Coffee, Hikes & Leaves: A Roadtrip in New England

Hi Guys!

I hope all my American friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I can’t believe ours was almost two months ago….holy cow! Then again we Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving practically as soon as summer’s over. My hometown team, The Redblacks, lost in the Grey Cup (our version of the Superbowl) yesterday, unfortunately, but it was pretty exciting nonetheless. I hope your weekend was a good one, too.

Now that November is almost over (wait what??) I thought I’d better hurry up and share a Fall-themed road trip with you guys. How does a trip to New England sound? Grab your pumpkin latte or apple cider and let’s hop in the car. We’re going to do some Leaf Peeping.

While I’m not a huge fan of Fall, at all, there is one thing I do like about the season: the changing leaves. And judging by the millions of other tourists who flock to New England every Fall too, I’m clearly not alone. 


Leaf Peepin’ is big business in New England. Particularly in Vermont where you’re bound to find some of the most spectacular colours anywhere in the country. I think it’s safe to say that money really does grow on trees ’round these parts, especially in October when tourists come here in droves.

Vermont happens to be one of my favourite States too, so it usually doesn’t take much arm-twisting to convince me to head there any time of the year, let alone when the mountains are completely ablaze in vibrant reds, burnt oranges and dazzling yellows.

 The show is spectacular.


I’ve been to Vermont several times but mostly in the summer (and twice at Christmas), but I haven’t been there in the Fall yet, for some reason. It was about time I rectified this!

So with a rare weekend off-work, my good friend AL and I decided to take a day trip to Vermont (it’s only a 3-hour drive from Ottawa).

I wasn’t really expecting to be blown away by the colours here at all, but that’s only because we get our share of spectacular foliage at home. So, you know it’s gonna take some pretty nice lookin’ leaves to impress me (ha ha).


When we arrived in Vermont, however, my expectations were surpassed—by a long shot.  This place is incredible in the Fall. The colours of the leaves are so vibrant that it’s almost surreal.





When we arrived in Burlington we headed to Church Street to have some lunch and roam around downtown.

This is the city’s main drag. It’s a hopping pedestrian street with a church at each end of it (hence the name). I think it puts our pedestrian street in Ottawa (Sparks St) to shame.


I can’t come to Burlington without going to this store, of course. That would be crazy talk.


This place makes some of the best chocolate I’ve ever had (even in Europe). So I may have bought one of everything.

As you can probably tell by the photos, it was quite warm….for late-November. We  couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather for some hiking and leaf-peepin’.


After a delicious lunch we grabbed a coffee for the road. And being the photo nut that I am,  it took us awhile to walk back to the car as I kept stopping to take pictures.

Speaking of nuts, say hi to Al!


You’ll rarely see this guy without a coffee in his hand. Which is quite funny because in University (20 years ago, or so), the only time he’d touch the stuff is if it came free with breakfast. Well he’s certainly addicted to it now, no doubt about it. (I may or may not have anything to do with that).





The sunny blue sky was the perfect backdrop for the brilliant fall colours, even here in downtown Burlington. I loved this flaming orange tree on one of the street corners.


The drive along the Green Mountains was absolutely phenomenal.  I especially love the stunning sugar maples, which had the most striking oranges and reds I’ve ever seen.


Montpelier is only about a 15-20 minute drive south of Burlington. Since I’ve never been there before, we figured this was the perfect time to check out this little town. It’s much smaller than Burlington, which surprised me as it’s the state capital. But when we arrived and chatted with a few locals, they told us this is the smallest state capital in all of the U.S! Cool.

I loved this town right off the bat. It’s your typical, charming small town with lots of old buildings and funky shops. And everyone knows each other and says hello to you (yep, even to the tourists) on the street. Beautiful and friendly!


There were even a couple crazy tourists hanging out in the trees. Hmnnnn…this town is starting to look a bit sketchy. Moving on….




A whole lotta red going on here. Thankfully I decided not to wear a red jacket today or I might have blended into the scenery a little too much.



When I think of the ideal small town in the mountains, this is it.


There is much history here, too. And a bunch of gorgeous churches, cool architecture and stunning mountain scenery. The fall colours are just an added bonus! 😀





I think I might move here. But I guess I should probably spend more than a few hours here before I rent my U-HAUL and start packing, hey? Not to mention it could take me 4 years (minimum) to get a Green Card.
I bet this town is beautiful in the winter as well.




After a short hike and a wander about town, Al and I decided it was time to stop for a coffee.  Capital Grounds  is a cute little cafe right on main street and they claim to have been serving the best coffee in Vermont since 1998. Sounded good to me, especially since there aren’t that many options here.

This is Montpelier’s version of a Starbucks, but much better (Yes, Virginia, there is a town without a Starbucks)
This is Al before we went into the cafe for a coffee.
And this is AL after an espresso. Oh wait, he’s USUALLY like this. Never mind then… (he he).


Even though it’s been too-short of a trip, it’s been a pretty fun day and I really enjoyed visiting Vermont in the Fall, and finally getting to Montpellier, too.

A nice local guy here in Burlington offered to take a photo of us on Church street. I thought it was a nice keepsake of a fun road trip with a good friend.
Al is such a hoot to travel with.
Since Vermont is so close to me, I really have no excuse to come back during the Fall ever year! And because our leaves change a couple of weeks earlier than our American friends’, I just have to nip south a bit after our leaves have fallen and I’m right on time to see the show in New England…Score!
The drive back home along Fingers Lakes (Northern Vermont & Upstate New York) is absolutely stunning. It’s a much slower route back home for us (driving north via Montreal is quicker and shorter) but this is a much more scenic route if you have the time. It’s definitely worth taking it slow, especially at this time of year. 




Hope you’re all having a great Fall! I’ll be back in a few days with Part 2 to this post. Yep, more leaves! This time in Providence, Rhode Island (then no more leaves ’til next Fall, I promise)

Thanks for visiting and reading, especially if you made it this far (and yes, there will be a test)   🙂
Lots of Love & Pumpkin Pie,
Dana xo

2 thoughts on “Coffee, Hikes & Leaves: A Roadtrip in New England

  1. Hi Dana!

    That was fun! Coincidentally (or not!!) I was just thinking about you and ‘Cowboy’ today. Seems so long since we’ve seen you.

    Good story, great photos…enjoyed the fall trip!

    Say hi to Bill.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lenka! Glad you enjoyed the fall shots. It’s great to hear from you. Cowboy and I were just talking about you guys the other day as well. Hard to believe it’s been half a year since our visit to Barrie. Hope you’re doing great!!!
      He says hello to you both as well 😀


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