With its historic buildings, fascinating Revolutionary War sites, and countless museums, there’s no shortage of things to do and places to see in Vermont. The Green Mountain State has a rich history that dates back to 1791, when it became the 14th state in America. Today, Vermont is known for its picturesque landscape, abundant recreational activities, and unique, laid-back atmosphere that attracts millions of visitors each year. The next time you’re in New England, plan a trip to one of the many museums in Vermont and get to know more about what makes our state so special.
Our Favorite Museums in Vermont
- Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium: Founded in 1889, the Fairbanks Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was named the second best history museum in New England in 2010. The museum is located in St. Johnsbury, VT, and houses over 175,000 objects including science specimens and historical artifacts. Guests can also visit a planetarium and weather center where meteorologists broadcast weather forecasts for the state of Vermont.
- Lake Champlain Maritime Museum: Open May through October, this museum in Vergennes, VT, has something for everyone. Guests can explore a replica 1776 gunboat, peruse 300+ shipwrecks, and admire the museum’s collection of canoes, kayaks, and wooden boats on display. A variety of courses, tours, and workshops are also available throughout the year that showcase the history of Lake Champlain.
- Vermont Marble Museum: Just 25 minutes from Killington in Proctor, VT, guests can learn all about Vermont’s renowned marble industry at the largest marble exhibit in the world. This landmark features photographs and product samples in over 100 exhibits, an art gallery and sculpture studio, and even a gift shop full of treasures and souvenirs.
- Birds of Vermont Museum: The Birds of Vermont Museum teaches visitors about birds and their important roles in earth’s ecosystems. Located in Huntington, VT, this museum features over 500 carved wooden birds, a 100-acre sanctuary and nature preserve, and a bird viewing window for observing various species. When it’s time for lunch, enjoy a picnic at one of the tables overlooking a nearby pond and relax amongst nature.
- Norman Rockwell Museum: Displaying more than 2,500 magazine covers, advertisements, paintings, and more, this famous museum is dedicated to celebrating the life and works of Norman Rockwell. Throughout the year, guests can enjoy a variety of programs, tours, special events, and discussion panels that help to preserve the legacy of this classic American artist.
- Montshire Museum of Science: Attracting more than 150,000 visitors annually, the Montshire Museum in Norwich, VT, provides a unique experience for guests of all ages. This hands-on science and nature museum has over 100 acres of trails, outdoor exhibits, a museum store, and more that are just waiting to be discovered.
- New England Maple Museum: As the #1 producer of maple syrup in the United States, it only makes sense that the New England Maple Museum is located in Vermont. Here, you can learn all about the history of the sweet treat, enjoy samples in the tasting room, peruse an extensive collection of sugaring artifacts, and purchase some authentic VT maple syrup to take home with you!
Come Home to GetAway Vacations
When planning your trip to the museums in Vermont, be sure to book your stay with Getaway Vacations! Our beautiful Killington vacation rentals are the perfect homestead during your trip and offer luxurious amenities, rustic charm, and close proximity to all of the best area attractions. We can’t wait to hear about your day at the museum!
For more information things to do in Vermont, download our free Killington Vacation Guide.
Without thinking too much about it in specific terms, I was showing the America I knew and observed to others who might not have noticed. —Norman Rockwell
Born in New York City in 1894, Norman Rockwell always wanted to be an artist. He found success early and earned his first commission before his sixteenth birthday. By age 22, Rockwell painted his first cover for The Saturday Evening Post, the magazine considered by Rockwell to be the “greatest show window in America.” Over the next 50 years, a total of 321 Rockwell covers would appear on the cover of the Post.
His works appeal to a broad audience in the United States due to their reflection of American culture. Among the most famous of Rockwell’s works are the Willie Gillis series, Rosie the Riveter, Saying Grace and the Four Freedoms series. He is also well known for his relationship with the Boy Scouts of America, since he produced illustrations for their publications for over 64 years. In 2008, Rockwell was named the official state artist of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The Norman Rockwell Museum, established in 1976, possesses a nationally recognized collection of his art. The museum commemorates Norman Rockwell’s Vermont years and the entire span and diversity of his career (1911-1978). The museum chronologically displays more than 2,500 Norman Rockwell magazine covers, advertisements, paintings, facts, and other published works.
Visit the Norman Rockwell Museum to view the popular magazine covers, advertisements, and illustrations- they are the heart of their collection.
With his art on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post, Rockwell became an American idol. His art was one of the main reasons the Post became America’s magazine. Rockwell and the Post became fixtures in American homes during the early twentieth century. Some of his most famous covers include, The Golden Rule, Retro Toasters and many more. The Saturday Night Post covers, which most people are familiar with, only represent a fraction of Rockwell’s art.
Like most Post cover artists, Rockwell painted a great deal of advertisements. Advertisements today show the work of some outstanding photographers, but it is difficult to imagine a photo as engaging as a Rockwell paintings. Some of his most renowned advertisements include, Allen A stocking, Mazda lamp and Interwoven Socks.
In addition to his cover work and advertisement images, Rockwell also completed various paintings throughout his career. He often used photographs as inspiration. His most well known paintings include The Problem We All Live With, Triple Self Portrait, and The Runaway, all of which can be seen when you visit the Norman Rockwell Museum.
The Norman Rockwell Museum beautifully displays Rockwell’s development as an illustrator and links his work to the political, economic, and cultural history of the United States. Make sure not to miss out on seeing this renowned, classic American artist’s work first hand and visit the Norman Rockwell Museum the next time you’re staying with us at GetAway Vacations.