Colchester, Vermont

The Lakers

The Best Thing About Colchester?

Lake Champlain

Colchester brings together many of the best parts of life in Vermont. Located on Lake Champlain, one of the most pristine freshwater bodies in the whole of the United States, Colchester’s natural beauty combines the clean air and elevation of life in the mountains with the mariner’s dreams of life on the water. A tourist spot of unparalleled majesty, wherein boat enthusiasts and fishermen gather, Colchester also borders the city of Burlington to the south, and is located conveniently close to the Canadian border, as well as a reasonable drive from upstate New York or the rest of New England. Colchester is a beautiful place, ideal for commuters and the rustically-inclined.

One local notes about Colchester/Vermont: Vermont is traveling back in time, some towns feel like the fifties. It’s walking inside a Kinkade or Rockwell painting. No strip malls or billboards, but buttermilk red barns with horses and fat Holsteins dotting the landscape. The green during summer—the foliage, the mountains— is mixed with a rich blue hue: I call it “grue”. You have already heard about October and leaf season.

Others have described the trees splattered with a mad artist’s brush—infinite shades of amber, puce, mandarin, vermilion—much better than I. We still drive around with mouths hanging open, inhaling the pumpkin and cinnamon air. I love hearing the clops of horse’s hooves as the Amish go by, heading for the next frolic, in their buggies outside my window.

The Worst Thing About Colchester?

The Prices

Vermont as a whole has suffered from inflated housing prices in the past two decades, and Colchester is no exception. Its scenic locale and desirable location ratchet up prices even further, as does the local reluctance to build new housing for fear of spoiling the quaint small-town feel. It is generally recommended that you have housing secured before moving to Colchester for this exact reason, and to be aware of the high property taxes.

In the words of one local: I wanted to add something that no one has said - have you any idea what property taxes are like? Vermont is AFAIK the worst state in the union for property taxes. Just because you see a house for $200k that is $1300/mo, that doesn't mean you're going to pay $1300/mo.

Lifestyle of Colchester

As befits its geography, Colchester has amazing outdoor play year round. Niquette Bay State Park has amazing hiking and swimming in and around Lake Champlain. The Father’s Day Fishing Derby, founded in 1981, brings in thousands of competitors, it's a one-of-a-kind event. The Parks Department offers an Easter Egg Hunt, a Summer Concert Series, and a Winter Carnival. In addition, gun culture is alive and well, and enthusiasts will find no lack of camaraderie. Finally, Saint Michael’s Playhouse has theatrical experiences for the curious, and the abundance of microbreweries have plenty to explore for beer fanatics.

If you want to see what locals get up to for fun check out the Colchester calendar of events: https://www.colchestersun.com/things_to_do/calendar/

Worklife of Colchester

Tourism is one of the primary industries in Colchester. Lake Champlain brings in a high number of summer tourists, as does Leaf Peeping in the Fall and skiing and hiking in the winter. Working for the tourism industry or parks department are often considered viable careers in town, as is working at the local hospice and housing chapter. Meanwhile, Green Mountain Power provides a number of blue-collar jobs, and Saint Michael’s College offers employment opportunities in higher education. In many ways, Colchester is a service-oriented town: serving others, serving the community, serving visitors, or simply serving nature. If that appeals to you, you may find Colchester an excellent potential home.

Why You Should Move Here Now

Deep In Nature

Colchester is unique because you can live deep in nature while still bordering Vermont’s largest city - best of both worlds. It's expensive, locals comment on how much they love their town, and the friendly local atmosphere is considered palpable. To many, moving to Colchester can feel like coming home, even if you've never been there before.