AUTUMN ROAD TRIP TO COUYNTRYSIDE AND MOUNTAINS; VERMONT, USA
Day 1 – Arrive Boston, USA; Drive to Archer Hotel Burlington
There are direct flights to/from Boston, USA from many US cities, including New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle. Upon arrival at the Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) in Massachusetts State, we take the Shuttle Bus (departing at the curbside on the lower level of each terminal) to the Rental Car Center. We pick-up our rental car and drive 30 minutes to the Archer Hotel Burlington. We have dinner in our hotel.
Note: We arrive in Boston late afternoon/early evening, then drive 30 minutes to the Archer Hotel Burlington in Massachusetts State. The next morning, we drive several hours to Vermont. Visitors arriving early in the day in Boston have an option to drive directly to Vermont. We visit Vermont in October, the autumn foliage season beginning in September and extending through October. The peak of the autumn foliage season changes due to weather conditions. We start our days early to maximize the daylight during our autumn road trips.
Day 2 – Vermont Route 100; Arrive Manchester
We depart our hotel in Burlington and drive a few hours to Vermont. We take the Vermont Route 100 and visit the historic town of Wilmington. We drive north on Vermont Route 100 to the Windham Village Historic District and The Vermont Country Store, a rural general store located in the village of Weston. Farther north, we explore the town of Ludlow and the Green Mountain Sugar House, situated four miles north of Ludlow. Afterward, we drive one hour to the Kimpton Taconic Hotel in Manchester village and have dinner at the Copper Grouse Restaurant & Bar, located in our hotel.
Day 3 – Route 7 & Route 7A
We drive 15 minutes along the scenic West Road and Route 30 to the village of Dorset. We walk through the village, relax at the café and traverse the winding roads encircling the village. Afterward, we take West Road to the Southern Vermont Arts Center, a 120-acre forest-land. We visit the estate’s Sculpture Park and Gardens, the Wilson Museum & Galleries and have lunch on the deck at its CurATE Café. After lunch, we drive 10 minutes to the Dutton Berry Farm to buy Vermont cheese and maple products. Scenic Route 7A & Route 7 situated between the Taconic Mountains and the Green Mountains, traverse the quaint villages and towns. We visit the Arlington Covered Bridge in the picturesque town of Arlington and the Chiselville Covered Bridge located in the town of Sunderland. We drive back to Manchester and have dinner.
Day 4 – Manchester & Places
We drive a short distance from our hotel to Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home. We arrive at the opening time and explore the 412-acre estate of Robert Lincoln, the son of President Abraham Lincoln. We visit the mansion, the European style gardens and the restored 1903 Pullman Railroad Car, Sunbeam. Situated near the estate, the Equinox Valley Nursery offers traditional fried apple cider doughnuts. Thereupon, we drive 20 minutes to the Equinox Summit, the highest peak of the Taconic Range. The Mount Equinox Skyline Drive begins at the Skyline Welcome Center at 6369 Skyline Drive, off Route 7A, and arrives to the St. Bruno Scenic Viewing Center. We drive back to the center of Manchester and have lunch at the Works Bakery Café. In the afternoon, we explore Manchester’s historic architecture and visit quaint stores and designer outlet boutiques. We have dinner at the Silver Fork Restaurant, situated within a walking distance from our hotel.
Day 5 – Manchester Departure, Mount Killington, Arrive Woodstock
We depart Manchester in the morning and drive over an hour to Mount Killington. The Vermont Route 100 connects to East Mountain Road and Killington Road, leading to the K-1 Lodge. The K-1 Gondola, operational in winter, summer and during the peak season of the autumn foliage, departs from the terminal at the K-1 Lodge and ascends to the top of the mountain. Afterward, we drive 40 minutes to photograph the beautiful Jenne Farm, located off Route 106, at 1264 Jenne Road in Reading. Next, we take Route 106 North for 15 minutes and arrive at the Woodstock Inn & Resort. Our afternoon in Woodstock involves a lunch at the Mon Vert Café, exploring the town’s historic architecture and souvenir shopping. We have dinner at the Red Rooster Restaurant, part of our hotel.
