7 Picture Perfect Pumpkin Places
Fall is synonymous with Apple picking in Vermont. Apple donuts, apple crisp, apple pie…some more apple donuts. But what do you do when mid-October hits, the apples are gone, and those Halloween vibes start haunting your dreams? You pick a pumpkin of course!
If you’re new to VT or haven’t explored much outside the UVM / Burlington bubble, there are TONS of epic local vendors who are here to please pumpkin picking people such as yourself (and give you a chance to experience some fun VT fall activities in the process). Here are a few of our favorites:
Pro-Tip: Double-check websites and/or Facebook pages for the most up-to-date information. Many orchards and farms operate based off the temperament of the weather – so best to make sure they’re open and have what you’re looking for before driving out.
This spot is our perennial favorite – and not just during the fall (they host an epic Strawberry fest in the summer). Having opened in 1935 – and being a major supplier for regional supermarkets, it’s got a little bit of everything – the classic VT farm experience with a Petting Zoo, tons of fresh produce, a corn maze and even tractor rides. Their market boasts tons of local goodies, including baked goods (homemade pie!) and gifts for the fam; and they’ve even got a green house for the green-thumbed among us looking to add some foliage to their life. Plus the drive out through Winooski and Colchester is a beautiful autumn drive. Bonus!
When it comes to pumpkins, you can jump on a tractor and pick-your-own pumpkins right from the patch through late-October; or if you’re in a rush (or miss the patch picking) you can swing through and pick a pumpkin that has already been picked from the patch (what a mouth full) throughout October. Plus there are pie pumpkins and gourds for bakers, painters, and those looking for a tiny taste of fall in their residence hall or apartment.
Pros: classic farm experience, pick-your-own Pumpkins, animals, scenic, corn maze, delicious snacks.
Cons: Busy. Can be crowded.
Whitcombs Land of Pumpkins
First, let’s talk about the name. Whitcomb’s Land of Pumpkins? Sounds like a place straight out of Halloweentown. Can we live there? I guess not. Epic name aside, Whitcomb’s has been open since 2003 – peddling their perchance for pumpkins with over 6 achers of pumpkins, gourds, cornstalks, squash, and specialty pumpkins. They’ve made a local name for themselves as a great destination for ‘big’ carving pumpkins and their amazing variety (and colors) of pumpkins – just look at them!
In 2006 they also opened up a corn maze; so you can also check that off your ‘Vermont Fall’ Bucket-list. Heads up – they’re a smaller operation with a limited supply, so depending on the year they can run out of pumpkins by mid-October. Best to check their website/facebook page for updates before you head out (or just pop in to check out the corn maze)
Pros: Fun! Super variety of pumpkins, out of town, small corn maze.
Cons: Can sell out, no produce or other VT treats.
Adams Apple Orchard &
This spot is a great choice if you’re looking for ‘Sam Mazzas’ vibes without ‘Sam Mazzas’ business. Adams is fairly close to Burlington – just a quick drive throughout the backroads of Williston. Their primary fall business is Apple picking (as you can tell from ‘Orchard’ in their title), but they also have a quaint market with a ton of local produce – and Pumpkins.
You can pick apples until mid-October, after which they only operate their market. Still worth a visit for an epic gourd, some delicious baked goods, and some of the freshest apple cider you can get.
Pros: Apples! Apple treats, donuts, local produce, fresh vt treats
Cons: Limited ‘farm’ fun when orchard closes,
Ok we’ll be real with you – we’ve never been to Chapin Orchard; but in researching pumpkining places it showed up on nearly every list. In what should seem like a theme (and one that will continue with our next pick), Chapin is an Orchard first – and like most orchards they operate until the end of picking season in mid-October (when the chill makes apples a bit…um…mushy). Their retail barn is open through November – that’s your place for Pumpkins, as well as some other appley goodies.
