Explore Manchester’s Top Things to Do
From Leaf-Peeping the Autumn Landscape and Winter Sports to Spring Flowers and Summer Fun...
Whether you’re visiting southern Vermont in the spring, summer, autumn or winter, the Manchester and the Mountains region offers so many interesting and fun attractions and things to do year-round. (Click bolded items on activity descriptions to open each website on the comprehensive 'attraction guide' below text).
In the spring, take a guided Backroads Discovery Tour, peruse a farmers' market in Dorset or Manchester, or pet baby animals at one of the local farms. During the summer, be a competitor or spectator at the annual Vermont Summer Festival Horse Show, take in the fragrant Celebration of Peonies at Hildene, swim in the Dorset Quarry, paddle an inner tube down the Battenkill, or visit Emerald Lake State Park to experience the crystal waters by the sandy beach. If you don't want to venture far, our heated pool is right outside your door! A kid-friendly favorite is the Bromley Summer Adventure Park where kiddos of all ages can experience ziplining and climbing in the Aerial Park as well as the Alpine Slide and Big Splash in the Mountain Adventure Park, and so much more! Shop until you drop at Manchester Sidewalk Sales. As the colorful leaves bespeckle the trees and begin to fall in autumn, visit Taylor Farms in Londonderry where fresh Smoked Gouda is made. Pick your own crisp apples right off the trees at a local orchard. Equinox Nursery has a pumpkin patch where you can choose pumpkins for Jack 'O Lanterns and pie, and get lost in and find your way out of the corn maze. The udderly adorable animals at North Meadow Farm are delightful to see and pet, and the farm sells cheese made on site and eggs handpicked from their hens. Or check out Merck Forest and Farmland Center, a 60-acre organic livestock farm offering seasonal events, programs and miles of hiking trails. Wander about the Manchester Fall Art & Craft Festival and appreciate the exhibitors' wares. When snow blankets the area, you’ll have your choice of world-class ski mountains, including Bromley, Stratton and Magic. Cross-country ski at Hildene. Take a sleigh ride at Taylor Farms. Learn to ice skate or perfect your figure 8's at the Riley Rink. After a day of winter fun, there’s no better way to relax than by dropping into a comfy chair by your roaring fireplace and enjoying a good book from The Northshire Bookstore. Any season is the best season to visit southern Vermont and stay at the Manchester View!
Mad Tom Orchard
To pick the freshest crispiest and juiciest apples in late summer and autumn, visit the Mad Tom Orchard east of Route 7. Varieties of apples have different maturation periods within the growing season, and the orchard has 14 varieties! Bring a picnic and eat outside, amongst the trees, during your fruit harvest adventure. The scenery around the orchard is beautiful with views of the mountains and refreshing breezes.
Located at 2615 Mad Tom Rd., East Dorset, VT
Rent a bicycle from Battenkill Bicycles to ride the hills and dales in the area. Not only is cycling great exercise, it'll give you the experience of seeing southern Vermont in a unique way, up close and personal. At Battenkill Bicycles, you'll have your choice of bike sizes and styles - choose a road bike for street travel or a mountain bike to trek the more difficult terrain. Whatever adventure you're looking for, Battenkill Bicycles will set you up and send you on your way for a day you won't forget!
Located at 99 Bonnet St., Manchester Center, VT
Wanderlust at Stratton Mountain
Searching for your true north? Look no further than this annual weekend-long retreat with the best of the best: yoga instructors, meditation gurus, amazing musicians, organic chefs, transformational speakers, and limitless outdoor adventure. Wanderlust is experienced in the summer at Stratton Mountain Resort, about 20 minutes from Manchester. Go for a day or stay for the weekend!
Located at Stratton Mountain, 5 Village Lodge Rd., Stratton Mountain, VT
Wildwood Berry Farm
Wildwood Berry Farm is a pick-your-own blueberry and raspberry farm nestled in the rolling hills of East Dorset, Vermont. They have the sweetest and juiciest berries due to the unique growing conditions in the Vermont mountain air. The picking season is early July to late August.
