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Recreation & Activities

Local Activities

In its early days, it was the exclusive playground of the rich and famous. The Equinox still serves, as it did then, as the centerpiece of this elegant and affluent village. Everything in Manchester Village is well manicured and pleasing to the eye, and includes several very impressive dining establishments. The Southern Vermont Arts Center is also more than worthy of a visit. If it’s shopping you’re after, head to Manchester Center, where a host of upscale retailers await. You’ll also find countless shops of every variety, including one of the finest bookstores you could hope to find outside an urban metropolis.


AMERICAN MUSEUM OF FLY FISHING

The Museum was established in 1968 to preserve and exhibit the treasures of American angling. Since then, they have gathered more than 1,000 rods, 400 reels, thousands of flies, and countless other rare or unique items. Whether you are a novice, a serious student of angling literature, or just a lover of beautifully crafted objects, you will be fascinated by this collection. Several exhibits are on loan to the Equinox and can be viewed in the Library Lobby and the Charles Orvis Inn. Learn more or call 802-362-3300.


ANTIQUING

Vermont has long enjoyed a reputation as a haven for serious antique buffs. Whether you are looking for something in particular or just browsing, the possibilities are endless.


BENNINGTON MUSEUM

The Bennington Museum houses extensive collections of decorative arts, furniture, paintings, and historic artifacts from Vermont and New England as well as one of the most important collections of American glass. The largest public collection of works by America’s beloved folk artist Grandma Moses is on permanent display. Learn more or call 802-447-1571.


BENNINGTON POTTERS

Bennington Potters was founded in 1948 by a young potter named David Gil. David had just finished his studies and graduated from Alfred University, which even then was renowned for its ceramics program and considered by many to be the finest in this country. As fate would have it, David jumped at the opportunity to purchase a small barn near downtown Bennington, Vermont, where he began what would become his life’s work – designing and producing handcrafted pottery intended for everyday use as well as functional and affordable art for discerning individuals. So began the tradition of Bennington Potters. Learn more or call 800-205-8033 / 802-442-6080.


BILLING FARM & MUSEUM

Explore Vermont’s agricultural heritage. Trace the farm family’s cycle of activities from spring plowing and summer haying to autumn harvesting. Experience Vermont farm life and its traditions; it’s all there for you to touch, smell, taste, and explore. Activities are scheduled daily, so bring the family; they are sure to enjoy it. Learn more or call 802-457-2355.


DORSET THEATRE FESTIVAL

What better way to spend an evening than with New England’s award-winning professional Theatre Company. Founded in 1976, the Dorset Theatre Festival features on-and off-Broadway actors performing revivals of classics, new American plays, and recent New York hits at this historic playhouse in nearby Dorset. Performances start in mid-June and run through early September with special plays by a community theatre group throughout the winter season. Learn more or call 802-867-2223.


FARMERS MARKETS

In over 50 communities across the state, what began as a gathering of a few local growers has grown into a community event. From the first crop of tender asparagus in the spring to September’s pumpkin harvest, you can buy it fresh from the grower. As farmers’ markets have grown, so has the selection of goods for sale. Markets typically feature fresh baked goods, specialty foods, arts and crafts, and of course a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, eggs, meat and maple syrup. Many markets feature live music and activities such as sheep shearing, weaving and spinning.


GRAFTON CHEESE COMPANY

The Grafton Village Cheese Company was founded in 1890 as the Grafton Cooperative Cheese Company, to convert surplus milk from local dairy farmers into cheese. Some years later, a fire destroyed the original factory. When the non-profit Windham Foundation restored the company in the mid 1960s, a new era for the town was born. Today, quality and taste are still the hallmarks of the company’s products. The cheese company is a subsidiary of the Grafton based Windham Foundation, known throughout Vermont for its philanthropy and preservation work in Grafton, Vermont. Learn more or call 800-472-3866.


