Nov 11, 2020 Stowe, Vermont Fall Travel Guide
1) Track The Foliage – You can track the fall foliage with an interactive map on the Vermont's state website here. Interactive maps of foliage trackers are available on each state's website in the New England area.
2) Make Dinner Reservations – We didn’t plan in advance, which made it hard to get dinner reservations since there is very limited food options in Vermont. I suggest booking those before the trip to bypass the wait or even being turned down. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many restaurants are allowing minimal occupancy, so it was so hard to find food. One night, we had to stop at a grocery store, so you should definitely plan ahead.
Flight: The nearest airport to Stowe is Stowe Airport. However, the major airport in Vermont is Burlington Airport. A 44 minute drive from Burlington to Stowe.
Rental Car - Most attractions are not within walking distance, so it might be more affordable to rent a car than Uber.
What to Pack:
Make sure to pack layers. New England's fall is usually cool in the morning, warms up during the day, and then gets cold at night. If you are planning on hiking or doing walking trails, you should also pack appropriate footwear/gear.
Attractions in Stowe & Around:
1) Gondola Skyride at Stowe Mountain Resort - This gondola ride up will allow you to take in views of Mount Mansfield, which is the highest peak in Vermont, and Spruce Peak. Unfortunately, you cannot book tickets in advance. For us, it was a two hour wait and we had limited time, so we decided this will be on the bucket list for next year!
2) Von Trapp Lodge - The Von Trapp Austrian family and their historical lodge were made famous through the film, "The Sound of Music." The views were incredible and the splashes of color on the autumn trees were illuminating. The lodge offers a variety of tours. Some of the tours include a history of the property, maple sugaring tours, touring the gardens, and brewery tours. The lodge also offers horse drawn carriage rides and, during the holiday season, sleigh rides. The Trapp Family Lodge has 60 miles of hiking and biking trails. For a day pass to go on the trails in the fall if not a guest, it is $10.60 for an adult. The prices change during the year based on the season.
3) Downtown Stowe - Stowe’s downtown has a small strip of stores for shopping. Most local eateries and the visitor's center are on the strip. My favorite store was The Country Store on Main in Stowe. Such a cute store with a little bit of everything. Personal favorites include their soaps, lotions, and candles. They have such a wide range of options. Also, I love kitchen decor. I ended up getting the cutest cupcake holders.
4) Stowe Recreation Area - This is a 5.3 mile paved public path for walking or jogging. You can start your day by grabbing a cup of joe and a nice walk taking in all the fall leaves. Dogs are permitted as long as they are leashed.
5) Stowe Community Church - This is the most photographed church in Stowe. Although, you can see the church on the downtown strip, the best views of the church are from Sunset Rock Trail. You can access this trail at the end of Sunset Road. The trail is in walking distance of the church itself. Once on the trail it is about 20 minutes roundtrip to see views and go back down. I am by no means a hiker, but this is a very easy trail. If a small hike is not your thing, you can go to the Salon Salon parking lot, which has the most iconic views of the church.
6) Covered Bridge - Stop by Gold Brook Bridge aka Emily’s Bridge. Supposedly, this bridge is haunted..
7) Bingham Falls - This trail is 0.5 mile and worth the time to stop. Seeing the autumn leaves falling from the trees was incredible. The main feature of this trail was the waterfall. This is a relatively easy trail, but you should wear appropriate footwear since there is a steep decline down to the waterfall.
Where to Dine:
The Bench: A place that is always endlessly packed. No reservations, it is first come first serve. Known for their fresh wood fire pizza. Sam loves their wood fire mussels for appetizers. We have went here a handful of times and always love the pinnacle and hellbrook pizza.
Salute: A rustic italian dining atmosphere with a wood fire oven. The oven is conveniently located so you can see the chef prepare the dishes. Very intimate experience. Loved their pasta dishes.
Sushi Yoshi: Known for its hibachi and sushi. Pretty average food but great for dining with a large group.
Butler's Pantry: Butler Pantry is an inn that is also a highly rated breakfast spot. This was an incredible experience. Butler's Pantry does not take reservations; it is a first come first serve. The breakfast was amazing. We got chocolate chip pancakes with Vermont maple syrup all made from scratch.
Where to Grab a Drink:
Cold Hollow Cider Mill: Cold Hollow Cider Mill makes hard cider and regular cider. Decades of traditions are kept alive through this cider mill. Cold Hollow is known for it's old fashioned process with a traditional rack and cloth press built in the 1920’s. There is a tasting station where you can try the regular cider, and at check out, you can grab cold or warm cider even take home a quart or gallon sizes available. For hard cider flights are available. The cider mill also includes the donut robot and bakery. The donut robot is located near the checkout counter and makes fresh donuts year round.
von Trapp Brewery & Bierhall: Visiting the von Trapp Brewery & Bierhall is a perfect way to end a day in Stowe. The bierhall was inspired by the Augustiner-Brautheir Bierhall in Salzburg and gives a Europeon ambiance that gives guests Vermont made beer with an Austrian influence.
Stowe Cider: Fresh pressed hand crafted cider based in Vermont. Great variety of ciders and many events held here with live music.
Matterhorn: Typical bar drinks with decent bar food. Closes at 2pm great for a night cap.
The Alchemist: Brewery specializing in fresh unfiltered IPA’s. Offers brewery tours, flights, and full pours on site.
Doc’s Pond: Well crafted cocktails. Probably, my go-to for mixed drinks is here. Even their seasonal drinks are always well done.
Places to Stay:
Edson Hill - A country inn with charm. Panoramic views of the untouched Worcester Range and the Green Mountains.
The Lodge at Spruce Peak - Located at base of Mount Mansfield - Vermont’s tallest peak. It is a ski in/ski out lodge with seasonal activities year round for the family.
Stowehof - A 26 acres of mountain vista that feels like a classic and rustic stay. This place is dog friendly!
Von Trapp Family Lodge - Luxury resort with Austrian architecture with European flare. Stunning mountain views and activities for the whole family.
Town & Country - All buildings were recently renovated. A wood fire pizza restaurant and airstream bar added.
Stowe Motel & Snowdrift - Basic, no frills, budget friendly motel for those ready for adventure and not spending much time inside. Great reviews.