A few weeks ago we drove up to Manchester, VT for the night. The whole drive I channeled Danny Kaye a la “White Christmas” saying, “Vermont should be beautiful this time of year.” (Wrong seasonal movie, I know.)
It was…. rainy. It poured the whole drive. We were, however, still able to catch a lot of views of the majestic fall trees through the swishing of the wind wipers.
Cranberry. Auburn. Mustard. Tangerine. Fire. Aubergine.
So many beautifully colored leaves!
We stayed at the Equinox Hotel (a big thank you Starwoods Points). It was a beaut to say the least.
The hotel was lovely. Classic resort campus in the middle of mountains. There was hot apple cider to be had, fireplaces to be enjoyed and bellmen to be greeted by. Yes, they had bellmen.
The Equinox is over 200-years-old and the walls are filled with old photos of visiting Presidents and vintage social outings on the lawn.
Manchester Village is a quaint little town, filled with cute antique shops and a number of big-box outlet stores, like J. Crew, Banana Republic and Orvis. Orvis, the mecca of fly-fishing, was actually founded in Manchester by Mr. Charles Orvis.
And, while we are on the topic, the north wing of the Equinox Resort is the old Orvis Homestead.
On Friday night we had dinner at Seasons Restaurant. It had a casual atmosphere with tasty, and affordable (!) dinner options. The soups and (huge) panini sandwiches garnered four stars out of us.
On Saturday morning we toughed out the lines at the ever-popular Up For Breakfast. It was worth the wait! Delicious fluffy pancakes with, you guessed it, hot Vermont maple syrup and venison sausages were the highlights of the meal. It was a great deal too, since we split one of the breakfast specials between us. Five stars.
Then we drove down to the Equinox Nursery. They were having their annual Pumpkin Carving Festival. Scarecrows, gourds, pies and pumpkins abounded.
It was an autumnal feast for the eyes!
Two reasons to be happy on a gray, cloudy day in Vermont:
1. Boot season is official here. My feet are so happy. Hello wool socks. Hello toasty toes.
2. Crunchy leaf season is in it’s prime! Quick! Go outside and stomp on a few to the delight of your inner-child.
Before we left we decided to drive up Equinox summit. If you’re hardcore you can hike up too.
But first, let’s just say that we saw the group from our hotel leaving on the morning hike as we left. After we experienced a leisurely morning of maple-syrup-covered-breakfast-eating, independent bookstore browsing and pumpkin festival attending, we drove up to the top of the summit just as they arrived.
You can decide which sounds better to you.
The views from the top were stunning! (And yes, the sun managed to peek out for a few moments here!)
Earlier, while waiting to check into our hotel room, I met a man in the lobby who was from Colorado. We started chatting about how I had just been out there skiing earlier this spring. He boasted about their mountain ranges (yes, like he was solely responsible for the creation of the mountain range) and scoffed at the pitiful size of the Vermont mountains.
Scoff-worthy, I think not.
The drive UP Equinox Summit was quite colorful. We needed to make a few pit stops since our car brakes smelled like a BBQ gone wrong, with smoke to boot. Well worth the $12 acccess fee.
Plus the mountain is owned by a monastery. Does that make you feel better about the $12? No? Well, the views of bucolic farm life from the top will warm your heart. And wish you lived in the Sound of Music or something.
The ride home was rainy but just as lovely as the one up (we took a different scenic route for more sights). For having never laid eyes on a real covered-bridge before, I saw at least a dozen on our drive.
We also stopped at a sugarhouse on the side of the road and got fresh hot cider and cider donuts.
Don’t forget, those were #1 on the fall favorites list last week. ; )
Have you been to Vermont? Been in a covered bridge? Love cider donuts?