A popular travel destination since the 1800s, Manchester is steeped in history. You can visit our nationally recognized historic sites and museums or join a guided tour and soak up the story of Vermont first hand. Sign up for an off-road tour or just tool along our back roads in search of hidden landmarks, cheese makers, craft producers, and more. Just a short drive from major cities but a world away, Manchester is the gateway to authentic Vermont.
ARTS AND CULTURAL EXPERIENCES IN MANCHESTER
Whether you’re looking for adventure or just a quiet escape, Manchester is just the place. For a quaint mountain town, we’ve got all the big perks; world-class heritage sites, award winning cultural venues, incredible galleries and museums, and recreational activities to suit even the most ardent enthusiast.
Nestled between the Taconic and Green Mountains, and enriched by the waters of the famous Batten Kill, The Shires has long been a popular four-season destination for those seeking an authentic Vermont experience. Anchored by the two county seats of Bennington and Manchester, fifteen towns and villages are united by a common sense of place, history, and culture. The Shires of Vermont Byway connects the Southshire with the Northshire and beckons visitors to enjoy scenery, hospitality, recreation, and the region’s rich heritage.
Mohawks and Iroquois traced this path as long ago as 5,000 BC, as evidenced by projectile points, but Vermont was not settled by those of European origin until the 1760s. This Byway, then a crude path marked by occasional slashes on trees, became a principal route of migrating pioneers and their cattle trudging northward from Litchfield and Berkshire counties seeking life in wilderness newly opened to settlement.
Today it offers a quintessential Vermont road trip experience! Visit a farmers’ markets or browse a neighborhood bakery. Pick your own apples and strawberries. Sip craft cocktails at a boutique hotel or pack a picnic to go from one of our mom-and-pop markets. Take in the views, visit galleries, museums, and historic sites. And stop every so often to sample craft brews, hard cider, farmstead cheeses, and fine chocolates — all in a single drive.
We are opening for March – April 3, 2022 to provide Sugar Season Tours of the greater Manchester area. This tour will include a visit to an authentic Sugars shack with samples, learning the process from collection to finish, a covered bridge, quintessential Vermont villages, and all about our area, presented by an award-winning author! The tour starts at 1 PM and returns by 4 PM every day except Tuesday and Wednesday. Advance reservations necessary, limited 2 – 10 people. $45PP. For reservations please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-362-4997.
Our guide will regale you with fun facts, history and local lore about the area.
If you’ve only got a short time to spend with us in Manchester but you’re thirsty for all things Vermont, let Backroad Discovery Tours show you around and quench that need for VT knowledge with tips on local adventures, attractions, food, and more from the comfort of a 10-passenger tour vehicle.
For summer and fall visitors, “The Southern Vermont Sampler” & “The Fall Foliage Sampler” tours start at 1 pm and return at 4 pm, daily. “During the Spring, early Summer and late Fall, The Shires of Vermont Sampler Tour is offered on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday from 1 – 3:30 pm. Expect to see mountain/valley vistas, the oldest marble quarry in the U.S., quintessential Vermont villages, an iconic covered bridge, Norman Rockwell exhibit, and the “birthplace of Vermont”, and more.
We can arrange to transport your bachelorette, reunion, wedding group for a tour of up to 10 passengers.
If your travel or corporate group is visiting Manchester in your own coach or van, a step-on guide service is available. For larger groups, we suggest “The Shires of Vermont Tour,” which is perfect for visitors of all interests and a great way to relax and take in the sights for a few hours. We are no longer offering to provide coach-style buses for groups.
For 3 Seasons, you can always expect VT fun facts, fascinating history, and shopping opportunities for Vermont maple syrup, local products, and gifts.