The Best Places to Live in Vermont

Williston, Norwich, Montpelier, and Windsor are just some of the best places to live and buy a house in Vermont.
Written by Emily Maracle
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
A great education system, strong economy, and affordable cost of living make cities like Montpelier, Norwich, Windsor, and Williston, some of the best places to live in
U.S. News ranks Vermont as one of the best places to live based on its low crime, opportunity equality, and fresh air. With great education and economic opportunity, Vermont is a great state to call home, but where?
With an entire state of choices,
is here to help you narrow down your options. Along with
saving you money
on your
home insurance
, we’ve researched the best places to live in Vermont. 
Keep reading to learn about the best places to live in the Green Mountain State!
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What makes a good place to live? 

No matter what stage you are in your life, having a place to call home is essential. Whether that’s a new apartment, your own home, or packing up and moving across the state, there are a lot of decisions to make. Beyond wanting to live somewhere, access to grocery stores, public transit, shops, and other amenities determine how livable your home actually is. 
To help you decide, we’ve gathered the facts on seven towns in Vermont: Norwich, Shelburne, Orleans, Newport, Montpelier, Windsor, and Williston. We’ve explored larger cities and more rural areas, using the following factors: 
  • Median household income
  • Median home price
  • Crime rates
  • Educational access
  • Cost of living
  • Average commute times
  • FEMA Risk Index ratings
Using these, we’ve researched and found the best places to live for families, the most affordable places, and the best places to buy a house

The best places for families to live in Vermont

If you’re looking for a place to raise a family, good education, low crime rates, and a strong community tend to be necessities. By looking at these three areas, we’ve found three towns in Vermont that are the best places for families to live. 


Location: Windsor County
Population: 3,339
Median household income: $121,563
Median home price: $454,500
Straddling the border of
New Hampshire
and Vermont is the rural town of Norwich, one of the best places for families to live in Vermont. 
With a small population and rural surroundings, life in Norwich is quiet, but not remote. A short trip across the Connecticut River (four minutes to be exact) puts you in the heart of Hanover, New Hampshire, and Dartmouth College.  
Public and private schools surrounding Norwich are highly rated, with Marion W. Cross School ranking #4 among the best public elementary schools in Vermont.
Norwich also has a low crime rate, with only 11% of U.S. cities ranking safer
Living in the Green Mountain State means there are no shortages of green spaces and parks to explore. But, there are also museums to visit, like the Hood Museum of Art and the Montshire Museum of Science


Location: Chittenden County
Population: 7,717
Median household income: $96,165
Median home price: $386,900
Located on the shores of Lake Champlain—and on the opposite side of the state—is the suburban town of Shelburne. While Shelburne is a popular place for retirement, it’s also one of the best places to live with families. 
Shelburne is home to several top-ranking public and private schools. The nearby Vermont Commons School is ranked #1 among the best high schools for STEM in Vermont, and Shelburne Community School ranks #13 in the best public middle schools. 
Beyond educational access, Shelburne offers residents a safe community. The crime rate in Shelburne is low, well below national and state averages. 
Popular places to explore in Shelburne include Shelburne Farms, Shelburne Museum, and the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory.  

The most affordable places to live in Vermont

Apart from wanting to live somewhere safe and enjoyable, a key factor in deciding where to live is cost. While the cost of living is rising everywhere, it varies from place to place, so it’s important to live somewhere you can afford! 
While Vermont isn’t necessarily one of the most affordable states to live in, it doesn’t mean you can’t find a place to call home there. 
After scouring through data, we’ve found the three most affordable places to live in Vermont, considering the overall cost of living and the average commute times—or how much you’re likely to spend on gas.  


Location: Orleans County
Population: 1,103
Median household income: $47,188
Median home price: $106,100
With a lower cost of living compared to the rest of Vermont and the U.S., you can really stretch your dollar in Orleans. According to BestPlaces, the average cost of living in Vermont is 92.5 (the U.S. average is 100), with Orleans sitting at 80.6
Commute time in Orleans is also slightly lower than the U.S. average at 24.2 minutes, meaning you’ll save a bit on gas. 
And hey, if you save enough, you can always go on an international adventure to explore Montreal! 


Location: Orleans County
Population: 4,244
Median household income: $31,038
Median home price: $170,800
Just a skip away from Orleans is our next affordable place to live,
. Similar to Orleans, Newport’s cost of living is 18.8% below the U.S. average. 
The average commute time in Newport is shorter as well, at 18.3 minutes. Say goodbye to sitting in traffic and wasting gas. 
Based on location, Newport is also highly accessible, with Canada only a 20-minute drive away. If you're craving a trip to a big city, Montreal is about two hours away, giving you unlimited access to delicious restaurants, cafes, and shopping with a Parisian twist.  
Even better, Newport is right on the shores of Lake Memphremagog, so picturesque views won’t cost a fortune. 


Location: Washington County
Population: 7,434
Median household income: $60,676
Median home price: $303,600
Montpelier may be the smallest state capital in the United States, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in affordability.  
While the cost of living is only .5% under the national average, transportation costs in Montpelier are significantly lower—about 33% lower than U.S. averages. Combined with Montpelier's commute time of 17.8 minutes, you’ll be able to cruise much farther here than in other places. 
Montpelier calls itself a small town with big-city amenities, also making it an ideal location. Not only can you regularly see the Vermont State House golden dome, but you’ll have beautiful Hubbard Park to explore during your free time. 
If that wasn’t enticing enough, there are plenty of restaurants, shops, and art galleries to visit.
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Best places to buy a house in Vermont

Buying a house is overwhelming and a huge investment. Apart from the look and feel of your home, the housing market and climate where you’re looking to buy are important. To find the best areas to buy a house in Vermont, we looked at’s housing market summaries and the FEMA Risk Index. 


Location: Windsor County
Population: 2,150
Median household income: $44,180
Median home price: $154,200
Steeped in history, Windsor is one of the best places to buy a house in Vermont. Not only is it considered the birthplace of Vermont—the Constitution of Vermont was signed here in 1777—you can also feel good about buying a home. 
The median home price is on par with smaller towns in Vermont but is significantly lower than in larger cities. For example,
is the most populous city in Windsor County, and median home listing prices are $382,500, with an increase of 15% every year
Windsor also has a relatively low-risk rating on the FEMA Risk Index at 9.33, lower than the U.S. average of 10.60.  
As a homeowner in Windsor, your biggest worries are landslides, ravine flooding, and winter weather.  


Location: Chittenden County
Population: 9,686
Median household income: $94,727
Median home price: $351,700
If you want to buy a house, now is the perfect time in Williston. Previously a largely rural area, Williston is slowly growing into a happening suburb of
. Median home prices are well under the area’s median list price of $439,250, giving you the chance to buy into a growing market. 
Along with a growing market, you won’t have much to worry about as a homeowner. Williston ranks very low on the FEMA Risk Index. At 4.74, risk as a homeowner is well below the national and state averages. 
Like most of Vermont, the biggest threats you’ll face as a homeowner are winter weather, ravine flooding, and cold waves

How to find affordable homeowners and car insurance in Vermont 

Whether you decide to settle down in Montpelier or take advantage of the growing area of Williston,
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