We thought it’d be nice to include this spot on our list because there’s nothing quite like a nice drive through Essex Junction on a beautiful day (the orchard is about 20 minutes from Burlington). Not much brings us out to Essex as UVM students, and it’s nice to explore our surrounding towns for some sweeping VT vistas and fall fun.
Rolling hills – beautiful drive into the countryside of Essex.
Pros: Apples! Apple treats, donuts, local produce, fresh vt treats, scenic drive to essex
Cons: Limited ‘farm’ fun when orchard closes,
Yates Family Orchard
Like most orchards – Yates Family Orchard specializes in picking apples (what?! No!); but we included it because it’s location is a GREAT reason to take a mini-Vermont road trip to neighboring Hinesburg. This spot also has a wide selection of amazing treats and Vermont specialty foods and products – in fact we’d almost recommend taking a trip out there for all the delicious things they sell outside of apples in pumpkins. Hot / made-to-order cider donuts, Kingdom Creamery creemees, pies, baked goods, local raw honey, orchard jams, maple syrup, mums, artisan work and much more – including pumpkins! Let’s go – you had me a creemees!
Pros: Apples! Apple treats, donuts, local produce, fresh vt treats, SO many delicious vermont treats for yourself and others
Cons: Limited ‘farm’ fun when orchard closes.
It’s worth mentioning that many folks have zero interest in hitting up a farm or driving out-of-town for a pumpkin. If your pumpkin personality is a little particular – perhaps you’re not interested in spending a ton, don’t have a ton of time, or simply don’t have transportation to go too far, Trader Joes is your option. TJ’s can come in clutch in a pinch – and we’ve heard rumblings of pumpkins for as low as $3.99. Sold. Plus, it’s SUPER close to campus and is right on the bus line (free admission with your CatCard). And you can pick up some TJ treats while you’re at it. Win-win.
(Image credit: The Odyssey Online)
Pros: Cheap, on the bus route, quick and easy.
Cons: Not shopping local
The Mill Market & Deli
If you want a level-up from corporate Trader Joes pumpkins, but aren’t all that interested in checking out the life of a classic Vermont Farm; This stop might be a great middle-ground for you. It’s pretty local – just a bit further up Dorset than Trader Joes; but the trip does give you a little peak of Chittenden County’s rolling hills (and occasional peep of the lake). The Mill Market & Deli is more a one-stop-shop for some delicious (and sustainably sourced) food and light groceries than a pumpkin place – but a swing through here will give you some good ol’ Vermont vibes, some tasty food, and maybe even a gourd for your life.
Pros: Close by, tons of delicious food and beverages, can also do a bit of shopping while there, nice drive
Cons: Limited ‘farm’ fun, not as unique an experience
Bonus: The Great Vermont Corn Maze / Dead North
Okay, okay. Maybe there aren’t any pumpkins here…but it’s worth a mention (and maybe you’ll find a quaint pumpkin spot along the way – if not, you can always swing through this sweet spot). The Great Vermont Corn Maze is just that – the largest corn-maze in New England! Every year they do a new maze design (check out this UVM one) and the only way to find out what it is, is to do the maze (or…cheat and look at the Instagram tag…but that defeats the point). Last time we went it took us 3 hours to get through – we may or may not have lost hope along the way; but some spontaneous dinosaurs mid-maze reenergized us.
This spot also runs an EPIC haunted corn maze that runs only the first two weekends of October (and it sells out – so if spooky middle-of-nowhere-VT-haunted-corn-mazes are your thing, keep your eyes peeled in August). They open in August and, because they need to chop their corn prior to snow fall (and it can come early in the mountains), the maze is usually only open through mid-October. Best to check their Facebook for updates.
It takes a while to get here (about an hour and a half by our count), but it’s a destination visit and worth some pre-planning to check out if you’re looking for something to do in August.
Pros: Biggest in New England, epic road trip
Cons: 1.5 Hour Drive
Have your own favorite spot? Give us a shout in the comments, or send us a note at [email protected]. Happy pumpkin picking, people!