Best Hikes, Stays, and Food for Your Vermont Elopement
So you’ve decided to elope – congratulations! I’m so excited for you and your partner to start this journey together and there’s no better place to plan a beautiful adventurous elopement than in the stunning Green Mountains of Vermont!
Vermont elopements are so special because they are an opportunity to celebrate your love in a way that is true to you – whether that means it’s just the two of you, your parents and close family, or perhaps a small gathering of a few guests. Among many reasons, I see couples choosing to elope to avoid the stress, cost, and planning of a larger wedding. Some choose to elope because of all the flexibility in creating the perfect day that means the most to them!
If you’re just starting to plan your Vermont elopement and perhaps feeling a bit overwhelmed by your options, I’m here to help! When couples come to me with their elopement vision, there are a few questions I always ask right off the bat. I suggest that the two of you grab a notepad or your phone and start to brainstorm on the following:
- Where do you want to celebrate? Think about settings like mountains, rivers, backyard, etc. and what feels right to the two of you. Maybe you want an adventure in the mountains of Vermont, or perhaps a small gathering by the beach is more your style!
- When do you want to celebrate? Weekday elopements can not only save you a ton of money, but you could potentially turn your elopement into a mini-moon and keep the adventure rolling! Think about seasonality as well, whether you’d enjoy the calm, cool winter or a golden summer vibe.
- Who do you want to celebrate with? Just the two of you? Maybe your parents? Siblings? Or perhaps a small guest list.
- What do the two of you envision doing on your perfect day together? Maybe it’s a small ceremony surrounded by family and friends, followed by an afternoon hike and watching the sun set. Or maybe you want to spend the day wining and dining in your favorite city restaurants. Make a list of the top 3-4 things that would make your elopement day super special to remember!
If this isn’t enough to get you started, I’ve included below some of my favorite hikes (for those adventurous souls out there), stays, and food which I hope will help you start to plan your perfect Vermont elopement day! The majority of these recommendations are places that I have previously photographed weddings or elopements so I can vouch for all the beauty, adventurousness, and joy that they will bring to your elopement day!
If hiking isn’t your jam, skip ahead to the next section for some beautiful Vermont stays for your elopement! However, if you’re up for the adventure, you know I am too! Below you will find a variety of hikes ranging from easy to moderate, a quick 1 mile or day-long 7 mile hike. You don’t always have to scale mountains in Vermont to get a beautiful view!
- Stowe Pinnacle via Pinnacle Meadow Trail – moderate, 3.2 mi
- Bingham Falls Trail – easy, .5 mi
- Mt. Mansfield Nose to the Chin – moderate, 2.8 mi
- Nebraska Notch – moderate, 3.2 mi
- Sterling Pond Trail – moderate, 2.3 mi
- Mt. Mansfield Loop Trail – hard, 7.3 mi
- Rock Point Loop Trail – easy, 1.2 mi
- Red Rocks Park Trail – easy, 2.7 mi
- Ethan Allen Homestead – easy, 2.6 mi
- Mount Pigsah Trail, Lake Willoughby – moderate, 4.1 mi
- Jay Peak via Long Trail – moderate, 3.1 mi
- Bald Mountain Trail – moderate, 4.2 mi
- Camel’s Hump Trail – hard, 6.0 mi.
Vermont has some of the most beautiful venues for elopements, ranging from country inns to downtown hotels with a more modern and rustic vibe. Whether you’re traveling from afar or you are locals looking for a stay-cation, check out some of the options below!
- Lodge at Spruce Peak – Large and beautiful venue & hotel right in the heart of Stowe with epic mountain photo opportunities right on-site.
- Timberholm Inn, Stowe VT – Cozy and warm with mountain views and a gazebo for outdoor ceremony. The rooms are super cozy and the owners will make you feel very at-home with the indoor fireplace and dining area.
- Edson Hill – Romantic, picturesque bed and breakfast on 38 acres of beautiful Vermont land. The guest rooms are beautiful, combining antique and contemporary features. Just a skip and a jump away from epic views at Stowe mountain.
- Topnotch Resort – Nestled right in the Green Mountains, 120 acres of wooded foothills. Self-described as a “sophisticated gem where alpine luxury is served on an intimate scale”.
- Hotel Vermont – Rustic & modern hotel located in downtown Burlington near the shores of Lake Champlain.
OTHER VT VENUES
- Grafton Inn – Picturesque Vermont Inn nestled in the charming town of Grafton with historic, individually-decorated rooms and award-winning dining.
- Mountaintop Inn & Resort – You can’t go wrong with an intimate wedding at a venue with views that overlook the beautiful Green Mountains and lake. They offer intimate elopement and micro-wedding packages with options for a classic lodge room, luxury lodge room, or extravagant suite.
- Burke Mountain Hotel – In Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom where enjoying the great outdoors is a way of life, it is no surprise that many couples have chosen to say “I Do” in the breathtaking alpine setting at Burke Mountain.
- Inn at Grace Farm – Located in Fairfax, VT, the Inn includes two guest houses with full kitchens and living areas, cozy fireplaces, and an outdoor ceremony site that’s perfect for intimate weddings and small elopements.
- Lareau Farm Inn – Right in the heart of the Mad River Valley, Lareau Farm is the home of American Flatbread and a wonderful spot for an intimate or larger wedding. Spend your wedding weekend with your loved ones in our charming country Inn. Wander through our beautiful gardens. Mountain bike trails, hiking and swimming are only steps away.
If you’re like me, you know that good food is fundamental for a beautiful celebration and fun elopement day. Whether you want something cozy and casual or a fine dining experience with multiple courses, these Vermont restaurants are some of my favorites!
- Idletyme Brewing Company – Quality beer brewed on site, delicious, high-value fare that’s family friendly and a cool atmosphere where locals and tourists alike can relax, share stories and soak up almost two centuries of history.
- Michael’s on the Hill – Chef-owned farm to table cuisine, locally sourced Vermont fine dining experience.
- The Dining Room at Edson Hill – Indulge in a sensational meal prepared by the Edson Hill culinary team whose creations feature a modern approach to classic New England fare.
- Harrison’s Restaurant – Comfort food in an upscale, relaxing environment in downtown Stowe
- Hen of the Wood – A true Vermont dining experience that showcases the region’s most vibrant foods.
- Pascolo Ristorante – Fresh pasta, pizza from our wood-fired oven, house salumi, Northeast seafood. Awesome wine list celebrates the subtle and complex wines of Piemonte, the bold beauties of Italy’s Southern regions, and everything in between.
- Leunig’s Bistro & Cafe – A French bistro & bar, serving lunch and dinner—located on the Church Street Marketplace on the corner of Church & College Streets.
Your Vermont Elopement Photographer
I hope that this list of Vermont hikes, food, and venues will help you in starting to plan your dream Vermont elopement with your partner! As your local Vermont elopement photographer, I’m here to bring the most epic and adventurous day to life with authentic, timeless and candid moments.
When you’re ready to think about your elopement day photography, contact me today to get elopement packages and bring your vision to life!