Tourist spot in southern Vermont
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180 Main St. (Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce)
Downtown Brattleboro, laid out along a dramatically ascending hill beside the Connecticut River, is a little like a piñata: there's a lot tucked inside it. With a population of only 12,000, Brattleboro is a small community, but it has such wit and variety, partly because of its connections with nearby Marlboro College, that it seems a larger place. Brattleboro has theater, music and art; in fact, it was named one of the top ten "art towns" with populations less than 30,000 in the book The 100 Best Art Towns in America by John Villani (a designation that puts the town, as Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jerry Goldberg points out, "in a group with Santa Fe."). It has events that reveal its character, like the art gallery walks on the first Friday of every month, and a truly distinguished festival, the annual Strolling of the Heifers Parade. This year's parade, scheduled for June 7, will feature, in the words of the town's announcement, "100 flower-bedecked bovine beauties... ambling up Main Street." Floats, bagpipers and baton twirlers will follow. The theme of this year's parade will be "Live Green!" In Brattleboro and its environs you can do almost anything you like. You can visit a bookstore or crafts store with wares that are carefully chosen, not just unloaded from a chain distributor's truck. You can get married or get a civil union without a blood test or a waiting period. You can visit the pipe organ museum, a survival of the prestigious Estey organ factory here. You can hike, ride horseback, play golf. You can cap off your day with a bite, a dram and some live music at McNeill's Brewery or the Mole's Eye Café, or curl up with the book you discovered earlier, which just may be a book about the history of the active yet contemplative and altogether original community that is Brattleboro.
2nd: Mount Snow Resort
39 Mount Snow Rd.
West Dover, VT
100 Veterans Memorial Dr. (Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce)