Experiencing Fall in Stowe, Vermont
October is one of the best months to visit Stowe, Vermont for leaf-peeping, drinking apple cider, and staying in a quintessential New England Bed and Breakfast! Here are all the fun things to do in Fall in Stowe!
Leaf peeking makes my heart so happy!
The fall foliage in Stowe, Vermont is just unreal. I’ve had this trip planned in my head for years now because Vermont is one of the most beautiful destinations in the fall. Unfortunately, we had to put our trip on hold last year with everything that was going on in the world. But this year we got the chance to experience a beautiful array of fun reds, oranges, and yellows painted in the sky. It’s a laidback adventure that’s perfect to do right before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season starts.
And I absolutely love it when there’s a chill in the air! A warm cider in hand and a cozy sweater and I’m all set for fall foliage!
When is peak foliage season in Stowe, Vermont?
It can vary quite a bit! There are plenty of websites that have predictors if you’re planning a trip. It’s most helpful to look at last year’s peak foliage dates when booking a fall foliage trip to Stowe or Woodstock and using that to plan your trip. Here is a website that will give you an idea of what dates were best for leaf-peeping last year. I find that anywhere between October 5th-20th tends to get you decent colors!
How far in advance do you recommend booking a fall foliage trip?
We booked our trip 4 months in advance and it proved to be considered late! One of the hotels we were hoping to stay at was already booked solid for our dates. Stowe and Woodstock Vermont are the hottest fall destinations so if you’re serious about making the trip, ideally you should book 6 months in advance. Affordable accommodations seem to get snatched up very quickly!
Where to stay in Stowe, Vermont:
- Edson Hill: We LOVED Edson Hill! This beautiful inn is situated a bit away from the Stowe Village but still close enough. They only have 22 rooms, some of which are in the Manor House (we booked last minute, so ours was in the Manor which is shared with two other guests.) But they had wonderul private bathrooms (with heated floors!) Breakfast is included and parking is also free. They always bring you baked goods before your meal, like fresh blueberry muffins or pumpkin bread! Edson Hill has a restaurant on-site that offers stunning views and amazing dining options! This place is on the pricier side for sure but we definitely enjoyed out fall in stowe experience here!
- Trapp Family Lodge: In the 1950s the von Trapp family (yes, from The Sound of Music) opened their doors to their lodge. This property is still owned and operated by the von Trapp family. Though this isn’t my cup of tea, it definitely would be great for someone who is a fan of the movie! You can also tour the lodge if you didn’t want to stay here!
- Field Guide Lodge: This is a beautifully decorated upscale hotel. They offer complimentary breakfast and parking. They also have a restaurant on site. We really wanted to say here for our trip, but unfortunately, when we went to make bookings, they were already sold out for the entire month of October!
What to do during Fall in Stowe
- Ben & Jerry’s Factory: We stopped by the ice cream factory in Waterbury. Unfortunately, tours were on hold (due to Covid) but we still enjoyed stopping by for a cone of ice cream and checking out the B&J Flavor Graveyard!
- Visit the Cold Hollow Cider Mill: A great place to take a stroll, grab a hot or cold apple cider, and don’t forget – warm apple cider donuts! We stopped by just before lunch and grabbed a salad and a wrap from the Luncheonette (on the property) before heading in for some maple-flavor goodies, donuts, and cider! I tried the maple vinaigrette on my salad and lunch and am sad I didn’t think to buy some for home! Don’t make the same mistake I did.
- Stowe Gondola Skyride: For around $32 take the gondola starts in Stowe and takes you up to the top of Mount Mansfield. Gondola rides operate from Mid July-Mid October. But it’s best to check the website to see if they’re operating that day. If it’s particularly bad weather, they do just down the Gondola for the day.
- Golden Brook Covered Bridge (Emily’s Bridge): Legend has it that this covered bridge is haunted. People have reported hearing footsteps and strange noises. I obviously had to go here!
