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Burlington/Woodstock/Stowe

new york
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Burlington/Woodstock/Stowe

Hi,

NYC dweller, enthusiastic and really excited about seeing the foliage this year and decided on Vermont instead of the Catskills but, can't decide where in VT to visit. Can only do 2/3 days so what to make the most of our time. Very young 40ish couple, looking to do some bike riding and hiking, for novice, but would like to do so in a place where we can see the best foliage. After enjoying biking and hiking, would be nice to hit a spa and some good eats and little shopping would be nice. To save time we are thinking of flying instead of driving and renting a car when we get there.

Would like to make this is a romantic vacation with my husband of 20yrs.

Thanks ahead of time.

new york
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407 posts
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1. Re: Burlington/Woodstock/Stowe

I fogot to mention... we are thinking of going Columbus Day weekend...I know, I know probably difficult to find decent accommodations but gonna give it a try.

I read hear that Stowe is a zoo, not sure what that means coming from NYC, I'll probably feel right at home :-) But, seriously, really want to enjoy the foliage.

Thanks!

Vermont
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for Vermont
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2. Re: Burlington/Woodstock/Stowe

Yes, Columbus Day Weekend may be a challenge. The most popular spots for foliage - Stowe, Woodstock, and Manchester all have upscale lodging, spas, good restaurants, etc. Check for availability in these towns. If you don't find anything....branch out. Check out Chester - there is a very knowledgeable poster here from Chester that should be able to gi ve you some good ideas, Middlebury, Montpelier, Lyndon/Burke, or Waitsfield/Warren

If you end up flying into Burlington, Stowe, Middlebury & Waitsfield/Warren are all within an hour of the airport. Woodstock is about 2 hours and Manchester about 2.5.

Burlington, Vermont
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3. Re: Burlington/Woodstock/Stowe

You could try the Inn at Essex, very nice hotel.

There is Athena Day spa right down the street from it and the Essex Shoppes.

http://www.essexshoppes.com/

Essex is 15 minute drive from Burlington and the Burlington Airport.

You would have close access to Mount Mansfield with many hiking trails.

In Burlington you could rent bikes for a ride on the bike path that follows along the edge of Lake Champlain.

Chester, Vermont
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for Chester, Ludlow, Vermont
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4. Re: Burlington/Woodstock/Stowe

Most places in Chester are fully booked for Columbus day and it is a perfect spot for a leaf peeping base

...I do however have personal knowledge of somewhere that has just had a cancellation (an hour ago!!) for Columbus weekend.......

new york
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5. Re: Burlington/Woodstock/Stowe

Thanks for your responses. I looked at the Essex Inn and it got bad reviews, so I'm not staying there. After reading addtional posts and info on Vermont, I'm thinking Grafton. Does anyone have any thoughts on the town, how centrally located it is, what' the foliage like, can we go for a bike run? Someone suggested this town over Manchester and its only an hour away from Grafton.

Any thoughts?

Chester, Vermont
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for Chester, Ludlow, Vermont
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6. Re: Burlington/Woodstock/Stowe

Grafton is beautiful. Its a picture perfect little town owned almost wholey by the Wyndman Foundation so upkeep of buildings and town in general is regulated which results in one of the most photographed small villages in Vermont. The accommodation options are The Old Grafton tavern or a couple of small B&Bs. The Tavern is lovely (has a great restaurant) a little pricey but the real issue at this time is availability. Bike are available to rent and the trails at grafton Pond are scenic and safe.

Burlington, Vermont
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7. Re: Burlington/Woodstock/Stowe

Grafton is in the middle of nowhere. It is not central to anything, literally miles off the beaten path. Yes, it is beautiful, but you have to want a complete escape from civilization to want to go there. Grafton is not everyone's cup of tea.

For accuracy's sake, it is the Windham Foundation that runs it. You can read about it at http://www.windham-foundation.org/foundation/

The Inn at Essex is a nice place, despite the reviews. The food is outstanding, the accommodations nice, this hotel's biggest problem is the people it employs. For some reason, the students who populate the staff of the New England Culinary Institute-managed restaurants there at the Inn at Essex have an "attitude" that is very off-putting. So I understand your concerns.

Personally, I think your best bet is the Waitfield/Warren area, near Sugarbush ski area, though it's getting rather late to make reservations for a place to stay.

new york
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8. Re: Burlington/Woodstock/Stowe

Oh geez, now I'm confused. I like that it sounds seculed and all but if its not very centralized, humm , maybe not an option. Okay, thanks for the advice. I'll look into the Inn at Essex, but really don't want to pay a lot of money if the Inn has attitutude.

Woodstock, Vermont
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for Woodstock
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9. Re: Burlington/Woodstock/Stowe

Hi NYCtraveler,

Woodstock has everything you need including a brand new Eurospar in the village....however you'll be lucky to get accommodation for the weekend you desire, but you may be lucky to get a canellation so check out www.woodstockvt.com under availability. 99% of all lodging in and around Woodstock is listed there so you can see all availability in on place.

You can also fly direct into West Lebanon on US air which is only 30 minutes fro Woodstock.

Good luck and if you don't manage to visit this Ocotber come another time and do check out the award winning B & B/inns in the area. Two of Trip Advisors top 6 in the State are located in or near Woodstock.

You can also do an easy day trip to Grafton. Weston & Chester via route 100 and even manage to walk into a national park directly from the village centre.

Chester, Vermont
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for Chester, Ludlow, Vermont
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10. Re: Burlington/Woodstock/Stowe

Grafton is not really "miles of the beaten path" Its less than 20 miles from the I-91 and a fairly direct drive. However I have checked with the Grafton tavern and they appear to be fully booked for Columbus weekend. As mentioned you could check out Weston which is closeby, with its theatre, Vermont Country Store and pretty waterfalls (they have a wonderful antiques fair over Columbus weekend). Or Chester with its picturesque village green surrounded by Victorian gingerbread B&B's and restaurants and shops within walking distance. All of these villages are quaint and quieter than other towns will be on Columbus weekend but still within short drives (less than an hour) from Woodstock, Manchester or the Aveda spa in Ludlow.

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