Located at 2977 Mad Tom Road, East Dorset, VT.
Land Rover Driving Experience
The Land Rover Driving Experience is open year-round and features off-road driving instruction in all conditions. Experience numerous challenges on the 80-acre purpose-built course with extensive trails. Here you will learn techniques on ascents, descents, side tilts and rocky terrain. The degree of difficulty is matched to the driver’s skill, and more advanced drivers are invited to explore our expansive trails through the stunning Green Mountains.
Located in Manchester Village, VT
Backroad Discovery Tours®
Backroad Discovery Tours® is a local guided tour service based in Manchester, Vermont. The tours are designed for people who only have a day or two to spend in the area, and who wish to explore the region's best-kept secrets! You will discover Vermont's history, beauty, local lore, and fun facts. Experience the real Vermont! Backroad Discovery Tours excursions offer wonderful insight into what makes Vermont the perfect "State of Mind!"
Located at 21 Bonnet St., Manchester, VT
North Meadow Farm
No need to drive far...there's a working farm in Manchester! At North Meadow Farm, meet bovines Dolly, Dopey, Mocha and Margaret who roam the green meadows. Pet a baby calf. Take home some Vermont cheese from the milk of their cows; the fromagers make Northshire Blue, Farmstead Gouda, and our Farmstead Cheddar, and cheese curds and farmstead spreads that are udderly delicious!
Located at 726 North Rd., Manchester, VT.
Coca-Cola Tube Park
Located in Stratton's Sun Bowl, the Coca-Cola Tube Park features four lanes of lift-serviced snow tubing, warming hut with light refreshments, and fire pit. Play by day or under the lights at night!
Located at 43 VT Route 30, Bondville, VT.
This is a great waterfall, easily one of Vermont's finest! The Lyebrook Trail is completely straightforward with 2.3 miles to the falls, gaining about 800-900 feet in elevation, then losing about 200' to the falls. The climb is very steady and only mildly steep in a couple of places. At the falls there is little to do other than look at the falls. There is an unprotected overlook near the base of the falls, and a short rough path leading to the rocky streambed. The view alone is worth the effort.
Located off Glen Rd. in Manchester Center, VT.
Equinox Valley Nursery
Pick your own pumpkins and enjoy cider donuts at the Equinox Valley Nursery during the autumn season, choose holiday trees and greenery in winter or visit in the spring and summer for bursts of color.
Located at 1158 Main St., Manchester, VT.
The Equinox Golf Course
The Equinox Golf Course is a scenic 1927 Walter Travis design. It will test a player's ability to hit shots to well-manicured, undulating greens. Enjoy the crisp Vermont air and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains at this par 71, 18-hole 6,423-yard gem of a course.
Located at 108 Union St., Manchester Village, VT.
Manchester Country Club
The Manchester Country Club is located on some of the most beautiful countryside in southern Vermont. Founded in 1967, the course was originally designed by Geoffrey Cornish of Amherst, Massachusetts. Mr. Cornish is a golf course architect of excellent reputation. A total back nine renovation was completed in 2003 by Geoffrey Cornish and Steve Durkee, and resulted in a course that has quickly been recognized as one of the finest in New England.
Located at 229 Beech St., Manchester Center, VT.
Bromley Mountain, a family friendly ski resort, with 178 skiable acres, 47 trails and award-winning ski programs for kids of all ages. In the summer the Mountain comes alive with the all-fun Adventure Park featuring ziplining, Alpine Slide and Sun Mountain Flyer, and a special "park" just for the little ones!
Located at 3984 Rte. 11, Peru, VT.
VINS Nature Center
The Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) is a nonprofit, member-supported, environmental education, research and avian rehabilitation organization headquartered at the VINS Nature Center in Quechee, Vermont. Open year-round, the 47-acre campus, adjacent to Quechee State Park, features 17 state-of-the-art raptor enclosures, 4 exhibit spaces, 2 classrooms, and ¾ miles of interpretive nature trails.
