My most favorite seasons are fall and spring. The crisp air of the fall season after a hot summer and the calming feeling of spring- cute little buds on the trees everywhere, ready to blossom. I planned this fall foliage trip a month ahead and honestly, just a week before the trip I wasn’t sure if I will be able to see the foliage, constantly checking foliage reports because of the ever-changing weather in the Northeast.
Our first stop along Route 4 was the Quechee Gorge (pronounced as kwee-chee). Known as ‘Grand Canyon of Vermont’, it’s 145 feet deep and is the state’s deepest gorge. The site was breathtaking with hiking trails nearby as well as a cute café with possibly the best hot apple cider I have ever had. After a quick stop, we went up to Stowe through Route 100 and stopped by to take pictures along the way.
Stowe was the place to be, to see the spectacular colors and the vast landscape. We took a gondola and went up the hill. The ride up offers the most immersive view of the mountain with the different colors spread across its hills. In winter, skiers use these to access the different skiing slopes that Stowe offers and I am sure the views are incredible when everything is covered in a sheet of snow. The gondola ride was a lot of fun. It was foggy at the top of the hill but the view was simply breathtaking!
From Stowe, we stopped by for lunch at Idletyme Brewery. I suggest making reservations ahead of time, as most of the restaurants in Stowe were packed with tourists. After the lunch, I had to stop for a quick coffee, and stumbled across this super cute café called Stowe BeeBakery and Café. They had good coffee as well as delicious pastries. I got the Twix bar which was a bit pricey for a small piece but it literally melts in your mouth.
Our hotel was in Burlington, so we decided to take the scenic Route 108 through Smuggler’s Notch to Burlington.
After checking in, we decided to explore Burlington. It is located South of the Canadian Border and on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain. The city was very lively on the weekend and we walked around checking out the different attractions the city had to offer. It was bustling with tourists, even with the chilly weather that night. For dinner we decided to go to American Flatbread Burlington Heath. They have the most amazing salads and flatbreads. The interior is cozy and perfect after a long day outdoors.
The next day, we stopped by at Lake Chaplain. Shelburne Bay was the most scenic of the lake’s views with easy parking access. We then took Route 7 on the way back. This was a scenic route with farms along both sides and glimpses of the lake as you make your way south.
There are plenty of small towns to stop by on this route to grab any Vermont products or souvenirs. I picked up some maple syrup and coffee beans from the Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op.
It was super chilly by this time so made a quick stop at Lake Dunham. The best thing about Vermont is that you get to see the beautiful foliage and all the incredible views while driving. On the way down, we stopped in small town in Brandon to grab coffee at Gourmet Provence, a French bakery. If you are in the area, the have freshly baked breakfast pastries, Vermont specialty products, as well as imported vinegars and organic pastas. The Chocolate Decadent cookie was delish! From there, the GPS unexpectedly guided us through Route 73, which ended up being a very beautiful route through the green mountains with its trees showcasing every stage of foliage. The fog for some of the route had a great atmospheric effect, making it one of the most memorable routes of the trip.
I highly recommend Vermont for mesmerizing and memorable views of the foliage. On our way up we passed by some great patches of foliage in the northern parts of New Hampshire, which I plan on checking out next year.