Southern Vermont has it all: ski resorts, shopping, beautiful village greens, cozy inns, fall foliage, and a scattering of historic covered bridges. Ski areas -- Stratton, Bromley, Magic Mountain, and Mount Snow -- offer winter activities and many have warm-weather fun for kids and families. Shopping venues run from intimate settings, like the Apple Barn in Bennington, to the high-end outlets of Manchester.
An easy drive from New York City, southern Vermont is graced with wonderful fall foliage and all the pleasures of the Green Mountain state: interesting towns like Brattleboro, Wilmington, Bennington, Arlington, and Manchester; ski areas that also offer warm weather family fun; sophisticated shopping; art and history museums.
The Manchester & the Mountains region is rich in villages, town greens, historic inns, excellent outlet shopping, and outdoor activities like hiking and paddling. Another gem of Southern Vermont is Brattleboro, with a historic theater, art events, and great restaurants.
Bennington has a famous Revolutionary battle monument, and its Bennington Museum shows many works by Grandma Moses. Arlington, home of Norman Rockwell, welcomes guests from around the world to its Norman Rockwell Exhibit.
If you ski or snowboard, find your way to ski areas like Bromley (Manchester), Magic Mountain (Londonderry), Mount Snow (Dover), Stratton (Bondville), and Okemo (Ludlow). All of these also offer warm-season activities for the family, like zip lines and golf; a new adventure park gleams at Bromley.
Visit the covered bridges: Arlington, for instance, is home to the beloved Bridge at the Green. For the arts, check out the 1930s-era Art Deco Latchis Theater in Brattleboro. Other performance venues are the Vermont Jazz Center in Brattleboro and the Yellow Barn Music Festival in Putney.
For fabulous views of mountains, take a drive up Skyline Drive to Equinox Mountain near Sunderland. Head to Manchester for fun shopping for all tastes.
It is hard to imagine a sweeter place for a romantic getaway than Southern Vermont, whether that means cuddling by a giant fireplace in the depth of winter or driving up Skyline Drive for a dazzling summer sunset.
Lodgings for romantic getaways offer sumptuous rooms, excellent dining, and special touches like a horse-drawn carriage or sleigh ride. Vermont is loved for its cozy inns, offering wonderful vistas, walking distance to town greens, and luxuries like whirlpool tubs in case the day's activities included hiking, biking, or canoeing.
Southern Vermont resorts have the added advantage of offering lots of nearby or on-property activities like golf or - this is for real - classes in falconry.
Shoppers should aim to visit the Manchester Designer Outlets in Manchester Center, sometimes called the Fifth Avenue of the Green Mountains. Also in Manchester is Northshire Bookstore, a family-owned bookstore in an old Victorian building. The Children's Level is a store unto itself. More fun shopping, for all ages, waits at Vermont Country Store in Weston, a treasure house of nostalgic toys, gifts, and geegaws. In Bennington, a wonderful resource for handmade silver and gold jewelry and personal fine gifts is Hawkins House Craftsmarket. Shoppers who want to spruce up a kitchen or find a housewarming gift should visit Bennington Potters, creating handmade stoneware pottery since 1948.