GUYS VERMONT IS THE MOST MAGICAL FALL DESTINATION OF ALL TIME. I’m not sure how I’ve lived in New York my entire life and haven’t made it up to Vermont, but now that I have I think it needs to be a yearly tradition. And if you haven’t visited add it to your “must visit” list immediately and plan you trip using this COMPLETE Vermont Fall Travel Guide.
Tracy timed our Fall Foliage trip PERFECTLY and we arrived in Vermont just a few days after peak (the foliage peaked a little early this year because of the cold weather, wind and rain), but it was still perfect. I highly recommend tracking the foliage maps that each state puts out in the Fall to properly time your trip.
We visited Stowe, Woodstock and Burlington and each town was more perfect than the last. We chose to stay in Stowe and drive to the other towns for day trips which worked out great, but you can obviously break up your trip and stay in different places.
I broke down my Vermont Fall Travel Guide by days so you can see exactly how much we were able to do and what restaurants we paired with each location! As always if you have any questions just email me or leave a comment and I’d be more than happy to answer!
We left Westchester around 1pm and it took us just over 5 hours (with one quick bathroom break) to get to Stowe, Vermont. If you’re driving from New York like we were plan to pretty much allot a majority of your first day driving. We both had to check in with work in the morning so we knew we weren’t going to leave until around noon and didn’t plan anything other than dinner for our first day in Vermont.
We quickly checked into the Field Guide Lodge which we were SO happy we got a room at. Initially we booked at Town & Country, which is also another great Stowe hotel, but I’m a huge fan of Lark Hotels (which Field Guide is), so when we saw there was availability we switched our reservations.
We made 6:45 reservations at the HIGHLY recommended Edson Hill Restaurant and it was the PERFECT time to eat there because it was just getting dark and the back patio look magical with all the string lights. We ate inside the tavern and was beyond delicious! Their menu changes seasonally so I can’t promise all of the items I recommend will be available when you visit, but I can promise you won’t be disappointed with anything that you order. Order the Purple Haze to drink (though the Maple Run Margarita sounded VERY appealing too), get the Fried Brussel Sprouts (they’re actually FRIED) and Maple Ginger Salad to start, and then the Seared Salmon or Crispy Duck for your main dish. And save room for dessert because the Dark Chocolate Tart with PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE ICE CREAM was insane!
Day 2 – Stowe
We woke up to POURING rain so our plan to take the Gondola SkyRide got cancelled and instead we had a small breakfast at the hotel (all Lark Hotels provide guests with small bite breakfasts, usually it’s displayed in the lobby and you take the plates you’d like but during COVID they’re providing breakfast for 2 all packaged and ready to pick up in the lobby every morning), then headed out to explore downtown Stowe a little.
Exploring in the rain was definitely challenging, but not impossible. We walked around downtown Stowe, then popped into Butlers Pantry for brunch. I got the Omelette with Spinach & Tomatoes and a Biscuit, Tracy got the Biscuits & Gravy which was all delicious, but whatever you do make sure to order a side of MAPLE SAUSAGE!
If you’re headed to Stowe in the Fall make sure you explore near the Stowe Recreation Path and all the little streets around Main St for the best photo opps!
Since the rain didn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon we headed over to Idletyme Brewing ( a LOT of eating happened today). We both got the Brewski Sampler to drink (it’s served on a ski), which had 6 samples of the beer they brew in house. And we split the Fried Pickles (INSANELY GOOD) and the Idle Fries.
Then we headed towards Waterbury, because we were last minute able to snag a dinner reservation at Hen on the Wood, and stopped at Waterbury Center State Park because the sun started peaking out and it did not disappoint. It’s $4 a person to go in, but seeing our first glimpse of sun break over the Waterbury Reservoir was perfect.
If you go to one restaurant in Northern Vermont have it be, Hen of the Wood! We tried to make reservations there from the second we booked our trip, but had no luck so we set up an alert on Resy so that we would get alerted if anything opened up while we were visiting. We were able to nab a 5pm reservation and though it was definitely earlier than we were hoping we were so happy when we got there because we got to see the beautiful waterfall all the back of the restaurant in the daylight. Hen of the Wood is another restaurant that changes their menu with the season and since our meal was so delicious I can’t imagine ANYTHING being a bad choice. If you see the Cauliflower Agnolotti with Butternut Squash, Romanesca & Breadcrumbs ORDER IT!
