My favorite time of the year is fall, especially in New England. Coming from always sunny California, I never really experienced season changes until I moved to the east coast. Now, I live for the red, orange, and yellow hues, the subtle chill in the air, and the pumpkin flavored everything.
My birthday falls at the peak of foliage season, so P surprised me with a weekend trip to Woodstock, Vermont. We both had never really visited Vermont, aside from passing through, so I was incredibly excited when P told me he had booked two nights in Woodstock, only a 2.5 hour drive north of Boston.
As much as I enjoyed the crisp mountain air and the lushness and color that surrounded us, for the first half of the weekend, I was in absolute misery. I had been experiencing cold like symptoms at the beginning of the week, which turned into a severe sore throat and shooting ear pain. Fortunately, the town’s medical center, Queechee Medical Center, was open Saturday morning, and I was seen by a doctor almost immediately. The staff there were so friendly, and I was in and out of the center with prescriptions in hand within an hour. With some pain reliever and antibiotics, I was all set to enjoy the rest of the weekend and most importantly, eat all the farm to table foods that Vermont had to offer.
We stayed at Braeside Motel, a simple, clean, and reasonably priced option for Woodstock. The owners who live upstairs are delightful and helpful in pointing out things to do and see around the area. In the morning, we woke up to cows mooing in the pastures and a view of gorgeously misty green mountains. If you’re looking for something a bit more extravagant, try the Woodstock Inn or the Blue Horse Inn.
Eat & Drink:
> Worthy Kitchen: Casual dining experience where you order your food from the counter and pick it up from the kitchen. Fried chicken and homemade cornbread. Mac n’cheese. Truffle fries. Kimchi burritos. Maple bacon chicken wings. These are just a sampling of what this place offers. They also have an extensive selection of local beers and sodas. They really try to keep all their ingredients fresh and local. This place gets packed on weekends, so get their early or be prepared to wait for a table.
> Mon Vert Cafe: Great place to grab a coffee or have breakfast or lunch. Tons of organic tea to choose from. Food menu includes breakfast sandwiches until 11:30 a.m. and salads and paninis for lunch. They also have great outdoor seating with heat lamps and comfy couches for lounging inside.
> Mountain Creamery: Great for a solid American breakfast or lunch. Fantastic homemade ice cream.
> Pi Brick Oven: Reasonably priced standard Italian fare. This place definitely satisfied my pizza cravings.
> Prince and Pauper: One of the best restaurants in all of Vermont. Menu is always changing. P and I didn’t get a chance to try it because I was sick. But, this place was highly recommended by locals and non-locals alike. Definitely make reservations.
> Simon Pierce Restaurant: Inside the Simon Pierce flagship store in Quechee. Gorgeous views with a waterfall over the Quechee River. Food prices are steep, but you get a classy dining experience.
> Drive along Cloudland Road, roll down your windows, and take in the foliage and the autumn views. One of the most photographed places in Woodstock is on this road, about 1.3 miles down from the beginning of Cloudland Road, intersecting at Old River Road. You’ll know when you get there because you’ll probably see a slew of professional photographers with their fancy cameras and tripods set up alongside the road. Scenery like this is what photographers live for!
> Shop the FH Gillingham & Sons General Store. You can get all sorts of Vermont goodies here, from locals jams to wood products to kitschy souvenirs.
> Watch wood work and glass making at the Simon Pierce Flagship Store. Tons of beautiful glass, wooden, and ceramic pieces from the Pierce family and other local artisans. Great view of the Quechee River.
> Learn about agriculture and farming at the numerous farms in Woodstock, including Sugar Bush Farm and Billings Farm.
> Walk across the Middle covered bridge in downtown, right across from the Woodstock Inn. It’s just one of many covered bridges in Woodstock.
> Hike the trails surrounding Quechee Gorge.
> Wander around downtown Woodstock.
Woodstock was probably the most beautiful place I have ever been to for foliage. The colors were beautiful. The people were friendly. And we could have driven for hours and hours on the local roads and never have gotten tired of the rustic views. Woodstock, Vermont in the autumn certainly took our breath away! If you get a chance, check it out before all the leaves are gone! (although, we heard Woodstock covered in snow is also amazingly beautiful too…)
And of course, a little video here.