Located at 6565 Woodstock Rd., Quechee, VT.
Visit Historic Hildene, the summer estate of Robert Todd Lincoln, the only surviving child of President Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln. Built in 1905, this beautiful mansion is open for tours year-round. Walking trails wind through the beautiful grounds and gardens. In June, the peonies are spectacular! Cross-country ski and snowshoe in winter. Visit the goats at the onsite farm, and board the fully-restored Pullman train car. There are many special programs and events throughout the year.
Located at 1005 Hildene Rd., Manchester Village, VT.
Located in a beautifully restored barn-like playhouse built in 1929, the Dorset Theatre stages a diverse range of musicals and dramatic productions throughout the year. Enjoy world-class performances and award-winning dramas during the summer. Relax before the performance with a plate of tapas and a glass of wine or beer in the gallery café.
Located at 104 Cheney Rd., Dorset, VT.
Equinox Preservation & Pond
The Equinox Preservation consists of over 914 acres on the slopes of Mount Equinox in Manchester, VT. There are various trails to choose from: hike the easiest Flatlanders or a trail that is more challenging like Mountain Bluff. Equinox Pond is the ultimate goal as it is a pleasant walk around. Make the trek up to Robin's Lookout for spectacular views of the pond, Battenkill valley and the Green Mountains. This site is exceptional year-round.
Located on West Union St., Manchester Village, VT.
Mountain View Ranch
The Mountain View Ranch is located on an amazing piece of southern Vermont in a breath-taking spot. It is set in a valley literally surrounded by mountains, making the horseback riding scenery truly spectacular and the Ranch atmosphere quiet and serene.
Located at 502 Easy St., Danby, VT.
Riley Rink is a premier, nonprofit civic center that hosts sports, events & exhibitions providing quality athletic, cultural and social programming for children, teens, adults and families.
Located at 410 Hunter Park Rd., Manchester Center, VT.
Located in Vermont's scenic Lake Champlain Valley, Shelburne Museum is chock-full of art, design and Americana. Over 150,000 works are exhibited in a remarkable setting of 38 exhibition buildings, 25 of which are historic and were relocated onto the museum grounds.
Located at 6000 Shelburne Rd., Shelburne, VT.
American Museum of Fly Fishing
Explore the history, heritage and traditions of fly fishing from its origins in the early 16th century to the present day. The American Museum of Fly Fishing is home to the largest collection of fly fishing memorabilia in the world.
Located at 4070 Main St., Manchester Center, VT.
Vermont’s oldest professional theatre company, Weston Playhouse showcases Broadway plays and musicals. Enjoy dinner and the after-theatre cabaret!
Located at 703 Main St., Weston, VT.
The Nordic Center at Hildene
Cross country skiing at the Nordic Center at Hildene offers approximately 12 miles of walking trails. They offer ski and snowshoe rentals for children and adults. Our ski season typically runs from mid-December to mid-March weather permitting.
Location is 1005 Hildene Rd., Manchester Village, VT.
3 Pears Gallery
Situated on the bucolic Dorset Green, the gallerists of the 3 Pears Gallery beautifully display a treasure trove of amazing fine art in various media and a fun collection of gifts.
Located at 41 Church St., Dorset, VT.
Dorset Farmers’ Market
At the Dorset Farmers' Market find natural, organic and farm-grown and raised products including vegetables, fruit, cheeses, breads, sweets and so much more!
Every Sunday from 10am-2pm
Located at HN Williams in May through mid-October & JK Adams mid-October through April, both on Route 30, Dorset, VT.
Visit Williamstown Theater for world-class productions. Set in what is called "The Village Beautiful" in the Berkshires, a visit here makes a wonderful day trip and evening.
Location is 1000 Main St., Williamstown, MA.
Helmholz Fine Art
The Helmholz Fine Art gallery represents artists who are masters in their medium, and passionate about sharing their vision and message.
Located at 442 Depot St., Manchester, VT.
