Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Manchester, VT

  • Published 2022/09/08

From excellent restaurants to vast outdoor activities, from ve and literature to kayaking and fishing, Manchester, Vermont, has unlimited things to do that you can enjoy!

It has always been overflowing in terms of captivating destinations every season, which is the salient reason Manchester is one of the best tourist spots.

Interested to know more about this beautiful town?

Here are the 20 best things to do in Manchester, Vermont:

Explore Mount Equinox

Scenic view of Mount Equinox

Cherise Madigan /

Visit Mount Equinox, the second tallest mountain in the Southern Vermont range and a great place to go hiking if you’re seeking an entertaining outdoor activity in Manchester, Vermont.

In contrast to your previous hiking experiences, you will undoubtedly remember the Mount Equinox hike because you will be climbing a 3,250-foot mountain.

You can also take SkyDrive, which is slightly over 5 miles in length and is a two-way road, where you will enjoy the same thing.

Daytime view of Mount Equinox

Edward Fielding /

The roads were constructed to provide travelers with a variety of options if they wish to take a long journey along with SkyDrive.

It was founded in 1947, and since then, everyone has been eager to take a lengthy drive to experience it for themselves.

As you go around the summit of Mount Equinox, you will be able to take in a variety of breathtaking views from above.

The White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Green Mountains of Vermont, the Adirondack Mountains of New York, and the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts may all be seen from this vantage point.

Don’t forget to bring your camera so you can record all of the breathtaking sights!

View from Mount Equinox

Famartin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Stop by the American Museum of Fly Fishing

The American Museum of Fly Fishing is the best site to go to if you want to learn a lot about the outdoors, fishing, and history in general.

The American Museum of Fly Fishing, a fantastic museum in Vermont, can be found at 4070 Main St, Manchester, Vermont. It is one of the best museums in Vermont.

In this fantastic museum, visitors may view a collection of 22,000 flies, 1,200 reels, and 1,400 rods, among other things.

If the massive show completely enthralls you, you need not be concerned about taking photographs because this is not prohibited!

The internationally renowned museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day of the week.

Adult admission is $5; children aged 5 to 14 are $3, and children under five are admitted free. Parking is free.

At the American Museum of Fly Fishing, you can learn more about a variety of topics.

Shop at Dutton Farm Stand

If you’re looking for locally grown produce but don’t want to travel too far to a rural area or farm, consider stopping by Dutton Farm Stand instead.

At 2083 Depot St. in Manchester Center, the Dutton Farm Stand is well-known for its extensive selection of fresh fruits and vegetables and cheese, jellies, and maple syrup.

All of them are freshly prepared, and you may take advantage of their low prices on various items.

Indeed, Dutton Farm Stand is a replica of a real farm that is conveniently located in the city, but what’s more, you can also sense the serene ambiance that surrounds the region when you visit.

You can see goats running around, and the scenery and trees appear to be far away from the bustle of the city.

Dutton Farm Stand is a great place to stock up on groceries and get fresh fruit at a great price.

Dine at the Reluctant Panther Restaurant

Manchester, Vermont, is a spot where you will never go hungry because of the abundance of outstanding eateries in the surrounding area.

The Reluctant Panther Restaurant, located at 39 W Rd in Manchester, is one of the most intriguing restaurants in the city.

Besides being a restaurant, it also serves as a bed & breakfast, and their rooms and suites are well-equipped to provide you with excellent comfort.

They are one of the award-winning eating establishments in Manchester, Vermont, under the direction of Executive Chef Sigal Rocklin, since they have consistently maintained a high level of consistency in their service quality.

If you wish to take advantage of more desirable amenities, you should be aware that Reluctant Panther Restaurant has seasonal promotions available.

Indeed, visiting Reluctant Panther is always a superb option if you want to spend quality time with your family and friends, whether it’s to dine in or stay the night together.

Visit Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home

Exterior of the Lincoln Family Home

Jay Yuan /

In just 6 minutes’ drive time from Mount Equinox, why not visit The Lincoln Family Home?

The Lincoln Family Home, located in Hildene, is one of Manchester’s fascinating places to visit.

Even though Abraham Lincoln did not build this house, it was erected by his son Robert Lincoln in 1905, and their descendants continued to live on the land until 1975.

Maids quarter in Hildene Lincoln Family Home

Theresa Lauria /

The mansion is attractive today since it is set in a tranquil and soothing environment that has been preserved.

You can go inside the house and look at the images and exhibits about Lincoln’s family displayed throughout the house.

Beautiful garden of Hildene Lincoln Family Home

cindylindowphotography /

You can take a trip around the grounds and dairy farm of Robert Lincoln, located behind the home.

Prices will vary according to your age group; for adults, it will cost $23; for children aged 6 to 16, it will cost $6; and for children under 5, it will be free!

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to tour the historic Hildene, the Lincoln Family Residence!

Pathway leading to Hildene Lincoln Family Home

Jay Yuan /

Dine at the Silver Fork

In addition to the Reluctant Panther Restaurant, Silver Fork is another one of Manchester, Vermont’s top-notch dining establishments to visit.

