Over Columbus Day weekend, Derika and I decided to hit the road and head to Vermont to see the fall color change and to check off another northeast state from our list. We got lucky, and the leaves cooperated that weekend so our trip was filled with tons of leaf peeping, tiny town exploring and cheese! Not a bad combo, if I do say so myself. We did not have much of a plan before we set off. I booked a place through airbnb in the middle of Vermont…literally in the middle of Vermont, no cell service, no Wi-Fi and no TV…it was a perfect getaway from noisy Manhattan. To get our trip rolling we used a New England towns list from BuzzFeed for ideas on where to visit and we winged the rest.
From the BuzzFeed article, I read amazing things about Woodstock. It worked out perfect, because Woodstock was on the way to the place that we were staying at. We scored and found a really cute discovery map of Woodstock and the surrounding area as soon as we got there. Each cluster of towns had a map like this, so we ended us using these maps the rest of the weekend as our guide for finding cute nooks and crannies in Vermont. Most of the stores in each town have free maps, but you can pick up your own version online here.
Vermont is filled with a ton of beautiful places to see and a bunch of adorable covered bridges. I have always wanted to see one of these bridges since I watched Beetlejuice in the 80s, so I made sure that Derika drove me through every one that I could find.
We ended up hitting a ton of teeny towns on our quick road trip, but there are a few that hold a small place in my heart. So I am just going to cover my 4 favorite places and some tips for things to check out while you are there. I hope you enjoy them just as much as I do.
We visited Woodstock during their Apples and Crafts Fair, so of course we had to stop. It was in a field filled with about 100 eclectic vendors. I got some early Xmas shopping done (homemade holiday ornaments) and I purchased a chunk o’ cheese from the food booth for $1. No joke, they were selling fresh chunks of Vermont cheddar…how could I pass that up!? Derika thought I was joking when she asked me if I wanted something from the food booth and I said “One Chunk O’ Cheese, please.”
Fresh Chunks of Cheddar = A Brilliant Food Booth Idea! Food trucks take note. 🙂
In addition to some holiday shopping, we also left with some of the best maple smoked Vermont cheddar I have ever had and a log cabin filled with REAL Vermont maple syrup!
Go to Woodstock for great shopping, cute restaurants and a ridiculously adorable town. They even have a Unicorn Novelty store that you should check out while you are there.
From Woodstock drive through Taftsville, so you can see some more covered bridges and peep at some leaves.
Then head north to Quechee (I have no idea how to pronounce it) to check out the Cabot Quechee Store and the Vermont Spirits Distilling Co. I asked the girl at the Cabot Store how many cheese samples they go through on a busy day, and she said anywhere from 50-70lbs… That is a sh*t ton of cheese!
We got lucky, and in addition to sampling a ton of cheese and sipping on some spirits there was an antique fair going on in the parking lot of the Cabot Cheese store for our shopping enjoyment. As I mentioned in previous posts, antiquing is not as much fun when you don’t have the space to really put anything in your tiny NYC apartment. However we still have room on our walls, so we did end up with some amazing tin initials and a tin star to hang. I am not sure what I am going to do with them yet, but expect a crafty post in the future. As an added antiquing bonus, I also got to see an amazing display of antique tin containers and the most epic braid that I have ever seen!!! OK, so maybe I was pretending to take a photo of the display, just so I could snap a photo of this braid, but how can you blame me!? I have to admit that the display was pretty epic though.
On Sunday, we set out on a day full of adventures, but my favorite adventure that we had that day was the time that we spent in Burlington. The downtown feels a lot like Boulder Colorado, and I loved the shops and restaurants that we spent hours exploring. I of course had to commemorate the trip and get a t-shirt to match the scenery.
To rest your feet, stop into the East Shore Vineyard tasting room in downtown for a little afternoon break and vino. They have a nice outdoor seating area, where you can enjoy some sunshine, vino and people watching.
After a lot of window-shopping we headed into American Flatbread and Zero Gravity Brewery for dinner, a super amazing wood fire pizza place and brewery. Derika does not even really like pizza that much and she loved this place. Thin crust pizza with really fresh amazing toppings and craft beer…how can you go wrong!? I just found out that they have one in NYC and I can’t wait to go, it is seriously one of the best pizzas that I have ever had.
After dinner we stopped off at Lake Champlain at the end of town for a sunset. I have always heard about this lake, but I never really knew much about it. Holy cow is it beautiful!! The weather was chilly, but I have to say that it had one of the best sunsets that I have ever seen.
On Monday we headed home, but not without stopping at Harpoon Brewery for a quick snack and a pint before we hit the road.
Boy, am I glad that we did. It turns out that this brewery is located in a little adult wonderland called Artisan Park. In this park you will find Harpoon Brewery, a sustainable farmer store, Silo Distillery and a glass blowing outlet store. My favorites were the brewery, the farmer store and the distillery. The distillery is located in a beautiful barn, the spirits were amazing and they are the only distillery in the world that makes lavender vodka. Unfortunately it was not ready for purchase yet…Break my heart!
If you are not in a rush to get home, and if you did not spend the whole afternoon at the artisan park, then I would recommend stopping in Deerfield, MA. I know that it is not in Vermont, but it worth the stop. The Yankee Candle Flagship store is here and I have to say that I have never seen anything like it. They claim to be the SCENTER OF THE UNIVERSE….cute!
It is like the Disney World of candle stores! You could spend all day here buying candles, eating ice cream, making your own candles, shopping, hanging out in the holiday room where it snows every 4 minutes, grabbing lunch at their cafe, or hanging out with Santa (who was in his street clothes) in the courtyard painting pumpkins with the kids!!!
Try to time it so that you leave Deerfield before rush hour traffic and hopefully you will be home in time for a later dinner. I hope that you are having an amazing fall and get out and enjoy some of the fall colors before the snow comes!
Happy Leaf Peeping!