Manchester Designer Outlets
MDO, Manchester’s premier shopping destination, features fantastic savings at over 40 designer outlets housed in charming, historic New England-style buildings.
Located in Manchester Center, VT.
Vermont Country Store
For more than 60 years, the Vermont Country Store, a family-owned general store, has been stocked with high-quality goods, clothing, housewares, and health and beauty products from Vermont and around the world.
Located at 657 Main St., Weston VT and 1292 Rockingham Rd., Rockingham, VT.
Taylor Farm is a 180-year-old working dairy farm nestled in the Green Mountains of southern Vermont. In summer, enjoy hay rides and tours; autumn is for pumpkin picking; in winter, come for a sleigh ride; and spring brings baby animals!
Located at 825 Rte. 11, Londonderry, VT.
The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MOCA) showcases works by many of today’s most important modern artists. Live performances are also staged in genres including popular music, contemporary dance, alternative cabaret, outdoor silent films with live music, documentaries and avant-garde theater.
Mass MoCA is located at 87 Marshall St., North Adams, MA.
Tilting at Windmills
One of New England's largest fine art galleries, Tilting at Windmills features a broad selection of work by important regional, national, and international artists.
Located at 24 Highland Ave., Manchester Center, VT.
Wild Wings Ski & Yoga
Wild Wings Ski and Yoga is the perfect place to stretch your wings by practicing vinyasa (movement following breath), a style of yoga that Wild Wings calls “slow flow." And in the winter, stretch those legs cross-country skiing in the Green Mountain National Forest!
Location is 246 Styles Ln., Peru, VT.
Southern Vermont Arts Center
Located in an historic mansion on the slopes of Mount Equinox, SVAC, a 407-acre estate, is one of New England’s premier visual and performing arts centers. Stroll through the art galleries, and visit the museum, or have lunch in the Sculpture Garden. During the evening, enjoy one of the many concerts or special events held throughout the year. The Center is also known for its many art classes and the botany trail.
Located at 930 SVAC Dr., Manchester Village, VT, off West Rd.
The Sugar Shack makes pure VT Maple Syrup and has an assortment of hand-picked products from Vermont made with all-natural ingredients that will satisfy everyone.
Located at 7 Sugar Shack Lane, Arlington, VT.
The highest peak in Vermont, Stratton Mountain offers 97 trails over 600 acres of terrain. Eleven lifts include a summit gondola and four high-speed six-passenger chairs. The Mountain offers summer and Fall activities including special events, concerts, gondola rides and an 18-hole golf course.
Located at 43 VT Route 30, Bondville, VT.
Located in southern Vermont, Magic Mountain offers some of New England’s finest downhill skiing, riding and tubing terrain in a charming, New England-style atmosphere.
Located at 495 Magic Mountain Access, Londonderry, VT.
Okemo Ski and Summer Adventure, further northeast of Killington, Stratton, Bromley and Magic Mountains, gives everyione another place for lots of winter and summer fun!
Location is 77 Okemo Ridge Rd., Ludlow, VT.
Ski and play Killington! The mountain offers winter skiing, as well as events all year long. Half way between the southern Vemont mountains of Bromley, Magic and Stratton, Killington is another place for good time!
Located at 4763 Killington Rd., Killington, VT.
Manchester Hot Glass
Manchester Hot Glass is a glass blowing studio & gallery in Manchester, Vermont. Check out their popular Glassblowing 101 class and learn the craft yourself!
Located at 79 Elm St., Manchester Center, VT.
Appalachian Long Trail
The Long Trail is a hiking trail located in Vermont running the length of the state. It is the oldest long-distance trail in the U.S.
Northshire Bookstore is a family-owned, independent bookstore. It is one of the largest bookstores in New England. The store was voted 'Best Bookstore in the Country' by Publishers Weekly magazine and 'Best of New England' by Yankee magazine. Come see why so many people rave about this full-service, old world but up-to-date store. Many gifts to purchase, as well as books, and a whole floor devoted to children!
Located at 4869 Main St., Manchester Center, VT.
