Life in Central Vermont
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is headquartered in Berlin, Vermont, just minutes away from Montpelier, our state capital. The surrounding area, known as Central Vermont, is a picturesque landscape of rolling hills and mountains, farm land, and filled with lakes and ponds. The towns in Central Vermont boast on-going cultural events, with great community theatre and music. And if you enjoy the outdoors, the opportunities for the best of sports and recreation go on throughout the year. You only need to step out your door to go biking or kayaking in the summer months, and skiing and snowshoeing throughout the winter.
For six years running, the state of Vermont took the healthy slice of cake this year, once again winning #1 healthiest state in the union, according to the United Health Foundation. Vermont’s strengths include our number one position for all health determinants combined, which includes ranking in the top 10 states for a high rate of high school graduation, a low violent crime rate, a low incidence of infectious disease, a low prevalence of low birth weight infants, high per capita public health funding, a low rate of uninsured population, and a readily available number of primary care physicians.
We’re proud that we’ve been acknowledged as one of the “greenest” states in the nation…and that’s not only referring to the beautiful scenery we enjoy each day! We have low carbon dioxide emissions per capita (or "carbon footprints"), strong policies to promote energy efficiency and high air quality, as indicated by our major metro areas that are low in smog and ozone pollution. We're also among the states with the most buildings (on a per capita basis) that have received the U.S. Green Building Council's benchmark certification, known as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
While Central Vermont may be small, there are eight accredited colleges in our region. Our public schools have been nationally recognized by having the highest math and reading scores in the country for fourth and eighth grade students. The public schools vary in size and personality, based on the towns in which they are established. We have several K – 12 schools in smaller towns, and some of our high schools serve several towns in the region. Central Vermont provides the kinds of quality schools that help the state rank among the nation's best in several educational categories.
The arts are alive in Central Vermont! The Barre Opera House and Randolph’s Chandler Music Hall are two of the venues that offer great music and theatre performances. Montpelier is home to the Vermont Philharmonic Orchestra and the Lost Nation Theatre, hosting a variety of professional theatre performances. There’s excellent community theatre throughout the region, and the opportunities to hear fantastic classical and current music is happening daily at a variety of venues. The Vermont Historical Society’s museum is located in Montpelier, the National Ski Museum is in Stowe, and Barre offers a Granite Museum. Many graduates from The New England Culinary Institute, located in Montpelier, work at local restaurants in the region. The selection of great restaurants around the state is impressive. The city of Burlington, a short drive north, was dubbed “One of America’s best downtowns” by Forbes Magazine in 2011 and 2012 and also ranked in the top 10 cities for outdoor recreation. If you find yourself hankering for some “big city” action, Boston is a three-hour drive, New York is about five hours, and for an international experience, Montreal is only two hours away.
Central Vermont is the perfect place for an outdoor recreationalist to live. If boating is your passion, there are countless number of lakes, ponds, and rivers to pursue sailing, canoeing, and kayaking. We’re renowned for our local “swimming holes” throughout the region. Hiking the Long Trail, the Appalachian Trail, or our mountains is just minutes away. The panoramic views from the top of Mt. Hunger are unparalleled. Bicycling is a popular activity in the summer and fall months. Needless to say, the skiing at Sugarbush, Mad River Valley, Bolton, and Stowe are among the best in the Northeast. And snowshoeing…you only need to leave your backyard and strap on the snowshoes, and start walking!