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Editor’s Note: We are heartbroken to have witnessed the July 2023 floods that left many people scrambling for safety and caused widespread destruction throughout New England. While Vermont communities work to rebuild, we encourage our readers to confirm the status, hours, and availability of any attraction or accommodation mentioned below.
I’ve explored Vermont a few times, and my favorite road trip was Route 100. This legendary road trip takes you down Vermont’s longest state highway. Driving during September and October, you’ll experience the charming and iconic Vermont fall foliage.
You don’t even need a guide for the picturesque Route 100. Just drive and stop at points of interest along the way. You won’t be disappointed as there are so many things to see in Vermont all along Route 100.
However, if you have FOMO (fear of missing out) tendencies like me, here are some insider travel tips for enjoying the best Vermont Route 100 road trip.
This is nowhere near an exhaustive list of all the quintessential things to do on your road trip through this iconic Vermont route, but it’s a great place to start.
- How to Plan a Road Trip on Route 100 in Vermont
- How To Travel Vermont Route 100
- Top Things to Do along Vermont Route 100
- Grab a Scoop or Three at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory
- Try Legendary Cider Donuts at Cold Hollow Cider Mill
- Make a Pit Stop at Rochester Café & Country Store
- Feeling Cheesy? Visit Cabot Farmer’s Store
- Have a Relaxing Stay at Trapp Family Lodge
- Explore the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum
- Hike, Bike, or Go Rock Climbing at Stowe Mountain Resort
- Gaze in Awe at Stowe Road Carvers Chainsaw Carvings
- Take a Scenic Hike to Moss Glen Falls
- Explore The Beast of the East at Killington Ski Resort
- Take Photos And Cross Historic Covered Bridges
- How long does it take to travel Route 100 in Vermont?
- What is the most scenic part of Route 100 in Vermont?
- Where does Route 100 start and end in Vermont?
How to Plan a Road Trip on Route 100 in Vermont
Route 100 Vermont runs from the Canadian border in the north to the Massachusetts border in the south – much of it is along the Green Mountain National Forest and Vermont’s famous ski resorts. Granted, fall foliage is very popular in Vermont as foliage season from mid-September to mid-October brings in a lot of leaf peepers. Remember that elevation and weather conditions will impact how the leaves appear.
You can find foliage reports online beginning after Labor Day each year. No worries if your schedule doesn’t allow you to visit during the autumn months, as Route 100 is beautiful in all seasons (even Vermont’s fifth season in late spring, known as Mud Season).
Vermont experiences its busiest season in October, when there are many visitors. Venture down this famous Vermont route during weekdays instead of the weekends or holidays for less road congestion.
Plan around local events that are happening. If you’d like to avoid the larger crowds, plan your Route 100 road trip during the spring, early summer, or late fall.
Route 100 also has a lot of lesser-known attractions, hidden gems, and offshoots that aren’t as busy. Don’t forget to book your accommodations in advance to ensure your spot. After all, do you want to spend a night in a run-down roadside motel?
Insider tip: When I first traveled through to Vermont, I saw a lot of signs that read, “Warning: Frost Heave Ahead.” I had no idea what that meant. In simple terms, it means there’s gonna be a bump or two in the road caused by a freezing phenomenon that can wreak havoc on the pavement. And they’re usually big bumps, so drive carefully, especially in February and March.
So whether it’s spring, summer, winter, or fall foliage season, it’s always a great time for a road trip in Vermont. Don’t forget to bring your travel cooler while on the road to keep you hydrated. As Route 100 is 216 miles long, here are only a few of my favorite stops along the scenic byway.
How To Travel Vermont Route 100
While you can use your car, driving for long periods also translates to wear and tear on your vehicle. Avoid this by renting a car for your Route 100 road trip. Depending on what car you choose, it may even be cheaper on gas.
Maybe you’re planning on camping along Route 100, or you like the convenience of having a kitchen and bathroom. Instead of dropping your life savings on an RV, just rent one from RV Share. Renting an RV comes with plenty of perks, and it’s a phenomenal choice if you’re traveling with kids or pets.
Whether you’re planning on heading north or you prefer to travel down to the southern end of Vermont, each route has its perks. If you drive from north to south, the sun won’t be in your eyes as much, especially in the early mornings.
If you’re interested in the fall foliage, it’s a great route to take, as you can see the gradual changes as you travel from the North toward southern Vermont. Starting north is a convenient starting point if you live near or are planning to cross the Canadian border.
If you decide to drive from the southern end to the north, the elevation changes are more gradual. Southern Vermont is just over an hour and a half away from Bradley International Airport in Connecticut or Albany International Airport in New York for travelers that live further away.
During the finale of your venture, take in the views of Mad River Valley, Green Mountain National Forest, and the wild and rugged beauty of Northeast Kingdom. It’s a great choice if you want to end your trip with some hiking or camping.
