Wintertime in Manchester always brings beautiful scenes of frosty mountaintops, snow-covered valleys, and frozen-over ponds. Take in the fresh air with a Hike through the Woods, a trip to one of our local Ski Resorts, or a stroll through downtown Manchester to take in the sights, visit our local galleries, or shop our many outlets, stores, and boutiques. What’s even better is that we get a whole extra day for Wintertime fun thanks to the fact that it’s a LEAP YEAR!
Keep reading for more inspiration on what to do next during your Manchester winter adventure!
Local mountain ranges continue to add more lifts and trails to their lineup as the temps allow for snowmaking and we are graced with wintertime snow. Nestled in the Taconic and Green Mountain range valley, you will be surrounded by some of the best skiing and riding that the East Coast has to offer. A thirty-minute or less journey gets you to Stratton Mountain, Bromley Mountain, or Magic Mountain. Enjoy everything from tubing, snowboarding, downhill skiing, and snowmobile rides. To make the most of your wintertime visit, check the event calendars in the mountains and visit our page, Ski Southern Vermont! Additionally, if you’re searching for something a little more tranquil, book a sleigh riding, go cross-country skiing, or snowshoe through the peaceful wooded trails in the area.
One special chance to create memories and help people in need is to participate in The Statton Community Foundation’s annual 24 hours of Stratton on March 16 & 17, 2024. This is a unique chance to ride Stratton at night on lighted trails till dawn. Come together with hundreds of snow fans from all throughout New England for an amazing weekend full of food, charity, fireworks, and fun-filled events. The #Shred4Nate alpine slalom race, which promotes mental health and suicide prevention, will debut this year. Perform in one event or both. It’s fun for all ages and skill levels. The Stratton Community Foundation is a community-based nonprofit that cares about the health and well-being of children and families throughout southern Vermont.
Vermont’s beauty has long been an inspiration to many artists. Escape the cold and browse the galleries at the Southern Vermont Arts Center (SVAC). As you drive up the entrance road, outdoor sculptures scatter their lawns and woods, with indoor spaces featuring curated exhibitions that change with the seasons. From their annual Member Exhibitions to featured collections, the constant cycle of rotating art keeps both locals and visitors eager to see more. Their robust educational programs, classes, and various workshops engage and inspire both children and adults, teaching different methods of craft and techniques. Be sure to check their events calendar as they also feature special musical performances!
Here in Manchester, you can also enjoy the classic wintertime favorite activity of ice skating! Head to the Northshire Civic Center/Riley Rink! As Southern Vermont’s largest indoor special events and multi-purpose facility featuring the area’s only Olympic-sized ice rink, they offer weekly public and private ice skating, ice-skating lessons, and hockey leagues. If you don’t have your own skates, no worries, they offer skate rentals for all ages.
Take the wheel at the Land Rover Experience Driving School offering off-road driving adventures in Manchester, Vermont. The course, set in the picturesque Green Mountains region, offers a combination of rugged terrain, snowy landscapes, and forested trails. You will have the opportunity to navigate through snow-covered trails, icy conditions, and other winter obstacles while learning about the advanced technology and capabilities of Land Rover vehicles. All of course with a trained professional at your side. Offering 1-hour, 2-hour, half-day or full-day experiences, the school offers something for everyone and is open in every season and all conditions.
If you are looking to be within walking distance of downtown Manchester, then the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton is as close as it gets. The centrally located 97-room hotel is just steps from many local shops, retail outlets, restaurants, and cafes. Reminiscent of a historic New England farmhouse, this uniquely designed hotel embodies tradition with modern sensibilities. Outdoor seating areas with fire pits welcome you, and make you feel right at home. With an indoor pool and whirlpool, it’s a welcome amenity for those traveling with children or those looking to have a soak after a day filled with outdoor winter adventures. The property offers both traditional rooms and studio suites all under one roof, with microwaves, small refrigerators, and coffee makers in every room. So, whether you’re traveling as a couple, family, or group, they have accommodations to suit your needs!
Just outside of the main hustle and bustle, and built in 1764, the Inn at Ormsby Hill is one of the oldest structures in Manchester. Legend has it that Ethan Allen hid in this home during the Revolutionary War. The house also may have served as a safe house for the Underground Railroad. Today, this 4-Diamond inn boasts all the amenities that modern vacationers seek. Luxurious bathrobes, steam showers, jacuzzi baths, private decks, and four-poster beds make a stay at the Inn at Ormsby Hill extra posh. With only ten guest rooms and private dining tables, romance is the operating philosophy at this dreamy bed and breakfast. For a truly royal experience, book a room in the Frances Suite which faces east and affords sweeping panoramic views of the mountains. With ample space (which can accommodate two massage tables), the Frances Suite offers two ensuite bathrooms, French doors leading to a private balcony, a comfortable sitting room, an antique king four-poster bed, and flat-screen televisions. You may never leave your suite at the Inn at Ormsby Hill.
Steeped in rich history, the Wilburton has been owned and operated by the same family for over 30 years. As the story (and Wilburton theme song) goes, in 1987 Georgette and Dr. Albert Levis dined at the inn to celebrate his 50th birthday – and left as owners. Together, they’ve brought a joyful, creative family spirit to the inn and the tradition has been carried on by their children, Melissa, Max, and resident fido, Jetson, (their “canine concierge”). With a grand feel that would make any Gatsby fan swoon and sweeping views, it’s no wonder why CNN named it one of the ‘Top 8 Elegant U.S. Mansion Hotels.’ With experiences on-site like murder mystery parties, sing-a-longs, doggy slumber parties, and more, you are sure to show up to the Wilburton as a guest and leave as family.
DINING & MORE
There is no better time to spoil yourself, your significant other, or those special people in your life than in the month of February. Come enjoy this unique time of year in our charming town as Valentine’s Day and the President’s holiday weekend are both quickly approaching! In honor of the month of love, many local restaurants are offering intimate and unique dining experiences, while some of the lodging properties are offering packages to pamper yourself or your special someone. Don’t forget to shop for that special gift at any of our boutique stores, designer outlets or art and artisan galleries. Visit special offerings HERE
Winter weather in Vermont can bring about some unexpected conditions, which can take a toll on your vehicle. Coggins Auto Group, nestled in the heart of Bennington, VT, is the premier auto group offering exceptional automotive sales, top-notch service, genuine parts, and expert collision repair. They offer a comprehensive range of automotive solutions to meet your every need. Whether you’re in search of a new or pre-owned vehicle, their dedicated sales team is committed to finding the perfect match for you They know that you have high expectations, and as a car dealer, they enjoy the challenge of meeting and exceeding those standards every time. Allow them to demonstrate their commitment to excellence!