Manchester, which is roughly 205 miles and 4 hours’ drive from New York City, is a great weekend getaway for city dwellers who want to buy locally, relax in the outdoors, and learn about art and history of the place.
This former iron-mining community is now the classic Vermont retreat, complete with a white steeple church, antique stores, and charming country inns, nestled in the middle of the green mountains, whose natural beauty influenced writers like Robert Frost. Manchester is a great year-round vacation spot. By early fall mother nature starts to display her brilliant hues as the state’s magnificent foliage appears, drawing hordes of leaf peepers.
If you are wondering what to do in Manchester VT, look at this article.
Things to Do in Manchester VT
Cross Country Skiing
Cross-country skiing, such as the Bucklin trail, is a must-visit tourist spot in Vermont. It will take you to Killington Peak, from which you can see the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Adirondack Mountains in New York, and the Green Mountains of Vermont. There is a lot of steep rock in the final quarter mile. The trailhead is reachable in the winter, although you should bring crampons, snowshoes, or microspikes for traction on the mountain’s top slopes.
Lincoln Family Home
Lincoln Family Home is the historical residence of the son of President Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln, named Robert Lincoln, their only surviving child until adulthood. In Manchester’s picturesque hamlet, Robert Lincoln constructed his Georgian Revival mansion in 1905. The family moved in 1905, and he named it “Hildene,” an old English word for a hill and valley with a stream. Longer than any other Lincoln residence, it was only inhabited by Lincoln’s ancestors until 1975. Hildene’s mission is to inspire and educate others to live according to Abraham Lincoln’s beliefs to pass them on to future generations.
Beautiful gardens, a wooden Pullman Palace railcar from 1903 that has been rebuilt, a goat farm and cheese-making facility, 12+ miles of walking trails, a teaching greenhouse, and cross-country skiing in the winter can all be found on the estate.
There is a gift shop inside with a few tiny tables beautifully presenting items with various Hildene-related themes, such as nature, history, food, children’s learning, and Vermont-made goods. Additionally, cheese produced by Hildene’s goats and cows is available for purchase. The museum’s holdings include a prized 1908 Aeolian pipe organ (complete with 242 rolls), one of the president’s bibles, and one of only three known remaining stovepipe hats.
Hildene the Lincoln Family Home has something for everyone, whether you’re seeking a strolling path with stunning Manchester VT views or a tour of Lincoln’s historic 412-acre estate.
Members of Hildene and children under the age of five are admitted free; adult non-member admission is $23, and admission for children aged 6 to 16 costs $6. The business is open from Thursday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Green Mountains include Bromley Mountain, which is situated in southern Vermont. It can be found in Peru, Vermont, just west of the Peru town center, seven miles (11 km) east of Manchester, Vermont. Skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts enjoy visiting it. This mountain’s observation tower, which has views over southern Vermont and beyond, is located at its 3284-foot summit. The summit is crossed by the Long Trail and the Appalachian Trail. There are numerous camping options along the mountain trail in the Green Mountain National Forest.
The Long Trail in southern Vermont rises to its highest point at Stratton Mountain. At the top is a fire tower from which you can see three states: Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. To the south are Somerset Reservoir and Mt. Snow, to the southwest is Glastenbury Mountain, and to the west are the Taconic Mountains, which include Mt. Equinox, this range’s tallest point. Grand Monadnock in New Hampshire is to the southeast, and Mount Ascutney is to the northeast.
Since this mountain is comparatively easy to climb, it sees a lot of traffic, especially in the summer and again in the fall. To safeguard the mountain’s delicate plants and soils, camping is not permitted on Stratton Mountain.
Camping is permitted at Stratton Pond, located on Stratton Mountain’s northern slope. There are platforms for tents and a brand-new shelter nearby or by the pond. In season, there is a fee, and a caretaker lives there.
The largest body of water on the Long Trail is Stratton Pond. Over 2000 campers stay at the pond between Memorial Day and Columbus Day, making it the Trail point that sees the most overnight traffic each year.
