Manchester Vermont is a pleasant New England town situated in Bennington County beneath majestic Mount Equinox (3,816 feet). Manchester Vermont has long been a favored summer retreat, but it now attracts tourists visiting nearby ski resorts and shoppers looking for deals at the factory outlets in Manchester center.
Manchester Vermont was founded in 1761 by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth, who named the town after the great manufacturing city of Manchester, England. Manchester Vermont found its niche in the mid-19th century as a playground for wealthy urbanites looking for a summer retreat from the stifling city air.
Downtown Manchester Vermont is still dominated by a remnant from the 1800s, the splendid Equinox Resort & Spa. Founded in 1853 by Francis Orvis, the Equinox is a modern luxury hotel housed in and elegant 19th-century setting. The Equinox remains one of the most famous Manchester attractions, with its luxury lodging, deluxe spa, and four-diamond restaurant continuing to attract wealthy visitors. Manchester has many other excellent choices for accommodation, including many historic inns.
Tourism is not the only industry in Manchester VT. Iron
mines, marble quarries, and lumber companies have also
exploited the natural surroundings. Look below as you
stroll through Manchester VT: the sidewalks are pieced
together with slabs of marble discarded by nearby quarries.
The most successful and longstanding enterprise in Manchester
VT is the Orvis Company, founded in 1856, by Charles Orvis
(Franklin"s brother). Orvis is a leading manufacturer
of quality fishing equipment and an international retailer
of outdoors goods.
Manchester is still known as a fishing Mecca, with nearby
Batten Kill renowned as a trout stream. The American Museum
of Fly Fishing in Manchester VT traces the history of
the sport. Fishing remains one of the biggest Manchester
attractions, but has been surpassed in recent years by
the popularity of Manchester’s golf courses. The
town boasts many top-class 18-hole courses, including
Gleneagles at the Equinox and the Ekwanok Country Club.
Although Manchester VT has traditionally relied on its tranquil setting to attract visitors, today one of the most popular Manchester attractions are the factory outlets on the outskirts of town. Manchester Vermont shopping attracts visitors from across the state and beyond. Unlike elsewhere in the state, where retail stores are likely to sell homely collections of Vermont produce, Manchester Vermont shopping outlets include some of the biggest names in fashion: Ralph Lauren, Georgio Armani, Christian Dior, among others.
Nearby Manchester attractions include Hildene Mansion, the former home of Robert Todd Lincoln, only son of the 16th president. Tours are given from mid-May to mid-October. The Southern Vermont Art Center is also worth the short detour from town. The permanent collection is housed in the stately Yester house surrounded by 400 pastoral hillside acres. Open year-round.
Stratton is the closest big ski resort to Manchester
VT. The slopes are especially popular with snowboarders.
Many visitors to the resort choose to spend the night
in a Manchester VT hotel. Whether you are in Vermont for
a ski vacation, a fishing
retreat, a shopping trip, or to treat yourself at
the Equinox spa, Manchester Vermont is a great place to