Manchester VT is a charming town nestled at the foot of Mount Equinox in the Green Mountains of Vermont.
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Manchester was established in 1761 by Benning Wentworth who was the colonial governor of nearby New Hampshire. The city was named after a prominent English aristocrat, Robert Montagu, Duke of Manchester. The area was well suited for grazing land and as such, thousands of sheep used to graze the hills surrounding Manchester. Later industries in Manchester included iron mines, marble quarries, lumber and lumber mills. Robert Lincoln, the son of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln built his summer home in Manchester at the turn of the 20th century and often visited the area. Several long-running companies were founded in Manchester including the Orvis mail-order retail company and Burton Snowboards.
Manchester, VT has been a popular tourist destination since the railroad first arrived. Tourists come, drawn to historic architecture from the 19th century, and a beautiful setting among the Green and Taconic Mountains. In addition to the mountain scenery, Manchester is known as a destination for high-end shopping. Get a good deal on an Italian suit at the Armani Outlet, or stock up on everything you need for mountaineering at Mountain Goat. Of course, there’s a number of local shops selling unique treasures as well.
The area surrounding Manchester has long been a haven for artists. Therefore, a visit to Manchester provides visitors an opportunity to indulge their artsy side. The Southern Vermont Arts Center has several art galleries, a sculpture park and trails for hiking and cross-country skiing. Local museums highlight not only local arts, but also the history and culture of the area. The Museum of the Creative Process is a museum and learning center designed to show how art and creativity can provide stress relief and pave the way for conflict resolution. Manchester is also home to one of New England’s largest art galleries, Tilting at Windmills Gallery. The American Museum of Fly Fishing preserves the history of angling and contains the largest collection of fly fishing-related items in the world.
Manchester sits in southern Vermont, in between the Green Mountains on the east and the Taconic Ridge on the west of town. Equinox Mountain is at the town’s western edge. It is the highest mountain in the Taconic Range. Numerous creeks and streams wind through the hillsides near town. Hiking trails are numerous. The Lye Brooks Falls Hiking Trail is one of the most popular. It leads to one of Vermont’s highest waterfalls and is quite popular with visitors and locals alike. Right in town, Dana L. Thompson Memorial Park offers guests and locals a chance to enjoy nature without leaving town. The park has a variety of recreational activities spread over its 88 acres.
Visitors to Manchester will find that the beauty and history of the area to be unmatched. The city has many great things to do, including historical landmarks, examples of 19th-century Victorian architecture, art galleries and numerous shops and restaurants to explore. Hildene, the Lincoln family’s summer estate is one of the most popular attractions in Manchester. The historic home is open to the public and offers tours.
During the Winter months, many visit Manchester because of its proximity to Stratton Mountain Resort to the east. Snowboarding, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are all popular activities during the snowy months.
One of the nicest things to do in Manchester is to take a stroll through one of the town’s three distinct historic places. Historic main street is lined with many interesting historic buildings, that shine a light on the town's history as a county seat and a resort town from the 19th century until today.
Vermont is a four-season destination, with something to do any time of the year. In Spring, Vermont often sees light snowfall at the same time as new growth erupts throughout the mountains and the maple trees are rich with syrup. In the summer, the weather is beautiful, with comfortable temperatures and lush green forests. In the fall, the trees erupt with stunning colors and the cool air remains comfortable for outdoor activities. Vermont gets a good amount of snow in the wintertime, and outdoor winter activities such as snowshoeing, ice fishing and skiing are all possible.
Manchester has a surprising number of great places to eat and drink for a town of its size. Copper and Grouse, the restaurant at Kimpton Taconic Hotel is well known for its farm-to-table dining and massive cocktail list. If you are looking for a great lunch spot, head to Al Ducci’s for a casual New York-style Italian sandwich. When it comes to places to drink, Raven’s Den has a carefully chosen wine and cocktail menu and a long list of craft beers that are brewed in Vermont. The Honeypie near Stratton Mountain also has a particularly good selection of local craft brews to enjoy alongside their burgers, sausages and sandwiches.
Most of the bed and breakfasts in Manchester are family owned and operated with a friendly, relaxed vibe and charming historic features. Staying at a BnB offers a chance to have a unique getaway in Manchester as you experience Vermont’s history first hand. During your visit, your friendly innkeeper will help you explore local attractions such as Hildene, art galleries in downtown and the beautiful natural attractions in the nearby mountains. Family rooms and other common areas provide opportunities to relax and unwind that you won’t find in other types of vacation rentals. As each guest room usually comes with an ensuite bathroom, you won’t have to sacrifice privacy during your stay either.
When you book a Bed and Breakfast in Manchester, VT, you can look forward to a comfortable and luxurious stay. You can expect charming, historic rooms appointed in luxurious furniture and bedding. A full country breakfast will typically be included in your rate and each property will have amenities to make your stay more comfortable and more interesting. When booking a Manchester, VT guest house or other type of vacation rental, Free wifi is considered standard, as are an ensuite bathroom, a hairdryer and toiletries. Free cancellation is sometimes an option, depending on how long before check-in you wish to cancel. Each property should be consulted for their individual policies.
Manchester sits in Southwestern Vermont about 20 miles from Bennington. The closest airport is Albany International Airport which is about 1.5 hours away by car. New York City and Boston are both around 4 hours away. The closest train station to Manchester is in Rutland, VT, about 30 miles away. From there, Amtrak has daily service to New York City. Local bus service is available to Rutland and Bennington. The best way to get around from your Manchester bed and breakfast is by car, bicycle or on foot. There is taxi service available but rental cars are often much more economical and will give you the freedom to explore the area as you wish. Rental cars are available at the airport and other locations nearby.
Manchester and Bennington County have a number of wonderful bed and breakfasts, most just a few minutes walk away from the most popular attractions.
The Inn at Ormsby Hill is one of the most romantic bed and breakfasts in southern Vermont. The inn occupies one of the oldest structures in Manchester. The luxurious home was built in 1764 and still retains many of the original features, making for a charming and luxurious place to stay. All ten of the rooms feature fireplaces, four-poster beds and private baths with Jacuzzis for two.
The Silver Service Inn is a simple mountain bed and breakfast located near all of the attractions of downtown Manchester, and within easy reach of Broley and Stratton Mountains. Each of five guest rooms are luxuriously decorated and some have whirlpool tubs and gas fireplaces.
The Barnstead Inn occupies a 19th century carriage house and has stunning views of the mountains. The rooms at this Manchester, Vermont bed and breakfast are homey, with original wood beams and modern amenities while the property has an outdoor heated pool and fire pits in the garden.
The WIlburton Inn, set on 30 acres in the Green Mountains, is one of the only pet friendly bed and breakfasts in Manchester, VT. They even have special ‘doggy slumber party’ events several times throughout the year with many extras for your four-legged friends.