- Stroll the Stowe Village: Plenty to see here! Make sure to stop by The Country Store if you’re into kitchen goods. Shaw’s General Stowe and Stowe Merchantile both of souvenirs and such! There are also a few antique stores and I highly suggest dropping by if you’re into that sort of thing.
- Stowe Community Church: This is a beautiful church situated in Stowe Village but it’s best to see it from a distance! To get the best views, route your GPS to Salon Salon.
- 232 Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT 05672
- Stowe Recreation Path: Great outdoor 5.5 mile long trail for walking or biking. There are little parks all along Stowe where you can park and get on the path. We stopped by the Corn Maze and even got to feed a few goats when we were out on our stroll!
- Auto Toll Road: We didn’t end up doing the auto toll road as we heard mixed reviews, but it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t mention it. This is said to be one of Vermont’s more scenic drives! It’s just as it sounds – you zigzag through colored trees to the top of Mt. Mansfield. Last I checked, I believe it’s about $26 for the car + $9.50 per person. We opted for the Gondola but either option is great to enjoy fall foliage colors!
- Smugglers Notch State Park: Lots of places to hike here! You can also drive the narrow windy route and enjoy the scenery from your car. We opted to do the drive as we started quite late in the day and wouldn’t have the full two hours to hike. But Sterling Pond is a beautiful hike, if you’re interested!
- 6443 Mountain Road Stowe, VT 05672
- Check out Grand View Farm! I can’t remember where I heard about this, but it’s a 100+ year old red barn with stunning fall foliage in the backdrop. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it on Google Maps! We spent quite some time trying to locate it and it did not disappoint. I have since then submitted it as a location on Google so it’s easy for you to find! So here’s the location:
- 3019 Stowe Hollow Rd, Stowe, VT 05672
Where to eat in Stowe, Vermont:
My number one tip when booking restaurants is to look at menus online and make reservations well in advance! It’s very unlikely you’ll get seated at most of these restaurants with less than an hour of wait time. If you can, call and book a table in advance!
- The Bench: This place was high on my list! But unfortunately, we were there during the days when they were closed. I highly, highly recommend this place based on the reviews. And I plan to go the next time we’re in Stowe!
- Idletyme Brewing Company: Tons of delicious food to try! We especially loved the Smoked Gouda soup and the Vermont Cheddar Fritters! We were also looking forward to trying the fish and chips/fishwich but unfortunately, they had sold out for the night!
- Plate: I called a month before leaving to make reservations, and reservations I did not get. I was on the waitlist but even then, I wasn’t able to get in. This place makes California-inspired cuisine and is located in Stowe Village. Call ahead of time to score reservations for sure!
- Piecasso: Delicious pizza! We loved our Margherita pizza here!
- The Matterhorn: They serve up burgers, pizza, and sushi so great if you can’t decide what you want to have! The food was delicious, but unfortunately, we had one of the worst experiences with our server, which kind of dampened the whole dinner experience here. They do have beautiful outdoor seating near the river so great for lunch or dinner.
- Butler’s Pantry: If you only get one thing, get the pancakes! They are absolutely amazing! I wish I could eat more than one portion because I would’ve gotten the cheddar and jalapeno ones too! They don’t take reservations but if you show up around 7:50 in the morning, you should get seated immediately! You can also join the waitlist on Yelp ahead of time.
- Black Cap Coffee & Beer: Located right next door to Butler’s Pantry, they have delicious coffee, pastries, and breakfast items. We found most people that weren’t able to get seated at Butler’s Pantry, went here for breakfast!
- Stowe Sandwich Company: A great place to grab breakfast or lunch. We bought sandwiches and soup and took it with us on the Gondola Skyride and enjoyed lunch on the top of Mt. Mansfield.
- Stowe Bee Bakery: a great place to grab a quick coffee, breakfast, or a pastry!
There is so much to eat, see, and do in Stowe, Vermont! I hope this inspires you to plan a trip to check out some of the best fall foliage Vermont has to offer!