A Weekend at the Wilburton Inn
Manchester, Vermont (New England)
One weekend, our blended family of six piled into the car and road-tripped north for a weekend getaway to Manchester Vermont. Our destination? The Wilburton Inn, a hilltop Tudor-style mansion with several private villas.
The Wilburton Inn is a beautiful throwback to the architectural craftsmanship of yesteryear. It offers fifteen well-appointed, romantic rooms in the main mansion. In addition, several private vacation villas are nestled within the 30 hilltop acres.
Built by a wealthy industrialist in 1902, the Wilburton Inn was once the largest privately held estate in the region. Now, it is enjoyed by many. It hosts pampered guests, retreats and reunions, destination weddings, murder mysteries, and conferences. Guests are welcome to enjoy the curated sculpture gardens, swimming pool, tennis courts, and the Museum of the Creative Process.
On arrival, we thought the brick exterior of the mansion appeared austere but found creature comforts and welcoming touches inside. We were warmly welcomed as we stepped back in time to the fine details of the mansion, a hub of activity at the Wilburton Inn.
I especially delighted in the seasonal flower arrangements, bursting with color. A rose centerpiece showcased the beauty of the season, one of the many elegant touches of hospitality at the Wilburton Inn. I couldn’t help but smile and take in the heady fragrance.
We stayed in two adjoining rooms on the outskirts of the sprawling property. Each spacious room had two double beds, a private bathroom, a south-facing patio (yay, morning sunshine!) and a large picture window with stunning views of the Green Mountains. These accommodations were simple and private. They were ideal for our blended family of six.
We briefly explored our surroundings and discovered cosmos blooming among other wildflowers in this natural setting among the mountains. The grounds were so peaceful and restorative!
After taking naps to recover from our long drive from Boston, we were all hungry! Luckily, we didn‘t have to go far. The Wilburton Inn sponsored a delicious alfresco farm-to-table dinner sourced by the nearby family farm and bakery. (Mmm…Roasted Garlic, a sweet, creamy appetizer served with warm bread. My favorite!)
We noticed a small group of tables set up nearby, presumably prepared for a private event. Can you imagine a wedding here? With the expansive grounds and several private vacation villas, it would make a perfect destination wedding. Plus, they cater up to 250 guests.
Next, we explored the Wilburton Inn’s dramatic and diverse collection in the Sculpture Garden. I treasured the moment to take pause and reflect.
After dinner, we loved socializing with other friendly guests among the candlelit Mason jars glowing into dusk. As our day came to a close, Jim and I selected from delicious wines and listened to live entertainment. What a great way to end our first day in Manchester, Vermont!
Reaching the Summit of Mount Equinox
Feeling rejuvenated, we did a little exploring of the local area the next day.
Main Street Manchester is a quintessential New England experience lined by quaint shops. As we meandered, we encountered friendly shopkeepers and unique offerings.
Just down the road is Mount Equinox, the highest peak of the Taconic Range. We ventured the 5.2-mile drive up Skyline Drive.
TIP 1: It can be windy at the summit of Mount Equinox! Bring a jacket.
TIP 2: There are indoor and outdoor picnic tables at the top if you want to pack a lunch.
The mountains roll as far as the eye can see, reminding me of the Scottish Highlands. As we climbed, each turn revealed a new vista to behold. In fact, we stopped multiple times in awe for photos, only to find the next corner held even more beautiful scenes to behold!
And finally, we reached the top to see the most incredible views from the top of Mount Equinox! I can only imagine what this looks like in Autumn‘s peak foliage season!'The birds-eye perspective of the mountain range from the summit of Mount Equinox is incredible!' #Manchester #Vermont Click To Tweet
In addition, we visited the Saint Bruno Scenic Viewing Center. Here we found artifacts and videos about the Carthusian Monks, a meditation/prayer chapel, and cover from the day‘s high winds.
TIP 3: Public Restroom!
I highly recommend this attraction. It’s more than worth the few dollars donation collected at the bottom. (It even impressed our teenagers.)
Our trip to the top of Mount Equinox is one I’ll never forget. It felt as though we had reached the top of the world! I found great comfort knowing largely undisturbed areas of nature, like the Wilburton Inn and Mount Equinox, still exist in the world.
It was truly restorative and relaxing, and one of the few opportunities we could all get away together—right here in New England.
Learn more about the Wilburton Inn and or explore more lodging options in Vermont here.
p.s. The multi-talented Levis family owns and runs the inn. They are on-site and always happy to engage in conversation that makes you feel like an old friend. If you’re curious about Dr. Albert Levis’ work, here’s his TED Talk about Creativity and science. (Warning: It’s heady stuff!)