The route you embark on depends on where you’re coming from and what tourist attractions you plan to see. Vermont Route 100 has many features that make it special and many stops exclusive to the area. Stop at a cozy Vermont country store, there are lots of them on the way.
During your drive, watch out for moose, North America’s largest mammals. Cyclists will love the scenic ride at Newport Bebee Bike Path alongside Lake Memphremagog. Stretch out your legs and hike down Valley Trail, a lush 9-mile trail along the Green Mountain National Forest.
The scenic Route 100 has plenty of stops for accommodations, scenic overlooks, museums, outdoor activities, historical sites, and a visitor center. No trip to Vermont is complete without some maple products. Stock up on maple syrup, maple candy, and maple nut brittle.
Top Things to Do along Vermont Route 100
Grab a Scoop or Three at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory
Address: 1281 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Route 100, Waterbury, Vermont 05676
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Vermont’s famous ice cream should be a definite stop on your Vermont Route 100 road trip.
How Ben and Jerry started up is quite the phenomenal intro. After attending a $5 correspondence course on how to make ice cream, Ben and Jerry opened their first ice cream shop in a renovated gas station in Burlington, Vermont.
Today, Ben & Jerry’s is a global household name and a pioneer in eco-friendly, sustainable, and socially responsible manufacturing.
The 30-minute Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory tour is a fun and inexpensive way to spend time in Vermont and there are free samples. The basic tour gives visitors an overview of the company’s history and a sneak peek into its manufacturing process. Consider booking in advance to ensure your spot.
Hit up the onsite Scoop Shop to test other flavors. While you may be familiar with the pints of ice cream in the freezer section, the Scoop Shop will open the door to a bigger selection.
If you’re an ice cream fanatic, you may want to immerse yourself in the VIP Flavor Fanatics Experience. Here’s what it includes:
- Get the inside scoop on the latest products
- 10% off instore & takeout orders
- Free ice cream on your birthday
You can also visit the Flavor Graveyard. Yes, it features headstones of what they call dearly depicted flavors (please bring back Dastardly Mash!).
Open every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day, expect to spend 2 to 3 hours at one of Route 100 Vermont’s favorite destinations.
On a budget? Frugal travelers will love the Best Western Plus Waterbury, only 5 minutes from the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory. The lovely Green Mountains of Vermont surround this budget-friendly hotel. Enjoy an indoor pool, free Wi-Fi-, and a grab-and-go breakfast.
See Related: Top Places to Visit in December
Try Legendary Cider Donuts at Cold Hollow Cider Mill
Address: 3600 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Waterbury Center, Vermont 05677
While Vermont has many fabulous cider mills, Cold Hollow Cider Mill is our favorite along the Vermont Route 100 scenic drive. It is the cider mill less than three miles from Ben & Jerry’s.
I’m not a huge fan of ordinary apple juice, but I love Cold Hollow’s fresh apple cider. The difference is that apple cider is 100% pure juice squeezed from locally grown apples.
Try a free cider sample while perusing other great products in their gift shop. Bring an insulated cooler if you plan to take some apple cider home.
You can actually watch them in action in their cider press room – making apple cider the old-fashioned way. Check the Cold Hollow Events Calendar in advance to see the days they’re pressing.
No trip down Route 100 Vermont is complete without a bite of the famous Cold Hollow apple cider donuts. These beauties are made fresh every single day from their secret recipe.
It’s a must-do foodie experience. Gourmet magazine ranked them among the best four donuts in the United States!
Cold Hollow Cider Mill makes approximately 15,000 donuts a day to satisfy hungry visitors during the fall foliage months. Of course, their bakery also offers apple pie, but there’s much more than just apple products. They also offer honey (you can watch the bees do their magic up close), pure maple syrup, butter, cheeses, jellies, and more.
Come and enjoy a good old Vermont breakfast or lunch. Don’t forget to try a hard cider or local brew. If you have a large group, it’s recommended that you call in advance so they can accommodate you.
Nearby, stay at Hotel Vermont Burlington. Located in downtown Burlington, adventure lovers will enjoy being in the center of the action. The area is jam-packed with activities, and Lake Champlain is within walking distance of this gorgeous accommodation.
See Related: Things to Do in Montpelier, Vermont
Make a Pit Stop at Rochester Café & Country Store
Address: 55 North Main Street, Rochester, Vermont 05767
Rochester Café & Country Store has quite the history. First built in the mid-1800s, the building has been everything from a dentist’s office to a beauty salon and even a local drug store. Today, it’s a charming and cozy destination that doubles as a café and country store.
Sip on the vanilla rooibos latte, grab a bite of the Country Scramble for breakfast or the North Hollow Farm Burger for lunch, and relax. There’s always an opportunity to try something new with the ever-changing weekly specials. Try the Maple Cream Pie for dessert made with Vermont maple syrup.
