Cheese Lovers Can Eat Their Way Through This Scenic, Tasty Northeastern Road Trip

There's something special about cheese. From its many flavors and textures to its different uses and forms, cheese has become a household staple across homes in the United States. So much so that 96% of Americans agree that they'd rather give up coffee or the Internet before completely cutting out cheese from their diet — a surprising statement, since it's been estimated that 65% of the world's adult population is actually lactose intolerant. Nonetheless, with the average American eating roughly 37 pounds of cheese a year, it's safe to say that cheese consumption — despite its less-than-ideal side effects — isn't going anywhere any time soon.

At the end of the day, cheese is as beloved as it is ubiquitous in the United States. And this deep-rooted love for all things dairy becomes even more exciting once you learn that you can combine your love for cheese and travel into one tasty road trip: the Vermont Cheese Trail.

Home to a whopping 45 dairy farms along a 150-mile stretch through the Green Mountain state, the Vermont Cheese Trail includes more than a dozen stopovers at some of these local farms — all of which are outlined, along with their restrictions and operating hours, on the official map. This means you'll have plenty of opportunities to indulge in some good ol' fashioned cheese tasting and shopping, even while you sit behind the wheel.

Where to stop along the way

Before you speed off on your cheese-tasting adventure, it's important to note that not all of the dairy farms on the route are open to the public, and a few others only allow visitors who have called ahead. However, there's no need to let this stop you — there are still plenty of farms that'll have cheese at the ready for you to try and take home.

Starting from Battleboro, the Grafton Village Cheese Company is famous for its cheddar. Whether you prefer classic, smoked, aged, or infused, there are different options for you to choose from at the farm's shop. Once you're all cheddar-ed out, it's time to make your way 17 miles north to Putney's very own Vermont Shepherd. Alongside a variety of seasonal cheeses made from cow's and sheep's milk, the shop also sells gelato, milk-based soaps, lamb meat, and even some classic Vermont maple syrup.

From Putney, head north for about 39 miles until you reach Crowley Cheese Company, in Mt. Holly. Operating since 1824, the farm's star product is its white cheddar, as well as its herb-infused cheeses which give every bite a special touch. Then, a quick 15 miles north, Plymouth Cheese — which opened in 1890 — still hand makes, cuts, and waxes all of its own cheese. If you're there, make sure you also stop by the farm's cheese museum for a throwback look at how this delicious snack was once made.

Other farms you can't miss

One of the most well-known stops on the Vermont Cheese Trail is the Cabot Creamery Cooperative. One of the largest producers in the state, Cabot currently operates retail stores out of three locations — in Cabot, Waterbury, and Quechee — and sells everything from fresh and mature cheeses to spreads, dips, butters, and other local products.

For a taste of something a little different, Sage Farm Goat Dairy is a family-owned and operated farm that specializes in small-batch artisanal goat cheese. Located in Stowe, about 10 miles north of Cabot's Waterbury location, the farm's self-serve retail includes classic soft options like feta, as well as their own take on French and UK-style cheeses. Lastly, if you've still got some room left, the Boucher Family Farm, 60 miles north in Highgate Center, has a wide selection of cheeses — their blue cheese is a must-try — as well as butter, fresh milk, and more. Did someone say YUM?

No matter where you decide to stop and what you decide to eat, there's no denying that the Vermont Cheese Trail is a true foodie's dream. After all, not only does it make for a delicious adventure, but it's also the perfect opportunity to take a scenic drive through Vermont while enjoying some local staples — and, really, there's no better way to get to know a place and its people than through their food.