I can't imagine any time of the year when a stay at Vermont's historic Equinox wouldn't be pleasurable, but this quintessential New England inn, in the quintessential village of Manchester, seems particularly well-suited to the radiance of fall.
We visited a few weeks after the autumnal equinox, when the day/night equilibrium tips in favor of night, when leaves underfoot outnumber those on the trees, pumpkins and corn stalks are de rigeur, and wood smoke hangs in the air.
It seemed appropriate to have as a traveling companion a friend from St. Andrews, Scotland. The Equinox has had a long association with the fabled Gleneagles Hotel in my friend June's birthplace—Perthshire.
We arrived after dark and missed our first glimpse of Union Street's picture-postcard scenery—stately maples, a row of white clapboard buildings, and Vermont marble sidewalks. The hotel sits between the 3,800-foot Mount Equinox to the north and the rolling fairways of its 18-hole Gleneagles course to the south.
Since 1769, sojourners and locals have supped and stayed at a succession of variously named inns that operated on the site of The Equinox. The first was the Marsh Tavern, now just a small corner of the hotel. In 1853, the Orvis family, of fly-fishing fame, introduced an 85-year period of stability. They also gave the hotel its most enduring name in honor of the mountain dubbed "Equinox" by the Vermont surveyor general who reached the summit on the autumnal equinox in 1823.
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