27 Things to Do in Burlington in Fall: Foliage, Farm Trips, Food and Drinks, Events, and More

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The leaves are changing colors and the air is crisp – it’s autumn in Burlington, Vermont! 

Burlington is Vermont’s largest city, located just on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain.

If you’re looking to enjoy the best of what Burlington in fall has to offer, this guide will explore some ideas to get you started.

This picturesque city comes alive during this time of year, with farmers’ markets, art expo, fall-themed events, and of course, the stunning fall foliage.

Whether you’re looking for a cozy weekend getaway or a fun-filled day trip, Burlington is definitely one of the cities to visit in Vermont in the fall.

Things to Do in Burlington in Fall

The following list will explore fall-worthy activities to try in Burlington- from drinking a spiced latte and beer tastings to apple picking and exploring the city’s art scene.

For more things to do in Burlington at any time of the year, visit this guide.

Order a Latte at Lake Champlain Chocolates

Ready for pumpkin spice latte season?

There is nothing better than ordering a warm latte on a cool fall morning.

Some of the best lattes in Burlington, VT are at Lake Champlain Chocolates (65 Church St).

Order your favorite warm drink (their hot chocolate is famous!) and pick a delicious treat to go along with it.

This is also one of our favorite ways to warm up during winter in Burlington!

Lit up street at night in Burlington, Vermont

Guided Tours at Burlington Breweries

While some people might prefer a nice beer on a summer’s afternoon, it’s quite possible that a brewery tour is the best thing to do in Burlington in the fall.

You can take a guided tour to visit and get behind the scenes of around 15 breweries in Burlington.

Some of them may include Magic Hat Brewing Co., Vermont Pub & Brewery, Zero Gravity Brewing, Goodwater Brewing Co., Fiddlehead Brewing Co., Halyard Brewing, and more.

The tour includes beer tastings and pizza for lunch along with a vehicle to take you around the area.

Outdoor Dining Before it’s Too Cold

Some people just aren’t ready for the weather to cool down and want to keep dining outdoors until it snows.

If you’re one of those people, there are three nice restaurants in downtown Burlington that will scratch that itch for you this fall.

Plus, from each of these outdoor locations, you can see the beautiful fall foliage in Burlington, VT.

One of them is The Farmhouse Tap & Grill (160 Bank St), an award-winning gastropub.

You can enjoy a wide range of tasty menus like salads, burgers, seafood, and Vermont beers in the pub’s spacious beer garden.

Dine at Leunig’s Bistro

Another restaurant with a great outdoor dining is Leunig’s Bistro (115 Church St).

This restaurant features french food along with a great selection of beers and cocktails.

It’s also a nice place to people-watch and enjoy the autumn breeze together with some live music.

Skinny Pancake 

For a delightful eatery with a variety of food that is well prepared and delicious, head to the Skinny Pancake (60 Lake St).

Skinny Pancake prides itself in serving whole, local foods- like their sweet crepes which feature VT maple syrup and local melted butter.

Enjoy a fall day in Burlington, VT by dining at this restaurant’s scenic waterfront location and get a chance to see some fall colors outside.

Bookstores for the Dark Academia Feels

Bookstores just feel a bit more special in the fall.

There’s nothing like flipping through an interesting book while the leaves are falling outside the window.

For all the best dark academia vibes, make sure you stop by Crow Bookshop (14 Church St) or Phoenix Books (191 Bank St).

For all those book lovers that have a special place in their hearts for Barnes and Noble, you can visit the Barnes and Noble (102 Dorset St) location in South Burlington.

Coffee Shops for Warm Drinks

If you want to branch out from the most famous coffee and chocolate shop in Burlington, you’ve got options.

After trying almost every coffee shop in Burlington, here are the top three you must visit in the crisp fall weather: Muddy Waters (184 Main St), Speeder and Earl’s Coffee (412 Pine St), and Scout O.N.E. (237 North Ave).

All three of these shops have giant windows and incredible lighting, perfectly unique baked goods and treats, large plants on every corner, and strong coffee.

Plus, they’re conveniently located in each corner of the city.

