Hi friends, welcome back to my final post about our trip to Manchester, Vermont! Today I’m sharing my top five activities to do in Manchester. When I first start planning my trips, I head to Pinterest and read as many blog posts about the destination that I can find. I make a list of things people mentioned they enjoyed and when I see an activity frequently mentioned, then I know that I should add that to my itinerary. Once I’ve completed my research and compiled my list, I write down the days we will be there on a new page in my journal, and then allocate the activities amongst the days. I like planning my trip by prioritizing activities so that I don’t miss out on anything and leave with regrets. Additionally, I make a list of restaurants and coffee shops. If there’s a place I really want to eat at, then I add it to my itinerary and make a reservation, otherwise we just pick a place on the fly depending on what we are feeling. If you want to see what we ate in Manchester, you can check out my post here.
Five Activities to do in Manchester:
- Visit Hildene the Lincoln Family Home –this home was built as a summer home by President Abe Lincoln’s only surviving son, Robert Lincoln. He was the president of the Pullman Company which was the largest manufacturer back in the day, and that’s where he got his wealth to build this estate. The house is set in the mountains on 392 beautiful acres filled with many trails and a goat farm.
Almost every room in the house was open for us to see and because the house was kept in the family through generations, most of the furniture is original. The house is massive and beautifully kept as you’ll see. We were allowed to take flash photography everywhere, that’s pretty rare!
The garden out back was very pretty and had amazing views of the mountains.
We got to tour this restored Pullman Car and see how the elite travelled.
P.S. – if you’re staying in Vermont, check with your hotel to see if they have discounted tickets, we saved about $6 a ticket 🙂
North Shire Bookstore – this bookstore was a great way to spend time, it seemed like the store went on forever! It was very cozy and quaint and I’d highly recommend stopping in. We picked up some souvenirs and browsed around all the different genres. There’s also a café that we got some good cold brew from.
Explore downtown Manchester – this downtown is interesting because it’s a mix of local stores and an outlet mall. The downtown also dates back to the Revolutionary War.
Equinox Valley Nursery Cider Mill – one of my goals this trip was to visit a cider mill because we don’t have any in NYC, and it just so happened that there was one about half a mile from our hotel. It doesn’t quite feel like fall without a trip to the cider mill.
These scarecrows were so cute!
- Hike/Drive to the top of Mount Equinox – there’s two ways to get to the top of Mount Equinox, drive or hike. We decided to take the challenge and hike up to the top. I shared more about our hiking in Vermont here, but long story short, you must go to the top! The views are incredible, and you can see NY, NH, and MA while being surrounded by mountains. We went in the fall so the foliage was so beautiful! The drive to the top is famous because it’s the longest privately-owned toll road in the country at 5.3 miles. The hike was 3.5 miles to put the steepness into perspective, it was a killer workout!
Lastly, I wanted to share our hotel because we loved it! I wanted to stay somewhere that was close to the downtown, but also had a bed and breakfast type feel as opposed to a chain hotel. We stayed at the North Shire Lodge because of the rave reviews, excellent location, and I thought it was so cute! We were within a five-minute drive to just about everything, but it’s not walkable to the downtown. (I wouldn’t recommend staying in Manchester unless you have a car, I’m not sure of the uber situation)
The décor reminded me of a ski lodge and it added to the mountain town vibe. It’s family owned and you could really tell the owners truly care.
We had an amazing weekend in Manchester and already have plans to go back some day. It’s the quintessential fall mountain town that books are set in and was even better than how I imagined it. I loved every second of this trip, but my favorite part was hiking and seeing Hildene. I loved being in the fresh air, not hearing any honking, and being surrounded by the mountains and fall foliage. I couldn’t have asked for a better fall trip!
Thanks for reading and I hope you’re inspired to visit Manchester, VT and check out this amazing, small town for yourself 🙂