All Around The Shires

Having grown up in The Shires, I’ve come to appreciate just how much our region has to offer. It was not always so. Like many kids growing up, I could not wait to move away from my home town and explore the world. So I traveled around the country and around the world, and in so doing made a surprising discovery… that the place I most loved was right back where I had started. Many agree and our region has long been a destination for travelers to Vermont. Famous for it’s foliage, but not just that, I hope these suggestions will give you some ideas on how you can create your own memories of a lifetime in The Shires.

Each of these suggestions represent a full day of activity. For a more relaxed pace, split over two days and include a night’s stay at a local motel or bed and breakfast. To include a show, do a half tour and then an early dinner to leave time to see a play at Oldcastle Theater or the Dorset Theater.

Arts & Culture Tour #1
• Visit Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home in Manchester
• Drive Historic 7A to Bennington
• Lunch on Main Street and walk the downtown.
• Visit the Bennington Center for the arts
• See a play at Oldcastle Theater
• Dinner at Pangaea in North Bennington

Arts & Culture Tour #2
• Breakfast at the Rooster Cafe in Manchester
• Visit the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester
• Lunch on Main Street in Manchester and walk the downtown
• Drive Historic Route 7A to Bennington
• Visit the Bennington Museum
• Dinner at the Bennington Station Restaurant

Historic Figures: Lincoln, Rockwell, Frost
• Breakfast in Manchester at Up for Breakfast on Main Street
• Visit Hildene – the Lincoln Family Home
• Drive Historic Route 7A
• Stop at the Battenkill Gallery in Arlington to see the Norman Rockwell Exhibit
• Stop at Robert Frost Stone House Museum in Shaftsbury
• Visit the Old First Church just down from the monument to visit Robert Frost’s grave.
• Dinner in Bennington at Lil’ Britain (authentic British Fish & Chips at it’s best!)

History Tour
• Breakfast at the famous Blue Benn Diner in Bennington located on North Street (route 7)
• Visit the Bennington Museum – Military Gallery and Regional History
• Visit the Bennington Battle Monument
• Take a walking tour of Downtown Bennington (available at Downtown Welcome center)
• Lunch in Bennington at the Madison Brew Pub on Main Street
• Drive Route 7A to Manchester
• Visit Museum of American Fly Fishing
• Shop historic Main Street in Manchester
• Dinner in Manchester at Ye Olde Tavern on the northern end of Main Street

Nature Enthusiast (mellow)
• For the Northshire: Fill a lunch basket at Al Ducci’s in Manchester and walk the trails at the Equinox Preserve and eat lunch at Equinox Pond.
• For the Southshire: fill a lunch basket at Powers Market in North Bennington and walk the trails in the Mile-Around Woods by the Historic Park McCullough Mansion in North Bennington, or at Woodford State Park, on Route 9 east of Bennington.

The Shires of Vermont

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