21 Fun Things To Do In Manchester (VT)

The Green Mountains are a haven for people who seek out unique experiences.

There, they can indulge in various activities and experiences that will keep them entertained for a long time.

Of course, you’ll never want to leave with a wide range of cultural events and world-class recreational activities.

Manchester is a charming town that is located in the Green Mountains. Besides its beautiful location, it also has a variety of attractions that are sure to keep its visitors entertained.

Manchester, Vermont, boasts several boutiques, hotels, designer outlets, et cetera. The article covers some exciting things to do in Manchester (VT).

Where Is Manchester, Vermont?

The town of Manchester is located in Vermont’s Bennington County. According to the census, the population of this town was 4,484 in 2020.

The city also has multiple settlement centers, such as the Manchester Village and the Manchester Center.

Due to its numerous attractions, Manchester has become a popular tourist destination for people from Connecticut and New York.

However, it also has a variety of local businesses known for their services. One of these is the Northshire Bookstore, which is an independent shop.

According to the US Census Bureau, the town of Manchester has a total area of approximately 42.2 square miles. Of this, 42.1 square miles is land, while 0.1 square miles is water.

Things To Do In Manchester (VT)

Despite its small population, Manchester, Vermont, has plenty of things to do. It has various attractions and activities that keep its visitors entertained.

The town’s numerous fashion outlets and local businesses are also known for their services. Some of these attractions include good food and shopping.

This article will share the best things to do in Manchester, Vermont. These are some of them;

1. The Southern Vermont Arts Center

Photo by Magicpiano via Wikimedia

One major attraction in Manchester is the Southern Vermont Art Center. The drive past this facility takes you past a large field filled with impressive metal sculptures.

One of these is a 20-foot-tall giantess that can be seen from the lawn. As you approach the gallery’s top hill, you’ll notice a pair of bronze legs resting in the shade.

The Sculpture Park is in the middle of a cluster of white buildings. This area features various sculptures that are scattered across the meadow.

Although the park is free to visit, the galleries charge a fee for adults and children above 10.

The Southern Vermont Art Center also offers various classes and workshops for adults and kids.

Its website has a list of categories and workshops that are currently available. The gallery is open from 10 am to 5 pm on Tuesday through Sunday and is closed on Monday.

Address: Southern Vermont Arts Center is at 860 Dr, Manchester, VT 05255, United States.

2. The Equinox Preserve

Photo by Doug Kerr via Flickr

One of the most exciting things to do in Manchester, Vt, is hiking. The 914-acre preserve known as the Equinox Preservation Trust is a short drive from the town center. This area features various hiking trails.

The trails in the preserve vary in difficulty. The hardest ones lead to the summit, which offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

The most accessible walk in the preserve is the loop around the pond. This is a shorter and flatter hiking trail than the others, and the steam rising from the water on a summer morning is enough to rival the views from the top of the mountain.

Address: This attraction is at the slopes of Mt Equinox in Manchester, VT.

3. The Lincoln Family Home (The Hildene Manor)

Photo by Jim Bowen via Flickr

The Hildene Estate, once owned by Abraham Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln, is a large property that can be filled with activities.

It can be explored in various ways, such as through guided tours. The manor has a long history and can be explored in detail.

After visiting the manor:

Take a break and explore the gardens.

Follow the 12 miles of trails that run through the property’s sweeping grounds.

Continue hiking to the two farms that the estate owns.

There, you’ll see sheep and goats.

Address: Lincoln Family Home is at 1005 Hildene Rd, Manchester, VT 05255, United States.

4. Northshire Bookstore

Photo by Famartin via Wikimedia

The Northshire Bookstore is a cozy and comfortable place that can be compared with other stores.

Its’ warm lights and low ceilings create a tranquil atmosphere. Its large selection of books and magazines makes it a must-visit.

The small café inside the store serves as a convenient area for customers. They can keep getting caffeinated drinks while browsing through the large selection of books.

Unfortunately, the lack of windows makes it hard to track time.