Pond Hill Rodeo Company
Pond Hill Rodeo Company has produced rodeos for over 48 years!. See the exciting events including Bareback Bronc Riding, Calf Roping, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Saddle Bronc Riding, Girls Barrel Racing, Girls Break Away Roping, and Bull Riding. For outstanding family fun, plan to join us Saturday nights at 8 pm during the season.
Located at 1683 Pond Hill Ranch Rd., Castleton, VT.
Experience the excitement of horse racing at Saratoga Racetrack, America's oldest continuous racing tradition.
Located in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Epoch Art Co-Op
Epoch is a top quality artisan co-op that features some extremely talented professionals, each highly rated in their field. A delightful collection of arts, crafts, furniture, photography, pictures, etc. that is a feast for the eye, whether you are a serious shopper or simply admiring fine crafts.
Located at 4927 Main St., Manchester Center, VT.
Village Picture Shows Cinema
Known as a staple in southern Vermont, Village Picture Shows Cinema is a restored, historic movie theater showing first run Hollywood pictures and independent films. Unfortunately, this iconic movie house is closing; its last showing is on Thursday, August 22, 2019. Grab some popcorn and candy from the concession stand and visit before it's gone!
Located at 263 Depot St., Manchester Center, VT.
Quechee Gorge, known as "Vermont's Little Grand Canyon," is one of New England's most popular natural wonders. Visit the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS), and enjoy fishing and canoeing the river, hiking trails, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Shop and eat at Quechee Village! Or dine at the Mill and visit Simon Pearce for handcrafted glass treasures.
Located at Rte. 4, Quechee, VT.
West River Farmers' Market
Visit the West River Farmers' Market for local fresh produce, creative crafts and more!
Every Saturday from 9am-1pm (May 23 through October 10)
Located at Routes 11 & 100, Londonderry, VT.
Emerald Lake State Park
Visit Emerald Lake State Park and swim in the crystal waters by the sandy beach, rent a kayak or paddle boat or enjoy a picnic by the water.
Located at 65 Emerald Lake Ln., East Dorset, VT.
Manchester Farmers’ Market
Visit the Manchester Farmers' Market for fresh produce, creative crafts and to soak up some local flavor. Every Thursday from 3-6pm (May 26 through October 6).
Located at Adams Park, Manchester, VT.
Calvin Coolidge Museum
Located in the tiny community of Plymouth Notch in the beautiful hill country of Vermont, the house where he took the oath of office was also Calvin Coolidge’s boyhood home. See Coolidge’s old homestead where he continued to visit his family. He never lost his fondness for Vermont and its people.
Located at 3780 VT-100A, Plymouth Notch, VT.
Consider Bardwell Farm
Spanning the rolling hills of Vermont's Champlain Valley and easternmost Washington County, New York, 300-acre Consider Bardwell Farm was the first cheese-making co-op in Vermont, founded in 1864 by Consider Stebbins Bardwell himself. A century later, they're revitalizing the tradition with goat milk from their herd of Oberhaslis and cow milk from their two neighbor farms. CBF's cheeses are made by hand in small batches from whole, fresh milk.
Located at 1333 Rte. 153, West Pawlet, VT.
The Dorset Quarry is a beautiful old marble quarry filled with fresh, clean water. There are many cliffs to jump from. It's been a very popular and well-known local swimming place. There are a few very interesting sculptures carved into the marble.
Located on Rte. 30., Dorset, VT.
Lake St. Catherine State Park
Lake St. Catherine State Park consists of 117 acres. The park has well-developed picnic and swimming areas. There is a snack bar concession with canoes, kayaks, rowboats and pedal boat rentals. Boating and fishing are popular on the lake.
Located at 3034 VT Route 30, Poultney, VT.
Robert Frost Stone House
Not far from Robert Frost’s gravesite, Stone House served as this famous poet’s home from 1920 to 1929. Tour the museum where Frost composed much of New Hampshire, his Pulitzer Prize-winning volume that includes "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening."
