Manchester is more than just a shopping mall - so much more, in fact.
There's plenty to do in Manchester on a quick day trip to one of central Connecticut's most vibrant towns besides head to the mall, but if you do plan to head to Manchester for the day you might want to leave a little time to stop by the mall to check out the shops or grab a bite to eat as well.
Nicknamed the "Silk City," Manchester thrived in the 1800s as an industrial and textile center and home to the one of the world's largest silk mills, and no trip to Manchester is complete without checking out the historic downtown area where many of those mills were centered and visiting the local shops, restaurants and museums on and around Main Street.
In the 1800s, the Cheney family founded what would eventually become the world's largest silk mill. Many of those mills, along with the houses of the workers and the mansion homes of the Cheney family, still stand today, and that area of town has become known as the Cheney Brothers HIstoric District, which is listed as a National Historic Landmark.
While you are in the downtown area, you are also in close proximity to the , a town-owned 18-hole regulation-length golf course that offers a fun but challenging golf experience at affordable rates. And be sure to check out Manchester's four local museums in the area as well: the Fire Museum is located at 230 Pine St. inside a former firehouse that was built in 1901; the offers fun for children and the whole family, and includes a rotating selection of educational exhibits as well as a collection of small live animals (be sure to say hi to , the official Connnectciut State Groundhog when you go); the Old Manchester Museum is operated by the Manchester Historical Society and is the place to go to learn about the town's rich and vibrant history; and the Cheney Homestead Museum, one of the original Cheney mansions, offers a glimpse into the life of a wealthy industrial family in the 1800s. Be sure to check with each museum before you visit for open dates and hours, however, as they can vary.
Because of its abundance of rivers and brooks that bisect the town, which provided power for Manchester's paper and textile industry past, Manchester is also an ideal destination for hikers and bikers. The town's various trails offer plenty of scenic and challenging options for both the novice or seasoned hiker or mountain biker, while the local section of the that runs through town is a favorite spot for walkers, strollers and joggers.
And, of course, no trip to Manchester would be complete without a visit to the mall area. Stroll through the indoor Shoppes at Buckland Hills mall on a hot day and soak up that luxurious air-conditioning as you browse or shop, or check out the numerous local and national retailers that have been built up around the mall over the years.
You might want to save room for dinner or dessert when you go as well, because there's plenty of tempting and tasty dinning options in Manchester. Renowned local eateries include , , and Mulberry Street Pizza, while there's plenty of national restaurant chains that call the mall area home as well.