Address: The Northshire Bookstore is at 4869 Main St, Manchester Center, VT 05255, United States.

5. Pastime Pinball

Photo by Todd Lappin via Flickr

The store’s entrance is greeted by multiple pinball machines playing loud and clear. There are 66 of these machines that are set aside for free play. Also, there are various other games available to play.

The store’s second floor features a snack bar serving food and drinks. It also has several other games that are suitable for all ages.

Address: Pastime Pinball is at 4802 Main St, Manchester Center, VT 05255, United States.

6. North Meadow Farm

Located a short drive from Manchester is North Meadow Farms. This farm-based store features a variety of dairy products, such as eggs, cheese, and jam.

It also has a giant ice cream machine equipped with a stack of ice cream cones and a do-it-yourself scoop.

The farm is open for guided tours every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm Tickets for the tours are $10 for adults and $5 for kids three and older.

Although North Meadow Farms doesn’t have a large area to explore, it’s an excellent place for families to spend an afternoon with the animals.

During the tour, children can participate in various activities, such as petting the animals.

Address: The North Meadow Farm is at 726 N Rd, Manchester Center, VT 05255, United States.

7. Benson Hole

After a day of exploring Manchester, it’s a great idea to take a break from the city and enjoy a swim in Benson Hole.

This secluded swimming hole is located on Bourn Brook. The Benson Hole trail can be found off of Glenn Road in Manchester.

It follows a dirt road that leads to Lye Brook Falls. Follow the road until it intersects with a bridge.

Follow the trail on the road’s right side until it reaches the end of the woods. After a short walk, you’ll come across a large pool of deep water.

Address: Benson Hole is in Benson Rd, Manchester, VT 05255, USA.

8. Lye Brooke Falls 

Photo by Doug Kerr via Flickr

The Lye Brook Falls hike has a total elevation gain of 900 feet. You’ll see a spectacular view of the falls at the trail’s end.

The Lye Brook Falls is a popular hiking destination in Manchester. It offers a beautiful view of the falls and is one of the city’s most popular attractions.

Address: Brooke Falls is at Lye Brook Falls Trail, Manchester Center, VT 05255, United States.

9. The Manchester bike path

Manchester’s walking and bike paths are great ways to see the countryside at a slower pace.

Some trails, such as the Marble Rail Trail, lead through the woods. They also feature rolling fields and streams that flow through them.

The paths are relatively flat and easy to ride, with some exceptions. One of the most popular paths is the Manchester Rec Path, which goes through downtown.

This trail is part of a larger loop that’s around Manchester. 

Address: The Manchester bike path is in Manchester, VT 05255, United States.

10. Manchester Music Festival

If you’re planning on visiting Manchester during the summer, you might want to attend one of its music festivals.

One of the most popular festivals in Manchester is the Manchester Chamber Music Festival, which was started in 1974 by Eugene List and Carol Glenn.

 It features various events over six weeks. The festival also has a young artists program to help aspiring musicians develop their skills.

Address: The Manchester Music Festival is at 42 Dillingham Ave. Manchester, VT 05254, United States.

11. The Manchester Farmer’s Market

The Farmer’s Market in Manchester takes place every Thursday from 3–6 pm in downtown Manchester.

 There, local artisans and farmers sell their goods, such as honey, donuts, and jewelry. Besides food, the market also features various other local products.

The Farmers Market in Manchester is also known for hosting live music. Suppose you’re in the market after shopping, head over to a patch of grass and enjoy the music.

Address: The farmer’s market is located at Vermont Rte 7a, Manchester Center, VT 05255, United States.

12. Earth Sky Time Farm

Earth Sky Time is a bakery and concert venue located in Manchester. The Earth Sky Time farm store is open from 9:30 am to 4 pm, serving various food.

Their bread is made fresh, and their pastries and other food items are made from local ingredients.

Address: The Earth Sky Time farm is at 1547 Main St, Manchester, VT 05255, United States.

