As most of you have probably seen, Braden and I spent our 1-Year Wedding Anniversary in Vermont this year! It was everything we could have imagined and more – the weather was absolutely perfect and the fall foliage was at its peak. ? We traveled all over New England, but Stowe was our home base. I’ve compiled all of our favorite things in a Vermont Fall Travel Guide below!
If you’ve been to Vermont, please feel free to leave your favorite places and/or activities in the comments below. I’ll be making a list for our next visit up there!
Where to Stay:
Stowe Mountain Lodge — a year-round New England spa resort that offers a variety of luxury lodging accommodations in Stowe, Vermont. Breathtaking views, 5-star service, and perfectly cozy rooms!
**Tip: Since this is a 5-star lodging option and on the pricier end, we found cheaper room rates through HomeAway which offers deals on privately owned units for a fraction of the price.
Butler’s Pantry — a quaint breakfast nook located in downtown Stowe that you must visit! Especially known for their Homemade Biscuits, Pancakes, Eggs Benedict and Acai Bowls. Everything is so delicious, we often over-ordered just so we could sample more of the menu. Out of our four crisp mornings in Stowe, we visited Butler’s Pantry twice and even that wasn’t enough. Two thumbs up!
Whip Bar & Grill — visit this once historic hotel turned-into-restaurant for a unique downtown Stowe dining experience. We had excellent service and enjoyed every ounce of our meal. From the fresh warm bread to the gorgonzola that topped our filet mignon, it all was cooked to perfection. You honestly just can’t beat the ambiance and vibe of this restaurant.
Cliff House Restaurant — a restaurant that’s tucked away in the clouds and is only accessible by a 15-minute gondola ride up the mountain. Unbelievable views and definitely a one-of-a-kind experience! If you’re staying at The Stowe Mountain Lodge, the gondola is conveniently located right outside of the resort. Carve out a few hours in your schedule to visit this restaurant and take in the scenery and fresh fall air.
Cork Wine Bar — a modern, yet cozy-chic wine bar nuzzled right in downtown Stowe. We had some time to kill before our dinner reservations and stopped in to enjoy a few glasses of wine and a burrata appetizer, which was divine! They have a large menu selection of local beer and wines which we were especially excited for. A perfectly charming spot for sips of wine and light bites.
Matterhorn Restaurant — since we visited the Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland on our honeymoon, we knew that we had to take a peek inside this local gastropub on our anniversary trip! We stopped into the Matterhorn after our 12-mile bike ride (see below for details) and we were hungry as can be. The menu has a little bit of everything – from sushi to pizza – that cured each of our cravings. I opted for the Tuna Triangles while Braden went for the Lobster & Shrimp Maccaroni and Cheese. Both were great options!
Smugglers Notch Scenic Drive — this is a must if you’re visiting during peak fall foliage season! Smugglers Notch is a dramatic – and very narrow – road that passes through the picturesque forests and bold rock outcroppings in Northern Vermont. Perhaps the most beautiful scenic route Braden and I have ever experienced. So magical!
Stowe’s Recreational Bike Trail — explore the town by bike while burning off a few of those extra calories you’ve been enjoying! We rented bikes from AJ’s Ski & Sports shop which is conveniently located right on the recreational bike trail. The trail is 12 miles total which may seem like a lot, but I promise the views make it well worth the trek! Great activity for the whole family. You could even pack a light picnic to enjoy halfway through (wishing we would have done this now that I think about it)!
Visit a Maple Farm — you can’t go to Vermont and not experience an authentic maple farm. Luckily for all of us, there are numerous farms throughout the state. We enjoyed a few maple syrup tastings at various places and loved the taste so much we had to ship an entire box full of maple goodies back home! You’ll never taste anything quite as pure as the maple syrup in Vermont. Plus, they make great gifts!
Explore Downtown Stowe — enjoy the endless opportunities that downtown Stowe has to offer. Visit shops, galleries, and a variety restaurants to see and taste what makes their community unique to all that visit. The charming town is full of friendly faces and incredible views!
Road Trip Across the State — or even adventure to other New England territories. We set aside two days without an agenda to simply explore. We drove all over both near and far, traveling to new cities and discovering new places. Our favorite cities were Woodstock (eat at Mon Vert Cafe), Middlebury, Quechee (the best sightseeing is located at the Quechee Gorge), Montpelier, and of course Stowe.
Things to Note:
— Track the foliage prior to your trip to ensure you aren’t getting there too early or too late. We visited October 7th-11th and the leaves were at their peak. Normally the color change begins in mid-September and runs through the first two to three weeks in October. The peak varies by elevation, progressing from north to south and higher to lower elevations during the course of the season.
— The state of Vermont is much smaller than we intended it to be which allowed us to see more than we ever could have imagined! I highly recommend renting a car and take a day out of your schedule to aimlessly drive around. Vermont has so many picturesque towns that you could spend hours in. Embrace their simple way of life and just go with the flow.
— Bring lots of layers as the temperatures drop dramatically in the mornings and evenings!