Vermont versus New Hampshire

vermont vs nh

New England is made up of six smallish states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

The territory is small, but the terrain varies greatly, and the weather varies from state to state: Vermont and New Hampshire and Maine get snow in October and November sometimes.

There are other subtle differences too.  I swear, when Partner and I drive over the border from Rhode Island into Connecticut, I can see a difference: Connecticut is more rural, and woodsier, and wetter. What happened? Did Rhode Island farmers do something that Connecticut farmers didn’t do? Or is it just my colorful imagination?

Maine is different from the rest of the New England states too. Portland aspires to be a hipster / cosmopolitan destination, but the state itself is – as Parter said recently – “Tennessee North.” It’s visibly poor and rural. No wonder it elects Republican senators to Congress.

And then there are Vermont and New Hampshire.

Vermont feels liberal and free. I love it there. I love the breeziness of Burlington, and the wind off Lake Champlain. I loved the time we spent in Bennington. I loved Rutland.

New Hampshire? Meh. It’s dull and conservative.

When you drive north into Vermont, it feels as if you’ve entered a different country. (It was a different country, for a couple of years there.) When you pass from Massachusetts to New Hampshire, it feels like – hmm – like you’re still in Massachusetts. You really haven’t gone anywhere.

Vermont is different. Vermont is independent. It’s strange, and funny, and determined to be so.

New Hampshire is dull and New Englandish. It’s got all the things you expect it to have.

Vermont is independent and hippyish. It wants to be different. It has all the things that New Hampshire has – mountains and lakes and forests – but they’re more interesting, somehow.

Kids: if you have a choice between New Hampshire and Vermont, visit Vermont. Eat some ice cream. Have some cheese.

And tell the Vermonters that I sent you.

About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

6 Responses to Vermont versus New Hampshire

  1. An ex girlfriend of mine lives in Burlington. Wish she enjoyed computer communication so she could tell me about it. As it is, we write once a year.

  2. starproms says:

    I fancy Vermont ever since I saw the catalogue – you know the one I mean? and is that the one with all the cute bridges? I love Maine because I am a fan of Jessica Fletcher. Now you’re going to tell me that it wasn’t filmed there, aren’t you? Oh well, I love Cabot Cove then and all those pretty little shops and the lobster pots and the boats.

    • I would dearly love to live there – either Maine or Vermont. Oh, I’m sure the exteriors of Murder She Wrote were in Maine – it looked very authentic. When the actors try to put on those terrible Maine/New England accents, however . . .

      • starproms says:

        …you mean they don’t really talk like that?

      • Well, some are better than others. Angela Lansbury is wonderful and I don’t care what accent she has. (We saw her in “Blithe Spirit” on Broadway about four years ago, and she is still wonderful.) William William, who plays the doctor, has a pretty good Maine accent. Most of the others are – hmmm.

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