Nothing beats a cute Vermont country store. Grab yourself a souvenir while browsing a selection of clothing, toys, jewelry, and even maple syrup.
Take a little detour and stay at Woodstock Inn & Resort. Luxury travelers will love the stunning rooms and amenities, including a full-service spa, golf, onsite restaurant, and health club.
It’s a 45-minute drive from the Rochester Café but worth it. Woodstock is one of my favorite Vermont towns, and it’s often featured in many media outlets for fall foliage.
Feeling Cheesy? Visit Cabot Farmer’s Store
Address: 2657 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Waterbury Center, Vermont 05677
My favorite cheese in the world is Vermont’s Cabot Cheese Sharp Cheddar, one of the many things I loved about Vermont was how easy it was to track down.
Not familiar with Cabot? Stop by during your Vermont Route 100 road trip. It’s about halfway between Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory and the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. You can sample and purchase their award-winning cheeses.
Just over 15 minutes away, visit The Alchemist Brewery and Visitor Center on Cottage Club Road. Book a brewery tour or try one of their brews, either indoor or outdoor.
See Related: Things to Do in Brattleboro, Vermont
Have a Relaxing Stay at Trapp Family Lodge
Address: 700 Trapp Hill Road, Stowe, Vermont 05672
Have you seen the Sound of Music musical, based on the von Trapp family? The real von Trapps moved to Vermont because it reminded them of Austria. The Trapp Family Lodge and Restaurant is still owned by the von Trapp family – where you can stay, eat, or stop in for a drink.
This unique alpine lodge perfectly blends Vermont and Austrian culture. Take in the beautiful views of the mountains on its 2,500 acres of land. Stop at the Bierhall for a delectable brew and some European-inspired pub fare. Wine tastings are also available. Try the Kaffeehaus for a morning pick-me-up.
The lodge caters to all ages and activity levels and has everything from yoga to mountain biking. You can also take one of many tours:
- Historical tour of the property
- One-mile maple sugar tour
- von Trapp gardens
- von Trapp brewery
- Horse-drawn sleigh rides (winter) and carriage rides (year-round)
Explore the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum
Address: 1 South Main Street, Stowe, Vermont 05672
While I haven’t had the opportunity to visit, the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum is located near Route 100 and Route 108. It features several exhibits and a hall of fame celebrating the history of skiing and snowboarding in Vermont.
Here, you can find 8,000 items, including 275 pairs of boots, 400 pairs of skis, 100 pairs of poles, and much more. Housed in the Town Meeting House, built in 1818, you’ll have to plan as the museum is only open from Thursday to Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm.
Are you traveling with the whole gang? You’ll love this historic pet friendly house. The accommodation sleeps eight guests and has three bathrooms. Families will love staying at this beautiful property in Stowe, Vermont.
See Related: Things to Do in Killington, Vermont
Hike, Bike, or Go Rock Climbing at Stowe Mountain Resort
Address: 5781 Mountain Road, Stowe, Vermont 05672
Thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies will love exploring the Vermont landscape while hiking, biking, or rock climbing.
For those who want a less intense experience, you can reach new heights with a gondola ride. Bring the kids along! The resort is popular among families as there are many kid-friendly amenities.
For those seeking the ultimate heart-pumping adventure up top Vermont’s highest peak, check out the ZipRider. You’ll zipline down Vermont’s highest mountain, Mount Mansfield, reaching speeds as fast as 60 mph.
Not sure how to navigate your way around the mountainous landscape? Stowe Resort also offers lessons and rentals for all ages.
See Related: Gifts for Couples Who Travel
Gaze in Awe at Stowe Road Carvers Chainsaw Carvings
Address: 6572 Waterbury/Stowe Road (Route 100), Waterbury, VT 05677
While there are several chainsaw carving places in Vermont, Stowe Road Carvers is a must-see and has been in business for over 30 years. We still have a bear on our front porch and a raccoon in our basement – both chainsaw carvings from Route 100.
Many visitors love this one-of-a-kind stop with souvenirs to remember their memorable journey down Route 100 in Vermont.
Nearby, stay at the Brass Lantern Inn in Stowe, Vermont, only 10 minutes from Stowe Road Carvers. The family-owned bed and breakfast is very popular with traveling couples. Brass Lantern Inn has received many positive reviews from visitors. Many visitors state the staff is beyond friendly and accommodating. In the vicinity, there are many parks within driving distance and the majestic Mount Mansfield.
See Related: Best Family Travel Hacks
Take a Scenic Hike to Moss Glen Falls
Trailhead Address: 369-615 Moss Glen Falls Rd, Stowe, Vermont 05672
If you’d like to hike on your Route 100 road trip, take the trail to Moss Glen Falls in Stowe, Vermont. After all, you’ll need to stretch those legs after sitting for hours. The scenic hike is incredible for all skill levels, and it’s a great adventure during October with the fall foliage.
