As I look around me, all I can see are green mountains with the mist burning off them in the morning sun.
It’s a breath-taking sight that has me momentarily silent. I have wanted to visit the area of Southern Vermont known as Manchester and the Mountains in the Shires of Vermont for many years, so when this opportunity arose, I jumped at it.
Total Serenity at Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home
I start my explorations at Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home, located in Manchester at the foot of Mount Equinox. As I cross the dene on its floating boardwalk, the sun is getting warmer and I can now see the peaks of the mountains. There are butterflies and dragonflies fluttering about, and I feel a tranquillity that consumes me and makes me want to stay just a bit longer.
Soon, I remember that I have signed up for a tour of the estate, so I make my way toward the old home of Robert Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s son. Hildene is a beautiful historic home with one of the most gorgeously landscaped gardens I have ever seen. After the tour, I wander down to the Farm in the Dene where I can meet the resident goats, and witness them being milked as well as the cheese-making process. I’m in awe of how pet-like they are, and it takes me no time at all to fall in love with these playful creatures.
Goat at Farm in the Dene in Manchester, Vermont
Artsy Village Charm in Manchester
After my exhilarating time at Bromley Mountain, I head back into Manchester for a coffee, shopping and dinner. First, I browse the famed Northshire Bookstore; it has the biggest selection of books and gifts in a local book shop that I’ve ever seen. I even get to meet the owner, who couldn’t have been more accommodating. Just across the street, I notice a gallery called Epoch 18, so I make my way over to have a look. Not only do I discover an eclectic and beautiful collection of artwork, I also learn that every day, a different artisan runs the gallery and offers information about his or her creative process.
I spent a long time browsing then crossed the street to a Thai restaurant and ordered food to go. I make my way back to The Arlington Inn, my hotel for the night, where I enjoy my meal in a gazebo under the stars. What a perfect ending to my perfect day in Southern Vermont.
Epoch 18 in Manchester, Vermont