Great Fall Getaways: Woodstock, Vermont

Photograph by Christopher Churchill

Photograph by Christopher Churchill

For the Epicurean

Thanks to its fertile farmland — and to the Vermont Fresh Network, which connects farmers, cheesemakers, and restaurants — the Green Mountain State is filled with gastronomic delights. Enlist forester Patrick Bartlett at Bartlett Forestry and Wildlife to take you on a hands-on hike; he’ll identify native trees and point out edible plants and fungi. Rumbling stomach? Head to the Woodstock Inn’s Red Rooster for dressed-up comfort classics (look for terrific deals on wines they’re trying to move out of the cellar). And if by the time of your visit the Woodstock Farmers’ Market has reopened after damage from Tropical Storm Irene, a stop is a must; in October, it’s usually overflowing with heirloom squash, apples, pumpkins, and more.

For the Adventurer

Woodstock’s Upper Valley location, between the Connecticut and White rivers and the Green Mountains, makes it an excellent home base for adrenaline junkies; to the west, you’ll find 8,000 square feet of indoor climbing at Rutland’s Green Mountain Rock Climbing Center — the perfect training ground for an excursion with the affiliated Vermont Adventure Tours, which leads climbs throughout the area. If scaling crags at Deer Leap Mountain doesn’t get your blood pumping, let a guide take you kayaking on the White River’s rapids. Nature-loving kids, meanwhile, can get close to carnivorous birds of prey at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science’s Nature Center.

For the Escapist

Some people’s idea of a great trip is expending as little energy as possible. If that’s you, a stroll on the carriage roads of Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park should do the trick (the deep-hued sugar maples and beeches overhead are the definition of fall glory). Next, check into the new spa at the Woodstock Inn for a Pumpkin Spice treatment, which includes a body scrub and massage, plus foot and scalp rubs. After sunset, roast marshmallows over the inn’s outdoor fire pit, or end the day at the old-timey Town Hall Theatre.

Where to Stay

The year-old Blue Horse Inn (fall rates from $195) blends modern amenities with classic New England style, but it’s the breakfast, featuring dishes such as fried grits with Vermont cheddar, that sets this place apart. At the more traditional Jackson House Inn (fall rates from $185), highlights include English gardens, period furnishings, and Frette linens.

Save this Date: October 8 – 9

Take part in fall traditions like a barn dance and cider pressing during Harvest Weekend at Billings Farm (

The Essentials

Drive time: Two hours, 30 minutes

Bartlett Forestry and Wildlife: 802-291-0179,
Blue Horse Inn: 3 Church St., 802-457-7159,
Green Mountain Rock Climbing Center: 223 Woodstock Ave., Rutland, 802-773-3343,
Jackson House Inn: 43 Senior Ln., 802-457-2065,
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park: 54 Elm St., 802-457-3368,
Town Hall Theatre: 31 The Green, 802-457-3981,
Vermont Adventure Tours: 802-773-3343,
Vermont Institute of Natural Science’s Nature Center: 6565 E. Woodstock Rd., Quechee, 802-359-5000,
Woodstock Farmers’ Market: 979 W. Woodstock Rd., 802-457-3658,
The Woodstock Inn & Resort: 14 The Green, 802-457-1100,