Planning a scenic drive to see the fall foliage in Vermont
September 11, 2011 5:37 PM   Subscribe

Experiencing the fall foliage in Vermont, by car, from NYC, in 2.5 days. Help me plan!

I want to drive out of Manhattan on a Friday afternoon in October, Vermont-bound. Ideally I'll drive about 4 hours on Friday, rest for the night anywhere, and early on Saturday go for an all-day-long scenic drive to see the foliage. Then sleep in some charming Vermont B&B, drive around some more on Sunday, and head back to NY in the afternoon.

If you've done this before, please recommend:
- A good place to sleep ~200-230 miles from NY into Vermont
- Best day-long and half-day-long scenic drives
- That charming B&B, bedbugless
- Restaurants, shops, great landmarks, foods to try, particularly stunning spots to see and photograph.

And anything else you can think of -- I have never done this before, and I'd appreciate the wisdom!
posted by Opal to Travel & Transportation around Vermont (12 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Vermont Vacation is one of the biggest tourism websites in the state, so it would be a good place to start. They also have a map for scenic drives, updated with road closings from the recent flood.

I'm a local and I really loved the Three Stallion Inn in Randolph... very quiet and has a terrific restaurant to boot.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 5:49 PM on September 11, 2011

Not far from Randolph is Texas Falls, a gem of a place.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:59 PM on September 11, 2011

That first link should have been to the Google map for Texas Falls.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:02 PM on September 11, 2011

Check out for great places to stay. Also, Vermont just experienced some flooding so be sure to check out this site to see if the roads you want to travel are open.

The weather is beautiful here now and the leaves are turning. Your trip will be great!
posted by kellygreen at 6:04 PM on September 11, 2011

As Airbnb goes:

In southern Vermont I've stayed here for skiing and it was lovely. Good access to the Brattleboro area for things to do and places to eat and drink.

In northern Vermont, I've stayed here (it's owned by a close friend) and it is peaceful and beautiful. Good access to Burlington from here if you want some funkier city things to do.

Driving pretty much anywhere along 89 or 91 will be gorgeous, I think. I've been to Vermont at all times of the year (even mud season) and I'm not sure I've ever seen it not be gorgeous. Foliage will just be icing on the cake.
posted by olinerd at 6:15 PM on September 11, 2011

I'm a local and I really loved the Three Stallion Inn in Randolph

This is right up the road from me. It's nice, but there may be better options, especially in the B&B/AirBnB range in this area. Driving up the Hudson River Valley [sort of the same way the train goes] is super nice this time of year but I concur with kellygreen make sure you check the roads. There are some beautiful mountain passes that are great for photography, but some of them are impassable. You could easily be in the Brattleboro area within your timeframe, stay someplace simple and then motor on up route 5 or 91 to head up north with lost of neat things to see along the CT River and cute little towns to stop in. Angle in to the center of the state on I-89 and you could even hit the capitol which is pretty amazingly beautiful when the foliage is really popping which will probably be in a week or two, maybe a little longer.
posted by jessamyn at 6:22 PM on September 11, 2011

To stay the night or as a finite destination in The Berkshires....

Mount Greylock!

I keep recommending this on the green because I am well-traveled out of NYC and it is AWESOME.

Memail for flowery specifics. It's too much to post right now. Plus I like to keep good secrets, well, secret!
posted by jbenben at 6:58 PM on September 11, 2011

Not much leafy goodness to see right now. It's still early.

Single trees have changed here and there, but mostly, it's green.

(I am in Randolph AND an AirBanB house.)

Based on my experience here, I think things will be in full swing in 2-3 weeks.
posted by FauxScot at 7:02 PM on September 11, 2011

I'm not there at the moment, but this week seems really early. You might be on time for apple picking/cider mills, though.

Based on bus trip from Boston to Burlington in college, Columbus Day weekend is an excellent time.
posted by maryr at 9:04 PM on September 11, 2011

If you're going over to the other (East) side of Rte I-89, here is a B&B I've stayed at, and liked. Rte. 110 is very scenic. Unfortunately, you'll miss the Tunbridge World's Fair, which is this week.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:40 AM on September 12, 2011

Manchester is a tourist trap to be avoided at all cost.
posted by Gringos Without Borders at 2:01 PM on September 12, 2011

There are still roads closed from Irene. Check the google map you can link to from this Vermont info page as you plan your route.
posted by daisyace at 4:25 AM on September 22, 2011

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