The Quintessential Autumn Pastime: Apple Picking, Vermont-Style

Fall is in the air and on the minds of more than one Vermonter as the upcoming apple picking season draws close. Nothing says Vermont like a perfectly browned slice of apple pie, complete with a thick slice of sharp Cabot cheddar. Or what about sweet and creamy apple butter, apple chutney, or the sweet or sour tang from a fresh-from-the-tree Vermont apple? With so many delicious apple-based foods to choose from, one would be hard pressed to choose a single favorite.

Shelburne Orchards located on Orchard Road in Shelburne, knows how to keep visitors happy. With 80 acres of apple trees, 10 of those organic, the orchard is well-known in the area for providing a little something for everyone. From the Small Farms Food Fest on September 12th to the Cider House Run and Pie Fest on September 26th and a plethora of fun activities scheduled for October, Shelburne Orchards offers up a little bit of everything apple-themed this fall.

Champlain Orchards, located in Shoreham, grows over 25 varieties of apples in its orchard, as well as pressing its own cider and growing a wide variety of vegetables on its organic farm. At the farm market, visitors can indulge in cider donuts, apple pie, and other locally made products. The online market is also a popular feature, for customers who can’t make it to the orchard. Local musicians can be heard at the orchard on September 19th and 26th, and the annual Cider Fest is scheduled for October 2nd.

Traveling in Middlebury? Allow an extra hour or two to spend at Happy Valley Orchard, located on Quarry Road. With apples, fresh baked goods, straight-off-the farm and other local produce, Happy Valley Orchard is a great place to spend an hour or afternoon. Likewise, Sunrise Orchards in Cornwall is a place that shouldn’t be missed.

Adams Apple Orchard and Farm Market  in Williston is a great place to spend a Saturday morning. And  Chapin Orchard in Essex is a must-visit orchard offering “antique” apple varieties, along with more traditional types like Macintosh and Red Delicious.

If one really wants to experience the full autumn experience in New England though, there is no better choice than a cozy stay in a local bed and breakfast or inn.

If you’re looking for something a bit further from the hustle and bustle of the greater Burlington area,  Cornwall Orchards Bed & Breakfast offers a relaxing atmosphere in the country, elegant but simple rooms, and is only two miles from Middlebury College.

More interested in running a bed and breakfast (that revered Vermont career!)? Be sure to check out the listing for The Heart of the Village Inn, in Shelburne. The inn is the perfect spot for anyone desiring the true “Vermont experience.”  Tucked into the center of the village, this elegant inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wherever one’s autumn adventure’s begin this fall, putting  one of these inns or orchards on the itinerary will make for an enjoyable and memorable visit.

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