A weekend away, especially during the fall in the northeast, is a great opportunity to explore a new area, get in touch with nature, and enjoy quality time with friends and family! Krista had a family wedding to attend in St. Johnsbury, Vermont (which is on the northeastern side of the state about an hour and a half from Burlington Airport and about a 7ish hour drive from where she’s located in NJ) last weekend, and it just happened to also fall on the week of her 9th wedding anniversary, so she and her husband RSVP’d yes and made a nice little trip out of it! They left on Thursday and came back home Monday, so that gave them three solid days in VT. See her recap of the fun-filled weekend below.
Since it was my husband’s cousin’s wedding, the whole family was also going (siblings, spouses, and in-laws), and we decided to get a house and stay together. We found the most perfect house in Lyndonville, VT, about a 15-minute drive from where the wedding was held, and honestly, I would recommend this house to anyone with a larger group. It comfortably held 8 adults and it was only a 5-minute ride to a gas station and grocery store…and it sat on 70 acres of beautiful Vermont land. This is the listing of the house we stayed in. The views were just breathtaking!
As we all arrived on Thursday evening, we got settled in and went to sleep. We woke to a beautiful fall day on Friday morning, and we wanted to cross some Vermont bucket list items off our list since it was supposed to rain for the next two days.
Our first stop was apple picking – we found this pick-your-own apple orchard on the way to our next planned spot and decided to try it out. On the way, we got to see some more amazing views…we even pulled over to snag some pics because we just couldn’t get over how pretty everything was! We also soon learned that a lot of roads are actually dirt roads and not paved – this helps cars get better traction when it snows. Needless to say, our car desperately needs a car wash!
After our quick photo session, we arrived at Burtt’s Apple Farm! It had rows and rows of apples and pumpkins to pick, plus a small farm stand to grab their fresh homemade apple cider donuts (one of the best I ever had!), and the absolute best fresh apple cider! They sold it as a slushie or warmed up! We got one of each and when I tell you I could drink it day, I really could! After our snacks, we got to picking out our apples. Between the 8 of us, we picked enough apples to serve a small army – but they had so many kinds and they all looked so good!
Next on our bucket list was the Alchemist Brewery in Stowe, Vermont! We drove through the town of Stowe and it was the cutest town! Between the cute shops and some more stunning views, I wish we had more time to explore the town. But we wanted to get in our planned places before the impending weather, so on to the brewery we went! My husband has been obsessed with this beer “Heady Topper” from this brewery and it’s really hard to get here in NJ – and if you do find it, it is so overpriced! Once we arrived, I saw the draw of the place! It had such a cool look, delicious beer, plus a great sandwich food truck right on their property! Between my husband, myself, and our family, we got to try a good amount and I see why he’s been talking about this place since we decided to go to Vermont! I really enjoyed the “Light Pilsner” and the “Sterk Wit” beers, and I very much enjoyed my brisket sandwich from their sandwich cart!
After my husband loaded up on his beer, we set off for our next stop – the Cabot Creamery store in Waterbury Center! It was a cheese lover’s dream! All the samples you want plus all the cheese and jams your heart wants to purchase!
After we filled up on all the samples and bought more cheese and jams than we could carry, we set out for our next adventure – the original Ben and Jerry’s factory and shop! I was so excited for this and apparently everyone else was too! Throughout the day, we couldn’t believe the lack of cars on the roads ’til we started our route to Ben and Jerry’s, because apparently everyone who was visiting VT was also visiting the factory this day – the traffic to just turn into the grounds was absurd! I even debated skipping it because of how impatient we were all getting, but decided the ice cream was worth it…that is until I saw the line! But we figured since we sat in the traffic and walked all the way from the farthest parking lot, we might as well wait out the line for our ice cream. They do offer a factory tour and we would have been interested in taking it if we had more time or were staying closer. After the long wait, we finally got our ice cream, and I’m not sure if it was the traffic, the long wait, or just the long day altogether, but I expected a little more out of our Ben and Jerry’s visit – and in the end it was just a lot for ice cream and a cool looking building. After this we had to head back to the house – since we were about an hour and a half away – and get ready for the meet and greet of the wedding!
Saturday morning rolled around, and the skies stayed overcast but clear of rain unlike we had originally thought, so we decided to hop in the car and take a drive to Dog Chapel, a place that was on my mother-in-law’s bucket list. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised! It was built in 2000 as a place for peace, love, and remembrance. It is filled to the ceiling with notes to and pictures of peoples’ beloved pets who have passed. It is now a living piece of art, ever-changing as more and more people pin their pets to these beautiful chapel walls. After parking and taking in the breathtaking views, you walk up the hill to the chapel and are immediately surrounded by happy pets and their owners running around soaking up the mountain air. Once you walk into this beautiful chapel, you are almost overwhelmed by the amount of notes and pictures of these passed-on furry family members. It actually brought tears to my eyes seeing all these beautiful animals and made me really miss mine! Once you’ve taken your walk around the chapel, you can start on the many trails that lead all around and are shared with all of just the happiest of dogs. Once we walked around and got in some of the trails, we had to sadly leave all the pups and head back to get ready for the wedding.
The wedding was at the Alerin Barn which was just beautiful! Once you parked, they had a tractor hayride bring you up the hill to the reception where my husband’s cousin and her fiancé exchanged their beautifully written vows, and the reception was to follow in a gorgeous barn! Unfortunately, the owner of the venue recently sold the property, so after this wedding it will be turned into a horse farm. But I am glad I got to see this place because it was by far one of the best wedding venues I’ve been to! I wore a magenta one-shoulder dress with western-style booties which were both perfect for the weather and the outdoorsy wedding.
Sunday morning, we awoke once again to cloudy weather, but the rain was not in sight, so we decided to venture out in the Vermont wilderness and explore the woods of Lyndonville! After our hike through the woods and collecting all the leaves, and even soaking our feet in a brook, we decided to go have the perfect indoor fall day. With all the apples we picked, we decided to try this recipe for apple pie.
While it was baking, we decided to play some family card games and then it was Sunday football time. We also found these soup seasoned packets when we were at Cabot and decided to make that for dinner – and wow was it good soup! We all cozied up by the fire and watched the games while we munched on our cheese from Cabot, drank our cider from Burtt’s, ate our soup, sipped our beer from the Alchemist, and enjoyed our pie! The best part was once it got dark out, the clouds had cleared and the stars were shining, and to our luck, we caught a meteor shower! I saw about 6 shooting stars – it was really the perfect ending to our trip!
Some tips I would use on my next Vermont trip:
- There is a lot of dirt and a lot of hills and rocks – don’t be me and choose cute shoes – wear the sneakers.
- There are also a lot of dirt roads, with no lights, so drive carefully and be prepared – your car will end up getting dirty.
- The fall foliage is beautiful, but don’t expect to see all those bright colors on Instagram – they are filtered, but it’s still totally worth the drive to see in reality!
- Visit Stowe if you’re in Vermont. I wish we had more time there.
- It’s very country, so pay attention to your gas because they aren’t gas stations everywhere!
- GO, go to Vermont! It’s one of the most beautiful states, the people were all so nice, and it’s just so chill!