Day 6 – Vermont Route 100, Green Mountain Byway
Early morning, we follow the Route 100 north toward the town of Stowe. Along the way, we stop at the Original General Store in Pittsfield and at the Moss Glen Falls near Granville. Farther north, we visit the small town of Warren and the nearby village of Waitsfield. A 20 minutes’ drive north leads to the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Shop in Waterbury that serves delicious ice-cream. The Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour was not offered during our visit. The nearby Cold Hollow Cider Mill has a Tasting Room for hard cider and the country store that offers fresh cider doughnuts. We traverse the town of Stowe and arrive at the Trapp Kaffeehaus for lunch. Afterward, we take Route 108 toward the Smugglers’ Notch Scenic Highway, a winding mountain passage. We drive over an hour (Route 15, Route 100, Route 12, rural roads) to the Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks and degust a delicious ice-cream at their maple creemee. A short drive away, Montpelier has a historic downtown and a few nice options for dinner. In the evening, we drive around 1.5 hours back to Woodstock.
Day 7 – Woodstock & Places
After breakfast, we drive a few minutes to the Billings Farm & Museum. Our multi-hour visit covers the Farm Manager’s House, the historic barns, the museum’s exhibits and the picturesque pastures. After the visit, we drive five minutes to the Sleepy Hollow Farm (situated at 3429 Cloudland Road in Pomfret) to photograph the picture-perfect landscape. Next, we drive 15 minutes to the Sugarbush Farm, a 550-acre farm that produces maple products and hand-waxed Cheddar Cheese. Traversing the scenic rural backroads leads to Barnard, another quaint village set along the Silver Lake. We enjoy a picnic lunch, drive along the rural lands and later return to Woodstock.
Day 8 – Boston, USA Departure
In the morning, we drive several hours to Boston Logan International Airport and take our flight home.
Vermont – New England, the region situated in the Northeastern United States, comprises six states: Main, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Vermont borders New Hampshire to the east, Massachusetts to the south, New York to the west and the Province of Quebec in Canada to the north. The name Vermont originates from the French words “Vert Mont” meaning green mountain, given by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain. The indigenous tribes lived in Vermont for thousands of years before the French colonists and then the British colonists settled in Vermont’s lands. In 1790, Vermont was added to the Union (the United States) as the 14th state. Montpelier is the capital city of Vermont, located in the north-central part of the state. The Montpelier Historic District showcases impressive 19th century buildings and the Vermont State House, a remarkable structure with a golden dome. The topography of Vermont comprises agricultural lands, forested terrains, rivers, valleys and mountains. The Appalachian Mountains, a mountain range of Eastern North America, extend from southeastern Canada to central Alabama in the USA. The northern Appalachian range includes the Green Mountains, White Mountains and Taconic Mountains in New England. The Taconic Mountains extend 150 miles north and south and are located in southwestern Vermont, eastern New York and western Massachusetts. The Green Mountain National Forest is located in southwestern and central Vermont. The dense forest comprises two non-contiguous parts and encompasses more than 400,000 acres of land. The Green Mountain National Forest’s landscape comprises numerous mountain peaks, including Killington Peak at 4,232 feet above sea level. There are eight wilderness areas in the Green Mountain National Forest, established by the Vermont Wilderness Act of 1984. The dense forest is a thriving wildlife habitat and has diverse tree species. Sugar maple, red maple, yellow birch, paper birch, beech, aspen, green ash, hemlock and many other tree species contribute to the spectacular autumn foliage. The rural beauty of Vermont is especially visible in the autumn season, the season of changing foliage and autumn harvest. The Vermont’s Scenic Byways are winding routes traversing through the beautiful mountains, valleys, farmlands, towns and villages.
