Romantic Weekend Getaway: Skiing & Shopping in Manchester, VT


(View From Stratton Mountain by Steve Soj/Flickr)

Nicki and Greg Shalette were looking for a little luxury and a little skiing that wasn't too far from New York City. So last weekend, they drove to Manchester, VT, for a fantastic romantic getaway. They skied, they got massages, they dined, they hit the outlets and they can't wait to go back. Here, Nicki explains why Manchester is her new favorite place.


Where They Stayed: We stayed at the Equinox Resort & Spa (pictured left) in Manchester, VT. It was amazing by anyone's standards. The hotel has over 200 years of history, and while it has been beautifully renovated several times, it still maintains a lot of what I imagine was its original charm. There is also an amazing spa on the premises, where we enjoyed massages after a full day of skiing on Saturday.

Where They Skied: We skied at Stratton, which is about 15 miles (a 30-minute drive) from the village of Manchester. (Other nearby resorts include Bromley and Magic Mountain.) Vermont has had a banner year for snow fall and conditions were as good as I have ever seen them in the East. We really enjoyed the skiing at Stratton, especially the longer top-to-bottom runs like Upper/Lower Tamarack. Although Stratton is one of the largest mountains in the area, it's not very steep and the slopes tend to be crowded. It was far more crowded on Saturday than on Sunday morning, probably due to the big football game and that many people face a long drive home on Sundays.

Where They Ate: There is a huge selection of restaurants in the area (if we had been there one more night, I was dying to try The Perfect Wife), but for Saturday night we choose to eat at an area institution, The Reluctant Panther, which is in a gorgeous, romantic inn of the same name. We were nervous that the food would not live up to the reputation, but we couldn't have been more wrong. This was one of the best meals we have had in a very long time: American regional cuisine at its best. The service was a little bit on the slow side, but we were in no rush and just had more time to enjoy the fire.

Where They Shopped: If you look closely beyond the quaint New England facades, you will notice Polo, Michael Kors and Bose merchandise on display in the windows. Yes! There are world class designer outlets nestled between ski rental shops and country stores. As one of the ads on the mountain says, Come naked, bring money!

8 Responses to Romantic Weekend Getaway: Skiing & Shopping in Manchester, VT

  1. Robin @ My Melange January 29, 2010 at 12:39 am #

    We are not skiers, so we visited in the area in fall. We are budget travelers, but we love a good B&B. We stayed at the Deming House in nearby Arlington. Not only were the owners fabulous, but it turns out that their son is a chef at the Reluctant Panther, where Nicki and Greg ate! We loved all of the Covered Bridges in Vermont. I am sure it is just as lovely in the winter covered in snow.

  2. Barbara at Hole in the Donut Travels January 29, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    Yep, this would be the place for romance. Now all I need is the man.

  3. Arlene February 1, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    What a wonderful spot. My daughter and her husband are getting ready to move to VT……near Stowe. Is this anywhere near there? I looked at the inn – gorgeous. I will be spending time up there visiting so it is good to get good information like this.

  4. Mara March 6, 2010 at 11:36 pm #

    If you have a chance to try The Perfect Wife, I recommend it – great food, friendly atmosphere.

  5. B January 22, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    I just returned from a three day weeked at the Equinox in Manchester, VT. I fell in love with the town! Amazing shopping, everything is so classy and well done with design and service, the restaurants are fantastic. I was really impressed. If it weren’t so far from NYC I would buy a house there. Is there anywhere closer (up to 3 hours driving) to NYC that is similar??? I have yet to find another town like Manchester. Please let me know if you have any other suggestions. Good shopping and restaurants (not the Hamptons).

  6. wanderingeducators
    Twitter: WanderingEds
    February 18, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

    What a great place! I especially love the restaurant names!
    wanderingeducators recently posted..An Insider’s Guide to Bermuda: Best Beaches

  7. Heidi Wagoner February 19, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    This looks like a lovely place. Alan and the kids miss snow and skiing, me not so much. I prefer to be a lodge bunny and enjoy the snow from the inside.
    Heidi Wagoner recently posted..Colors Of Marrakech Morocco – Photo Essay

  8. Elena February 25, 2014 at 3:11 am #

    I keep hearing more and more about skiing in Vermont- need to look at that as an option since we are on the East coast.
    Elena recently posted..How to Travel Better: Take a Walk and Eat in Strip Malls

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