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Sportsman's delight: the original Orvis store in Manchester, Vermont

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I had been to Orvis stores in many well-heeled towns and they're cute boutiques . . . but nothing prepared me for the original store in Manchester, Vermont! The handsome two-story A-frame lodge-like building not only has the sportswear that they're famous for, but fine shotguns, hand-tied fishing lures and other things that the sportman/woman would need.

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Founded by Charles F. Orvis in Manchester, VT in 1856, Orvis is America’s oldest mail order outfitter and longest continually-operating fly fishing business. It's been privately owned by the Perkins family since 1965.

There's also live trout in a little man-made run to watch and mounted stuffed animals. People can sit around the fireplace in comfy, wing-back leather chairs. Dogs are welcome in the store!

I kind of see the clothing choices as comparable to birds in the wild: women as the pea-hen and the great stuff for the guys. If you can fit guy's sizes, they have all kinds of cool things!

They've got outdoors classes and outings/getaways -- including luxe women's get aways -- that they arrange from the store.

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