Vermont's reputation for being one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the United States is not undeserved. This gem of the northeast routinely ranks as one of the safest and most friendly states in the Union. Knowing this, it is no surprise that many seniors look north when considering a place to spend the rest of their lives.
Rather than spend their golden years in a fast-paced mega city with little in the way of community, it makes sense that older people would want to seek out a place that is a little more relaxing and laid back.
Serving as the state capital of Vermont, Montpelier is outfitted with all the bells and whistles of a large city while still keeping a sense of small-town life intact. This city has a very quiet and easy-going nature. You are not going to see many people in a rush to get anywhere too fast.
The downtown core area of Montpelier is equipt with an impressive array of museums and art galleries. These attractions are all kept within close proximity from one another and can be walked to easily without the use of a vehicle. The New England Culinary Institute is also located in Montpelier and its presence can be felt in all the amazing food and restaurants that inhabit the city.
Just a short drive outside of Montpelier is the rural town of Waitsfield. Located along the stunning Mad River, Waitsfield is the perfect place to go if you are into the great outdoors. Situated in a deep valley, the nearby hills and mountains are great places to ski and hike. If outdoor adventures are not to your liking then perhaps one of the many farmer's markets is more to your liking. Waitsfield is a rural community and this gives its residents access to some of the highest quality food available. Nothing can beat fresh produce and milk.
Known for the fantastic Stowe Mountain Resort, this town is a little more fast-paced than some of the other places on this list. Tourists from neighboring states and Canada flock to the area during the winter and summer months in order to take part in the fantastic skiing and sightseeing.
To accommodate these visitors Stowe has grown into quite a vibrant town with tons of cultural attractions. Museums and theatres are all over the area along with craft fairs and even its own annual outdoor film festival. If you are wanting to get in touch with your artistic side during your retirement then Stowe should be on the top of your list.
Despite sharing its name with the world-famous music festival the town of Woodstock is much more low-key. With its red brick shops and restaurants along with white-painted houses and churches, Woodstock is one of the typical New England towns.
Many of the shops that line the town are family owned and operated. Each with its own unique flare and feel. Eating and shopping in Woodstock is a very intimate experience. Something that not many people can say they have felt when stepping into the local Mcdonald's or other fast food chains. Long walks into the surrounding countryside or trips up to the nearby lakes are great ways to spend your time here too.
Dorset is a great town to relax and explore. The town itself is filled with interesting boutiques and specialty stores. Both bike and hiking trails line the outskirts of town and make for both a calming and picturesque experience.
However, the most noteworthy thing about Dorset is the old marble quarry on the outside of town. First built in 1785, the quarry went out of operation decades ago and now serves the community as an ad hoc swimming hole. The water is surrounded by steep marble cliffs and is a great place to go diving or to cool off during the summer months.
Known as a foodies paradise, Waterbury is the place to go if you are looking got sample some of the most authentic and freshest food around. Many of their restaurants are known to be "farm to table." This means that in many cases the food you are eating could have been either picked, trimmed or slaughtered that day.
Their craft beer and cider scene is just as interesting as their dinners. There are many local companies as well as private citizens who are famous for their high-quality beverages. These drinks can be found at one of the restaurants in town or at one of the many farmer's markets that take place on the weekends.
Much of Chester was first founded in the early 18th century by European colonists. And aside from the roadsigns and the cars parked on the roads, it would appear that not much has changed. Almost all of the wooden homes and stores that were built so long ago have been diligently maintained over the years. Chester is a great place to go if you are a fan of colonial architecture and a tight-knit community. The locals here are more than welcoming to visitors. Annual events routinely attract nearby tourists, especially Winter Carnival which takes place each year in February.
Another well-preserved small town from colonial times, Bennington is much more than just a small town in Vermont, but is the site of one of the most important battles during the American War for Independence. In 1777 the Battle of Bennington took place between British and American troops. American forces won the battle and today their victory has memorialized in the 93-meter obelisk that was built in the center of town.
Bennington is much more than just a history buffs fantasy, the town has much to offer in way of arts and culture. Museums and galleries are all over the place and are great ways to kill an afternoon with loved ones.
If the New England lifestyle is up your alley then Vermont should be at the top of your list of places to retire. The stunning scenery and warm locals are something that is becoming harder to find nowadays.
Whether you want to spend your time in museums or the great outdoors, there will always be something to do in Vermont. Just make sure you bring a jacket for the winter.