Route 17 Appalachian Gap in Buels Gore on September 27, 2020. VBM photo.
by Amy Spear, Vermont Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Tourism Vermont’s mountains and countrysides will soon be ablaze with vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. Our hospitality businesses and attractions have implemented thorough safety measures so Vermonters and visitors can enjoy the state in both new and familiar ways.
While Vermont is known as a visitor paradise, many Vermonters also look forward to this time of year when our state shows off its colorful splendor.
As we face unique challenges this year because of the pandemic, it is more important than ever to support our local inns and lodges, restaurants, and small Vermont businesses. With public health top of mind, Vermont is the perfect place to enjoy fall safely. From breathtaking vistas and fall activities to world-class inns and restaurants, there is plenty to explore and rediscover.
Here are a few of our team’s favorite ways to enjoy Vermont’s foliage season.
See the Best Autumn Foliage
You can see the best fall foliage in the country in Vermont. Stowe was just named a USA Today Top 10 fall foliage destination. Spots heralded for their unparalleled views include Smuggler’s Notch in Lamoille County, the Mount Equinox Skyline Drive in Sunderland, Lake Willoughby in the Northeast Kingdom, and Sleepy Hollow Farm in Woodstock. The Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing put together a fall foliage roadmap, which helps with travel planning. Also check out fall foliage photography tips from New England photographer David Long, collected by Go Stowe.
Go Apple Picking
Vermont’s apples and (apple goods) are exceptional – from fresh cider donuts to sweet Honeycrisp apples right from the tree. Vermonters and visitors alike enjoy picking their own fruit in our state’s serene orchards and treating themselves to fresh apple cider. Here are a handful of special New England apple recipes. Notable destinations for apple picking and fall treats are Champlain Orchards in Shoreham, Paul Mazza’s Fruit and Vegetable Stand in Essex Junction and Colchester, and Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury.
Explore Corn Mazes
Corn mazes are perfect for getting outside, feeling the crisp fall weather, and staying safe while experiencing the season. Two of the best corn mazes in Vermont (and possibly New England) are at Hathaway Farm in Rutland and the Great Vermont Corn Maze in Danville. My husband and I brought our 1-year-old daughter to Hathaway Farm’s corn maze last weekend and had a wonderful time! Kids of all ages appreciate playfully hiking through towering corn and the challenge of solving a maze.
Take a New England Staycation
Vermont’s inns and lodges are now able to book at 100 percent capacity. As you plan a New England staycation, a few inns to consider that have stunning views and offer memorable experiences are The Essex Resort & Spa in Essex Junction, Stratton Mountain Resort near Manchester, Tyler Place Family Resort in Swanton, and The Lodge at Spruce Peak. You can use our trip planning tool at VermontVacation.com to narrow your search and discover unique accommodations, restaurants, attractions, and recreation.
And if you cannot take a trip to Vermont because of health or travel limits, you can always bring Vermont into your home. Indulge in distinctive Vermont fall foods by ordering autumn chocolates from Lake Champlain Chocolates, buttermilk pancakes and pure Vermont maple syrup from Dakin Farm, candy, savory food, and maple candles from the Vermont Country Store, or a delicious Vermont gift box from Bragg Farm Sugarhouse.
This pandemic has impacted us in so many ways, but with these recommendations you can still experience the best time of the year in Vermont. Remember to wear a mask, keep six feet apart, wash your hands, and take lots of pictures.
Amy Spear, of Killington, is the Vice President of Tourism at the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, whose mission is focused on creating an economic climate conducive to business growth while enhancing Vermont’s quality of life.