Three Arts and Heritage Attractions in the Shires of Vermont
In southern Vermont, arts and history are everywhere, waiting to be discovered. The region’s museums and art centers bring the history of Vermont to life. Learn stories of innovative and passionate Vermonters through interactive exhibits, paintings and folk art, family-friendly displays, and events.
Visit museums, browse art galleries, attend a play or a concert, enjoy an outdoor sculpture park, or explore a historic site. Discover Vermont’s artistic and historic culture through hands-on exploration at these must-visit arts and heritage attractions in southern Vermont.
Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home: A Place to Learn, Explore, and Connect with Nature
The former summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln, son of President Lincoln, and Mary Lincoln, the historic Lincoln family estate is now a hub for education and exploration in Manchester. Hildene is committed to conservation, stewardship, and sustainability, offering stunning grounds and formal gardens, 12 miles of year-round trails, a working farm, informative tours, and engaging exhibits.
Hildene, formed from two old English words, means “valley with stream” and sits perched on a hill overlooking the Taconic Mountains, Green Mountains, and Battenkill Valley and River. The 412-acre estate houses 14 historic buildings, including the Georgian revival mansion home, formal garden and observatory, carriage barn housing the Welcome Center and Museum Store, restored in 1903 Pullman car Sunbean and Dene Farm.
As the southernmost stop of Vermont’s African American Heritage Trail, this thought-provoking destination features the “Many Voices” exhibit, which examines the complex history and legacy of Black porters who worked for the Pullman Company after the abolition of slavery.
Whether you are a history buff, nature lover, or inspired by architecture, Hildene offers a diverse range of experiences. Visit late-May through mid-June to take in the beauty of peak peony season or stop in during December to experience a Victoria Christmas.
Step Back in Time at the Park McCullough Historic Governor’s Mansion
The Park McCullough Historic Governor’s Mansion is a stunning example of Victorian architecture and a fascinating glimpse into the Gilded Age. The mansion was built in 1864-65 by Trenor Park, an attorney and entrepreneur, and it is set on 200 acres of grounds that offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
The mansion is a prime example of the Second Empire style and incorporates architectural features of the Romantic Revival style. It is filled with original furnishings and artwork, and it offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience the lifestyle of a Victorian family.
The mansion was visited by President Benjamin Harrison in 1890, and it is also the site of the Mile-Around, a walking trail that was set up by Trenor Park to promote calm and relaxation. The trail is now managed by the Fund for North Bennington and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Today, the Park McCullough Historic Governor’s Mansion is open to the public for tours. Visitors can explore the mansion’s 35 rooms, learn about its history, and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The mansion also offers a variety of special events throughout the year, including weddings, concerts, and festivals.
Explore the Rich Culture of Southern Vermont at the Bennington Museum
The Bennington Museum is a treasure trove of art and history from southern Vermont, eastern New York State, northwestern Massachusetts, and southern New Hampshire. The museum’s collection spans from the 18th century to the present, and includes paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, textiles, and historical artifacts.
The museum’s fourteen galleries are arranged chronologically, so visitors can trace the development of art and culture in the region over time. The museum also has a library full of genealogical resources, and a 10-acre park with changing sculptures.
The Bennington Museum is committed to providing innovative exhibitions and programming that engage visitors of all ages. The museum offers a variety of educational programs, including workshops, lectures, and concerts. The museum also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, such as family festivals and art fairs.
Whether you are a history buff, art lover, or simply interested in learning more about the culture of southern Vermont, the Bennington Museum is a must-visit destination. The museum is a vibrant and exciting place to explore the past and present, and it is sure to leave you with a lasting impression.
These are just a few of the many arts and heritage attractions in the Shires of Vermont. With its rich history and culture, Vermont is a great place to explore the past and present. So whether you’re interested in history, art, nature, or simply want to experience something new, be sure to add these destinations to your Vermont bucket list.