Hello November. Can't exactly say that we've missed you, but we’re glad you are here, nonetheless. As the last leaf peepers drive out of the state, we usher in a season fondly referred to as "stick season" in Vermont. It is the time between fall and winter when the vibrant colors of autumn have faded, and crunchy yellow leaves blanket the ground. Then, with a chill in the air, we patiently wait for the first few snowflakes to fall and signs of winter to appear.
Truthfully, stick season is actually one of Vermont's best-kept secrets. Even without the brilliant reds and oranges of fall, there is something wonderful about this barren time. Plus, it is a great time to visit Vermont. It is less crowded, making it easier to explore, and often, lodging prices are discounted when the hotels aren't quite full. Vermonters embrace this season, and you should too. So pack your sweater and mittens, and check out some of these places to visit or cozy up when the weather doesn't quite cooperate.
UNCOMMON COFFEE | ESSEX
Cozy up for coffee and breakfast at Uncommon Coffee in the Essex Experience. They serve a wide range of specialty and classic coffees. All of their beans are roasted in-house giving you the freshest cup of joe which is sure to perk you up even on the gloomiest of days in November. Of course, you can't go wrong with a maple latte, but the tiger claw latte is a delicious double espresso with milk, house-made dark chocolate, and fresh orange syrups. They also serve baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, waffles, eggs, and more until mid-day.
FOAM BREWERY | BURLINGTON
Pop down to Lake Street on the Waterfront for a pint of craft beer at Foam Brewers. Housed in an old industrial building, settle at the bar to sample their selection of beers on tap that ranges from hoppy to sour, along with several stouts and lagers. If the weather cooperates, they have a fantastic front patio where four-legged friends are welcome. If you like what you taste, they have cans, bottles, and growlers available for purchase to take home. Hungry? Grab a charcuterie board at the brewery, or head next door to Deep City for a complete meal.
MAD RIVER DISTILLERS | BURLINGTON
Overcast and cloudy days are perfect for sipping local crafts spirits. Grab a seat at the Mad River Distillers Burlington tasting room on Main Street and sample a flight of their award-winning rums and whiskeys. Or try one of their signature cocktails, such as the Espresso Martini made with their Vanilla Rum or a Maple Bourbon Sour. Pair any drinks with the snacks from their limited food menu, and check out the craft bar supplies in the shop.
MOUNT PHILO STATE PARK | CHARLOTTE
Hiking post-leaf peeping can be just as beautiful in the thick of foliage season. Plus, the crowds will be gone, and you can find peace and solitude on the trails. In addition to hiking, Mount Philo State Park offers the option to walk up the toll road to the summit. This is particularly pleasant if the weather has made the trails too slick. Wear your layers for the walk to the top, where you'll find panoramic views of the Lake Champlain Valley and the Adirondack Mountains.
VERMONT TEDDY BEAR FACTORY | SHELBURNE
Vermont is famous for a lot of things. Skiing, snowboarding, maple syrup, and Ben & Jerry's. However, it is also home to the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory. Plan a trip to their flagship factory store to see how craftspeople make their famous Bears by hand, one at a time. Additionally, you can create your customized bear to take home with different colored body parts and clothing.