While East Coasters flock to Vermont in the winter for skiing, the state is equally beautiful in the summer, when its famous green mountains are out in their full glory. Whether you want to go hiking, biking, golfing or basically any outdoor activity (including falconry!), the charming town of Manchester offers many options for a relaxing weekend.
Stay: Established in 1769, the Equinox Luxury Golf & Spa Resort (no connection to the fitness brand Equinox; it’s named for Mount Equinox directly behind the resort) is almost a museum of American history. Visited by four sitting presidents since it was founded (William Howard Taft, Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Benjamin Harrison and Vice President James S. Sherman), the hotel is a magnet for those seeking to experience American history for themselves (in a very pampered setting). Of course, you don’t have to be interested in United States history to want to stay at the Equinox, which has become a full-on luxury resort, complete with a spa where you can indulge in delightful New-Age-sounding treatments like the “Autumnal Ritual” (Exfoliation, gel wrap, shower with lotion application; $195) or the “Vermont Glow” facial ($125). You can also practice your swing on the par-71 golf course, play a round of tennis, or dine in one of the resort’s five restaurants.
Do: If you aren’t a sheik from Dubai, chances are, you’ve never tried out falconry before. Now can be your chance, as the Green Mountain Falconry School, where you can handle a trained hawk. Of course, there’s no shortage of other outdoor activities you can try in Manchester, from going fly fishing, to hiking up Mount Equinox, to shooting lessons, to horseback riding, to mountain biking. Or just walk around the town of Manchester, which has many charming local shops and eateries.
Eat: Foodies will love the Silver Fork in Manchester, a six-table restaurant with a Vermont-inspired menu with fresh, seasonal ingredients. If you’re unable to snag a table, hop in the car for a little drive to South Londonberry to the excellent SoLo Farm & Table, or Chantecleer Restaurant, a seafood spot in a beautifully restored barn.