Vermont is the ideal autumn destination as dense forests cover 70% of the state, with plenty of colorful maple trees each fall, so there is no shortage of stunning foliage. Beautiful sights are not all that visitors will discover in autumn, though, as the Green Mountain State brims with inviting small towns, home to a plethora of fall events and festivals. Some of the best things to do include sidewalk sales, hikes through the woods, or a visit to one of the beautiful state parks.
As an added bonus, travelers may drive from one end of Vermont to the other in just four hours, meaning many destinations can be hit all in one day or throughout a longer stay, perfect for a road trip vacation.
Shelburne, one of Vermont's most charming cities, sits on the shores of Lake Champlain and within driving distance of Burlington, one of the state's most popular destinations. A trip to Shelburne Farms is a great way to experience the town's warmth and beauty. Visitors may explore the area's walking trails, enjoy time with the Children’s Farmyard animals, watch cheesemaking, and revel in some freshly crafted cheddar. Travelers may also extend their stay at Shelburne Farms Inn, situated in the heart of the breathtaking landscape, boasting gorgeous views of the surrounding area. Throughout fall, Shelburne Farms offers events such as the House & Gardens Tour at the Shelburne Farms Inn, Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides, and Borderlands at Night.
Burlington sits just 15 minutes (6.9 miles) from Shelburne and also along Lake Champlain. The city merges an enticing urban community with its stunning outdoor location, ideal for those in search of a lively and exciting getaway.
Popular Burlington events in autumn include Nightmare Vermont, which is an immersive Halloween theater show, the Vermont International Film Festival, and Fall Fantasy with the Champlain Trio. For a hiking excursion, visit Nebraska Notch Trail in Underhill, Burrows Trail in Huntington, or Hell Brook Trail in Cambridge. Crossing Lake Champlain by ferry is a great way to view the fall foliage, as is a bike ride along the Burlington Greenway. Be sure to snap a photo beneath one of Vermont's famous covered bridges, such as Shelburne Museum Bridge, Seguin Covered Bridge, Quinlans Covered Bridge, and Spade Farm Covered Bridge.
Quechee Gorge State Park
Quechee is one of the cutest small towns in Vermont, home to the magnificent Quechee Gorge State Park. The spectacular Quechee Gorge is a great spot to see the fall colors, where golden hues and shades of red and orange paint the surrounding area. The gorge, 165 feet deep, was carved by the Ottauquechee River over a millenium. The Quechee Gorge Bridge boasts one of the best views in the park, while the Quechee Gorge Trail leads to the bottom of the gorge so visitors may look up, surrounded by the area's beauty. There are 45 tent or trailer sites, ideal for a fall camping trip and evenings spent gazing at the sparkling stars in the night sky.
Stowe is one of Vermont's most scenic towns, situated between Mount Mansfield Forest and CC Putnam Forest, therefore boasting a plethora of stunning fall foliage; the town even brands itself "fall's color capital." Travelers may enjoy guided tours in the fall, such as biking tours along Stowe Recreation Path, hiking through trails in Kirchner Woods and Wiessner Woods, or aerial adventures such as ziplining above the colorful trees. Fall is also the ideal time to celebrate Oktoberfest at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, check out the Stowe Foliage Arts Festival, or attempt to escape the Great Vermont Corn Maze. Cold Hollow Cider Mill is a great place to go apple picking, as well as enjoy fresh cider and baked goods. For pumpkin picking, be sure to stop by Chamberlin’s Farm.
The Champlain Islands sit in Lake Champlain in Northern Vermont on the boundary of Vermont and New York. There are three islands, home to popular summer vacation spots, though the destination is just as inviting in the fall. There are farm stands scattered all over the area, selling freshly harvested pumpkins, squash, apples, eggs, and gourds. Binoculars are also essential, and while you should be able to easily spot stunning fall foliage, you will need them for birdwatching as waterfowl and songbirds migrate through the area. Fall festivals include the Harvest Festival at Snow Farm Vineyard, the Champlain Islands Farmers Market Harvest Festival, and Apple Days at Allenholm Farm.
Underhill State Park
Underhill State Park sits within Vermont's astonishing Mt. Mansfield State Forest and is often considered a hiker's paradise. There are four trails, including Sunset Ridge Trail and Vermont's Long Trail, that reach the summit of the mountain, boasting incredible views of the surrounding area, which is especially stunning in the fall. Travelers may extend their stay in the campground, enjoying a rustic visit to Vermont in its most beautiful season. In the nearby town of Underhill, visitors may indulge in fall's delights at the Old Fashioned Harvest Market, which features food, entertainment, and fun and games.
Elmore State Park
The town of Elmore, "The Beauty Spot of Vermont," is one of Vermont's most charming beach towns, but it is also home to the gorgeous Elmore State Park, which boasts access to one of the state's most beautiful lakes: Elmore Lake. The lake is 219 acres of pure scenic beauty as the still waters reflect the colorful foliage of the surrounding woods, as well as the Elmore Mountain, which emerges from the lake's shoreline. Travelers may enjoy a hike to the top of the mountain, taking in panoramic views of the area or exploring the fire tower, or wandering around the lake. If it is still warm enough, a dip in the cool waters is a great way to refresh the day. There are several campsites for a cozy extended stay spent taking in the beauty of the great outdoors during fall.
Fall in Love With Vermont!
Enjoy the crisp autumn air, the sweet warmth of apple cider, and the color-changing trees in Vermont this fall. A fall vacation or getaway in Vermont promises plenty of excitement, be it the stunning and colorful foliage that decorates the trees or the charming small towns and their delightful fall-focused events. No matter where you end up in Vermont, whether the beauty of Quechee State Park draws you in or the charm of Stowe piques your fancy, the state is sure to delight in the fall months.