The Perfect Family Fall Getaway to Burlington, Vermont
Autumn’s approach means a crisp bite to the air (and the apples!), and there is no better place to enjoy the best of the season than Vermont. Burlington, Vermont offers an ideal destination with a great food scene, nearby apple-picking and amazing outdoor kid-friendly museums, and easy flights from New York on JetBlue.
Below is our guide to a perfect family weekend escape.
Top Things to Do
Burlington Farmers Market
Start your Saturday by exploring and tasting your way through the Burlington Farmers Market. Located in City Hall Park on Saturday’s 8:30am to 2pm, it brings the best of Vermont right to you. From delicious produce and meats, to a wide selection of pickles, kombuchas, cheeses and crafts – what you expect and want in a farmers market.
For the pipsqueaks: Lots of tastings on offer and a relatively large space to roam.
Nothing says fall like apple picking and there are great places across the region. Visit Chapin Orchard, about a 25-minute drive from Burlington, with apples hanging heavy from the trees, including in easy reach of the pipsqueaks. And be sure to check out the transparent bee hive in the farm house and watch the honey-making magic.
For the pipsqueaks: Plucking and munching apples while wandering an orchard.
A quirky open-air museum that brings the history of Vermont on to one grounds that is delightful to explore. Young or old, you are guaranteed to enjoy all the historic buildings (39) and artifacts (over 100,000) dotted around its 45 acre grounds and open to explore. There is so much to enjoy for kids of all ages like a classic carousel, circus exhibit, old train car, giant beached steamboat, blacksmith shop, a historic school house, and works of art. You could spend a whole day delightfully running from one building to the next. And for the urban warrior without a car, a bus goes from Burlington to the museum.
The summer estate of a Vanderbilt heir has been wonderfully re-purposed into a hands-on, educational farm, with a beautiful inn on the water. Shelburne farms offers delightful-hands on kids farm experience in its barn and dairy. Activities are offered throughout the day like milking cows and collecting chicken eggs, under the guidance of terrific farm staff. For dining options, there is a bakery next to the farm, or you can drive up to the inn and enjoy a wonderful meal (admission to the farm is included (brunch only on Sunday)).
Top picks to eat
Hen of the Wood
Terrific local food in a dark, cozy atmosphere made warm by the wood ovens and fireplaces. It serves a daily-changing menu that delightfully features the great local produce of the region.
What to eat? The meats and vegetables all shine with an unforgettable pork chop and broccoli crisped to perfection, and there is a nice selection of Vermont cheeses.
For the pipsqueaks: Grab one of the low couches in the bar area for kids who like to wander or occasionally squeak.
The Farmhouse Tap & Grill
Kid-friendly and tasty, The Farmhouse Tap & Grill serves up a wide range of great burgers and other gastropub takes on classic dishes in a big, friendly space inside, plus seating outside. And be sure to check out their selection of craft beers.
For the pipsqueaks: Crayons and enough other kids around to make friends with that the whole family can relax and enjoy the meal.
Penny Cluse Café
A well-deserved busy and tasty breakfast (and lunch) spot. NOTE: there is often a line in the morning so plan accordingly. This is a place to get a delicious breakfast to start your day – enjoy their great eggs and pancakes, and terrific salsa on the huevos rancheros.
For the pipsqueaks: Fun magnetic bendy toys and crayons brought right to the table provides enraptured bliss.