For many, fall is the most anticipated time of year. As leaves perform their annual symphony of changing hues, we relish the chance to leaf peep and turn inward during these fleeting months.  Once the days become shorter and the mornings become crisper, it’s comforting to imagine yourself in a cozy New England town—sipping warm drinks, promenading quaint towns, and observing the fall hues as you meander trails enveloped in centuries-old trees. 

Among some of the most charming places to enjoy fall days, New England’s Stowe, Vermont, is the place to experience an idyllic fall getaway. Below are the top six things to do in Stowe in the fall—from a rugged distillery placed at the foot of an 1800s pirate smugglers’ route to a quintessential New England storefront selling 100% pure maple goods. 

Black Cap Coffee & Bakery

At 37 Main Street in Stowe Village, this quaint coffee cafe draws you in with the aromas of strong coffee and delicious pastries (gluten-free options included) made fresh daily. The Black Cap Coffee & Bakery in Stowe is the original shop, having expanded to neighboring towns, and offers more than just delectable baked goods and coffee. Sip on a glass of wine or indulge in a craft beer from one of Vermont’s famous breweries. Walk around the rest of the shop, and browse the wide array of Vermont souvenirs, from greeting cards to paintings created by local artists. 

Stowe Maple Products

Stowe Maple Products

Step into the charming wood shack of the family-owned business: Stowe Maple Products, a family-owned business selling 100% pure maple treats. Steve Pierson, the proprietor, will entertain you with interesting stories while you taste the sugary varieties as if you were at an exclusive vineyard in Napa Valley. He taps around 9,000 trees every year in early March through mid-April—enough to stock their shop with signature products like maple brittle, maple sugar candy, maple caramels, and, of course, their sought-after maple syrup. Like most, you’ll leave feeling like you didn’t buy enough. 

Michael’s on the Hill

Visit the chef-owned farmto-table restaurant, Michael’s on the Hill, along Route 100 North. Perched atop a hill, surrounded by acres of rolling hills and perennial gardens, this white, circa1820 farmhouse invites you in with its outdoor autumnal décor of heirloom pumpkins and mums. Awarded “Most Romantic Restaurant in Vermont” by TripAdvisor,, and, among many other accolades, Michaels’ menu is constantly changing based on seasonal availability. Feast on dishes like squash soup with spiced crème fraiche, toasted pumpkin seeds, and pumpkin seed oil, or truffled mushroom gnocchi with fall vegetables, a poached egg, and chive emulsion. Enjoy views of the Green Mountains as you indulge in the intentional cuisine from Vermont’s first “Chef of the Year.” 

The Vermont Flannel Company

Venture just 20 minutes north to Johnson, V
ermont, and enjoy a little flannel shopping at the
Vermont Flannel Company. This family-owned business has been run by a husband and wife for over 30 years and has been committed to making USAhandcrafted products since their inception in 1991. This flannel headquarters is a staple of New England fall-wear with a wide selection of stadium blankets, sleep/lounge pants, flannel shirts, and more.

Smuggler’s Notch Distillery®

Venture north on Route 108, just over 30 minutes, to the town of Jeffersonville and get your fix at the Smugglers’ Notch Distillery®. This daredevil drive is not for the faint of heart. Meander past the base of Vermont’s highest peak, Mount Mansfield, and climb through Smugglers’ Notch, the bootleggers run and hiding place for Lake Champlain pirates. As the road narrows, you’ll be sandwiched between huge boulders. This two-way road narrows to barely accommodate one car, let alone another one approaching in the opposite direction. Truly, you need to try this adventure for the adrenaline rush alone. Once through, you’ll see a small house-like structure on the side of the road, Smugglers’ Notch Distillery® 

Founded in 2006, this father-son partnership offers hand-bottled, award-winning spirits—including limited releases of Dead Buck Bourbon Whiskey, Maple Bourbon Whiskey, Hopped Gin, and Maple Rum—one small batch at a time. Take some home and wrap yourself in a blanket by the fire while you enjoy the smooth taste of Smugglers’ spirits.

Stowe Mountain Resort

Boasting 12 ski lifts along with 116 groomed and backcountry trails, the internationally acclaimed, four-season resort area of
Stowe Mountain Resort is entering its 85th season. Skiers and snowboarders come from around the world to experience Mount Mansfield’s storied terrain and, lucky for you, opening day for the 2022 season is November 18. Not only does this mountain feature premier skiing, it’s also home to year-round activities including hiking, fishing, and championship-level golf. As Vermont’s highest peak with summit elevation of 4,395′, Mount Mansfield is the ultimate outdoor playground for Stowe fall activities.

Stay in luxury at The Lodge at Spruce Peak. This four-star resort is one of the best places to stay in Stowe, Vermont for outdoor enthusiasts with the only ski-in, ski-out access in the area. Take advantage of exclusive amenities including the 21,000-square-foot spa and wellness center, Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center, and multiple on-site dining options.  

As an Inspirato Member, I booked a long weekend trip at the picturesque Stowe Mountain Lodge and chose the Sterling residence with its breathtaking view of Mt. Mansfield for our accommodations. Since I had a beautiful 4 bedroom/4.5 bath, I invited some friends to join me, all of whom had never been to Vermont and were eager for an adventure! said one Inspirato member.

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