Last week Kendall and I road tripped up to Manchester, Vermont for a little midweek getaway at the Equinox Resort. We ended up driving through the mountains and running into some snow – something we were totally not prepared for – but pulling into Manchester we were greeted with full on fall. From the pumpkin and harvest decor, to the crisp leaves, and even crisper air. We were so excited to settle in for a few nights, cozy up by their to die for fireplaces and indulge in some hearty New England food.
WHERE TO STAY
Kendall and I arrived in Manchester, Vermont and quickly happened on our destination: The Equinox Resort. The Equinox is really the hot spot in town to stay – making up such a huge part of the cities history. It’s nestled right in the Green Mountains, making it the prime New England fall destination. With over 200 years of American history coming in and out of Equinox, you’re sure to find a little piece of home in the gorgeous mountain resort.
The Equinox has a ton of cozy little corners to nestle up in – mainly the countless fire pits and places located inside and outside all around the property. If it was up to us, Kendall and I would’ve stayed right near these the entire time, either with a cup of coffee or glass of wine depending on the time of day! We cozied right up in our plaid wraps and spent a few hours planted one afternoon – wishing I could go back now.
WHAT TO DO
I highly recommend visiting Manchester in the fall – mainly September – October. The foliage and views you will get is entirely unparalleled and it’s still bearable (at least to me!) to enjoy all the activities the quaint New England town has to offer. Fall is the perfect time to visit anywhere in Vermont and Manchester makes for the perfect weekend getaway.
Equinox Spa – Kendall and I have gotten into the habit of hitting the spa the same day as our arrival. After a long day of travel – whether a flight or a road trip – it’s the best way to wind down and relax before we explore around the spot we’re visiting for the next few days. We usually will take a few hours at the spa and then head back to our room to enjoy an early night in plus room service. Trust me, this is something you won’t regret!
The Outlets – Manchester offers a quaint little town area with lots of outlet shops, ranging from J.Crew to Theory to Kate Spade. There’s also a Vermont Bread and Cheese Co – kind of regretting not stopping in there! Perfect spot to get some pre-holiday buys if you’re in the mood to get a little shopping in.
Horseback Riding – The Equinox was kind enough to arrange a horseback riding adventure for Kendall and I one morning up at Chipman Stables. It’s about a half hour drive from Equinox up in the mountains, but so worth it. The ride through the mountains on horseback is stunning – just make sure to bundle up because it drops about 10 degrees from the resort to the stables & we were riding around in 32 degrees plus winds. Let’s just say – I was freezing!
Falconry Experience – This is something the Equinox is known for. Kendall and I had this scheduled into our stay, but unfortunately had to cancel because we were pressed for time. It was highly recommended to us to do this activity so we’re hoping to get back up next fall and give it a whirl.
Firepits – I honestly can’t even tell you how many different firepit areas the resort offers, but most notable there’s one on the back porch over looking the mountains, one in the lobby, and one off to the right side of the resort. Kendall and I planted ourselves near the indoor one one afternoon to get some work done and enjoy a glass of wine before dinner. Total disclaimer: we didn’t want to leave, but we so pleasantly surprised to find our dinner reservations next to the fireplace at the Marsh Tavern. Firepits are such a quintessential fall cozy thing!
WHERE TO EAT
We primarily ate at the Equinox since they offer so many different dining options and we wanted to take full advantage during our stay but we did try two spots in town.
Ye Olde Tavern – This was recommended to us by the hotel concierge, and it did not disappoint! They serve traditional New England fare, complete with cranberry corn fritters and maple butter to start. We went all out with our meals, ordering stuffed mushrooms and pumpkin bisque as apps followed by house salads and our mains – I ordered the duck and Kendall went for salmon. Everything was so delicious, definitely one of the best New England meals I’ve had in such a long time. We decided to indulge in dessert and opted for the flourless brownie, which was probably the best brownie I’ve ever had. Ask them to substitute the sorbet for ice cream and you’ll be golden!
The Colonnade – We ate here for breakfast one morning and they offer both a continental buffet and ala carte options. We opted for omelets off the ala carts menu and if you know me, you know I’m a sucker for a good egg omelette in the morning!
Marsh Tavern – We ate at Marsh Tavern for dinner (this was our meal by the fire!) and it was so delicious. I wish I remember which wine we had because it was one of the best Pinot Noir’s I’ve ever had! Kendall started with a kale salad that was to die for and we both got the pumpkin risotto with our mains. I could have just eaten that as my entire meal, it was so delicious!
Falcon Bar – After our dinner at Marsh Tavern we brought our fireside chats into the Falcon Bar to finish our bottle of wine over cheese and chocolates. The Falcon Bar is perfect if you aren’t quite ready to call it a night! You can pick which cheese and chocolates you want. Be sure to try the Vermont Cheddar, such a classic and so delicious!
Our stay at the Equinox was much too short lived and we’re already scheming up a trip for next fall. It ended up snowing our last morning there, so we may just have to head up a little earlier next year to really take in the full fall experience!
If you’re interested in staying at the Equinox, they’ve been so kind to extend 15% off your stay if you book now through December 31st, 2016. To take advantage of this offer, just call the Equinox at 877-854-7625 and mention code ‘Marissa‘!