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Places to visit: Vermont in the fall

If you are looking to take a fall weekend trip in New England, there's tons to do in Northeastern Vermont. Only three and a half hours from Boston, it's the perfect destination for a long weekend. While peak foliage season varies across the state based on the weather and region, it usually ranges from mid-September to mid-October, so plan accordingly!

Here's my travel guide to the top places to visit and things to do in the greater Burlington and Stowe areas, that are all within an hour of each other.

Sam Mazza’s Farm Market - Colchester, VT

A cute farmer's market and gift shop with fresh produce, pumpkins, squash, syrup, and other fall decorations for sale, plus a petting zoo of farm animals. The main attraction in the fall months is their corn maze, which they allege to be one of only three in New England. Cut into a new design each July, it’s open from Labor Day through October. There is a 1 mile option for a shorter adventure and 2 mile option if you're up for a challenge.

Cold Hollow Cider Mill - Waterbury Center, VT

This locale features a bakery and market with all the Vermont-themed home and baked goods (cider doughnuts!) you could ever want available for purchase, along with free tastings of cider and lots of other apple and maple spreads. They even have a viewing room in the back to see the cider mill pressing in action. Sadly that wasn’t happening on the day we stopped by, but the tasty treats and cute souvenirs are more than worth the visit. Hard cider and sit-down lunch are also served in the Apple Core Luncheonette if you want to make a day of it.

Ben & Jerry’s Factory - Waterbury, VT

We didn’t visit on this trip but I’ve been to the factory before and if you’re an ice cream lover, I highly recommend the tour! It’s a short 2.5 mile drive from the Cold Hollow Cider Mill, though be warned, the traffic on that one-lane road on the weekends is insane, so budget extra time if you want to fit both in. There’s also a Ben & Jerry’s shop on Church Street in Burlington that I’ll get into more below, if you’re craving a flavor but don’t have hours to spare.

Church Street Marketplace - Burlington, VT

Explore some of the best shopping and dining in downtown Burlington on the four blocks of Church Street between Main and Pearl Streets that make up this outdoor marketplace. Two places I can vouch for when it comes to dining are Lucky Next Door and Leunig’s Bistro - both delicious!

Waterfront Park - Burlington, VT

Walk along the boardwalk of this park along Lake Champlain to snap pictures of the marina and edge of Burlington, or rest on the swinging benches to take in the views. There are also bike, canoe, and kayak rentals available right at the park. Enjoy breakfast just across the street at The Skinny Pancake, a small and sustainable New England chain known for their locally-made crepes and live music.

Leaf peeping - Route 108 from Jeffersonville to Stowe, VT

Take a scenic drive down Smuggler’s Notch to enjoy breathtaking views of the changing fall foliage. There are plenty of places to stop and pull over to take photos. My friends were smart enough to bring a tripod, and it’s a great idea if you want to take more than selfies of your whole group (not many people you can ask to snap a photo when you’re lucky enough to be in a remote area, or on the side of the road!)

Chapin Orchard - Essex Junction, VT

I didn’t get a chance to check this place out for myself, but if you’re hoping to pick your own apples while in the area (since the other places on this list only have them for sale), this orchard is nearby and has great reviews.

Have you already visited Vermont during the fall? What places should I try next?


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