Hildene in Manchester Vermont

Last Updated on August 8, 2023 by Ellen Christian

My Mom and I took a day trip to Hildene in Manchester Vermont.  Hildene is the family home of Robert Lincoln. Robert Lincoln was the only child of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln to survive to adulthood.

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Hildene in Manchester Vermont

Hildene in Manchester Vermont

 As an adult, he returned to Vermont and purchased 500 acres of land to build what would become the Lincoln family home for 70 years.  412 acres of the original estate are still intact. 

Hildene is a Georgian Revival Mansion that was built in 1905. During that time period, it was considered to be a cottage.

Guided tours of Hildene

 Self guided tours are available throughout the home. I loved being able to see how the Lincolns lived.  The bedrooms and living area were absolutely beautiful.  

My favorite room was the kitchen where it was set up to look like it was in the middle of meal preparation. I just fell in love with that old cast iron stove.  

Visitors can watch a video presentation about the family in the Welcome Center when they first arrive.  Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take photographs inside the home but trust me, it’s amazing.

Hildene in Manchester Vermont

Formal gardens in Hildene Vermont

After you have completed the self guided tour, you can walk through the formal garden.  Robert’s daughter, Jessie, designed the formal garden in 1907 as a gift for her mother.

There are closely cropped privet hedges laid out to resemble a stained glass window when seen from her mother’s second floor sitting room.  

The formal garden is absolutely gorgeous and was replanted using flowers of like colors based on the original.  

There is a pergola at the end of the garden that was recreated from historical photos.

Hildene in Manchester Vermont
Formal Garden

The gardens at Hildene

There are other types of gardens that you can visit at Hildene as well.  Gardens include Cutting and Kitchen Gardens, Butterfly Garden, Observatory Garden and Soft Fruit Cage.  

You can also visit Sunbeam, a 1903 Pullman palace car. This exhibit is a stop on Vermont’s African American Heritage Trail.  

Hildene in Manchester Vermont

The Rowland Agricultural Center allows the public to view the cheese-making process from  milking Hildene’s herd of Nubian goats through processing and packaging as well as the aging room

Cutting Garden

Hildene in Manchester Vermont
Soft Fruit Cage

One of my favorite parts of our visit to Hildene in Manchester Vermont was the wagon ride that took us on a journey from the Welcome Center down the Maple Trail, through the meadows and the wetlands.

Hildene in Manchester Vermont
The Meadow Trail

The wagon ride stops at one end of the Floating Boardwalk and allowed us to walk over the 600′ floating boardwalk to the other end where we got back on the wagon.


Hildene in Manchester Vermont
The Floating Boardwalk

The farm at Hildene

We took the Farm Trail and stopped at the farm to see the sheep and chickens and then continued on to visit the 1832 Schoolhouse and then returned to the Welcome Center.

Hildene in Manchester Vermont

So, the entire trip took us about two hours and was absolutely gorgeous.

Hildene in Manchester Vermont

Hildene, the Museum Store, exhibits, observatory and many gardens are open daily, year round except for major holidays. I recommend you allow at least 4 hours to see everything that Hildene has to offer. Hildene is open from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.


Manchester, Vermont


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18 thoughts on “Hildene in Manchester Vermont”

  1. I super like the vintage car.  Even I can't visit that place it's like I am there because of your post. Thanks for sharing it. Maybe I hope someday I can visit this place. It's so peaceful and nice to look around. I had fun reading and seeing this post.
  2. I love visiting historic locations. Over the last couple years I have become fascinated with how families lived 150 years ago. Hildene looks like a destination I would love to visit. Tks for the tour:)
  3. Wow! Just gorgeous. That home is exactly what I imagine when I think of an estate or mansion  while reading a book. What a fun place to visit and learn about. Thanks for sharing.
  4. Wow so much beautiful history! I love the wagon ride up from admission through the Maple Trail; I think that would be my favorite part too! It looks like you really got to experience the beauty and trip back in time!
  5. Visiting Vermont is actually on my bucket list along with riding on a train so hopefully I'll get to take a train to  Vermont.  This has to be one of the most beautiful states to visit.

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