Manchester Travel Guide

Explore the culturally rich and natural wonders of Manchester with our comprehensive travel guide. Find the best places to visit, stay, and eat in this beautiful Vermont town.

Introduction to Manchester

Nestled in Southern Vermont lies the charming town of Manchester. Known for its beautiful countryside, vibrant culture, and rich history, Manchester offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to explore the great outdoors, immerse yourself in local history and culture, or simply relax and unwind, Manchester is the perfect destination.

List of Places to Visit in Manchester

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home: Take a tour of this historic mansion and learn about the life of Abraham Lincoln’s son, Robert Todd Lincoln.

  • Manchester Historical Society: This museum features exhibits on local history and culture, including the town’s role in the American Revolution and the early days of skiing in Vermont.

  • Southern Vermont Arts Center: This vibrant arts center features changing exhibits and a permanent collection of regional art.

Natural Attractions of Manchester: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Bromley Mountain: A popular ski resort in the winter, Bromley also offers hiking and other outdoor activities in the summer, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

  • Equinox Preservation Trust: This nature preserve offers hiking trails with beautiful views of the Green Mountains.

  • Lye Brook Falls Trail: Take a hike along this trail to see a stunning waterfall cascading through the forest.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Manchester

  • Prospect Rock Trail: This moderate hike rewards you with an incredible view of Manchester and the surrounding mountains.

  • Manchester Riverwalk Trail: This flat, easy trail along the Battenkill River is perfect for a leisurely bike ride or stroll.

  • Green Mountain National Forest: With miles of hiking trails, including the Appalachian Trail, the Green Mountain National Forest is a hiker’s paradise.

Best Things to Do in Manchester: Activities and Tours

  • Fly Fishing: Manchester is known for some of the best fly fishing in the country, with plenty of local outfitters offering guided tours and gear rentals.

  • The American Museum of Fly Fishing: Learn about the history and techniques of fly fishing, a sport that’s been popular in the area for over 200 years.

  • Horseback Riding: Explore the countryside on horseback with one of the many local stables offering guided rides for all skill levels.

Week-Long Itinerary for Manchester

Day Activity
1 Visit Hildene and explore downtown Manchester
2 Hike to Lye Brook Falls
3 Explore the Southern Vermont Arts Center
4 Fly fishing excursion
5 Horseback ride through the countryside
6 Visit Bromley Mountain for outdoor activities
7 Take a scenic drive through the Green Mountains

Food and Drink Scene of Manchester

Must-Try Dishes

  • Vermont Cheddar Cheese: Sample some of the best cheddar cheese in the country, straight from the source.

  • Maple Syrup: Vermont is famous for its maple syrup, which is used in everything from pancakes to cocktails.

  • Apple Cider Donuts: These famous local treats are the perfect snack for a day of exploring.

Local Beverages

  • Craft Beer: Vermont is home to some of the best craft breweries in the country, including Long Trail Brewing and Harpoon Brewery.

  • Vermont Wines: Try some of the unique and delicious wines produced by local vineyards, such as Shelburne Vineyard and Boyden Valley Winery.

Where to Stay in Manchester: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • Equinox Resort & Spa: This historic hotel is set on a sprawling estate and offers luxurious rooms and amenities, including a spa and golf course.

  • Taconic, a Kimpton Hotel: This boutique hotel is located in the heart of downtown Manchester, with stylish rooms and a cozy bar and restaurant.

  • The Reluctant Panther: This elegant inn features spacious rooms and a gourmet restaurant, and is just steps away from downtown Manchester.

What to Buy in Manchester: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Vermont Maple Syrup: Bring home a taste of Vermont with a bottle of local maple syrup.

  • Handmade Crafts: The Southern Vermont Arts Center and local craft fairs are great places to find unique handmade gifts and souvenirs.

  • Antiques: Manchester is known for its antique shops, so be sure to browse for one-of-a-kind finds.

Local Culture and Customs of Manchester

Vermonters are known for their friendly and laid-back nature, and Manchester is no exception. Visitors should be prepared for cold winters and warm summers, and should respect the local environment by practicing Leave No Trace principles and staying on designated trails while hiking.

Best Time to Visit Manchester

Manchester is a year-round destination, with something to offer in every season. The fall foliage in Vermont is especially stunning, with vibrant colors painting the landscape. Winter sports enthusiasts will enjoy skiing and snowboarding at Bromley Mountain, while spring and summer offer opportunities for outdoor adventures and cultural events.

Do’s and Don’ts of Manchester


  • Do hike and explore the beautiful surrounding natural areas.

  • Do try the local food and drinks, especially the maple syrup.

  • Do respect the local culture and environment by practicing Leave No Trace principles while hiking.


  • Don’t litter or damage the natural environment.

  • Don’t ignore the local customs and culture, be respectful of the community.

Safety and Health

Safety in Manchester

Manchester is a relatively safe and peaceful town, but visitors should still take precautions to protect themselves and their belongings. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid walking alone at night in unfamiliar areas.

Health in Manchester

Vermont is known for its clean air and healthy lifestyle, but visitors should still take precautions to protect their health. Bring plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent to protect against ticks and other pests while hiking.

Getting to Manchester: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Manchester

  • Albany International Airport - Located 55 miles away in Albany, NY, this airport is the closest major airport to Manchester.

  • Boston Logan International Airport - Located 157 miles away in Boston, MA, this airport offers more flight options but requires a longer drive to reach Manchester.

Bus Stations Near Manchester

  • Manchester, VT Bus Station - This bus station is located in downtown Manchester and provides connections to several nearby cities.

  • Bennington, VT Bus Station - Located 25 miles away in Bennington, VT, this bus station provides additional transportation options.

Other Options

Visitors can also reach Manchester by car or train, with several major highways and Amtrak routes passing through the area.

How to Get Around in Manchester

The best way to get around Manchester is by car, as the town is spread out and public transportation options are limited. Visitors can rent a car or bring their own, and parking is widely available.

Where to Go Next from Manchester: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Bennington: Just a short drive from Manchester, Bennington is home to historic sites and museums, as well as stunning natural scenery.

  • Woodstock: Another charming Vermont town, Woodstock is known for its beautiful architecture and historic covered bridges.

  • Lake George: This popular vacation spot is just over an hour’s drive from Manchester and offers a wide range of activities, from swimming and boating to shopping and dining.


Manchester is a charming and vibrant town, with something for everyone to enjoy. From scenic hikes and outdoor adventures to cultural events and local cuisine, Manchester is the perfect destination for a Vermont getaway.