Scenic Route 100 Byway – The Scenic Route 100 Byway (Vermont Route 100) stretches 216 miles south to north, connecting Wilmington in the south to Newport in the north. The route runs at the edge of the Green Mountain National Forest and traverses through Vermont’s quintessential towns, pretty villages and ski resorts. The historic town of Wilmington, situated near the North Branch Deerfield River in the southern part of the Green Mountains, has lovely boutiques, specialty stores and restaurants. The Vermont Route 100 continues north and passes the Windham Village Historic District and The Vermont Country Store, a rural general store located in the village of Weston. The store features a collection of regional specialties, local cheeses, maple products, souvenirs and hard-to-find products. Farther north is the town of Ludlow and the Green Mountain Sugar House, situated four miles north of Ludlow. The Red-roofed Green Mountain Sugar House, set on Lake Pauline (Reservoir Pond), is a sugar house and shop selling maple products, Vermont cheese and gifts. The Vermont Route 100 continues north toward Mount Killington, Vermont’s second tallest peak in the Green Mountains. The Vermont Route 100 connects to East Mountain Road and Killington Road, leading to the K-1 Lodge. The K-1 Gondola, operational in winter, summer and during the peak season of the autumn foliage, transports visitors from the bottom terminal at the K-1 Lodge to the top of the mountain and to the Peak Lodge. The top of the mountain is a great place to experience breathtaking views of the autumn foliage.
The Shires of Vermont Byway – A journey across southern Vermont rewards with beautiful views of rural life, picturesque valleys and colorful maple trees. The Shires of Vermont Byway (Historic Route 7A & Route 7) runs between the Taconic Mountains and the Green Mountains in southwestern Vermont. The Historic Route 7A connects the South Shire town of Bennington and the North Shire town of Manchester. The Route 7 connects Pownal to Bennington. The routes traverse the quaint villages and small towns situated against the backdrop of the mountains. Arlington is a pretty town nestled in the Valley of Vermont. The picturesque Arlington Covered Bridge, situated off of Route 313, crosses the Batten Kill River. A short drive away, the Chiselville Covered Bridge in the town of Sunderland has its own unique character.
Mad River Byway – The beautiful landscape of Central Vermont is visible along the scenic drives. The Mad River Byway follows the famed Route 100, the Route 100B and the Route 17. The Mad River Valley is a tranquil retreat nestled in the Green Mountains. The Mad River Glen and Sugarbush, the region’s popular ski resorts, offer exciting outdoor adventures. Traveling on Route 100 leads to the picturesque Moss Glen Falls near the town of Granville and to the Granville Gulf Reservation comprising 1,171 acres of land. Farther north, Warren is a charming small town with a quaint general store and a traditional covered bridge. The nearby village of Waitsfield features the wooden Waitsfield Covered Bridge across the Mad River.
Green Mountain Byway – North-Central Vermont is known for its quaint towns, pretty villages and breathtaking mountain views. The Green Mountain Byway is a 72-mile route that runs between the northern Green Mountains to the west and the Worcester Mountains to the east. Mount Mansfield, located in Mount Mansfield State Forest, is the highest peak in Vermont at 4,395 feet above the sea level. The Mount Mansfield Visitor Center is the base for the hiking trails, including the Long Trail, running along the ridgeline of the Green Mountains. Stowe, a quaint town at the base of Mount Mansfield, attracts winter sports’ enthusiasts and lovers of adventure hikes. The Trapp Family lodge, situated in the village of Stowe, is an Austrian-style resort with magnificent mountain views. The 2,500-acre estate includes the Trapp Kaffeehaus, an Austrian-inspired bakery serving sandwiches, soups, pastries and drinks. The Stowe Mountain Resort, a premier winter skiing destination, comprises the Stowe Gondola SkyRide that ascends atop the Mount Mansfield during the period between December and April. The Auto Toll Road is a winding 4.5 miles historic road that leads to the summit of Mount Mansfield. The Green Mountain Byway is a scenic loop route connecting the Route 100 to Route 108 to Route 15 and again to Route 100. The Smugglers’ Notch Scenic Highway, part of Route 108, is a multi-mile route running between the Mount Mansfield State Forest and the Smugglers’ Notch State Park. The Smugglers’ Notch is an awe-inspiring mountain passage and a popular rock and ice climbing destination. The winding route traverses the scenic forest and runs between massive rocks.
Manchester & Places – Southern Vermont is blessed with mountainous terrain and an enchanting rural landscape. Manchester is a quaint small town in southwestern Vermont. It is nestled between the Green Mountains and the Taconic Mountain Range. Equinox Summit is the highest peak of the Taconic Range at 3,848 feet above the sea level. The Mount Equinox Skyline Drive, located off Route 7A (GPS Address: Skyline Welcome Center, 6369 Skyline Drive), is a private toll road winding upward the mountain. The 5.2-mile road leads to the St. Bruno Scenic Viewing Center that offers a 360-degree view of the mountains, the valleys and the countryside. Boutique hotels, charming restaurants and quaint shops can be found in town. Manchester boasts historic buildings, including the 19th century Bennington County Court House and the First Congressional Church established in 1784. The town is a popular shopping destination, featuring antique shops, lovely boutiques, the flagship store of Orvis, the Above All Vermont and Manchester Designer Outlets, a multitude of designer outlet stores situated in the historic buildings. The Works Bakery Café creates delicious artisanal sandwiches. The Silver Fork Restaurant serves a refined international cuisine for dinner. A short drive from the town’s center, Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home is the home of Robert Lincoln and his wife Mary. Robert Lincoln, the son of President Abraham Lincoln, built the mansion in 1905 on a 412-acre estate. Visitors may explore European style gardens, the restored 1903 Pullman Railroad Car, Sunbeam, the walking trails and incredible mountain views. Located a short drive from the estate, the Equinox Valley Nursery has pumpkins for sale during the autumn season and traditional fried apple cider doughnuts. Scenic routes through the countryside lead to the Dutton Berry Farm, a great place to buy farm-grown produce, Vermont cheese, maple products and apple cider. The West Road leads to the Southern Vermont Arts Center, originally built in 1917 as a private estate, is a 120-acre forest-land. The estate comprises the Sculpture Park and Gardens, the Wilson Museum & Galleries, the Arkell Pavilion used for music events, the Yester House hosting exhibitions and the Hay Madeira Education Center. The CurATE Café creates an inventive cuisine, served inside a stylish dining room and outside on the deck. A farther drive on West Road, and then Route 30 leads to the charming village of Dorset. The community of East Dorset is set along the Route 7A. Established in 1761, Dorset is set in the Vermont Valley, nestled between the Taconic Mountains and the Green Mountains. The winding roads along the expansive estates, farmlands and mountains are beautified by the changing autumn leaves.
