Conscious Travel Guide to Vermont: A Complete Single Day Fall Itinerary with Tips & Must See places.
On behalf of Conscious Travel Collective, I recently offered insights to a journalist researching “Fun Fall Adventures” in the Northeastern United States. Before I share all the details of my response, let me say, I was so excited about this assignment!
Why would I be excited about extra work in an already busy travel season?
Easy - Fall is my favorite season (I’m sure many of you can relate?) and I adore everything about the only US destination we currently design for, which happens to be a total dreamscape in the fall!
Growing up in mostly seasonless Southern California, as a child I would carefully flip through Fall clothing catalogs and imagine the day I would need a new flannel nightgown and matching slippers (plaid of course). I dreamt of what it was like to walk to school with piles of leaves underfoot, crackling and crunching with every step.
I’m happy to report, adult me lives on the east coast, and gleefully soaks up absolutely every minute of fall! I open the windows of my Brooklyn apartment, turn on soothing jazz music to start each day, and set the mood to max fall vibes! And yes, I have a red plaid ankle length nightgown, super soft slippers, and even a Vermont Flannel plaid blanket for getting cozy on the sofa. So needless to say, when opportunities to share fall ideas come my way, I light right up!!I could go on forever on this topic, but to provide the most value in a brief package...
I created a complete Vermont itinerary, that represents some of the most idyllic, fun and classic activities for Fall in New England Fall - all in a single day!
If a single day isn't enough (and how could it be!) we design custom travel for the time you have set aside to immerse in the wanderlust of this glorious season! To really get inspired, check out our special Fall Foliage themed Vermont trip. The sample trip packs a big punch but at a relaxed pace, making for a quintessential New England Fall experience you’ll never forget!! (See below for trip summary).
Vermont Single Day Fall Itinerary
To begin, you should know that Fall in Northeastern Vermont starts mid-September, with glorious rusty reds and terracotta orange leaves exploding their colors around the last week of the month, and bare trees by roughly the middle of October.
You’ll spend the day between the neighboring towns of Norwich and Woodstock Vermont. Why pair these two?
Because the route is stunning, with ample opportunity for quaint fall moments. With just 30 minutes of separation between the two towns, this means you can plan to make lots of different stops, slowly meandering your way, and enjoying the journey!
Start the day at the famous King Arthur Baking Company in Norwich VT, for what else – Bread and pastries!
Here they offer a really wonderful menu of fresh baked scones, cookies, pastries and breads, so you should plan to eat up. However, to really set off this day, plan ahead and schedule one of their baking classes! You can also stock your baking cabinet with anything and everything for a home baking experience, for any skill level.
Classes are small, and seasonally themed. In the fall you can expect to learn creations like” Autumn Pies & Tarts”, “Biscuits & Scones”, and classics like breads, croissants, even pizza. And don’t worry, all bakers welcome, these classes are for any level of chef!
Next stop is all about comfortable elegance, and craftsmanship - at the Simone Pearce glass shop in Quechee. Surely this will make your list of Must-See places! Housed in a restored 19th-century mill overlooking a waterfall, this is way more than just a shop. Reason #1 - you’ll be able to get up close and personal, watching glass blowers at work! Head downstairs below the shop where the studio is open daily from 10am to 2pm, engage with the craftsperson's and be completely mesmerized watching them create functional works of art with absolute precision.
Be sure to walk out to the river side for a surprise - the entire place is fueled with hydropower generated by the Ottauquechee River. The waterfall and river even flow right under a covered bridge - couldn’t it get more picture perfect!? Simone Pearce is home to an award-winning farm-to-table restaurant with a notable wine selection. For a lite snack and sip, the elegant bar is a great choice.
Hit the tree line road! Departing Simone Pearce, you’ll wind down a lovely, wooded road making your way to a local farm! Fun Fact ~ Vermont’s number 1 industry is dairy, and it’s fantastic!
The stop at Sugarbush Farms means you get to enjoy samples of farm fresh cheeses, including curds and smoked cheeses! But there's more, this farm also produces one of nature's best sweet indulgences, high quality Maple syrup! The dynamic duo of famous Vermont products makes this a firecracker of a farm visit! Taste to your heart's content and browse the cute little shop with all things Vermont.
The next drive is one you’ll wish was longer! A gorgeous forest and farm drive brings you to the Billings Farm and Museum in Woodstock. Another one to add to your list of Must-see places, this is more than a farm, it's really an important part of the town's history, and now a record keeper of its past. Hear some of this history, its evolution and its connection to reforestation and conservation efforts, as well as the Rockefeller family. The museum offers special tours, hands-on workshops, and educational visits with the local animals, so check the calendar before you go!
Take an easy walk from Billings Farm into the little village of Woodstock where you find a small collection of shops, including a bookstore and artist gallery, as well as a handful of restaurants. See if you can find the covered bridge (hint: it crosses the river on Union Street).
Before heading back, follow the river road to Woodstock Farmers Market, an indoor market and cafe with some of the best local products from across the state, abundant farm fresh produce, homemade baked goods, cheeses (obviously), even beer and wine. A great stop for grabbing preserved items to bring Vermont home with you.
If you want one last ramble into nature before the day comes to a close, grab those farmers Market snacks, and make your way to the in-town trailhead (3-season trail guide here). The Mount Tom Loop is 5 miles of well-marked paths among the trees. I like to shorten the hike, just making my way up to a lookout for a view over the beautiful countryside and farm, there are even partial views over the village of Woodstock. This version is roughly 2 miles out and back and can be accessed at the River Street Cemetery.
There really is no place quite like Vermont. An unspoiled paradise in all seasons, but to tell you the truth, fall is my very favorite time to be there.
Fall in Vermont is an extraordinary experience for all the senses - when you’re there, you feel the autumn season everywhere. It's in the farm fresh food, the cozy fire-lit rooms, the cool wind stirring up bright leaves, the warm fuzzy sweaters, and even the charming rustic decor of the charming villages fits the aesthetic perfectly. Everywhere you look is painted in the colors of autumn!
Maybe it's a bucket list trip, or one you return to again and again, but no matter when, where or how you make your way there, Vermont is a place sure to capture your heart with its authentic, endearing and simply beautiful way of life.
To get started on your very own, idyllic Vermont Fall itinerary..
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The author of this blog is the Founder of Conscious Travel Collective, Tara Busch.
Hey there! I’m Tara, the founder of Conscious Travel Collective. After years in the travel industry and loving the opportunity to connect travelers with the world, I was struggling. Part of what troubled me was the absence of a critical element, one that makes travel so special - which is genuine, reciprocal, authentic connection! Connection with places, through the people that live there. So, with much intention, I started Conscious Travel Collective to offer folks travel that connects. We design luxury experiences at a reasonable price, with sustainable, ethical travel practices leading the way.
For more on our approach to private travel head over to our homepage. We are so happy to welcome you!