Warming Winter Solace

Things To Do This Winter


Snow Skiing: Manchester is an easy drive to both Stratton and Bromley Mountain ski areas. Stratton Mountain is a 30 minute drive from Manchester. Stratton is the highest peak in southern Vermont and offers one of the top skiing experiences in New England. With over 600 acres of skiable terrain, fourteen lifts including a high speed base to summit gondola and four 6-passenger lifts, 90% snowmaking coverage and over 2000 feet of vertical, Stratton offers all that any skier could ask for. Bromley Mountain is a family friendly ski area just 7 miles from Manchester. Offering 10 lifts and 45 trails, Bromley is a great sized area for a full day of family skiing. A local tip: Bromley faces to the south so its slopes get sun all day! Please call the Reluctant Panther to check on our winter ski inclusive packages and specials.

Snow Boarding and Freestyling: Both Stratton and Bromley have extensive areas dedicated to snowboarders and freestyle skiing. The home of the 2010 Snowboarding National Championships, Stratton’s Sun Bowl half pipe is one of New England’s top competitive venues. Please call the Panther for package and specials information.

Cross Country Skiing: Manchester offers numerous outstanding cross country and Nordic skiing options. The Viking Nordic Center features miles of trails for skiers of all ages and ability levels. Rental equipment and instructional classes are available. In addition, Stratton offers an extensive cross country facility at their sun bowl and golf course areas and Wild Wings, on Route 100 past Bromley mountain, offers beautifully maintained snow shoe and ski trails through a lightly wooded forest. Hildene also offers cross country ski trails nearby to the Panther.

Sleigh RidesPfister Farm, in nearby Landgrove VT, features a truly memorable Vermont winter experience. Horse drawn carriages and sleighs take visitors thru a winter wonderland.

Snowmobiling: Equinox Snow Tours offers guided snowmobile tours that capture the panoramic vistas of the green mountains.

Ice Skating: Indoor ice skating is available at Manchester’s Riley rink. Skates are available for rental. Also, we know of a few nearby ponds that offer a wonderful outdoor skating experience, weather permitting.

Health, Fitness and Spa: Manchester offers many options for healthy living. The Breathing Room Yoga is just down the Street from the Panther and offers various Yoga and Pilates classes and massage services throughout the year. The nearby Manchester Gym is a full service fitness center offering cardio, spinning, dance classes, free weights and other fitness programs. The Green Door and Equinox Spas also offer a wide selection of Spa services.

Indoor Tennis: Indoor tennis Courts are available at the nearby Stratton resort.


Back Road Discovery Tours: Discover the people and places that make Vermont so great. Get off the beaten path and explore Vermont’s back country with a guided tour in 6-8 person tour vehicles. A Yankee Travel Guide Editor’s Choice Award winner.

Range Rover School: Learn to drive a Range Rover over a rugged off-road track.


Manchester Designer Outlets: Manchester’s outlets offer the finest shopping venue in Vermont. Spend a day strolling thru charming streets and historic buildings and visit such well known shops as Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, and many, many others. Outlet maps are available at the Panther. Watch for the Panther’s special shopping packages and discounts. For more information, visit the Manchester Designer Outlets website.  

Northshire Bookstore: Named the #1 independent book seller on the East Coast, the shop features outstanding selections of fiction, non-fiction, music and media. The second floor is devoted to kid’s books, educational toys and games, and there is a Zutano shop to die for! Enjoy a café latte at Bonnet & Main.

Antiquing: Whether you’re interested in antique furnishings, period artwork or ephemera, the Manchester area offers numerous fine antique stores to explore.

Covey & Nye: Located across the Village Green from the Panther, Covey & Nye is Southern Vermont’s premier fine gun purveyor, offering a wide selection of vintage, collectable and custom guns from the world’s finest gun makers including Purdy, Winchester, Antonio Zoli and Beretta. Ptarmigan also offers Vermont’s largest selection of Filsonproducts as well as decoys, books and prints. Clay and wing shooting classes and outings may also be organized thru the Shop. Watch for the Panther’s special Ptarmigan Package.

Farmer’s Markets: Bring home fresh, locally grown produce and other handmade products from a nearby farmer’s market. Manchester’s farmer’s market is on Thursday, Dorset’s is on Sunday and Londonderry’s is on Saturday.


The Manchester Music Festival: A non-profit organization operating year round, the Festival provides gifted young musicians with opportunities to study and perform. The Festival presents concerts of classical music throughout the year at a number of outstanding nearby venues. Please call the Panther to learn about upcoming events, concerts and other music programs.

Hildene: The sprawling historic estate of Abraham Lincoln’s eldest son, Robert Todd, houses a museum dedicated to the former President and his family. The property also boasts beautiful gardens, spectacular views and a working dairy. Hildene is a popular venue for weddings and events, which can be catered by the Reluctant Panther. For the holidays, the mansion is decked in full regalia. During Christmas Week, Hildene hosts an evening or two of caroling, cider and an outdoor fire not to be missed. By the way, the exquisite cheeses produced at Hildene are served in the Reluctant Panther’s gourmet Restaurant.

Southern Vermont Arts Center: Located in an historic mansion near the Panther, SVAC feature ten art galleries exhibiting classic and contemporary art, a major exhibition space and a concert pavilion. The newly expanded campus also offers a store, café, sculpture gardens and botany trails. Classes and workshops with prominent artists are also a regular feature. Please call the Panther for information about upcoming exhibitions, events, concerts and workshops.

Bennington Center for the Arts: Located 20 miles south of Manchester, the Center’s permanent art collection, sales, exhibitions, live theatre productions, exhibits in the Covered Bridge museum and classes and workshops are a great way to spend a day.

Weston, Vermont: Just a half-hour drive up scenic Route 100 from Manchester, Weston is a quintessential New England village and home to the original Vermont Country Store. Of mail order fame, the Vermont Country Store features an eclectic collection of old-timey products, local cheeses, classic toys and gifts. Lunch is available at the historic Bryant House, just next door. Truly a kick to visit!

Saratoga Springs, NY: Approximately a 1 hour drive from Manchester is historic Saratoga Springs, NY. Home of the famous Saratoga horse racing track, Saratoga also offers the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. SPAC is the summer home of the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra. This performing arts venue features classical music performances, the Saratoga Jazz Festival and major pop and rock concerts throughout the summer and fall.


Manchester offers numerous dining options year round. Fine dining, casual dining or café dining is available throughout the region. The Reluctant Panther concierge will be more than happy to make dining suggestions and book reservations.

Main Dining Room at the Reluctant Panther


The Main Dining Room features the panther’s renowned gourmet cuisine and offers a sophisticated dining experience that is among the highest rated in New England.

Dine on the Patio at the Reluctant Panther


The Patio is open seasonally offering outdoor dining in a less formal atmosphere. With views over the gardens & Mount Equinox and featuring a Raw Bar Memorial Day through Labor Day, the Patio is a relaxing venue for a casual dinner.

The Panther Pub at the Reluctant Panther


The Panther Pub is open for special events, private parties and group receptions. It offers an intimate private dining experience and is a wonderful venue for holiday celebrations.