Whether you're an art aficionado, a natural history buff, or just looking for a way to spend a rainy day, the many museums in southern Vermont will be able to entertain you. Vermont museums have a lot to offer, and once you're hooked, one of the best ways to see the Vermont art world in-depth is through Vermont artists open studio tours.
Topping our short-list of great Vermont museums is the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, a fantastic small museum with a combination of both modern and classic art. BMAC features a wide variety of rotating exhibits, special events and kids' activities, so there is certain to be something to please even the most finicky of art critics. The building itself is an attraction, too - the museum is housed in a former train station, and you can still see trains rushing past the windows.
For those interested in learning a bit more about Vermont itself, the Bennington Museum is a great option. The Bennington Museum prides itself as a collection of the history and culture of southern Vermont and nearby regions, and features a wide variety of artistic and cultural works and artifacts. Its permanent exhibits including the largest public collection of Grandma Moses paintings, historic automobiles, and a world-renowned Flag Gallery with one of the oldest "Stars and Stripes" flags in existence. This is a must-see Vermont museum.
Of course, there are plenty among us who are more interested in the present than the past. For you, we suggest the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Though technically not a Vermont museum, Mass MoCA is only a short hop away in n North Adams, MA, and features one of the largest and best-curated collections of contemporary art in the world. MASS MoCA strives to collect striking and provocative visual and performance art within its 100,000-plus feet of gallery space and huge performing art centers, which often host concerts as well.
Maybe, though, art just isn't your thing - if so, the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum could be right up your alley. It features collections of animals, plants, and minerals from across the state, and also houses live birds and reptiles and a one-of-a-kind look into the ecology of Vermont. This museum is unique among Vermont museums, and certainly gives a new perspective on the surrounding countryside. And since nature should be fully experienced outside a museum, it is adjacent to more than 600 acres of preserved land filled with hiking and nature trails.
A trip to southern Vermont isn't all skiing and maple syrup. These Vermont museums can turn your vacation into an educational and artistic experience. And after fully experiencing the culture and history of Vermont, you can relax in your own private Vermont rental home, so you can feel rested and ready for another day of adventure.