the south of Vermont, just a few miles from I91, Chester’s Historic district on the green is quintessential Vermont. Chester is famous for its Stone Village Historic District and Chester Village Historic District. With a 10% lower cost of living and 60% lower crime rate than the Vermont average, its schools are above the state average making this town of 3,154 people highly desirable.
12. White River Junction
Situated on the Vermont-New Hampshire border, White River Junction has a rich architectural history, nearby colleges and bevy of outdoor sports, not to mention a quick jaunt to shop tax-free in New Hampshire.
The town's densely populated center is located near Vermont's lowest elevation point in the Connecticut river valley. Because of the surrounding steep hills there is very little flat land, and many of its buildings and houses are situated on steep hillsides, closely bunched together. This concentrated topography and population density have helped to create a semi-urban, cosmopolitan atmosphere and people love the awesome Main Street in downtown Brattleboro.
Just a few decades ago, a wealthy family took on the town of Grafton as a pet project, lovingly restoring it to the way it once was - even burying electric lines to reclaim the landscape. It doesn't feel like a living history museum; it just feels right. There are only 619 people in the town and a population density of 18 people per square mile.
A stable housing market, an 11% lower cost of living, a 48% lower crime rate, and housing is lower than the state average at $169,300. The average income is higher at $67,840, however Hinesburg doesn’t have as many amenities as many other areas in Vermont.
This small town in Central Vermont has 656 residents and a 99% high school graduation rate, not to mention a 58% lower crime rate than the state average. And it’s absolutely beautiful!
7. Essex Junction
One of Vermont’s larger areas with 9,695 residents, Essex Junction is a favorite place to live for many reasons. Its 4% lower cost of living, 20% lower crime rate, median house $248,600 all contribute to making Essex Junction a great place to live along with its close proximity to Burlington.
Wilmington has high graduation rates, a low cost of living and lots of local amenities. The average home price is $166,400 and it’s not too big or too small with a population of 1,876.
Normally, cities (especially a state capital) are both bustling and expensive, but the cost of living in Montpelier is 9% lower than the state average, crime is 13% lower, and even lower housing cost with an average of $208,300. A higher median household household income at $60,338. The population was recorded at 7,755 in 2013.
Woodstock, with only 889 residents, is historical, charming and quintessential. Definitely a choice place to live with great schools and amenities galore, not to mention a crime rate that is 64% below the Vermont state average.
Shelburne may be best known to non-residents for the famous Shelburne museum, but it is also full of all the things people look for when choosing a town to settle down. The average cost of living in Shelburne is the same as the Vermont average, with a median income 36% higher than the state average at $92,799. 7,144 residents agree that Shelburne is a wonderful place to live.
2. Old Bennington
An extremely livable small town of just 139 people, Old Bennington boasts high graduation rates, plenty of amenities and low crime. The cost of living is 4% higher than Vermont average and the median household income is $67,821. The median housing cost is $346,400 and crime is 47% lower than Vermont average.
Norwich is exceptionally livable with lots of local amenities, low crime rates and high graduation rates. The cost of living may be 17% higher than the state average, but the median household income is a whopping 74% higher at $82,447. With an 18 minute average commute, you have more time to spend with your loved ones. The population in 2010 was recorded at 3,414.
Be sure to let us know your favorite towns and why it’s great to live there. Share with your friends and see what they think, too!