The town of Brattleboro rests along the Connecticut River in the southeasternmost corner of Vermont. Accessible from the first three exits of I-91 in Vermont, Brattleboro is less than four hours from New York and just over two hours from Boston. With a population of 12,000, Brattleboro has the tight-knit feel of many small New England towns but still maintains a vibrant community and great variety of things to do.
A trip to the downtown area of Brattleboro will lead you to many restaurants, art galleries, bookstores, sporting goods stores, and other small businesses and shops frequented by locals and tourists alike. Brattleboro is also renowned for its vibrant arts community. On the first Friday of every month, the town hosts an event called Gallery Walk, during which local artists and performers showcase their work in different spaces in the downtown area. Included in the town’s many arts-related organizations are the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, a mid-sized contemporary museum located downtown; the Vermont Jazz Center, which hosts concert series and offers lessons and workshops; and the New England Youth Theater, an organization that teaches young performers from around Windham County.
The Brattleboro public school system includes three public elementary schools, as well as a middle school and high school that serve the surrounding towns in the area. Both through the school system as well through town’s recreation department, children and teenagers can participate in many sports, outdoor activities, and summer camps throughout the year.
The town’s close proximity to Vermont’s wilderness is another great draw. The West River and Connecticut River meet within the town’s limits, and the many other lakes and streams throughout Windham County allow for endless swimming, fishing, and boating opportunities. Hikers can enjoy miles of great trails in nearby New Hampshire, in the Green Mountains, or even right in town in the well-developed Retreat Trail System. And of course, the winter sports in Vermont are some of the best in the country, attracting skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers, and snowshoers from miles around.
As only the second town in the nation to become Fair Trade certified, Brattleboro has a reputation for supporting locally owned businesses and producers. If visiting the Brattleboro Area Farmers’ Market or the local food co-op, you’ll find great local products from the many small farms in the area, including the great cheeses and maple syrup that Vermont is known for.
To visitors and long-time residents alike, Brattleboro has the great sense of community that many small towns have while still offering so much to do in the area. It is a unique and ever-changing town that has earned its reputation as a great place to live.