If the Reluctant Panther offers a restaurant and an inn, the Silver Fork, in addition to serving foreign cuisine, also provides an opportunity to relax in the ancient library.

The Silver Fork has also been acknowledged as an award-winning restaurant in Manchester, under the direction of Chef Mark French, and they have been recognized for their ability to meet the needs of their customers constantly, as well.

Some of the most popular items on the menu include the Shrimp Creole Mofongo, Caribbean Bread Pudding Souffle, and Goat Cheese Souffle, among other things.

Aside from their best-selling dinners, they provide a wide variety of delectable foods to choose from!

The Silver Fork is open from Tuesday to Saturday, and you can make a reservation to ensure that the restaurant knows exactly how many people are at your party and that you may enjoy the remainder of the night at your leisure after that.

Stay at The Inn at Manchester

Like its abundance of outstanding restaurants, Manchester has plenty of fantastic hotels for guests like you.

The Inn at Manchester, located at 3967 Main St in Manchester, is one of the most lavish hotels in the region.

The simplicity of the name reflects the fantastic nature of the encounter you will have.

During your stay at this hotel, you will no longer have to worry about what you will have for breakfast each morning because everything will be taken care of.

You can relax in a high-class hotel with breathtaking views of the Green Mountains from your room’s window, a good and comfortable rocking chair, a front port, and an excellent book to read next to the fireplace in your room.

You can also relax by the pool or sip on one of the many flavorful and distinctive cocktails available.

You can do many things at the Inn at Manchester, so make a reservation with your family or with your significant other so that you may spend the night together.

Play at Pastime Pinball

Take a look no further than Play Pastime Pinball if you’re looking for an arcade in Manchester, Vermont, where you can have a thrilling gaming experience.

Pinball is the most popular game, but the arcade center has more than 60 vintage games to choose from, all available for free to play.

In contrast to any other arcade center where you will be charged for every game you desire to play, at Pastime Pinball, you will only be charged one fee at the door, which is a flat rate.

The Pastime Pinball is popular among families and friends who wish to have a good time together after a fun-filled adventure throughout the neighborhood.

You can participate in a variety of games and even engage in friendly competition with your friends.

Enroll at Land Rover Experience Driving School

If you are interested in learning to drive, the Land Rover Experience Driving School is the most acceptable program to enroll in to learn.

You can go on a 25-minute trip to ride the automobile off-road while taking in the breathtaking scenery that surrounds you.

Getting your license and driving on a highway is different from getting your support and learning to go off the road like a tough badass.

You will be able to traverse any terrain, whether rocky or not, with relative ease.

Without a doubt, your learning experience at Land Rover Experience Driving School will be nothing short of extraordinary.

Get Some Books at Northshire Bookstore

Exterior of the Northshire Bookstore

Famartin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You should not miss out on the opportunity to visit the Northshire Bookshop if you enjoy reading and seek a fantastic bookstore that can provide you with a broad array of options.

The Morrow family founded the city’s most famous bookstore in 1976, and it has since become a landmark.

The bookshop was sold to the French family in the current year, which has also significantly impacted the community over the past 20 years.

Aside from offering a diverse selection of books, the bookstore is dedicated to preserving and representing Manchester’s social and cultural past.

Front view of the Northshire Bookstore

Famartin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Reading books is, without a doubt, a joy for the mind, and at Northshire Bookstore, you will find a limitless selection of books to choose from.

If you are still looking for the perfect gift for a friend this Christmas or a particular acquaintance, consider visiting this well-known bookshop.

Visit the Northshire Bookstore while on vacation in Manchester, Vermont; otherwise, your holiday in Manchester would be incomplete!

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to arrange a time slot at the bookstore, which is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Hike at Lye Brook Falls Trail

Daytime view of Lye Brook Falls Trail

Daniel Schiermeyer /

There is no doubt that hiking is a beautiful experience that can be had in virtually any location on the planet.

A hike along the Lye Brook Falls Trail is highly recommended for anyone interested in hiking, whether seasoned veterans or first-timers in the sport.

4.7 miles of trekking in the back trail for 3 hours is an excellent experience for everyone, and it is an incredible experience for everyone!

Cascades of Lye Brook Falls Trail

Colin D. Young /

Chill Out at Charlie’s Coffee House

If you are searching for a location where you can relax in a peaceful setting while enjoying a cup of hot or cold coffee, Charlie’s Coffee House is the place to go.

It is one of the most well-known coffee shops in the area since it offers a wide variety of coffees with distinct flavor profiles.

Aside from coffee, they also provide a variety of other items such as sandwiches, cakes, and more.

The perfect spot to unwind or enjoy a romantic evening with your significant other, this establishment is a terrific choice!

Enjoy the Wine at The Crooked Ram

The most pleasing way to unwind is always with a glass of delectable wine in hand.

The Crooked Ram has been named one of Esquire magazine’s Best Bars in America for 2021.

They have a large selection of wine that can only be found in Manchester, Vermont, reasonably priced.