Skiing and boarding are available at Stratton Mountain resort for all skill levels. This ski resort will enthrall riders of all ages with its approximately 100 routes and three terrain parks. Tennis, kids’ camps, hiking, mountain biking, and golf are all popular summertime pursuits.
Stratton Village is filled with places to stay and eat that are ideal for families. The Village is made more lively by a range of events, from yoga and live music to races and tent sales.
Stone House Museum
The Old Stone House Museum has 21 rooms filled with exhibits that highlight life in northern Vermont in the 19th century. The structure, a massive stone dorm known as Athenian Hall, was constructed in 1834–1836 by Rev. Alexander Twilight, the first African American in the US to graduate from college and become a state legislator. A destination along the Vermont African American Heritage Trail is the Old Stone House Museum.
Only tours with guides are allowed entry. Start the trip at the Twilight House, which is next to the Museum. There is no set schedule for the tours; they start whenever a guest shows up. Visitors may have to wait for the next tour to start if one is already underway.
American Museum of Fly Fishing
The American Museum of Fly Fishing was established to provide a center for the study, preservation, and interpretation of priceless artifacts from the history of angling.
The development of fly fishing as a sport, an art form, a craft, and an enterprise in the United States and overseas, dating back to the sixteenth century, is fully documented in the collections and exhibits. The Museum’s permanent collection consists of rods, reels, flies, tackle, artwork, pictures, manuscripts, and books.
The Museum has an excellent collection of 1,200 reels that show how early cast bronze reels changed into modern lightweight aluminum reels. Some well-known and other less well-known reel makers from throughout the world are included in the collection.
The collection also contains the oldest known species of flies. The American Fly Fisher has been published by the American Museum of Fly Fishing since 1974. Four times a year, this publication publishes papers written by some of the most renowned fly-fishing historians working today.
Land Rover Experience
The Land Rover Experience offers an opportunity to drive a brand-new Land Rover off-road. You get behind the wheel while a Land Rover instructor instructs you on how to drive off-road in reality. A 1-hour lesson, 2-hour lesson, half-day adventure, full-day adventure, and 6-hour full-day adventure are all available from Land Rover. Additionally, they provide Owner’s Day experiences all year long. It is nearly overwhelming with onboard navigation, traction control adjustment, and too many additional features to list.
The expansive vistas of Vermont’s landscape may be seen from the Land Rover Experience Driving Center, which is part of the famed Equinox Golf Resort & Spa. Since 1769, the Equinox has been a renowned luxury hotel, and it still represents tasteful rural elegance.
Mountain View Ranch
The Mountain View Ranch is situated in southern Vermont. It is situated in a valley that is encircled by mountains, which makes the horseback riding landscape breathtaking and the ranch environment peaceful and tranquil. The ranch, which is situated at the foot of Dorset Peak, Vermont’s seventh-tallest mountain, and faces Mount Tabor and the Green Mountain National Forest, is literally on Easy Street, a dead-end road.
Almost every form of riding experience is available here, including trail rides, donkey rides, pony rides, advanced rides, cowboy-up rides, private rides, picnic rides, sundown rides, riding camps, lessons, and more.
Charlie’s Coffee House
A coffee shop that can meet all of your demands for coffee and baked goods, showcasing locally roasted Mocha Joe’s coffee and espresso from Vermont. You should visit it for a variety of specialty coffee beverages, freshly baked products, sandwiches, salads, and more. There is lots of room for gathering and socializing too. For your gatherings and parties, catering is also an option.
Exploring the art galleries is one of the best things to do in Manchester VT. Be on the lookout for fantastic art galleries and artist studios hidden away in the most lovely settings here. Tilting at Windmills is one of the many distinctive galleries in Manchester that exhibits works by regional and international artists. Below is brief information about other art galleries.