13. Mount Equinox Drive

Mount Equinox Drive is a paved toll road that ascends over 3,000 feet. It’s the longest privately-owned road in the US that goes up to the top of Mount Equinox.

It’s recommended that you pack a picnic and enjoy the views from the top of the mountain. The views from the top of the mountain are spectacular.

Address: Mount Equinox Drive is off Route 7A between Manchester and Arlington.

14. Dorset Marble Quarry

Photo by Chris Warren via Flickr

One of the best swimming areas in Manchester is the Dorset Marble Quarry. This natural pool has a massive depth and features various geometric features. It’s considered one of the country’s oldest marble quarries.

It also has a parking fee. This helps offset the cost of maintaining the facility.

Address: Dorset Quarry is at Green Mountain National Forest, 1878-1940 VT-30, Dorset, VT 05251, United States.

15. The Prospect Rock Trail

The Green Mountain National Forest has rated the trail known as the Prospect Rock Trail as moderate to strenuous.

However, it offers excellent views of Mount Equinox and Manchester Valley. This 3.5-mile hike has an elevation gain of about 1,000 feet.

Address: The Prospect Rock Trail is at 663 Rootville Rd, Manchester, VT 05255, USA.

16. The Bromley Mountain Long Trail

The Long Trail of Bromley Mountain is rated as moderate by AllTrails. It offers a great view of the mountain’s summit.

The hike has an elevation gain of 1,400 feet. This is a great way to get a good mountain view without paying for a lift ticket.

Address: The Bromley Mountain Long Trail is at Unnamed Road, Peru, VT 05152, USA.

17. The Bourn Pond and Stratton Pond Loop

A two-day hike is also feasible with this 16-mile loop that takes you through forests and wetlands. It can be done in either direction.

Along the way, you’ll additionally have the opportunity to set up a picnic or stop for a swim.

Address: The Bourn Pond and Stratton Pond Loop is near Manchester Center, Vermont, 05152, USA.

18. The Bromley Mountain Base Lodge And Resort

Tourists enjoy skiing at Bromley Mountain. Although it’s smaller compared to other nearby resorts, such as Mt. Snow and Stratton, its welcoming atmosphere has kept folks coming back to this place.

During the summer season, the resort features various activities and attractions. These include a giant swing, a water slide, a treetop adventure course, and several other facilities. The resort also has a lift that can take you to the top of the mountain.

Address: The Bromley Mountain base lodge and resort is at 124 Bromley Lodge Rd, Peru, VT 05152, United States.

19. The Sugar Shack

A trip to Vermont can’t be complete without a maple creme. No trip to the state is complete without one. Some of the best maple creme restaurants in Arlington on Route 7A are found here.

The Sugar Shack is a local establishment serving various maple-based snacks. This restaurant is located in a small grey barn. Inside, you’ll find a variety of maple-flavored food items.

While at the Sugar Shack, you can also check out the Norman Rockwell exhibit. This is a great way to learn about the artist’s life and work.

Address: The Sugar Shack is at 29 Sugar Shack Ln, Arlington, VT 05250, United States.

20. The Barnstead Inn

The Barnstead Inn is a charming inn that offers various accommodations and special events.

Its grounds are full of beautiful gardens, and its friendly dogs are also available for walks.

Address: The The Barnstead Inn is at 349 Bonnet St, Manchester, VT 05255, United States.

21. Kimpton Taconic Hotel

This property is located in the heart of Manchester Village, with a beautiful garden and a dog-friendly location. The staff are also amiable and ensures your stay is enjoyable.

Address: The Kimpton Taconic Hotel is at 3835 Main St, Manchester, VT 05254, United States.

Best Time To Visit Manchester, Vermont

Manchester is known for its warm weather and various events during the summer. It’s best to visit this town between June and August.

Cost Of Visiting Manchester, Vermont

On average, a seven-day trip to Manchester is around $2,169. For a couple, it’s approximately $3,896, and for a family of four, it’s about $7,303.