Among those who once made Manchester  their summer home was Abraham Lincoln’s son, Robert Todd Lincoln, who entertained guests at Hildene (1005 Hildene Rd., 802/362-1788, www.hildene.org , 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. daily, $12.50 adults, $5 children 6–14, children under 6 free), a Georgian Revival mansion with grounds overlooking the Battenkill River. Musical performances and craft fairs frequently take place on the grounds.
See how the masters cast and tied at the American Museum of Fly Fishing (4070 Main St./Rte 7A, 802/362-3300, www.amff.com , 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tue.–Sat., $5 adults, $3 children 5–14, donations). The quaint museum showcases flies tied by Mary Orvis Marbury and other originators of the sport, along with rods owned by such celebrities as Ernest Hemingway, Babe Ruth, and George H. W. Bush.
Few art museums are as beautifully situated as the Southern Vermont Art Center (West Rd., 802/362-1405, www.svac.org , 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Sat.; noon–5 p.m. Sun., admission donations $8 adults, $3 students, children under 13 free), which has its wooded grounds on the flank of Mount Equinox. Inside, the center plays host to traveling art exhibitions, jazz and classical music concerts, and author readings.
For a closer look at the mountain (and a more distant view of the valley), take the Mount Equinox Skyline Drive (off Rte. 7A, 802/362-1115, www.equinoxmountain.com/skylinedrive/ , $12 car and driver, $2 per passenger, children under 12 free). The winding toll road climbs 3,800 feet to the summit for an unparalleled view of the surrounding peaks and sometimes sightings of eagles and peregrine falcons.