Manchester, Vermont makes a great trip from any part of Vermont.
My favorite destination is Hildene.
Located in Manchester, Hildene was the summer home of Robert Lincoln, the son of Abraham Lincoln. When you tour the home, you can learn more about the Lincoln family. I particularly enjoyed their player organ. The garden in the back also offers fabulous views. There are lots of nature trails to enjoy on the property as well.
My children also enjoyed the Pullman Car. Built in 1903, it offers a glimpse into the past. Another fun part of Hildene is the goat dairy. If you visit in the spring, you can meet some adorable baby goats. Another fun feature on the estate is a 600-foot floating boardwalk that allows you to observe a wetland habitat filled with wildlife.
Another great attraction in Manchester is the Southern Vermont Arts Center.
SVAC has the largest outdoor sculpture park in Vermont. With beautiful views, this is a great spot for a summer picnic or a walk with your dog. In the winter, you can cross-country ski or snowshoe. Yester House is a sprawling historic mansion with ten distinct galleries with rotating exhibits. The Wilson Museum and Galleries offer a more contemporary display space for visiting artists. SVAC also has a 400 seat auditorium that hosts a wide variety of performances.
Anglers should check out the American Museum of Fly Fishing.
The museum has a large collection of rods, reels, and flies. There is also artwork on display. They maintain a changing exhibition program in the Leigh H. Perkins Gallery, so you can learn more on each visit. A short way down Main Street is the Manchester Orvis Outlet Store, where outdoor explorers can find deals on equipment and clothing.
For more shopping, check out the Manchester Designer Outlets.
The Manchester Designer Outlets offer high-end brands at bargain prices. Having all these stores in one spot makes it much easier to explore different brands in one trip. You can find clothing, footwear, accessories, and home goods. My personal favorite is the Le Creuset store. I love their cookware and could fill my entire kitchen if I got carried away.
Stop by North Meadow Farm.
Kids will really enjoy the petting farm. (Me, too!) The farm also has a playground and sandbox to keep children entertained. While you’re there, you can also take a farmhouse tour. Don’t forget to buy some handmade cheese. They also have raw milk from their grass-fed cows. Delicious!
The American Museum of Fly Fishing, Hildene, and the Southern Vermont Arts Center are all members of the North American Reciprocal Museum Membership Program. That means that if you have a membership to another participating museum, such as the Shelburne Museum, you may be able to receive free admission. (There are some geographical exceptions.) Have a great time and let us know what you think!