The Play’s the Thing of course,
but there are so many reasons beyond the Festival to come to Dorset and the Shires of Vermont. The Dorset Marble Quarry on the outskirts of town is for the brave and bold: the best way to cool off fast! Locals love to hang out on the grass with picnic lunches to watch the uninitiated jump, dive or inch their way into the quarry’s cold waters.
Whether you like the road less traveled or more popular trails, there are myriad routes and walks to take for hiking, biking, horseback riding and just meandering. Hike over 30 miles of family friendly trails at Merck Forest & Farmland Center or Emerald Lake State Park just up the road from the theatre, or drive to the top of Mt. Equinox in Manchester for some fabulous views.
Check out the amazing calendar to choose from hundreds of arts events statewide at the Vermont Arts Council Year of the Arts 2017 website.
Southern Vermonters are real farmers, not foodies. And their food scene is local.
They have been into seasonal produce, locally sourced food and artisanal small batches long before the terms organic and localvore became hip and mainstream. Summer farmers markets abound in Dorset, Manchester, and Bennington. Sure you can head up to Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour in Waterbury, VT (which is not far from the Green Mountain Coffee visitor center!), but staying local means you can savor and purchase small batches of just about everything every Sunday at the Dorset Farmers Market. Head over to the Dorset Union Store right on the green for sandwiches, baked goods, and a soft serve cone, or visit Mother Myrick in Manchester for your chocolate fix.
Dining options abound with bars and restaurants for all budgets, all within 10 miles of the Playhouse. Check out some of our favorite places to grab an pre-show bite!
For a more complete list of dining choices, visit the Dorset Chamber of Commerce
Dorset Village is a destination shopper’s dream.
Some of our favorites include the world-famous J.K. Adams, which features woodcrafts and kitchen goods known to draw crowds from across the region. Don’t stop there! Mettowee Mill Nursery, our fabulous nursery and garden shop, can turn anyone into a green thumb, and no Dorset visit would be complete without stopping at the H.N. Williams Store, a 6th generation family-run country store where you can find everything from designer clothes to worms! If you’re here on a Sunday, don’t forget to visit the Dorset Farmers Market for choice local goods…year round!
Manchester, our neighbor to the south, has plenty to offer in its over 40 boutique designer stores. Enjoy Manchester Designer Outlets‘ outdoor mall, featuring all the usual suspects–Brooks Brothers, Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren–plus a few surprises!
Scattered in between the standard outlets are Vermont artisan shops, specialty food shops, including gourmet supply stores like The Vermont Kitchen Supply Store and local lingerie shop Joy All Things Underthings. Manchester’s popular consignment shop, Zippy Chicks is not to be missed! Need accessories? Hop over to The Gold Trout in Granville, NY, for some gorgeous accessories and gifts. Finish off your visit with all things outdoors at Orvis and then reward yourself with some homemade world-famous buttercrunch from Mother Myricks Confectionary.
For more information on top-notch shopping in the region, go to the Dorset Chamber of Commerce.