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Shopping in Southern Vermont : 6 Favorites

by Linda Warner

Find unique gifts in Manchester and Bennington – “The Shires of Vermont.”

Who doesn’t spend some vacation time doing a little shopping? Whether you are looking for small gifts for the folks back home or something unusual for an upcoming wedding or birthday, shopping in Vermont is truly unique. And because Vermont is home to so many fine artists and skilled craftsmen, you will discover beautiful, locally-crafted items you can’t find anywhere else. You’ll see everything from handmade jewelry to magnificent wooden bowls, to one-of-a-kind glass and pottery.

Two special events coming up offer wonderful shopping opportunities. In Manchester, between August 4-7 you can save at over 50 retailers during the Annual Sidewalk Sale. And then, head to Bennington from August 5-7 for the Bennington Arts Weekend.

Here are some more suggestions to make your shopping both enjoyable and successful:

NorthshireNorthshire Bookstore
4869 Main Street, Manchester, VT
As an independent, family-owned bookstore, Northshire Bookstore is a little bit different from the bookstores you may be familiar with. From the owners to the staff, they know books, live books, and love books. And, fully a third of the store is dedicated to children. Northshire Bookstore is a wonderful place to browse. Need a gift? The staff is happy to use their expertise to help you. More info

DesignerOutletsManchester Designer Outlets
97 Depot Street, Manchester, VT
Need a little retail therapy? Nothing works better than an afternoon exploring the Manchester Designer Outlets. Shop the world’s best brands from Ann Taylor to Kate Spade to Eileen Fisher. All at 30-70% off retail! More than 40 outlet shops, plenty of restaurants and cafes to refuel – sounds like a plan for a perfect afternoon in Manchester. More info

Olive & Ives
4973 Main Street, Manchester, VT
If you think olive oil comes from the grocery store and is all pretty much the same, you really need to visit Olive & Ives in Manchester. Even owner Melissa Cochran felt that way until a friend introduced her to the differences in oils from various olives and regions of the world. The idea for Olive & Ives was born at first taste. With the current interest in olive oil because of its health benefits, the time was right to promote these wonderful oils to the public. In addition to olive oils, the store carries gourmet vinegars, which are just as varied and extraordinary. For a gift that is truly unusual, pick up a gift basket from Olive & Ives. More info

Above All … Vermont
210 Depot Street, Manchester, VT
For a shopping experience unlike any other, stop into Above All Vermont. This business is modeled on the general store of yore with wide plank flooring and shelves stocked with everything from locally-made specialty foods to toys you may remember from long ago. Whether you want to bring back some Vermont maple syrup or something more whimsical, we guarantee this shopping stop will be the most fun you’ve had all day. More info

HawkinsHouseHawkins House
262 North Street, Bennington, VT
Hawkins House offers a treasure trove of hand-crafted jewelry, pottery, glass and other gifts. Whatever your gift-buying goals, this store will have numerous selections from which you can choose. It even has a section of children’s gifts. Be warned, however. You will have a hard time leaving without buying yourself a little “gift.” More info

CamelotCamelot Antique Center
66 Colgate Heights, Bennington, VT
Be prepared to be amazed. Camelot Antique Center is home to over 200 antique dealers with merchandise displayed in over 25,000 square feet of space! Find everything from jewelry to china to toys to furniture. You’ll see pieces your grandmother owned, things from your childhood, and items you only recognize from old movies. Give in to your nostalgia since prices are reasonable and selection almost endless. More info

For more shopping ideas in Vermont, check out’s Shopping and Products page and our Guide to Shopping in Southern Vermont. And if you need somewhere to put your bags after a full day of shopping, you can find a place to stay in Southern Vermont!

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