Fall, Foliage, & Fashion in Manchester, Vermont

Fall is my favorite time of the year. The cool air always reminds me of the fun things to come. There’s always a sense of renewal and everyone is eager to start new routines and celebrate the season change. For me, I love to edit and update my closet (AND drink a lot of apple cider!)

When I was recently asked to attend an all girls trip to Manchester, Vermont, I certainly didn’t have to think long before answering YES! It’s always been a bucket list item for me to see the Fall Foliage in this region and although it’s within driving distance of New York City, it was just something that I’ve never done. Before I knew it, we hit the road for one of my most memorable getaways ever!

I was lucky to have such great travel companions. Nicole Feliciano and Brooke Stewart of Momtrends, along with Stella Leo of StylishlyStella. We took a fair share of photos between us, shopped till we dropped and dined at some fabulous restaurants. It was so much fun spending time with these ladies!

This was also the first trip I have ever taken without my kids or husband for more than a day. The fact that I didn’t have to pass out snacks every 5 minutes, change the DVD, or break up spit spats was simply amazing! Of course I missed my crew, but you know what I mean!

The drive was around 4.5 hours and as you can imagine very scenic. The changing colors of the trees was so beautiful and this was a treat within itself getting to see such a view. We arrived to our new home for the next few days and kicked up our feet for a quick minute before seeing the sights.

If you are new to the Vermont scene like I was, you should know there are plenty of options for lodging. There are bed and breakfasts, quaint hotels, mansions (yes, you can rent them out) , and Airbnb. We stayed at a lovely Airbnb and were greeted from our drive with candlelight,  wine, and of course Vermont cheese. It was such a nice house and I would absolutely recommend it for anyone looking for a house instead of a hotel.

We were in Manchester the same time as the ITV Fest. There was plenty of buzz about town and we stopped in a local art show before dinner. It was such a nice way to mingle with some local people and of course see some fabulous artwork. We ate dinner at a fun restaurant with a great vibe and warm ambiance. (Seasons Restaurant 4566 Main St. Manchester Center, VT 05255)

The next morning for breakfast we gathered at the Taconic Hotel. This boutique hotel is a combination of a classic Inn with a modern twist. I would love to go back and stay here for another trip. We ate at The Copper Grouse inside the hotel. I’m usually not much of a breakfast person, but this was honestly some of the best food ever! Everything was so fresh and delicious.

After a quick bike ride to burn off a few calories, we headed to the Equinox Valley Nursery which was my favorite part of the trip. We were greeted by a very nice employee who told us all about this family owned and operated nursery. You could smell the apple cider in the air and we had a blast taking photos in this picturesque setting.

We took a wagon ride to the North field and truly had the most spectacular view ever of Mount Equinox. The background was more like a painting and I really couldn’t stop taking photos!We ended our time with a corn maze and sampled some baked goods, apple cider, and specialty ice cream, all of which are made fresh on site. (Equinox Valley Nursery 1158 Main St., Manchester VT 05254)

There are clearly so many great things to do in Manchester, but The Manchester Designer Outlets tops the list! This was a very different outlet shopping experience than what I have been used to. The outlets are set up in a way that allows one to walk around this historic village of Manchester and shop at the same time. I will be the first to say… the deals were AMAZING! Our first stop was at the TUMI luggage store where we saw some great pieces and then off to the Ann Taylor Loft which blew our minds with such great prices! Everyone found something and I even went back later for a 2nd round!

With over 40 outlet shops, there is something for everyone! You can find iconic brands such as Ralph Lauren, Armani, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and Eileen Fisher. With everything from accessories, clothing and home decor you will not have a problem having a wonderful shopping experience at these upscale stores. I loved how organized and well stocked each store was. All the staff was also super friendly and helpful. This is the perfect way to spend a day. We shopped and dined in the area and it was such a fun day!

The Manchester Designer Outlets is home to the only “Marimekko” outlet in the country! I was thrilled to stop in and found such a great dress. It’s no secret that Marimekko patterns are very unique and renown in the fashion world. I’m so happy with my animal print inspired dress which is clearly on trend this season!

As I mentioned before there are many places to stay in Manchester, Vermont. We had breakfast our last morning at the Wilburton Inn. Whether you stay here or not (and I suggest you do), be sure to stop by and enjoy this majestic 30 acre estate that features a romantic 1902 mansion, inn rooms and private vacation villas. This is the perfect location for weddings, celebrations, or any other family gathering type of event. They have their infamous “Murder Mystery” weekend coming up Nov.2-4. Be sure to check it out! wilburtoninn.com

Our last moments of the trip were at the Eileen Fisher store.  I used to sell Eileen Fisher at an upscale boutique when I was 18 years old. When Nicole Feilciano and I were asked to attend their Fall Fashion Style Saturday event as fashion infuencers, it was a no brainer! I had the best day and loved, once again, helping people with fashion choices and answer questions. I also left the store with my final purchase, which was a alpaca wool unstructured coat. I can’t wait to wear this during another New York City Winter!

On our way back to the concrete jungle, we stopped for one more round of apple cider and a bag of apple cider donuts. We watched through the window as they came out of the machine and were placed directly in our bag. That’s as fresh as it gets! Thank you to Momtrends, Gale Branding, and the Manchester Designer Outlets for sponsoring this amazing Fall Fashion trip to Manchester, Vermont. It was a once in a lifetime experience that  I will never forget and I can’t wait to go back!

Be sure to check out a fun video which highlights just “some” of our incredible trip!

Last but not least, I am so proud of all my new Fall clothes! As you can see, leopard is everywhere and I’m so happy with all my finds from Ann Taylor, Loft, Marimekko, and Eileen Fisher!

Happy Fall,