Day 3 – Woodstock
We took scenic Route 100 from Stowe to Woodstock because we read it was one of “the most scenic drives in New England” and while it absolutely was, I don’t necessarily think it was worth the extra hour it took to get from Stowe to Woodstock. Everywhere in Vermont is beautiful and unless you plan on stopping along the way I don’t think you need to take it.
Once we got to Woodstock we headed straight Worthy Kitchen for lunch. I highly recommend ordering a local Vermont beer and either the Worth Chikwich or the Kitchen Burger (or both if you’re sharing like we did). So so good and the staff was amazing!
After lunch we drove to Downtown Woodstock, parked near The Green and explored. Take your time, take lots of photos and make sure the wander past the Woodstock Inn & Resort, Middle Covered Bridge, Ardmore and Pleasant St. Every inch of the little town is picture perfect and absolutely worth spending a few hours in.
Then we drove back to Stowe and stopped at Thompson Park to snap a few photos then headed to dinner at Cork. Another AMAZING dinner! We ordered Roasted Corn & Poblano Dip, Dirty Potatoes and Chopped Kale Salad as appetizers and Herb Roasted Chicken and Sticky Shiitake Mushrooms & Broccoli for entrees.
Day 4 – Stowe & Burlington
So initially we were supposed to spend the entire day in Burlington, but since it rained our first full day in Vermont and we couldn’t do the Gondola Skyride that day we decided to do it when it first opened on Sunday. The line to get on the Gondola was about an hour long, but worth every second once you got to the top. We stayed up there for about 30 minutes then made our way back down to head to Burlington.
We stopped in Waterbury along the way to pick up sandwiches from Hender’s Bake Shop & Cafe and drove the 45 minutes to Burlington. If you happen to stop there get the Salami Sandwich, it’s salami, tomato herb sauce, pepperoncini and ricotta salata and it is out of control good.
We intended to explore download Burlington when we got there, but because spent the morning at Stowe Mountain we headed right to our reservation at Shelburne Vineyard. I love visiting wineries when I travel and this one is picture perfect. We reserved a table on the lawn and drank wine flights (we both got the “Rachel”) and local cheese!
After the vineyard we walked along the Burlington Waterfront and watched the sun set then headed back to Stowe for dinner.
Doc Ponds was right down the street from our hotel so we stopped there for dinner! Order the Charred Broccoli Salad and Salt Cod & Corn Fritters to start, then the Pulled Pork Sammy and Dry Rub Wings for your entree!
*Also worth noting the Gondola Skyride is closing for the season on Monday October 12th.
After a small breakfast at the hotel we packed up the car and went back to the Stowe Mountain area to try and get some drone shots of the fall foliage. There was an easy hiking path off the road at the Barnes Camp Visitor Center that we stopped at.
After that we made one final stop to get a few photos in town and then we hit the road. We stopped in Quechee, VT (just over an hour south of Stowe) to grab lunch at The Skinny Pancake then continued home!
Restaurants we didn’t get to try but were highly recommended:
- Stowe Cider (Stowe)
- The Alchemist Stowe (Stowe)
- Harrison’s Restaurant & Bar (Stowe)
- Cold Hollow Cider Mill (Waterbury)
- Friendly Toast (Burlington)
- The Bench (Stowe)
- Michael’s on the Hill (Stowe)
- Plate (Stowe)
- Piecasso (Stowe)
- Paradise Provisions (Warren)
- The Bistro at 10 Acres (Stowe)
- Foam Brewers (Burlington)
PIN my Vermont Fall Travel Guide for LATER:
Don’t miss my most popular travel posts from the past year:
How to Spend 48 Hours in New Orleans in the Summer
A First Timer’s Guide to 3 Colorful Days in Charleston
The Ultimate Road Trip: How to Spend 5 Days in the Florida Keys
The Ten Best Things to Do in Kauai
Five Fantastic Reasons to Visit Maui Right Now