by MK Bateman
Vermont is a dream destination. With endless beauty, clean air, abundant outdoor adventures, cozy inns and fantastic restaurants — it’s the perfect draw for anyone. When you factor in a culture of acceptance, you have a destination ideal for LGBT travellers.
One question might be running through your heads, though: How do we get here?
It’s not an absurd question. With the smallest population on the East Coast and transportation system that relies heavily on private car ownership, you urban gays and lesbians may have thought twice before planning a trip to the Green Mountain State in the past.
Fear not. Whether by train, plane or automobile there are plenty of ways to make your destination trip to Vermont possible.
Whether you live near airports in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, or Atlanta there are non-stop flights available daily to Vermont. Many major airlines, including United, Jet Blue, and Delta offer non-stop flights at Burlington International Airport. It’s an easy airport to navigate, just a short cab ride to Burlington and close to Stowe, the Mad River Valley, and locations in Northern and Central Vermont. The best part of that airport — just turn around at baggage claim and you’ll find a large selection of national car rental companies to choose from.
If a southern Vermont experience suits your fancy, the newly expanded Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport may be a better choice. Cape Air has multiple flights daily to and from Boston. The airport is less than 30 minutes from such well-known Vermont locations as Manchester (think Outlet Shopping), Killington and Okemo. And with Cape Air’s partnership with Jet Blue, you can fly anywhere JetBlue flies.
Should you have the time, and want to ease your way out of the hustle and bustle of the East Coast Corridor, how about travelling the old fashion way by train? Amtrak provides two daily services to Vermont. The first, the Vermonter, travels from Washington, DC, through Philadelphia and New York to Vermont. While certainly not the fastest travel, it is definitely the most beautiful. Plus, through a deal with VGTA, you can receive 20% off with the Visit Vermont fare. For a southern Vermont trip, try the Ethan Allen Express, which takes you up New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley, through Albany.
By Automobiles (or Bus)
Want something a little faster and (usually) a little cheaper than a plane or train? Then your best bet might just be the bus. Buses offer the convenience of downtown depots in Boston, New York and other cities and will often drop you off closer to your Vermont destination than any other mode of transportation. There are several companies that provide limited stop or even non-stop service from the major East Coast cities to Vermont.
Megabus may not have $1 rates any longer, but with round trip tickets from NYC to Burlington costing less that $60, you can’t go wrong…and did I mention that it’s non-stop?
The ole’ dog of the bus business, Greyhound also offers a wide range of departures and destinations. While you may have some random stops, you certainly will be able to experience the natural beauty of the region, while saving your money for the actual vacation. Remember, Vermonters are a practical group, so that bus stigma all too common for urbanites doesn’t matter here.
Once you get to Vermont, if you aren’t in the mood to stay put at your destination, you may want to rent a car during your trip. While most national rental companies have locations in Vermont, Enterprise Rent-A-Car is a great choice for one reason: they come to you. If you arrive after business hours, they will gladly come to your lodging the next morning with your car.
Many B&Bs, Hotels and Inns will make arrangements to pick you up at the airport, train stations, or bus depots. Just make sure to ask them about it when you’re booking your stay. If not, Vermont has taxi services that allow you to book well in advance. Don’t worry— you won’t be stuck at the bus station without a way to your vacation spot.
Remember, should your trip bring you to Burlington, it’s a very pedestrian friendly city with easy access to all its local amenities, including shopping, the Lake Champlain waterfront and some of Vermont’s top restaurants.
We look forward to seeing you soon!