Essex (Vermont)

Essex is a town in Northwest Vermont. It is the largest town and second most populated place in Vermont. About half the population lives in the village of Essex Junction, which is wholly contained within the town of Essex.

Get in

Main St. near Five Corners in the village of Essex Junction

By car

Routes 15, 2a, and 117 will bring you to the center of Essex. All three roads connect with I-89.

By train

By plane

Get around

Railroad Ave. looking towards the Amtrak station

On foot

Essex Junction is small enough to be navigated on foot.

On a bike

Cycling can be a good way to get around the village. There are dedicated bike lanes on some streets and traffic moves at fairly low speeds,

Public Transportation

The Essex Junction, Essex-Williston, and Essex Town routes of CCTA all serve the village, however they are more useful for getting to and from Essex Junction than getting around. CCTA frequency can sometimes be low.

By car

Getting around Essex by car is the best option. VT Route 289 can be used to bypass traffic in the center of the village. There is ample parking, and the only problem you are likely to encounter is traffic at Five Corners during rush hour.


Admittedly, there isn't much here for the traveler to see. From some parts of town you can get excellent views of Mt. Mansfield and Camel's Hump. The rural parts of Essex offer pleasant landscapes, but these can be found all over Vermont. The older parts of town are fairly attractive, especially from late spring through fall, and that's about it.


Entrance to the Champlain Valley Fairgrounds. Contrary to the impression this photo might give, Essex Junction is not in Canada. The American flag is just out of frame.

Essex is home to several golf courses and parks of interest as well as Vermont's busiest exposition center. If you do end up in Essex, it's probably to see a concert or attend a fair of some kind.


There are fewer shopping opportunities here than you might expect because the town isn't served by an interstate. There are lots of stores that serve residents (hardware, grocery, and autopart stores), but not as many that would be of interest to travelers.


Essex has the typical suburban chains like McDonalds, Wendys, KFC, and the ubiquitous (in New England) Dunkin Donuts. However most of the restaurants are one-off local places with much better food. Most restaurants are lunch oriented due to the number of people who work in Essex, but most still serve dinner.





Essex, despite being the second largest municipality in Vermont, isn't a nightlife hotspot. There isn't even a coffeeshop aside from Dunkin Donuts. Most people looking for a drink or a night out will head into Burlington.

That being said, Essex does have a few bars. However, they are not quite like those in Burlington. The presence of IBM and the transition to a bedroom community for office workers has transformed Essex into a town of suburban yuppies, but it wasn't always that way and the old rural/blue collar Essex still exists. Unlike Burlington, most bars won't have an extensive list of microbrews, tasteful decorations, or rowdy college students. What you will find are cheap American lagers, dingy bar rooms, darts, pool, and sometimes karaoke. This is Northern Vermont, so you will always be able to find a Switchback if you don't like PBR and Rolling Rock.


For some reason, Essex only has two hotels, one of which is a luxury resort. For most tourists, this won't be an issue as you will probably be staying elsewhere, however business travelers and people visiting relatives may have to stay in neighboring Colchester, Williston, or South Burlington.

Go next

Routes through Essex

END St. Albans  N  S  Montpelier Springfield
Ends at Colchester  N  S  Williston Jct N S
Burlington via Winooski  W  E  Jericho St. Johnsbury

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, December 29, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.