Southern Vermont Arts Center
The Southern Vermont Arts Center is a must-visit. It was founded in 1922 and is a four-hour trip from Boston, Montreal, and New York City. It offers cultural, educational, and creative possibilities for people of all ages.
Laumeister Art Center
The Facility was established by a local philanthropist Bruce Laumeister and his wife Elizabeth as a non-profit full-spectrum art center. Two exhibition rooms and a 315-seat theater were accessible when the doors opened in 1994. When temporary exhibits are not on display, a large portion of the artwork that the couple has amassed over the years from galleries across the nation hangs in the galleries and stairwells.
Mount Equinox Skyline Drive
In Vermont, Equinox is the state’s second-highest mountain. Mount Equinox, which is 3,848 feet above sea level, provides a 360-degree panorama of Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and, on clear days, Montreal’s Mount Royal. It is one of the safest, best-engineered, and most well-built toll highways in the nation and has been in use continuously since it was finished in 1947.
The Mount Equinox Skyline Drive, which ascends through four various woodland types, has multiple viewpoints and picnic spots. As you ascend the mountain, you can see the Charterhouse of the Transfiguration, the sole Carthusian monastery in North America, in the valley on your left.
The Saint Bruno Scenic Viewing Center, a gift to the people of Vermont and all visitors from the Order of Carthusians, is located at the top of Mount Equinox.
When you arrive here, go inside the building to purchase your entry token for the toll road up to the peak. You’ll receive a brochure with instructions on how to navigate the mountain road. You’ll use the paved toll road to ascend to the summit.
The length of the road is 5.2 miles. It is the country’s longest privately owned paved road. You must insert the token you received at the toll house into the slot provided to access the road. Some tight hairpin turns on the rather steep trek to the summit. But on a mountain road, this is to be anticipated. The speed restriction is only 20 mph for safety reasons.
Once you reach the summit, you can trek many different pathways. Don’t forget to take a stroll up to the summit. Be sure to drink a lot of water and dress appropriately for the weather at the summit. Mountain biking is also a tempting option to travel and enjoy the drive.
Old Covered Bridges
Arlington Covered Bridge
Vermont is well known for many things, including maple syrup, hiking trails, and maybe the most alluring of all, a large number of beautifully built old-covered bridges.
The Arlington Covered Bridge is one of Vermont’s most famous and colorful bridges. It is a part of the National Register of Historic Places and was constructed in 1852. An unidentified road crosses the storied Batten Kill River on this bridge.
Chiselville Covered Bridge
Built in 1870, the Chiselville Bridge spans the River Wear in Sunderland. It is where the Roaring Branch Brook crosses, and it appears in the movie “Baby Boom.” The walk to the bottom of the ravine on foot to see the bridge from below is well worth it, even if the bridge makes for stunning images from the road.
Lye Brook Falls
Families with children who enjoy being outside can easily complete the moderate 4.6-mile Lye Brook Falls trail in Manchester, Vermont. The track is shaded the entire time, making this trip ideal for the summer.
Lye Brook Falls is 125 feet tall and has multiple layers of cascades and horsetails. The hike is dog-friendly, and you can see plenty of dogs off-leash here.
Dutton Farm Stand
Dutton farm stand is very welcoming. There is a wide variety of cheese, Vermont wine, jams, vinegar, olive oil, flowers, plants, baked products, fresh vegetables and fruits, and local favorites to select from. They use their maple syrup to enhance the flavor of ice-cream.
Emerald Lake State Park in east Dorset is nestled between the Green Mountains to the east and the Taconic Mountains to the west in the small Route 7 valley. Emerald Lake, a focal point of the valley drainage, is located near the Otter Creek headwaters. Its long-term management plan was created in 1996.
Emerald Lake includes many miles of hiking paths in addition to camping and swimming. These routes take hikers through working forests, near wetlands, and along cliffs with amazing views of the surrounding mountains as well as Emerald Lake and its adjacent wetlands.
