Posted January 25, 2016

An All-Year Guide to Manchester


A true all-seasons destination filled with everything from the arts to outdoor recreation, Manchester, Vermont, is the setting for Kimpton’s newest property, Taconic. Its bucolic charms extend from snow-covered sledding hills to warm nights filled with starry skies, from fields of wildflowers to drives through the changing leaves. Whatever time of year you visit, you’re bound to find an abundance to do — and a reason to come back in another season.


last run on bromley xmas day

Winter Skiing on Bromley

Thanks to two nearby ski hills — family-friendly Bromley and snowboarding pioneer Stratton —ski enthusiasts are in powder heaven during the wintertime. For snow sports at a lower elevation, Manchester Country Club turns its golf course into a Nordic track and snowshoe trail that Taconic’s guests can access. Once you’ve gotten your fill of the wintry wonderland outside, grab a seat by the double-sided fireplace in the lobby and curl up with a good book. If you need recommendations, check out the bookshelf in Taconic’s library stocked with staff picks from the legendary Northshire Bookstore in town. In late winter, sugaring season arrives, and it is — pardon the pun — one of the sweetest times to stay in Vermont and sample maple syrup straight from the tap.


Fly fishing on Battenkill River

Fly fishing on Battenkill River

Spring is the prime time to begin fly fishing, and there’s no better place to get outfitted than at the world-famous Orvis, whose flagship store is located less than a block from the hotel. If you instead want to stay firmly on land, take a hike (we mean that in only the best way!). Each guest room contains handcrafted walking sticks from Manchester Woodcraft, in adult and kid sizes, to help you explore the great outdoors in comfort. This also happens to be kidding season, and we’re not kidding when we say that baby goats are pretty much the cutest thing ever. Taconic partners with Hildene, the Lincoln family home, on a fun package that comes with a picnic lunch, a look at their sustainability programs, and a chance to hang out with the historic house’s pint-sized goats, of course.


Vermont Summer Festival

Vermont Summer Festival

Festivals galore mark the months of July and August — celebrate classical music (Manchester Music Festival), horses and equestrians (Vermont Summer Festival), the environment (SolarFest), and much more. Throughout the summer, catch a musical at Weston Playhouse, the oldest professional theater in Vermont, or a show at Dorset Playhouse, an intimate theater built from two pre-Revolutionary barns. When you want to cool off, live like a local and swim at one of the old marble quarries that’s now filled in with water. Taconic’s staff will point you in the right direction to these semi-secret spots. Other aquatic pursuits include kayaking and canoeing at nearby Emerald Lake State Park, so named for the gem-like hue of the water. On a clear summer’s eve, by appointment exclusively for Taconic guests, step into Burr and Burton Academy’s tiny, centuries-old observatory with a state-of-the-art telescope. From here, you’ll feel like you can touch the sky.


Equinox Pond and Equinox Mountain in the fall

Equinox Pond and Equinox Mountain in the fall

If you’ve heard of Vermont, you’ve heard of the leaf-peeping opportunities that come with autumn. Get a different perspective on the changing colors by driving to the top of Mount Equinox. From 3,800 feet up, the patchwork quilt of dark reds, golden yellows, and vibrant oranges below you is breathtaking. To get the best pictures possible of the fall foliage (and everything else), Taconic’s front desk team will introduce you to Les Jorgensen, an award-winning local photographer who will teach you the tricks of the trade for fantastic shots on everything from an iPhone to a DSLR to an old-fashioned film camera.

Photo Credits: Winter skiing at Bromley: Lee Krohn Photo; Spring fly fishing: Stephen Goodhue, Vermont Country Images; Summer Vermont Summer Festival: Shine Bright Studios; Fall foliage: Vermont Vacation