History and Culture

Native American Abenaki were the region’s original inhabitants. In 1609, French explorer, Samuel de Champlain was the first European to visit the region. Settlement and agriculture expanded after the Revolutionary War followed by the establishment of numerous shipping and mill towns along the region’s waterways. Like the Adirondacks of New York, Lake Champlain became known for its nature-oriented tourism.

The area features several museums, both large and small, to teach us about the Abenaki, French settlers, rugged Yankees and others who made the Lake Champlain region their home. Vermont’s largest city, Burlington, hosts several cultural festivals while the Byway’s smaller communities offer the traveler unique experiences such as French-heritage days, farmers’ markets, fall harvest festivals, and community suppers and dances.

History & Culture Interactive Map

Click the image to view the Interactive Map

For a customized look at museums, events, and other attractions along the Lake Champlain Byway, visit our Interactive Map and choose History & Culture in the upper left. Get Started »