Brattleboro, Vermont with Prof. Kitty

Peter Havens

What is up in Brattleboro, Vermont? We call it the "one and only," because there is no other place called Brattleboro anywhere in the world. If you are planning a visit to this sweet spot in Vermont, or if you LIVE here, or even if you're checking it out with no clear plans to visit, I hope this list is useful.

A disclaimer: There are many, many other things that people love to do in Brattleboro, Vermont. This is just my personal list... a mere taste of the town's charms.

Books:
Everyone's Books (Local indie bookstore that also has cards and bumper stickers)
Brattleboro Books (Browse-for-hours used books)
Mystery on Main Street (mystery and more, esp. Gorey)
Baskets (a trove of paperbacks in Harmony parking lot)

Dining:
TJ Buckley's (the best place in town looks like a diner but is high-end nirvana within. Cash only please)
Peter Havens (superior dining and heavenly cocktails)
Whetstone Station (brew-pub with 2 floors of river views)
Duo (new Main Street spot is super-popular and super-sleek)
Hazel (whether pulled pork or pizza, this is the place)

Fireworks
 

Lunch/Dinner:
Amy's Bakery (soup, sandwiches, coffee with a river & NH mountain view)
The Marina (fries, clams, lobster mac & cheese, and West River overlook--try for sunset!)
Top of the Hill Grill (a summertime favorite, be prepared for a line and 'cue)
Chelsea Royal Diner (your typical excellent diner, with creamee stand in summertime)
Shin La (this Korean food is a town mainstay; sushi too!)
Panda North  (Our beloved Chinese restaurant does it well)
Superfresh Organic Cafe (the famous hippie spirit lives on in this vegan/gluten-free hotspot)

Panda North


Specialty Foods:
Grafton Cheese (Cheese & great gifts, plus a petting zoo for families)
North End Butchers (obsession of many locals: fresh cuts & deli meats, local produce, sandwiches)
Windham Wines (next to North End Butcher, our local wine experts--ask about tastings)
Adam's Seafood (need fresh seafood or shellfish? come here first!)

Drinks:
Metropolis (best bet for the local music scene)
Arkham (purposely a dive bar, off Harmony Parking lot)
Kipling's (come here for your Guinness and great juke box--cash only)
Mocha Joe's (locally roasted coffee, be prepared for a wee line)

Groceries:
The Brattleboro Food Coop (straddling the line between local and trendy... overpriced or just awesome?)
West Brattleboro Farmer's Market (from May to October, everyone comes here on Saturdays)
Winter Farmer's Market (from November-April, find farm/local-made delights downtown at the River Garden on Main Street, every Saturday)
Lilac Ridge Farm (turn off Rte 9 onto Greenleaf for a lovely small farmstand... owners were in the movie Food Inc.)
Dutton's Berry Farm (kind of our permanent Farm Stand--myriad produce plus jams, sun-dried tomatoes and much more)

Farmer's Market summer haul


Hiking/Outdoors--Google for more information/maps!
West River Trail
Mount Wantastiquet (actually in New Hampshire, hike up the mountain that looms over town from the east. Trailhead accessible off Rte 119 in Hinsdale, NH)
Vermont Canoe Touring Center (rentals) (open May-October)
Cortland Hill Orchard (September holds a BOUNTY of delicious Cortlands)
Scott Farm Orchard (diverse heirloom orchard where "Cider House Rules" was filmed)

West River Trail


History & Art:
Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (our very own super-cool museum)
Estey Organ Museum (did you know Brattleboro is significant in organ history?)
Gallery Walk (if you're here the first Friday of the month, check out our galleries!)

Cotton Mill Hill installation

Nightlife:
Latchis Theatre (the one & only movie house in town)
Hooker Dunham Theater (check out the musical acts coming this way!)
New England Youth Theater (sells out quickly: highly acclaimed young performers)
Brattleboro Music Center (many magnificent performances and series)
Vermont Jazz Center (world class jazz venue & school--shows usually on Saturdays)
Stone Church dances: Ballroom/Latin, African, Contra


Festivals:
Strolling of the Heifers (another one & only for our adorable town)
Northern Roots (Celtic, fiddle, more!)
Literary Festival (once Saul Bellow spoke to an over-capacity crowd... what could be next?)
Film Festival
Women's Film Festival
Winter Carnival
Brattleboro-West Arts Studio Tour
Cotton Mill Hill Open Studio & Sale
Touch a Truck (hospital fund-raiser and horn-free... your little ones may LOVE this one)
Baconfest (check latest Facebook...)
Brattleboro Brewers Festival (how could you go wrong?)


Shopping:
Please try walking down Main Street, Elliot Street, and Flat Street in downtown Brattleboro for LOTS of shopping choices.

at a Main Street antique shop


Races:
Maple 5K (late September)
Walk Run & Roll (early September)
Bill Powers Memorial 4-mile Firecracker
Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 3-mile


Kids:
Brattleboro Retreat Petting Farm
Kid's Playce
Whippersnappers
Crowell Lot Park playground
Living Memorial Park playground
Brooks Memorial Library kid's room (10-2 on Saturdays)
Avenue Grocery or Chelsea Royal Diner for creamees

Fun times at Kids Playce

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is the Book Cellar coming back? That was my favorite Brattleboro book store, followed by one on High Street when it was owned by a cranky New York guy who had excellent taste in books and always a great selection.

Also: Bring Baker's Office Supply back downtown instead of off Putney Road. What's up with taking it out of downtown?? And I miss the drug store that used to be by the Book Cellar too.

Zephyr is a great art supply store! The Brown and Roberts Hardware is great too. I buy my axes there still.

Finally: Sam's is AWESOME. It's one of the highlights of a trip to Brattleboro.

Wendy said...

It's a fabulous list. Thank you, indeed, for putting all that together! Most impressive little town.