With more shoreline than any other part of Vermont , this cluster of five quiet islands feels entirely separate from the rest of the state—if not the world. Water seems to be everywhere, as do farms, humble homes, and friendly residents who all seem to be on a first-name basis with each other.
Discovered approximately 400 years ago by Samuel de Champlain, the islands are good for those seeking history as well as for a little R&R. They’re home to New England’s oldest log cabin (on Grand Isle), and each island’s individual historical societies showcase artifacts from the islands’ early settlers. All that said, besides a handful of other sights of note there isn’t much else to do here—which is precisely how many visitors would have it.
All of Lake Champlain becomes a stage each summer, when the Vermont Shakespeare Company (North Hero, 917/539-3181, www.vermontshakespeare.org ) performs outdoors at Knight Point State Park.
A celebration as American as you-know-what, Apple Fest (South St., South Hero, 800/262-5226, Oct.) celebrates the yearly harvest with pies, cider, auctions, and a craft show.