Vermont: the state of soft green hills, dairy farms, and hippie communes. Whether Vermont evokes thoughts of pastoral landscapes, Super Troopers, or old pickup trucks, it’s pretty much guaranteed that your vision of the Green Mountain State captures only a tiny sliver of its magic and quirk.
It’s no secret that the young folk who grew up or went to college here are striking out for the surrounding cities (I’m looking at YOU, Boston and New York) and the state has struggled to bring in young prospects looking to settle down, raise a family, and work in here. Our northern neighbors up in Burlington and the surrounding area have fared slightly better than those towns south of State Rt. 4, but frankly, that’s just WRONG (no offense, Burlington’s awesome… but so is Brattleboro). Below are 5 reasons to swap out those city lights in favor of southern Vermont’s rolling hills.
1. It’s close to everything — you’re not actually giving up that big city excitement.
Okay, sure, a farmhouse in cow country isn’t exactly the same as a studio in downtown Manhattan — it’s actually even better. Whether you’ve found a sweet little spot in one of southern Vermont’s up-and-coming downtowns (think Rutland or Brattleboro) or a sweet hideaway in the woods, you’re not more than a few hours from the big east coast city hubs of New York, Boston, and Montreal. Even better, all three are easy to get to, with major highways, rail, or bus service connecting you to the urban lifestyle.
2. In the city, you’re one of a million… in southern Vermont, you’re one in a million.
Let’s face it: the millennial move these days is to hightail it out of their sleepy hometowns and head (moth to flame) for the bright lights of the big cities. But why be one in a sea of bright, eager, educated youngsters looking for a job, when you could be that one qualified applicant that a business or agency in southern Vermont is looking for? Seems like the smartest choice is to go for the same opportunities, with an eighth of the competition and a lower cost of living.
3. Natural beauty abounds — the great outdoors is at your doorstep.
Outdoor enthusiasts, the Green Mountain State is calling your name. National Parks and hidden swimming holes abound, secret lakes and ponds are begging for you to fish their shores, and when the snow falls, miles of snowmobile trails and myriad ski mountains are calling your name. Pair that with a two hour drive to Boston for a weekend in the fast lane? Pretty perfect.
4. Get it before the hipsters do: Vermont is authentic without even trying.
Here’s the other thing about southern Vermont: magically, mysteriously, it has yet to be discovered. With 7th generation dairy farms doing what they’ve done for centuries, and hippie communes from the ‘70s still thriving in their little nooks and crannies, Vermont is remarkably untouched. You want authentic? Like, true authentic? Find it here.
5. Artisanal Cheese and Craft Beer… and Maple Syrup.
You probably didn’t know, but the true magical trifecta is this: swig of small-batch local beer and a bite of raw sheep cheese dipped in pure Vermont maple syrup. HEAVEN. The sheer number of hidden gems in this part of the state, from creameries tucked between the lush hills to breweries snuck into unassuming downtown brick buildings, Vermont has the very best to offer when it comes to real, good food, made from real, good ingredients (that often don’t come from more than a mile or two down the road). So foodies rejoice, you’ve found your farm-to-table Eden.
Before you snag a subway pass in Beantown or the Big Apple, consider a move to our neck of the woods. Keep your eyes open for that just-right job opportunity, and if you have questions about life in southern Vermont, it’s not hard to find a friendly face to help you out (and maybe share a story or two).