While motorized boats are not permitted on Emerald Lake, it is ideal for canoes, kayaks, or small row boats. Small boats can be launched from the park’s shoreline, notably along the walking trail leading in toward the beach and bathing area.
Adams park and Thompson Memorial Park are tourist attractions, too just like Emerald Lake State Park.
The Lake Morey Resort maintains the country’s longest skating route, a 4.5-mile loop around the lake. It’s an incredible experience that should not be missed. They keep smaller rinks in front of the resort for skating and pick-up hockey games.
From mid-April to early October, the B.O.R. Ice Arena functions as an exceptional concert location; from mid-October to early March, it operates as an ice arena. The arena’s open space measures 21,500 square feet. The heated bleacher seating can accommodate about 800 spectators at any one time.
This facility has hosted various events, including roller derby matches, sportsmen shows, flea markets, circuses, clothing drop-off events, and agricultural, house, and auto shows.
Lift Serviced Snow Tubing
Snow tubing is one of the best outdoor activities involving gravity dragging you down a slope while riding on an inner tube.
Snow tubing is available at the Coca-Cola Tube Park, which also offers a fire pit and light refreshments. Anyone can visit Vermont’s favorite tube park and ride brand-new corduroy thanks to the Coca-Cola Tube Park’s routinely tended lanes. If returning before 4 pm to the main base, that region offers a shuttle service.
In the center of picturesque Manchester, Vermont, there is a playable pinball museum with more than 60 highly regarded games that were created in the United States. The arcade is a great little event location suitable for private events like corporate retreats and children’s birthday celebrations.
Do explore Merck Forest & Farmland Center on your visit to Manchester, VT. It is a 3,200-acre protected educational and recreational site that employs sustainable forestry and agriculture practices and welcomes guests to discover our natural and working lands. Merck offers camping, 30 miles of recreational trails, a working farm, and a variety of activities and courses for all ages.
The mountains that give the 14th state its name are the Green Mountains of Vermont. The region is a year-round vacation spot and is well-liked by both skiers and hikers. It is still entirely covered by lush forest. A few of the mountains have been prepared for skiing and other winter sports. Others offer summertime hiking trails. Downhill ski resorts are on the slopes of Mansfield, Killington, Pico, and Ellen.
Ye Olde Tavern
Aaron Sheldon constructed the Ye Olde Tavern, a historic structure, in the 18th century. The Tavern served as a gathering place for the wealthy during the period of colonial life. The structure was once referred to as Stagecoach Inn.
There are both indoor and outdoor dining options. It can accommodate a wide range of events, including everything from social gatherings to business meetings. When the full restaurant is used, the private dining rooms can accommodate 90 guests and 16 to 42 guests, respectively.
The original store, established in 1976, is situated right in the middle of town at 4869 Main Street. Before being transformed into a bookstore in 1985, this structure, known as the Colburn House, had been an inn that had been continually open for business for over a century.
The bookstore has a complete selection of stationery, magazines, cards, calendars, local and VT cuisine, and a wide range of exquisite gifts, including apparel and jewelry. There is no need to leave the building to have coffee, baked goods, or lunch because the well-known Bonnet & Main Cafe is connected to the shop.
Robert Frost’s Grave, Bennington
Four-time Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Frost served as the nation’s poet laureate from 1958 to 1959. “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” is one of his most popular works. His grave can be found in Old Bennington, close to the Bennington Battle Monument, in the cemetery next to the venerable Old First Church, which was built in 1762.
When it comes to food, Vermont has many options. Asian cuisine is served at Moonwink in Manchester Center, Vermont, 05255, and is well worth tasting. Try Mrs. Murphy Doughnuts in Manchester, Vermont, if you’re in the mood for donuts and coffee. Several options are available in Firefly restaurant, ranging from wine to nachos. Additionally, they provide both domestic and foreign beer in bottles.
These are just a few suggestions to get you started as you plan your upcoming trip to Manchester, Vermont, while there are so many exciting things to do. Make sure to checkout them all!