Cozy Restaurants to Warm Up

A warm meal in a small, cozy restaurant cannot be beaten in Burlington VT in the fall.

Whether you spent the day exploring the waterfront or you’re coming back from an apple-picking adventure, visit these restaurants and cafes to nourish you and beat the cold.

One of them is A Single Pebble (133 Bank St)- if you want to try some elevated Chinese food.

The restaurant serves dinner and is usually open from Tuesday to Saturday.

Zabby and Elf’s Stone Soup

Spend a fall lunch or dinner at Zabby and Elf’s Stone Soup (211 College St) for creative and hearty Jewish cuisine.

This cozy restaurant is located in the heart of Burlington and partners with local farms to source their ingredients.

They serve sandwiches, soups, and stews, as well as a good selection of bread and pastries- vegan options are also available.

Best Tea Shop in Burlington

Not exactly a coffee person?

Even if you are, you must stop by the Dobra Tearoom (125 S Winooski Ave) for an unmatched selection of more than 100 loose leaf teas, delicious vegan treats, and unique teaware.

Sit down on a soft pillow on the floor, turn off your phone (no screens allowed), and try your best to slow down and be fully present, since fall can be the busiest season of the year.

Dobra is best enjoyed with a lovely friend or companion!

Go Apple Picking at Shelburne Orchards

While there aren’t any apple orchards or pumpkin patches in the city itself, a short 20-minute drive to Shelburne, VT will give you access to all the fun outdoor fall activities.

The best apple orchard is definitely Shelburne Orchards (216 Orchard St), a family-owned and operated orchard and farm in Shelburne.

Head out on their sprawling orchard to pick your own apples and catch a ride on a tractor out to the farthest fields!

Try their iconic apple cider, and delicious cider donuts- and if you’re lucky, they might even have a slice of homemade apple pie to try.

Make sure to pick up a pumpkin before you go!

Woman picking apples

Try Maple Syrup at Dakin Farm, Ferrisburgh

If you’re looking for an all-around amazing taste of Vermont, you’ll have to drive a bit out of the city to Dakin Farm (5797 US-7).

You’ll find every flavor that is uniquely Vermont at this farm.

Their specialties are pure Vermont maple syrup, smoked ham and turkeys, and sharp cheddar cheese.

They also make incredible gift baskets to take home so you can bring Vermont with you when you leave.

Explore Art in the City

Getting outside is one of the best ways to experience Burlington in the autumn but if you want to take a break from the outdoors, you can check out the city’s art scene.

There are galleries, museums, and craft stores you can visit on your self-guided art tour.

You can head to Soapbox Arts (266 Pine St) for rotating exhibitions of contemporary artworks.

Visit their website for exhibits you can see during the fall season.

Burlington City Arts Center

For more of a museum experience, visit the Burlington City Arts Center (135 Church St) for three levels of art displays.

The museum hosts contemporary art exhibitions as well as camps, art classes, events, and more.

If you visit during the fall, you may catch some of their events like the BTV Market, an outdoor market event held from June through October.

There’s also the Fall Artists Reception which features exhibits from their fall artists along with some drinks and refreshments- and is held around October.

Frog Hollow Vermont Craft Gallery

If you want to pick up some handcrafted local art, visit Frog Hollow Vermont Craft Gallery (85 Church Street) to support more than 100 Vermont artists.

Watch out for their fall exhibits featuring arts and crafts by selected Vermont artists- from ceramic arts and wood carvings to photography and paintings.

Burlington Fall Events

Join in the fun and celebrations with the following events in Burlington held in the autumn season.

You may also like our guide to the best places to visit in Vermont.

Burlington Farmers Market

Through the end of October, you need to visit the Burlington Farmers Market (345 Pine St) for the most iconic fall activity in Burlington, VT.

From traditional fall produce from local farms to specialty foods like sourdough bread and sweets, to an amazing display of artisan crafts, there’s something for everyone at the weekly farmers market.

South End Art Hop

An absolute favorite event for locals and travelers alike, Burlington’s South End Art Hop is the best Burlington fall event.

This festival takes place over the course of a weekend in the middle of September and has been going on for more than three decades.

Food trucks, studio tours, and free scheduled events make this the best way to explore all the South End of Burlington has to offer.

