Hotel at a Glance: The Inn at Willow Pond
You can take in panoramic views of the Green Mountains from the rooms at The Inn at Willow Pond; each has a deck, bay window, or patio with a vista. Set in teh Battenkill Valley, the inn sits on 20 rolling acres that once served as a dairy farm.
- Relax and detoxify in the inn’s sauna.
- Historic tidbit: The post-and-beam farmhouse that now functions as the inn’s conference center dates back to the 1700s. It was a stop on the Underground Railroad during the era of slavery; you can tour the secret basement where slaves hid on their way to freedom.
- Go shopping at the Manchester Designer Outlets, which has such brands as BCBG Max Azria, Ann Taylor, and Armani (3 miles away); or head into Manchester to visit the small town’s boutiques.
- Hit the slopes and terrain park at Bromley Mountain Ski Resort, starting in November.
- Optional add-on: Some of this deal’s options include admission for two to Hildene, a Georgian Revival mansion built by Robert Todd Lincoln.
Manchester, Vermont: Fashionable Resort Village with Upscale Shopping in Green Mountains
Slate-gray roofs studded with dormer windows distinguish Manchester’s colonial buildings, many of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There’s an air of old-fashioned New England throughout the surrounding area, an idyllic rural landscape where you’ll find old covered bridges and stone wall labyrinths. The town is also nestled between the Green and Taconic Mountains, making it popular for outdoorsy activities.
One of the area’s most-popular destinations is Manchester Center. It has tree-lined sidewalks and a multitude of designer outlet shops, fine-antique shops, and independent bookstores. There are several charming restaurants in town, too, many serving locally sourced, sustainable dishes.
During winter, Manchester is a good base camp for skiing in the surrounding mountains. About a 15-minute drive east of town is Bromley Mountain, which has runs fit for both first-timers and experts. Frommer’s says the “the mountain features long, looping, intermediate runs that are tremendously popular with families and beginners.” Perched on southern Vermont’s highest peak about 20 miles from Manchester is Stratton Mountain Resort, which has 92 assorted trails and a high-speed base-to-summit gondola.