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Advice to first-time VT visitor - 1 week itinerary?

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:49 pm
by jrl2018
Hi everyone! Hope your New Year is off to a great start. Apologies in advance if this post is not timely (I feel like an insane person planning 9 months in advance but am too excited to not :P) or completely appropriate for this forum, but I stumbled across this amazing and helpful community, and felt strongly that I would find the best wisdom / insight here, so here I go!

I've officially caught the Vermont / leaf-peeping bug and am planning a trip for my husband and myself this fall. This is the tentative itinerary I have drafted:

Fly in/out of BTV with .5 days in Burlington, ~2 days in Montreal, and ~3.5 days in VT (based out of Woodstock and/or Warren).

Nightly accommodations:

10/5 Sat: Burlington
10/6 Sun: Montreal
10/7 Mon: Montreal
10/8 Tue: Woodstock Inn
10/9 Wed: Woodstock Inn
10/10 Thu: Woodstock Inn OR Pitcher Inn (Warren)
10/11 Fri: Woodstock Inn OR Pitcher Inn (Warren)


(1) You're probably thinking: why the diversion to Montreal? I myself would be happy to spend the whole week in VT, but the two nights in Montreal represent a possible compromise for my husband, who may prefer a bit more variety. In previous travels, we've enjoyed splitting a week-long trip with the first half in a more urban setting and the second half in a more rural / relaxing setting. I saw that BTV to Montreal is 2 hours away, and so included it to be opportunistic.
(2) I'm pretty attached to staying at the Woodstock Inn, but not as much to staying at Pitcher Inn. That said, I thought it might be good for the last two nights because 1) people seem to speak highly of staying in Warren as a base, especially given those specific days, and 2) It's 1 hour closer to BTV airport, which we will fly out of on Sat morning.

Questions for you:

- Does anything jump out at you as a possible misstep / mistake?
- We do like to travel Sat to Sat due to our work schedules. While I know nobody can make precise predictions, how does this week seem vs. the week before (9/28-10/5) or after (10/12-10/19)?
- Any of your candid feedback or other elements I should consider would be most appreciated and valued.

Thank you so much!!!


Re: Advice to first-time VT visitor - 1 week itinerary?

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:08 pm
by ctyanky
Hello JR and welcome to our wonderful foliage forum! And Happy New Year to you! I do not think you are insane by planning months ahead! Once you get your airfare and lodging confirmed, then you have lots of time to really immerse yourself in all the fun activities Vermont has to offer!

First off, my own opinion is to stick with the dates. Foliage has been running a tad later each year and I think you should stay with the current itinerary. I definitely would not choose the later dates but that is my own take on it. As for lodging, wow, you have chosen some awesome places to look at. Woodstock mid-week may still be quite busy but it is a lovely, quintessential New Englandy town with great shopping, restaurants, hiking nearby and there are so many things I could add about it but will save for later!

Warren, wow. I love it here. I've been staying in the Waitsfield/Warren area for 10 years and it is quite a different feel than Woodstock. More rural, local and mountainous. If it were me, I would split the time and keep both of you happy. The Pitcher Inn is a Relais et Chateux lodging so you are in for the best of the best. I've been in it and was wowed with every room. Across the way is the Warren Store! Amazing! So much to do in the Mad River Valley aka MRV. I have lists of things for you to do there and I am sure others may add once you get this all squared away!

I think you have a solid plan. I do not think you have made any mistakes but since this is high season, PLEASE find out if you have to have a three day minimum at any of the lodgings you chose. Also, I see that Friday begins Columbus Day Weekend this year (late) and the Pitcher Inn might (a) be already booked or (b) require a 3 day stay for the biggest foliage weekend of the season. It might not be a bad idea to ask now. I'm thinking you will not have that issue mid-week at the Woodstock Inn but always worth a check.

Please ask away and so glad you have joined this forum! You will not be disappointed! Let us know what you have decided for lodging and then we can fill in your itinerary with everything you would ever want to make this Vermont foliage vacation the best! CT

Re: Advice to first-time VT visitor - 1 week itinerary?

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:22 am
by jrl2018
Wow! Thank you so much, Ctyanky! :) I could not have hoped for a more encouraging or thorough reply. You've given us just the boost of confidence we need to proceed with the booking piece. I've confirmed that both of those hotels are available on our specific dates, but I'm seeing more broadly there's already a decent bit sold out in the dates adjacent -- so crazy!

Thank you again for the warmest welcome to this special forum and I look forward to following along with all the posts as it gets closer, as well as possibly picking your brain on Woodstock / MRV later. :D

All the best!

Re: Advice to first-time VT visitor - 1 week itinerary?

Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:57 pm
by ctyanky
JR: You're welcome! I think you are going to be very happy with your choices, to complement both of your wishes in lodging. The town of Woodstock itself, is bustling and spirited and pretty touristy (not a bad thing at all!) and there is an energy there I can't quite describe! There is a whirlwind of activities in town and close by to enjoy! Quechee is amazing! If you leave the Woodstock area you will also find the quiet, less "busy" surrounding towns, ie. Pomfret, Barnard, Reading, etc.

The Warren/Waitsfield area is pretty low key and laid back - I love the serenity of the whole MRV. It is close to Stowe and Waterbury if I want a more "active" scene...… There is a different kind of "vibe" in both towns and I know you will enjoy both!

I will start to compile the list of Woodstock area activities/lovely back roads/etc. in the near future first. Glad you are locking in your choices now. I dearly wanted to stay at one of my places longer but she was already socked in before and after much to my surprise!

Stay tuned! CT

Re: Advice to first-time VT visitor - 1 week itinerary?

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:52 pm
by From_the_NEK
I don't want to throw a huge monkey wrench into your plans, but with the fairly long drive between Montreal and Woodstock, I think you may be better served breaking that transit up into two days. Taking some time to explore a little of northern, Vermont. However, doing so may require you to stay somewhere in between Montreal and Woodstock on the 8th. If you make the drive along Vermont Route 100, staying at an inn near Stowe may be a good idea. If you want to venture into the Northeast Kingdom (NEK), there are a lot of very nice inns around the Burke, Lyndon area as well. A one night mid-week stay should still be available at most locations.

However, no matter what you do, you really can't go wrong driving around Vermont in early October. :D

Re: Advice to first-time VT visitor - 1 week itinerary?

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:24 am
by jrl2018
Thanks, From_the_NEK! :) Not throwing a huge monkey wrench at all...just some perspective from a different angle, which is nice. Our plans are still not firmed up so this is appreciated. Thank you!

Re: Advice to first-time VT visitor - 1 week itinerary?

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:29 am
by mmvt
I will add to NEK's comment/suggestion. While Woodstock is a lovely town, it IS very crowded during "peeper" season and tends to attract a lot of tourists, tour buses, etc. I love visiting the town in the "off season" but really dislike it during peak foliage as the shops are crowded, parking is a hassle, etc. I much prefer the smaller towns where I get a more "local" feel for the state. I feel similarly about Stowe which is a madhouse during foliage and ski season. Ironically, the foliage in the immediate Woodstock area has been pretty "blah" for the past several years but you will certainly find lovely foliage within easy driving distances as you venture out and about.
For the past several years, the Northeast Kingdom (NEK) has had fantastic with Fall foliage. If you spent a night in the Burke/Lyndon area you'd be able to explore this region and then enjoy a more leisurely trip to Woodstock.
Hope this is helpful! enjoy making your plans!!