Welcome to fall in Vermont! Bright colors, warm days, and cozy nights make autumn one of our favorite Vermont seasons and with the first day of Autumn on Monday, we thought a foliage drive might be in order. We have put together an itinerary for a classic Vermont foliage tour with a twists. Please note this is a suggested itinerary. If you have something you think we missed – let us know!
8:00 am: Breakfast at Juniper
Grab pastries at the bar or fuel up with our hearty and classic breakfasts.
9:00 am: On the Road with a Coffee Stop
Take Exit 9 to Middlesex for a coffee and snack stop at Red Hen Bakery. Red Hen Bakery supplies not only the bread at Hotel Vermont, but many restaurants in the greater Burlington area. Their cinnamon buns are killer.
10:00 am: Waterbury Reservoir
Jump on to Route 100 to Waterbury Reservoir. Completed in 1938, the Waterbury Dam serves to control three rivers that converge in Waterbury. The man-made reservoir is a popular spot for boating, fishing and swimming in the summer and has easy walking trails for exploration.
11:00 am: Stowe Activities
Route 100 from Waterbury to Stowe is home to many of Vermont’s most iconic businesses. Make a sweet stop at the Ben and Jerry’s Factory where you can grab a scoop of your favorite flavor, visit the Flavor Graveyard and take a tour of the facilities.
Just a way down the road, you can also visit the Cabot Cheese Store. Taste over fifteen different cheddars and grab some cheesy apparel for yourself.
Cold Hollow Cider Mill also calls Route 100 home. No fall tour would be complete without locally pressed cider and fresh out of the oven cider donuts.
12:30 pm: Lunch
We recommend two options for lunch. The Apple Core at Cold Hollow Cider Mill is a great place to grab a sandwich and relax. Be warned the sandwiches are huge (and delicious!) and can most likely feed two people. With a unique flair, they offer all sandwiches on white or sweet potato wheat bread.
A second option takes a little bit of navigating but is more than worth it. Not just for beer enthusiast (although we definitely recommend sampling some of their hoppy creations) Lost Nation Brewing in Morrisville is a local brewing company that offers lunch and dinner to those who make the trek. They are open 11:30am – 9 pm Wednesday – Sunday and offer growlers to go.
2:00 pm: Through the Notch
Continue on Route 15 through Smuggler’s Notch. Separating Vermont’s highest peak, Mount Mansfield, from Spruce and Sterling Peak, the notch is open for transport spring – fall and closes access in the winter. Two ski resorts, Stowe Mountain and Smuggler’s Notch, are on either side of the notch. Adventure seekers can use the road to ski or snowshoe to either resort in the winter.
Smugglers Notch derives its name from activities precipitated by a request of President Thomas Jefferson to prevent American involvement in the Napoleonic. The Embargo Act of 1807 forbade American trade with Great Britain and Canada. But proximity to Montreal made it a convenient trading partner, and the Act caused great hardship for Vermonters, many of whom continued the illegal trade with Canada, carrying goods and herding livestock through the Notch. Fugitive slaves also used the Notch as an escape route to Canada. The route was improved to accommodate automobile traffic in 1922 thus providing a route for liquor to be brought in from Canada during the Prohibition years.
3:30 pm: Back to Burlington
Follow Route 15 back into Burlington. Want more foliage tours? There are some beautiful drives through the Lake Champlain Islands.
*If you need directions or a map please stop by the Front Desk upon check in.