Woodstock & Places – Central Vermont enchants visitors with its historic towns, beautiful villages and breathtaking rural landscapes. Woodstock is a quintessential New England town situated along the Ottauquechee River. The picturesque town boasts historic architecture, grand mansions, pretty churches, old-fashioned country stores, boutiques and restaurants. Mon Vert Café is a perfect place for breakfast and lunch. The Red Rooster Restaurant in the Woodstock Inn & Resort serves a superb farm-fresh cuisine. In the center of Woodstock, the Middle Covered Bridge is a scenic landmark spanning across the picturesque Ottauquechee River. Built in 1969 by builder Milton Graton and later restored, the Middle Covered Bridge features a traditional wooden design with a sloping roof. Situated a half-mile from the center of town, the Billings Farm & Museum is a dairy farm with over 70 Jersey cows, goats, sheep, horses, pigs and chickens. The museum’s exhibits depict the historic rural life and showcase a traditional farmhouse. The estate includes the 1890 Farm Manager’s House and the apple orchard. The Billings Farm Museum Gift shop features souvenirs, maple products and cheddar cheese made from the raw milk of Jersey cows, hand-crafted at the Grafton Village Cheese Company. Across the street from the farm, the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park is a vast nature preserve. The estate comprises miles of walking trails and the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Mansion originally constructed by Charles March and later purchased by Frederic Billings in 1869. The region’s farming heritage is visible everywhere: the agricultural fields, expansive estates and the abundant pastures grazed by the livestock. The Sugarbush Farm is a 550-acre farm overlooking the rolling hills and the changing autumn foliage. Visitors may enjoy the nature trails, visit the sugar house and observe the hand-waxing of cheese. The farmhouse gift shop sells local foods, waxed cheeses and pure maple syrup made on the farm. The Sleepy Hollow Farm, situated at 3429 Cloudland Road in the village of Pomfret, is a picture-perfect farmhouse and wooden barn. A small pond, the rolling pastures and colored autumn leaves create ideal setup for the landscape photography. Traversing the scenic rural backroads leads to Barnard, another quaint village set along Silver Lake. The photographers’ preferred rural destination is Jenne Farm, located off Route 106, at 1264 Jenne Road in Reading. The pasture fields, beautiful farmhouse and autumn foliage show the simple country life. Traversing the rural backroads is the ideal way to discover the raw beauty of Central Vermont.
Farmlands – The long country roads, hilly meadows, sweeping mountain views and beautiful farmhouses nestled in the hillsides captivate the visitors of rural Vermont. Across the countryside, the herds of cows, sheep and goats graze on the green pastures. Vermont hosts over 700 dairy farms, producing superior quality dairy products. The Billings Farm & Museum, situated near the village center of Woodstock, is a dairy farm and museum. The farm has over 70 Jersey cows, goats, sheep, horses, pigs and chickens. The exhibits of the museum show the historic rural life and a traditional farmhouse. The estate includes the 1890 Farm Manager’s House and the apple orchard. The Billings Farm Museum Gift shop features a selection of cheddar cheese made from the raw milk of Jersey cows, hand-crafted at the Grafton Village Cheese Company. The Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks, situated a few miles outside of the town of Montpelier, has walking trails through the sugarbush, a sugarhouse, an excellent maple creemee and a country store selling specialty products and maple syrup. The Cold Hollow Cider Mill, situated on Vermont Route 100, offers lovely views of the Worcester Mountain range. The estate has a restaurant, a Tasting Room for hard cider and a country store selling maple products, apple cider and freshly fried cider doughnuts.
Vermont Cuisine – Vermont’s fertile agricultural lands supply the high quality ingredients used in the Farm-to-Table cuisine. The exceptional foods include organic meats, farm fresh eggs, artisan cheeses, maple syrup and fresh produce. Vermont’s rich-flavored milk, buttermilk and cream are used to make a delicious ice cream. The Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Company, founded in Vermont, produces premium quality ice-cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet. A visit to the Vermont’s town of Waterbury includes a Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour and the degustation of Ben & Jerry’s famed ice-cream. The Maple Creemee, a tradition in Vermont, is a soft-serve ice cream that contains less milk fat, has a creamier texture and is flavored with maple syrup or other flavors.
Maple Syrup – The Indigenous People of North America made maple syrup for centuries. The European settlers learned their techniques and refined farther the maple syrup production process. The woods where the sugar maple trees dominate are called Sugarbush. The Sugar Maple is the official State Tree of Vermont since 1949. The Sugar Maple’s five-lobed leaves turn yellow and red in the autumn, beautifying the landscape of Vermont. Vermont is a leading producer of maple syrup in the United States. In the late winter and early spring, the sap is harvested from the trunks of the sugar maple trees, then boiled to remove the water, creating pure maple syrup. The continued boiling of the sap increases the concentration of the liquid, creating the maple sugar. The Grades of Maple Syrup are Grade A (Gold Color and Delicate Taste), Grade A (Amber Color and Rich Flavor), Grade A (Dark Color and Robust Flavor) and Grade A (Very Dark and Strong Flavor). Across Vermont, maple farms and country stores sell a great selection of uniquely-flavored and all-natural pure maple syrup.