Bring your camera to take photos of Moss Glen Falls, a stunning 68-foot waterfall. This short hike is right off Route 100, about 3 miles north of Stowe. It’ll take around 2-3 hours for the full hike, but just going to Moss Glen Falls and back should take around half an hour.
See Related: Where To Stay In Stowe, Vermont
Explore The Beast of the East at Killington Ski Resort
Address: 4763 Killington Road, Killington, Vermont 05751
While Killington is well-known as a ski resort (one of the largest in New England), it is a year-round destination near Vermont Route 100. In addition to skiing, snowboarding, lodging, golfing, and hiking trails, it offers several activities and attractions.
The gondola ride runs year-round, where you climb 1.25 miles to the top of the 4,241 ft. Killington Peak, which is a very popular ski mountain. You can get out at the top, enjoy lunch at Peak Lodge, and take beautiful photos.
Mountain biking is very popular, and the bike park at Killington is massive. Coast and ride the trails suitable for all skill levels, from beginner to advanced.
The Killington Adventure Center is a playground for the whole family. Exercise and play with the Woodward WreckTangles obstacle course, a ropes course, and (my favorite) an alpine coaster. This venue also hosts a summer music concert series.
Take a break from all that exercise and check out the Long Trail Brewing Company, only 20 minutes from the resort. Kick back and relax at this quaint riverside pub with a pint of delicious seasonal craft beers.
Can’t get enough skiing? You can also check out the Okemo Mountain Resort, just 35 minutes from Killington Ski Resort.
Outdoor enthusiasts will also love skiing and snowboarding down Mount Snow in West Dover. The Mount Snow Ski Resort in West Dover is just over an hour south of Okemo Mountain Resort, so you can continue checking off your list of outdoor activities.
See Related: Things to Do in Middlebury, Vermont
Take Photos And Cross Historic Covered Bridges
With more than 100 bridges in Vermont, you’ll likely stumble across a few. Here are some of the most notable covered bridges near Vermont Route 100.
- Gold Brook Covered Bridge, Stowe, Vermont
- Power House Covered Bridge, Johnson, Vermont
- Red Covered Bridge, Morristown, Vermont
- River Road Covered Bridge, North Troy, Vermont
- Scribner Covered Bridge, Hyde Park, Vermont
- Warren Covered Bridge, Warren, Vermont
- Waitsfield Covered Bridge, Waitsfield, Vermont
Vermont has many exclusive hotels and resorts that aren’t your average hotel. Are you looking for a unique accommodation to enhance your stay in Vermont? Stay a few nights at Liberty Hill Farm in Rochester, Vermont. Book a tour and experience daily farm life at this quaint and cozy Inn. Satisfy even the hungriest of appetites with delicious farm-fresh meals.
If you’d like to amp it up, stay at Twin Farms, the only 5-star luxury hotel in Vermont. Experience serene privacy. Twin Farms is secluded and nestled in the countryside.
Enjoy seasonal gourmet meals, fine wine, spirits, and resort activities. It’s all included at this adults-only resort.
See Related: Things to Do in Dorset, Vermont
How long does it take to travel Route 100 in Vermont?
The route length will depend on many factors, such as which tourist attractions you’d like to see, which hotels you’re staying at, how many stops you’re making, and how far you’re driving. Vermont Route 100 is approximately 216.6 miles long.
Driving from one end to the other should take around 5 hours without stops. If you wish to make frequent stops, ideally, you’d want a week or more for your Vermont road trip.
What is the most scenic part of Route 100 in Vermont?
There isn’t one specific area that’s considered the most scenic on Vermont Route 100. It just depends on what you’re looking for on your Vermont road trip down Route 100. October is the optimal time when fall foliage is at its peak.
The Green Mountain National Forest, the famous Northeast Kingdom, and Waterbury Center State Park are phenomenal for nature lovers. Step back in time at Plymouth Notch Historic District, one of many historical and picturesque New England villages.
Where does Route 100 start and end in Vermont?
Vermont Route 100 begins in Stamford, Vermont, near the Massachusetts border. Your scenic Vermont Route 100 road trip will take you all the way to Newport, near the Canadian border.
- About the Author
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Since both of her parents are German immigrants, Lisa grew up with a lot of German culture. In fact, she’s more familiar with German traditions as opposed to the North American way of life. Growing up, she was fortunate enough to spend many summers in Germany with her family and she is fluent in German. Lisa is also quite the expert on Caribbean cruises, and has been to almost every island. She was also fortunate enough to work at a travel agency for almost 2 years to learn some of the ropes of the industry, and she’s happy to share her experiences, tips, and travel hacks with her readers.