It’s fall in Vermont, folks. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Where to stay: Indulge in fireside tubs and fireplace butlers at Edson Hill, or check out Field Guide -- their pool is open through September, and their restaurant, Picnic Social, does outdoor fireside seating. Stowe Mountain Lodge keeps its heated pool open all year round (hot tubs too), and can set you up on a ziplining trip through the fall foliage.
What to do: Splurge for dinner at Hen of the Woods in Waterbury, one of the best restaurants in New England, and drink under the leaves at Idletyme Brewing’s outdoor bar (mix in a little cornhole while you’re at it). You can sample dry hard cider in the Stowe Cider tasting room, or hit up the Boyden Valley Winery Harvest Festival (September 17th-18th). Buy some Barr Hill gin directly from the purveyors at the Stowe Farmers' Market, then drive Smugglers' Notch before it closes for the season. Even if you don’t stay there, spa it up at Stowe Mountain Lodge -- the lounge area offers crazy-cool views of the nearby Mt. Mansfield.