Cheddar Cheese – Vermont is a favorite destination to degust an exceptional quality and wide variety of cheese. The cheesemakers of Vermont create high-quality cheese using milk from diverse cows, sheep and goats. The countless cheese varieties include fresh cheese, soft cheese, aged cheese, Alpine cheese and smoked cheese. The cheese-making process involves traditional artisanal methods and flavorful milk from the pasture-raised herds. The Vermont Cheddar Cheese is a handmade artisan cheese, based on the old world cheese-making techniques. Cheddar Cheese was originally made in the village of Cheddar in Somerset, England. Vermont’s farmstead cheesemakers make wonderfully delicious Cheddar Cheese. A sampling of rich-flavored Smoked Cheddar, creamy-textured Mild Cheddar and sharp-flavored Aged Cheddar celebrates Vermont’s long cheese-making tradition.
Apple Cider – A large variety of apples is cultivated in Vermont. Visiting the apple orchards and picking the apples directly from the trees is an autumn tradition in Vermont. Fresh apples are available at the apple farms, farmer’s markets, country stores and farm stands. The apples are also used to make many apple-based products, including apple butter, dried apples, applesauce and Apple Cider. The cider mills of Vermont use old-fashioned methods to produce high quality sweet cider and hard cider. Visitors may sample a variety of ciders, including freshly pressed apple cider and barrel-aged hard cider.
Apple Cider Doughnuts – The apple picking season in Vermont coincides with a doughnut-making tradition. The freshly pressed apple cider is one of the ingredients used to make Apple Cider Doughnuts. The apple-scented doughnuts have a delicate sweetness and a tender texture. The warm Apple Cider Doughnuts are served plain or sprinkled with granulated sugar or cinnamon sugar.
Kimpton Taconic Hotel – The Kimpton Taconic Hotel is a boutique hotel located in the Manchester village in Vermont. It is nestled between the picturesque Green Mountains and Taconic Mountains. The hotel is a perfect leisure escape, winter skiing destination and a wonderful base for viewing the autumn foliage. The guests may relax at the seasonal outdoor swimming pool, the grand front porch or in the evening by the fire-pit. The Kimpton Taconic Hotel resembles a grand villa with a collection of guestrooms, suites and cottages. A number of rooms have fireplaces and views of the Green Mountains. The stylish Copper Grouse Restaurant & Bar serves a superb cuisine. The hotel is pet-friendly and is situated within walking distance to the historic village of Manchester.
Woodstock Inn & Resort – The Woodstock Inn & Resort is an elegant resort located in the beautiful town of Woodstock, Vermont. The Green Mountains, Ottauquechee River and picturesque farmlands encircle the resort and the town. The hotel is situated along Main Street in the heart of town, featuring quaint boutiques, restaurants and cafés. The beautiful guestrooms and elegant suites feature a classic décor, local art and spacious design. The Woodstock Rooms located in the Library Wing offer luxury and tranquility. The Red Rooster Restaurant and the Richardson’s Tavern serve a farm-fresh cuisine. The Woodstock Inn & Resort is an excellent base to observe the autumn foliage, to hike in the mountains, and to enjoy snow-shooing and cross-country skiing in the winter. The resort’s guests may visit the Billings Farm & Museum, situated a half-mile from the hotel (admission is included in the resort fee).
Archer Hotel Burlington – The Archer Hotel Burlington is a boutique hotel located in Burlington, the northwest suburb of Boston in Massachusetts. The hotel is part of the 3RD Avenue Burlington, a fashionable town center with restaurants, shops and the upscale supermarket of Wegmans. The modern hotel with chic guestrooms and suites emphasizes spaciousness and relaxed luxury. The Archer Hotel Burlington, situated at a 30 minutes’ drive from the Boston Logan Airport, is an excellent destination to relax after a domestic/international flight before continuing the journey to New England’s picturesque towns.