Hitting the Slopes – The Best of Both Worlds When you Stay in Manchester
It’s no secret that Vermont tops the charts when it comes to East Coast skiing and riding. The expansive Green Mountains offer a variety of terrain for both beginners and experts alike. Manchester has welcomed mountain lovers for years and continues to be a popular destination for travelers looking for the perfect mix of on- and off-mountain adventure, entertainment and dining.
Bromley Mountain (a wonderful family-friendly mountain) , Stratton Mountain Resort (the Stratton Village shops and restaurants will have you feel like you’re in a Hallmark movie) , and Magic Mountain (a favorite of the locals for a powder day) are all located within a 30-minute drive to Manchester. Two other resorts that are about an hour drive from Manchester are Mount Snow and Killington. Mount Snow is known for it’s incredible terrain parks called, Carinthia, while Killington is known as the beast of the east, boasting the longest season out of all the East Coast mountains.
Think about planning your winter ski vacation now before the season ends in April.
It’s easy to find the perfect place to stay in order to match your style and budget. A stay that is closer to the slopes will maximize your time on the hill. Seesaw’s Lodge is next door to Bromley, and offers everything you need for the ultimate ski-getaway. A bit closer to Manchester is the Toll Road Inn and The Manchester View. Though, if you’re looking to stay right in town, look to the Aspen at Manchester, the Casablanca Motel or the Inn at Ormsby Hill. A stay in any of these inns and lodges will keep you close to both the slopes and the shops!
If members of your group aren’t planning on hitting the slopes, fear not! There is plenty to explore here in town. A combination of rich history, beautiful architecture, and passionate business owners all contribute to make Manchester magical and memorable. Many of the buildings are from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, including the very popular, Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home. Walk through this historic estate where you’ll listen to the oldest residential organ in America while viewing many of the Lincoln Family’s belongings. Trek through the miles of snowshoe trails and explore the meticulously restored 1903 Pullman Train Car, Sunbeam, which took two years to find and two more years to be restored to its original condition.
Another place to invigorate the senses is the Southern Vermont Arts Center. Expansive grounds with outdoor sculptures and multiple buildings featuring the works of many local and renowned artists await you at SVAC. Try your hand at one of the many art workshop offerings to enlighten the minds and the hearts of all ages.
Round out your day with a relaxing, all natural, bespoke facial from Amanda Birch, Seed to Skin to refresh your winter complexion. Amanda Birch, an internationally renowned facialist with experience in London and New York, incorporates herbs grown in her own garden into the formulations of her handmade all-natural cleansers, serums and lotions. Her signature facial treatment incorporates energy work for a unique and total mind-body experience.
If you are looking to add a bit more adventure to your visit, check out the Land Rover Experience Driving Center where you will drive through off-road trails featuring icy hill climbs, side tilts and rocky terrain with one of Land Rover’s off-roading pros as your co-pilot. Experiences range from an hour to the entire day with options for teens, groups and Land Rover owners. Beginner and advanced drivers’ adrenaline will surge in a wide range of vehicles from the iconic Land Rover Defender 90 to the modern Range Rover and Discovery.
As the evening sets in and stomachs start to rumble from a day filled with fun and adventure, there is an incredible variety of restaurants around Manchester. On the way back to Manchester from the ski resorts, make sure you have a reservation at Mistral’s at Toll Gate. Décor calls for attire a bit more sophisticated than ski-pants, so bring a change of clothes. Mistral’s offers seasonal French cuisine in a romantic atmosphere.
If you are in search of a laid back dining experience, head down the stairs at Union Underground and choose from a selection of over 50 beers and ciders. With bar games and live music throughout the season you can enjoy a low key underground evening in the basement of this former bank. Or add a bit of spice to your night at Gringo Jack’s where their delicious guacamole is made to order and served in a traditional stone molcajete. Enjoy Mexican classics like tacos, fajitas, chimichangas and enchiladas or try something out of the box like a Mexican Pizza! Olé!
With proximity to some of the best skiing and riding in the East and an assortment of off-hill activities and sites to visit, as well as an incredible variety of restaurants and eateries, Manchester, Vermont is the place to be this winter.