HILDENE

Robert Todd Lincoln chose Manchester as the location to build his beautiful, 24-room, Georgian Revival estate. You can tour the mansion, which contains many possessions and furnishings used by the Lincoln family for nearly 75 years. Walk through formal gardens that have been restored to their original beauty. Enjoy magnificent views from the observatory or picnic on the grounds. Tours are held year-round from 9:30 AM until 4:00 PM. Special Christmas tours and private tours are available through the resort. Hildene is available for weddings and social gatherings. Catering is provided by the Equinox. Learn more or call 800-578-1788 / 802-362-1788.


MANCHESTER DESIGNER OUTLETS

The Manchester designer outlets are located only minutes from the resort and carry premium brands offering the finest variety of shopping in New England. More than 100 designer outlets include Giorgio Armani, Ann Taylor, Brooks Brothers, Coach, J. Crew, Lilly Pulitzer, Polo Ralph Lauren and Tumi.


MERCK FOREST

The 2,900 acres of woodlands, meadows, ponds, and steams that comprise the Merck Forest in Rupert were set aside by George W. Merck in 1950. He felt a close kinship to the land and believed that these fields and forests represented typical Vermont upland farms, then rapidly dying out as commercial ventures. He foresaw that rapidly increasing numbers of outdoor enthusiasts would buy up and otherwise dominate Vermont’s open lands, and realized the need to preserve extensive areas for public use. He also hoped that Merck Forest could show how farms might be converted to multiple use properties.

The Taconic Range acreage is spider-webbed with trails nearly 30 miles of them for great hiking in three seasons and snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the snowier months. Learn more or call 802-394-7836.


SHELBURNE MUSEUM

Step back into 300 years of American history in 35 restored buildings occupying 45 acres. Examine collections of art, furniture, folk art, china, pewter, glass, rugs, quilts, toys, and much more! The famous side-wheeler, the SS Ticonderoga, was moved from Lake Champlain to permanent dry berth here next to the Colchester Lighthouse. Learn more or call 802-985-3346.


SOUTHERN VERMONT ARTS CENTER

Browse through ten galleries exhibiting and selling work by outstanding juried artists. Exhibitions include paintings, sculptures, photography, and graphics. The Arts Center is located on a beautifully restored estate with extensive gardens. Performances, classes, and special events are held throughout the summer season. The Elizabeth Wilson Museum at the Arts Center features exhibitions of the permanent collection and traveling shows. Learn more or call 802-362-1405.


VERMONT INSTITUTE OF NATURAL SCIENCE

Founded in 1972, the Vermont Institute of Natural Science is a private, non-profit organization supported by the contributions of its members. VINS reaches 24,000 Vermonters annually with innovative and effective environmental-education programs, and conducts important natural history research. VINS now offers an array of educational programs and walks at the Equinox year-round.

The Vermont Institute of Natural Science Raptor Center appeals to the whole family. The center houses 26 species of owls, hawks, and eagles in spacious flight habitats. All the birds have permanent injuries, which prevent their being released into the wild. Learn more or call 802-359-5000.


VERMONT COUNTRY STORE

The Vermont Country Store specializes in selling clothing, food, household items and thousands of other practical, functional, and hard-to-find products. The Vermont Country Store has been family owned and run for over seventy five years.


THE VILLAGE SHOPS AT EQUINOX

Located across the village green from the resort, featuring the best in distinctive Vermont clothing, crafts, and antiques.


WESTON PLAYHOUSE

The Weston Playhouse Theatre Company, a non-profit regional theatre dedicated to excellence in a unique Vermont setting, serves a community of artists and audiences through a broad spectrum of dramatic works and educational programs. First built in 1935 and touted by one New York critic as “the most beautiful theatre in New England”, the Weston Playhouse is open daily from late June through early September. Learn more or call 802-824-5288.


There’s always something of interest going on in Manchester and its environs. When you stay at the Equinox you’re sure to find exciting diversions to suit every interest. If you are interested in any of these area events, we would be happy to make arrangements for you through our concierge at 800.362.4747.

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