At the first sign of leaves changing color in Vermont, I can’t help but get a little giddy. I love long, warm summer days in Vermont. I also love the bluebird, powder days of winter. But fall in Vermont is by far the best season to enjoy all that Vermont has to offer. The first fires of the season in the wood stove… apple picking… cider donuts… peak foliage… flannel… road trips. This time of the year, I find myself adventuring throughout Vermont even more. At every turn, there’s serious color to take in. To make the most of the season, here’s your Vermont fall bucket list.
What are your favorite fall activities in Vermont? Share in the comments below!
Your Vermont Fall Bucket List – Fall Activities in Vermont
Follow the Cider Donut Trail:
This actually is not a real thing, but it should be. Vermont has a beer trail, a wine trail, a cheese trail… Vermont apple cider donuts (and Vermont creemees) deserve their own trail as well, IMHO. There’s nothing more satisfying than a warm cider donut (sugared or not, depending on your preference) on a brisk fall morning. In your travels around the state for the very best cider donuts, don’t miss my favorites: Chapin Orchard (Essex, Vermont), Boyer’s Orchard and Cider Mill (Monkton, Vermont), Happy Valley Orchard (Middlebury, Vermont) and Sugar Shack (Arlington, Vermont). To see how traditional cider donuts and cider are made, visit Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury Center.
Go Apple Picking or Fall Raspberry Picking
Apple pie. Raspberry turnovers. Heck, even apple sauce. Do you need any other reasons to find a nearby orchard and spend a leisurely afternoon picking some apples or late fall raspberries? Fun for the whole family, picking apples is a quintessential fall activity in Vermont. Don’t miss a taste of local cider available at many orchards as well. Browse a list of Vermont pick-your-own apple orchards around the state.
Attend a Vermont Craft Beer Festival
Vermont beers festivals are fun in any season but even more so when the porters, stouts, and Octoberfests start flowing. Book your tickets early for Vermont beer events like SIPtemberfest, hosted at Mad River Glen in Fayston, and Oktoberfest, on the Lake Champlain waterfront in Burlington, Vermont. There are also many smaller fall craft beer festivals around the state, including Stowe’s Rotary Octoberfest, Killington’s Brewfest, Harpoon’s Octoberfest, and Stratton’s Harvest and Brewfest. Get your das boot ready and enjoy some of Vermont’s best libations this fall!
Take in the Fall Foliage from the Stowe Gondola SkyRide
In the off-season, the Gondola SkyRide at Stowe Mountain Resort is an awesome way to take in long views of the mountains surrounding Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest mountain. Up and back costs $27 for adults and $19 for children – or a family pack for $84. Pick up the gondola at the base and take it to the top. There, you can picnic, hike offshoot trails, or visit the Summit gift shop or Cliff House Restaurant. If you’re in shape, hike to the top and take the gondola down for free! Foliage rides run until October 15. (Psst, if you’re in Waitsfield, you can also take the single chair to the top of Mad River Glen for a similar peak foliage adventure in Vermont!)
Drive the Ultimate Foliage Road Trip on Vermont Route 100
Vermont Route 100 is on of my favorite roads in Vermont, especially during foliage season. The VT Route 100 Scenic Byway starts in southern Vermont – Wilmington – and continues past Stowe. My favorite stretch is from Rochester to Stowe. Start at Sandy’s Books and Brew in Rochester for a homemade bagel and killer coffee to start your road trip. (The sausage breakfast sandwich is equally delicious.) Along the way, stop at the Bowl Mill and Moss Glen Falls in Granville. Then travel onward to Warren with a stop at the Warren Store for one of Vermont’s best country stores. If you really want a fun trip, rent a BMW convertible from Country Driving Tours for a memorable day exploring Vermont. For other great drives, try Smuggler’s Notch or the Appalachian Gap.
Bonus Points: More Vermont Fall Activity Ideas:
- Get Lost in a Corn Maze: The largest corn maze in New England (and one of the top 10 in America) happens to be in the Northeast Kindgom in Danville. Arrive before 1pm to solve the maze without clues along the way! Check out the Vermont Corn Maze to learn more.
- Support Local Artisans at the Stowe Foliage Arts Festival: This event is a must-visit for me every fall. 200 artisans, including local food and beverage producers as well, gather for three days of exhibiting. There’s also live music, food trucks, and demos.
- Find a Fall Festival to Your Liking: There are so many fall festivals scattered around Vermont. An Apple and Cheese Festival in Stafford. Roktoberfest: Beer, Bacon and Bands in Vergennes. Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival in Tunbridge. The Cabot Apple Pie Festival in Cabot.
What’s on your Vermont fall bucket list? Share your ideas for fun fall activities in the comments below!