Located at 121 Rte. 7A, Shaftsbury, VT.
Merck Forest and Farmland Center
Encompassing a 62-acre farm and a 3,100-acre forest, the Merck Forest and Farmland Center is an agricultural education facility offering seasonal workshops, apprenticeships, programs and recreational opportunities. Plus, there are 30 miles of trails.
Located at 3270 Rte. 315, Rupert, VT.
The 3,576-acre park is located in the Taconic Mountains on the shores of Lake Bomoseen, the largest lake entirely within Vermont’s borders. Several hiking trails provide great hiking and wildlife-viewing opportunities. Boating, fishing and swimming are popular in Lake Bomoseen.
Located at 22 Cedar Mountain Rd., Castleton, VT.
Stratton Golf Course
Stratton's Golf Course, a 27-hole layout, creates a challenging and scenic experience. Host to six LPGA tour events, this Geoffrey Cornish designed course is one to take on and enjoy.
Located at 5 Village Lodge Rd., Stratton Mountain, VT.
Bennington Museum engages and transforms visitors and the community by connecting them to the region’s diverse arts, rich history, and culture of innovation.
Located at 75 Main St., Bennington, VT.
Tater Hill Golf Course
Tater Hill Golf Club is an historic, engaging championship course in the heart of southern Vermont. Birch-lined fairways, stone walls, scenic mountain vistas and breathtaking flower gardens serve as the dramatic backdrop for the par 71, 18-hole, 6,380 yard course layout.
Located at 6802 Popple Dungeon Rd., Windham, VT.
Billings Farm, one of the finest operating dairy farms in America, is a working museum of Vermont's rural past. Take the bucolic drive to Woodstock to witness the pastures and hear the moos, oinks and neighs as you explore.
Located at 69 Old River Rd., Woodstock, VT.
Horses for Hire Horseback Riding
Climb up for a horseback riding adventure with Horses for Hire. English and Western styles of riding are offered on trails for all levels in group or private sessions. Pony rides for children ages 4-8 are available. Enjoy the fresh air and the majesty of the equine.
Located at 893 South Rd., Peru, VT.
Clark Art Institute
An art museum and research institution, the Sterling and Francine Clark Institute is set on an expansive natural setting. Its prestigious collection features European and American paintings, sculpture, decorative art and drawings, with a special emphasis on the works of French Impressionists and the American masters Winslow Homer, George Inness, and John Singer Sargent. Walking trails traverse the beautiful landscaped property, with summits offering views of Williamstown, MA and the Green Mountains of Vermont.
Located at 225 South St., Williamstown, MA
There's no better way to enjoy the splendor of the Green Mountain State and the surrounding areas of New England than from the summit of Mount Equinox and Skyline Drive! At 3,848 feet above sea level, the summit offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Green, White, Adirondack, Berkshire and Taconic mountain ranges in 5 states. Several paved parking areas provide spectacular views, but most amazing is the Skyline Drive itself as you motor up along the crest of the mountain on your way to the summit. Pack a picnic and head on up, up, up!
Located at 6369 Skyline Dr., Sunderland, VT.
The Northeast is famous for its festivals. In August, the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival takes place annually at Camelot Village in Bennington, Vermont. Juried fine art and craft exhibitors line outdoor paths and fill soaring white tents with expertly handcrafted creations. Specialty foods and artisan spirits are offered in a dining tent with live music. Roaming entertainers delight children and adults alike! The annual Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival is held at Riley Rink in Hunter Park in October. Artists will be showcasing and selling their amazing handmade crafts and original artwork. This festival features live music, great entertainment, specialty foods, spirits and much more. Venture across the border from Vermont to the town of Ballston Spa in New York State to gape at the colorful hot air balloons and enjoy lip-smacking BBQ and thirst-quenching beer at the yearly Saratoga Balloon Festival in June. This festival boasts the best 'balloon glow' in the U.S. and getting on the basket of a balloon is a treat! The Marketplace offers a diverse array of vendors and craft artists.