Oktoberfest

While there is an Oktoberfest in just about every city, the Oktoberfest in Burlington in fall is extra special.

You’ll love this amazing celebration with beers from across the globe, a fun carnival atmosphere, live music, and street performances.

It’s also a perfect place to try all those Vermont beers you’ve been waiting to sample!

Grand Point North

The only thing that would make Burlington’s Waterfront Park any better would be a two-day music festival hosted by Grace Potter.

Grand Point North takes place over the course of a weekend in the middle of September and features amazing local and international musicians.

You’ll love the food trucks, upbeat music, and soaking up the last of the warm weather in fall in VT.

Vermont International Film Festival

Looking for a festival that lasts longer than a weekend?

The Vermont International Film Festival (VTIFF) is a cornerstone of the fall in Burlington, VT.

For 10 days, explore the theaters of Burlington and enjoy some of the best-curated film experiences as a part of this event.

VTIFF is a premier showcase of high-quality films of every genre.

Champlain Valley Craft Show & Antique Expo, Essex Junction

Just a short 20-minute drive from Burlington, the Champlain Valley Craft Show & Antique Expo (105 Pearl St) is a massive display of all the best Vermont craft has to offer.

The show and expo take place at the end of October and is a perfect place to buy (or sell) unique and interesting collectibles.

Burlington, VT Fall Foliage

The state of Vermont offers some great leaf-peeping opportunities so if you’re in Burlington in autumn, make sure to head to places on the following list to enjoy the fall colors.

In order to get an idea of when the fall foliage will start to peak, you can look at this New England fall map.

There are also places to stay in Burlington for the fall foliage featured in this guide.

Burlington Greenway Bike Path

There are so many ways to enjoy the fall foliage in Burlington, VT, but walking or biking along the Burlington Greenway Bike Path is one of the best.

Lots of people think you need to drive into the mountains and hike for miles to enjoy the fall foliage, but staying in the city and exploring the nearby natural areas is just as amazing.

It runs from Oakledge Park to the Winooski River and connects beaches, parks, and even commercial districts.

Enjoy the fall foliage while exploring what the city has to offer.

Oakledge Park

Another option to see fall foliage in Burlington without leaving the city is to visit Oakledge Park (Flynn Ave).

Located in the South End, you’re able to check out some of the best of Burlington fall foliage while exploring or resting at the water’s edge of Lake Champlain.

Burlington is the best of both worlds: water and woods at your fingertips without ever leaving the city.

Centennial Woods

If you’d like to do more of a true woods hike in Burlington to see fall foliage, Centennial Woods is the place to go.

For a small park in the middle of the city, it contains multiple types of natural areas to explore.

If you visit in the fall, you’re sure to come across environmental students from the University of Vermont — they might even help you identify different plants and trees!

Intervale Farm

One more special spot to see Burlington, Vermont fall foliage: the Intervale Center (180 Intervale Rd) is an incredible farm, non-profit community resource, and natural area.

You can walk the winding trails around community gardens, sprawling farm fields, and beautiful river areas to see all the best of the Burlington autumn leaves.

You can also check the website calendar for even more fall events at the Intervale.

Red Rocks Hike

In South Burlington, Red Rocks Park is a sprawling natural area and park to check out some amazing Burlington fall foliage.

More than 2.5 miles of trails, lots of scenic overlooks, and 700 feet of waterfront make this park a special place to make the most of the fall in Burlington.

Shelburne Farms

For an all-around perfect fall experience near Burlington, VT, you must take the short 20-minute drive to Shelburne Farms (1611 Harbor Rd).

Miles of walking trails, a fresh farm store with iconic Vermont fall fare, and breathtaking fall foliage make Shelburne Farms the best place to visit in the fall.

It is also a hub for sustainability education and restorative agriculture practices, so if that interests you, make sure you visit the site to learn more.

Final Thoughts

With its gorgeous fall foliage and fun fall-themed activities, Burlington in the fall season is a wonderful time to visit.

So tell us, have you visited Burlington during autumn? What was your favorite part? Let us know in the comments below!

If you’re looking to explore more places in Vermont, check the guides below.

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