With a population of approximately 8,000, Montpelier (an easy 30 mi/50 km drive southeast of Burlington) is the smallest state capital city in the U.S.—in fact, it's not even large in comparison with other Vermont cities. But the Montpelier Historic District includes some of the best-preserved 18th- and 19th-century architecture in New England.

You'll also want to see the Vermont Capitol Building, constructed of locally quarried granite (look for the brass cannon in the portico), and the Vermont Historical Museum, which offers a comprehensive introduction to the state's history.

If you haven't had your fill of maple syrup yet, go just a little north of town to the Morse Farm on County Road. There you can watch maple syrup being made (in March and April) and sample a bit of Vermont's amber gold. Dairy-product aficionados can tour the creamery at the Cabot Factory, 20 mi/36 km northeast in Cabot, where you can taste some of the best cheddar cheese made in Vermont.

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