Along with delicious wines, they also serve various delectable dishes such as oysters, littleneck clams, chilled shrimp and cocktail sauce, king crab leg, Jonah crab claw, scallop, and much more!

In addition to the great wine, you are also able to indulge in their delectable cuisine!

Admire Local Artists’ Works at Southern Vermont Arts Center

Exterior of the Southern Vermont Arts Center

Magicpiano, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You may reach Southern Vermont Arts Center (SVAC) through a winding, narrow road that passes across a wide field with striking metal sculptures.

As you climb the hill to the galleries, a 20-foot-tall chrome giantess observes you from her green lawn, and a pair of bronze legs lounge in the shade.

A group of white structures, set between meadows peppered with even more bizarre sculptures, house both temporary exhibits and the permanent collection.

While everyone is welcome to enjoy SVAC’s outdoor sculpture park for free, the center also hosts a wide variety of camps, programs, and workshops for kids of all ages.

You can check their website for a current schedule of events.

Meet Farm Animals at North Meadow Farm

North Meadow Farm is several minutes drive from downtown Manchester.

North Meadow is primarily a dairy farm, and its store, located at the base of a silo, is stocked with eggs, milk, cheese, jam, and bacon.

A freezer with ice cream sits for sale, complete with a self-serve scoop and a pile of cones.

As the farm provides guided tours on the weekends, it’s a top pick for Manchester locals looking for something to do on the weekend.

Animals such as pigs, chickens, bunnies, cows, and alpacas may be in sight.

All the animals are friendly, and many will come right up to the fence to get their ears scratched.

Although there isn’t much to see, it’s an excellent spot if you want to stock up on organic fruit and take your animal-loving kids for a day of petting animals.

Cool Down at Benson’s Hole

Benson’s Hole is a great place to relax and refresh after a day of exploring Manchester on foot, bike, or car.

Locals love to cool down at this hidden swimming spot on Bourn Brook.

Shortly off Glenn Road in Manchester is the beginning of the route to Benson’s Holes; park near the tiny bridge just after turning onto the gravel access road for Lye Brook Falls.

After crossing the bridge, the trail will be on your right; after a short walk through the trees, you’ll come out next to a large pool with both deeper and shallower portions.

It’s a good idea to bring water shoes or sandals to this swimming hole because of the rough bottom.

See Stellar Performances at Manchester Music Festival

You might be lucky enough to catch the city’s annual music festival if you’re ever in Manchester during the summer.

The classical chamber music genre is being honored at this summer event.

It was the brainchild of musicians Carol Glenn on violin and pianist Eugene List back in 1974.

During its six-week run in July and August, the festival hosts a variety of performances and a young artists program that teaches budding musicians the fundamentals of chamber music.

Manchester Music Festival makes a perfect evening for a romantic outing with your special someone!

Buy Fresh Produce from Manchester Farmers Market

In 2000, we opened our doors to a small group of producers as a producer-only market.

Since then, we’ve expanded to include more than 30 vendors, many of whom are small-scale farmers and artists.

Dana L. Thompson Memorial Park was our home for many years, but in 2012 we moved to Adams Park in the middle of Manchester.

New vendors are entering the market, and some who have been here since the beginning are flourishing alongside them.

From three to six o’clock in the afternoon every Thursday throughout the summer, downtown Manchester hosts a Farmer’s Market full of goods from nearby farms and businesses.

Numerous fresh fruits and vegetables and organic meats are among the many products that local farmers and artisans set up for sale.

It also features live musical performances, so once you’ve got your fill of shopping, find a grassy area to sit in and take it all in!

Other Things To Do Nearby

Once you finish your tour in Manchester, why not visit the other neighboring cities that offer exciting destinations?

Relax at Emerald Lake

Paddle boats at Emerald Lake

trsers /

You may have heard of Vermont’s famed Emerald Lake before, as it is one of the most popular tourist sites in the state.

It has already been said that Vermont offers a wide range of outdoor sports, including aquatic activities, that can be enjoyed.

Daytime view of Emerald Lake

majicphotos /

Swimming, kayaking, sunbathing, paddleboarding, canoeing, and many more activities are available.

When you can spend time with your family and friends, a fantastic outdoor adventure is more enjoyable.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoor water activities that Emerald Lake has to offer!

The waters of Emerald Lake

Derek Robertson /

Pick Some Berries in Wildwood Berry Farm

Why not pay a visit to the Wildwood Berry Farm, which is only 16 minutes away by car from Manchester?

Six miles outside of Manchester, there is a raspberry and blueberry farm known as Blueberry Hill Farm.

From the farm, you can get some of their freshest and most delicate berries, which have been treated in a unique environment devoid of any distractions.

Make a note of the date on your calendar when the harvesting season begins so that you can participate in the harvesting activities.

Please keep in mind that the picking up season is from July to August every year, but it may change depending on the conditions.

Final Thoughts

Many great activities are available in the beautiful Vermont town of Manchester, and there is something for everyone.

There is no doubt that visiting Manchester will be an experience that you will never forget, whether for outdoor activities, museums, restaurants, inns, or any other reason.

Check out this list to find out the top 15 things to do in Manchester, Vermont.

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