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Leaf peeping in Vermont. Where to stay; where to go!

Leicester, United...
Level Contributor
4 posts
4 reviews
Leaf peeping in Vermont. Where to stay; where to go!

We're coming from the UK to New England for 2 weeks.beginning 23rd September. We are planning to spend first 3 nights in Boston, last 3 nights with friends in Maine and the rest is available for our prime purpose of leaf peeping and walking. We have earmarked Vermont as probably the best area for that and are wondering where would be a great base for 5 - 7 nights. We prefer not to have to pack up every day and are happy to do a fair amount of driving.Ideally we like a self catering holiday rental rather than a hotel but open to all ideas. Look forward to hearing all your great ideas. Thanks for listening...

Burlington, Vermont
Level Contributor
2,832 posts
14 reviews
1. Re: Leaf peeping in Vermont. Where to stay; where to go!

That first week will be early in the foliage season, and the only place you are likely to find good color will be the far northeastern corner of Vermont and the far northern/northwestern corner of New Hampshire.

Vermont is small enough so that you can drive from the Quebec border all the way to the Massachusetts border in 3 to 4 hours.

Last, you will probably need to spend your second week in Vermont from Stowe northward. It's unlikely that good color will be found south of Stowe at that time on the calendar.

Be aware that despite being a bit early for foliage season, this is still "peak" tourist season, and if you want to book a hotel room, the time is now. Don't wait until summer to do so, because most of the good hotels will be sold out.

Baltimore, Maryland
Destination Expert
for North Conway
Level Contributor
12,372 posts
58 reviews
2. Re: Leaf peeping in Vermont. Where to stay; where to go!

Self catering is tough unless you book a full week. Don't need to stay while week. Or in a larger city you can find a residence inn marriott or similar place.

Ormond Beach...
Destination Expert
for Vermont, Ormond Beach
Level Contributor
9,564 posts
93 reviews
3. Re: Leaf peeping in Vermont. Where to stay; where to go!

Stowe, Burlington and perhaps Woodstock are the typical favorite home base towns. BTV is the biggest, with a nice assortment of activities, restaurants, pubs, art, etc...

Stowe probably has more self-catering type options.... The Golden Eagle is our favorite motel, and I believe they have an apartment that they rent, in additon to their regular (nice) motel rooms.

Ormond Beach...
Destination Expert
for Vermont, Ormond Beach
Level Contributor
9,564 posts
93 reviews
4. Re: Leaf peeping in Vermont. Where to stay; where to go!

Incidentally, both Burlington and Stowe have superb rec paths for walking, with lots of good photo spots along them. And one of the most interesting and spectacular walking/biking trails is the Colchester causeway, ~5 miles north of Burlington, which goes several miles out into Lake Champlain, with awesome views of Vermont's northern mountains as well as NY's Adirondaks. The trail was severely damages this summer by flooding however... so I'm not sure if some/all of it is reopened.... It's a must-do if so IMHO. :)

Stowe also has many hiking trails for all abilities nearby.

Bristol, New...
Level Contributor
133 posts
5. Re: Leaf peeping in Vermont. Where to stay; where to go!

You will be arriving a bit early during the leaf-peeping season. Your best bets for color will really be far northern Vermont and northern New Hampshire.

I have a soft spot for the Peacham/Cabot area of VT. It's very rural and off-the-beaten-path, but a great location for exploring both NH's White Mountains and VT's Northeast Kingdom, as well as the Green Mountains in western VT. Groton State Forest usually reaches peak foliage early in the season. Any of the towns near St. Johnsbury put you in a prime central location for exploring the areas that will be showing color at that time.

Must-see leaf-peeping spots in NH include the Kancamagus Highway, Franconia Notch, Bear Notch Rd., Crawford Notch, Cathedral Ledge, and Weeks Sate Park (Mt. Prospect). Dixville Notch and other far northern areas also reach peak foliage early in the season.

Most of the backroads in notheastern Vermont will be very scenic this time of year. Burke Mountain and Lake Willoughby are certainly worth a visit. The area around Stowe also offers some very nice scenery (especially from Stowe Hollow Road). Burlington is an awesome little city to visit, but you will probably be too early for the colors there.

6. Re: Leaf peeping in Vermont. Where to stay; where to go!

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