VisitingNewEngland Header Travel Site
  Find a Hotel in New England      Discover the Best Diners in New England      Explore Massachusetts Town Greens   

This is your place for travel planning...    Check out these feature stories on special small businesses in New England -- great reads for locals and travelers!

Love One-of-a-Kind Towns? Try Brattleboro, Vermont

Brattleboro VTFowntown

Brattleboro, Vermont.

by Eric Hurwitz. Article updated on 11/30/16

Share this New England travel article with your friends
  Downtown Brattleboro, Vt., was nearly silent on a late spring Sunday afternoon, but the atmosphere of the town came across loud and clear.

Two old townies conversed in front of the former Army Navy store now known as Sam's Outdoor Outfitters. A middle-aged man with very long hair walked the Main Street singing slightly out of tune some unidentifiable folk rock song. A few families were headed out for dinner, downtown. A group of travelers were walking the side streets, complimenting the beautiful old homes and restored brick building architecture. At the fire station, I asked the best way to get back to Boston, and one of the firefighters with a conservative personality talked with me like an old friend and went over ever detail to make sure I was heading in that direction, and not toward Upstate New York.

It would be easy for me, like every other travel guide, to talk about Brattleboro's great small-town arts scene (it is listed in John Villani's book The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America) and the myriad locally-owned stores, restaurants and cafes up and down the long Main Street, but I'd prefer to talk about the feeling of the town. Sure, the thriving downtown businesses and museums, theater and galleries are something to revel in a town of only about 12,000 people. What I like best about Brattleboro, however, is that you have an interesting mix of people -- kind of like Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass., comes to the country -- and that citizens and local elected and appointed officials came together over the past 30 years to revitalize this formerly drab New England mill town into something special for the world to see. Sure, some areas still have a rough-around-the-edges look but, for the most part, the revitalization of this town has been nothing short of miraculous. Plus, it's located on the Connecticut River and is surrounded by mountains for an innate scenic beauty in southern Vermont. For some like me, just walking around Brattleboro and taking in its groovy-to-traditional makeup is enough (although I typically don't sing folk-rock tunes in any downtown setting).

Clearly Brattleboro isn't just another town that has downtown shops and restaurants. There are so many destinations like that. Brattleboro is a place with its own personality, powered by the people -- whether it be hippies and activists, rednecks, the blue blood, the middle class enjoying affordable living, entrepreneurs, New Yorkers looking for a new life or vacationers supporting the terrific downtown. People seem to co-exist here peacefully and are genuinely proud to call this southern Vermont town their own.

We also see amazing restoration happening in Bellows Falls, and White River Junction, Vt., but those communities aren't quite there yet (very close, though,and definitely worth a look). Brattleboro, however has arrived, and seems to be getting better everyday!

Book a hotel room in Brattleboro through and get a great rate

If you enjoyed this article, please share through any of the social media buttons below -- thanks!

Eric wrote these helpful, fun New England travel books just for you...

Best Diners In New England Kindle bookMassachusetts Town Greens Book

Stay connected with VisitingNewEngland at  Facebook Social Media Button Facebook  Twitter Social Media Button Twitter Social Media Pinterest Button Pinterest  Social Media Google+ Button Google+


Featuring our latest New England travel insider's news updates and stories, discounts and coupons!

Relax and stay for a while: Start with our navigation links and also our articles on the best New England towns and cities, hidden travel destinations, scenic drives, seafood restaurants and lobster shacks, lobster rolls, ice cream stands, and country stores, as well as our New England summer, fall, winter and spring sections. Then take a fun online journey on VisitingNewEngland to read the rest of our articles for your trip planning needs!

VisitingNewEngland's small business commitment to excellence: is a proud, small business based in New England. We love it when one of our articles helps you with your New England vacation and travel trip planning! That's what we are here for: to serve you in the most genuine, helpful way possible.

Old-fashioned New England work ethic: All articles, photos by Eric Hurwitz unless otherwise noted. Eric also manages the site's layout and design, social media, and public affairs.

All this, and blogs too! Also, please check out our authentic, informative and entertaining New England travel blogs with original content: The Thrifty New England Traveler (New England travel ideas on a budget), The New England Travel and Vacation Gazette (more original New England travel articles), and Old School Boston (warm memories of Boston and New England from back in the day).

Home | Connecticut | Maine | Massachusetts | New Hampshire | Rhode Island | Vermont | Attractions | Dining Out | About Us | Press Room | Privacy | Contact Us