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Things to Do in Vermont in Fall

Things to Do in Vermont in Fall

If there is one season that people consider to be quintessentially Vermont, it is fall. At the time of writing this blog, the last leaves are gracefully floating from the trees, Halloween has come and gone, Thanksgiving preparations have begun, and believe it or not, there are already Christmas decorations on the shop shelves! If you didn’t get to enjoy peak foliage in New England this year, start planning your 2024 trip now. Trust us, many believe that this is the best time of year in Vermont, so everything books up fast! To get you started, we’ve listed our favorite fall activities below.




Of course, we had to start here. Even if you don’t know a lot about Vermont, you’re probably aware of its reputation regarding foliage. But why do our surrounding landscapes draw so much attention, especially in the fall? Well, forests cover approximately 70% of the Green Mountain State, giving it the highest concentration of maple trees in the country. The leaves on these trees turn to particularly vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow during autumn, making our already stunning views even brighter.


Colors start to change in September so if the number one item on your Vermont bucket list is leaf peeping, you best make it here by mid-October. Peak foliage is dependent on the elevation of a location and weather conditions. Thankfully, there are some forecasters available online that can give you some insight on more precisely where and when the leaves will start doing their thing. Just remember, there are no guarantees when it comes to Mother Nature!


Once you make it to Vermont during peak foliage season, what do you do besides stare out the window in awe? Well, when we discussed spring in Vermont, we highlighted how fantastic hiking is here during the more temperate seasons. Nature walks are the most obvious answer for those who want to get up close and personal with our changing trees.


You could take a tip from our blog about summer activities and visit the Montshire Museum of Science, which has a family-friendly series of trails, or better yet, Vermont Institute of Natural Science’s Forest Canopy Walk that allows you to get a bird’s-eye view of your surroundings. If you embark on a more serious hike, you’ll be rewarded with some incredible views! This remains true later into the season. As more leaves drop, you’ll be able to see more of your surrounding environment than you’re able to when the trees are lush with blossoms, greenery, or foliage.


A less physical option is to take a scenic drive! Vermont has 10 federally designated byways that can help you navigate the state and get the most out of your trip. What’s even more exciting is that the Vermont Arts Council and Vermont Tourism partnered to provide travelers with a list of Vermont Arts and Fall Foliage Destinations. Along these routes, there are plenty of pitstops with outdoor art displays like sculpture parks and murals. Our natural environments are undoubtedly beautiful, but our people and their creations are incredible as well. Vermont ranks third in the country for artists as a percentage of its workforce, second for writers, and eighth for both musicians and photographers.


Walking, driving, paddling, and even traveling by train are all great ways for leaf peepers to get around, but the best place to take in the sights is up high. One fun way to accomplish this is a gondola or chairlift ride! There are a few places that offer this, including the Gondola SkyRide at Stowe Mountain Resort where groups of up to eight people can get to the top of Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s tallest peak standing at 4,395 feet, in about 10 minutes. They even have snacks at the top, and trails if you want to keep exploring on foot! For a similar experience, you can also check out Killington Resort. Alternatively, Mad River Glen and Okemo Mountain Resort offer seasonal rides in their open-air chairlifts! 





While leaf peeping is usually the main event of any autumnal Vermont vacation since it’s the backdrop to almost everything you’ll do, you’ll likely want some additional hands-on activities to keep you busy. Apple picking is perhaps the most popular option! After our maple trees, our apple orchards are one of our most prized possessions. Is there anything better than biting into a crisp, tart, locally grown fruit? We think not.


September is prime time for picking your own, and there are plenty of places you can go to do so. As fun as strolling up and down the lanes of an orchard in between rows of trees bursting with delicious treasures is, that’s not the only apple-related fun Vermont has to offer. Many farms offer homemade treats like cider, donuts, pies, and other pastries long after the harvest is over. When it comes to cider, some like it hot, some like it cold, and others like it hard. If you’re adventurous, you could even try a cider ice cream float! Whatever your preference, you’re likely to find it along the Vermont Cider Trail.


Don’t forget the cider donuts! These may be the most beloved fall treat in Vermont. Word on the street is that some of the best bakers can be found at Champlain Orchards, Shelburne Orchards, Brown's Orchard & Farmstand, Allen Brothers, Happy Valley Orchard, Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Yates Family Orchard, and The Sugar Shack. Because Vermonters just can’t seem to stay away from ice cream, some of these farm stands even offer maple creemees sandwiched between cider donuts!




While you’re making the rounds to various Vermont farms, keep your eye out for corn mazes! This is a perfect group activity for family and friends. Hathaway Farm and Corn Maze in Rutland is renowned for making unique patterns with their paths. Other local favorites include Percy Farm and Whitcomb's Land of Pumpkins and Corn Maze.




For those with a hunting hobby, Vermont is a great place to visit. Whether you’re a good shot or not, a quiet walk through the woods is a great way to learn about the local flora and fauna. It can also be a good bonding experience when you go with others. Popular game hunting in the fall includes white-tailed deer, black bear, moose, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, woodcock, waterfowl, and snowshoe hare. Just be sure you have the appropriate license and you’re well informed before you head out.




Eating at farmers’ markets and breweries is always a good time, but at the end of the day, you may be craving something a little heartier. Never fear! There are so many delicious restaurants in Vermont you could dedicate an entire getaway just to being a foodie. We even have fine dining experiences, although the ambiance may be a little more relaxed than what you find in the big city. But your eyes will likely be just as happy as your stomach since many of the restaurants are tucked into a mountainside, overlooking a body of water, or found inside a historical building.     


Award-winning cuisines of all sorts are spread around the state. We have an abundance of local produce and fresh ingredients at our fingertips, and the chefs know it! In the fall, you’re likely to find seasonal dishes that feature squash and some of those delicious apples we were talking about earlier. Our recommendations when you’re ready for a nice, satisfying meal include Hen of the Wood, Simon Pearce, Blue Paddle Bistro, Michael's on the Hill, SoLo Farm & Table, and Castle Hill Resort and Spa


Although foliage season may be what’s drawing you to Vermont, locals like us know there’s plenty to do all year round. Even with stick season coming up, we can still say that we love being located here. Happy planning and stay tuned for our last seasonal blog coming out at the beginning of 2024! 

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