Showing Someone Around Brattleboro?

I’ve lived here for 15 years. I know there are so many amazing things about the Brattleboro area, but fear that like most folks, I’ve become blind to some of them due to familiarity.  

I have a friend from out of town coming for a week.  Suggestions on local must-do’s? Hidden gems? Things I may have forgotten we have?

I’ve got local restaurants covered.  We’ll definitely take in a movie at the Latchis.  Visiting the Brattleboro Museum is on the agenda. If the weather cooperates, we’ll hike the Retreat trails and maybe Fort Dummer. 

Thanks for your suggestions!

Comments | 10

  • History Center

    Drop by the Brattleboro History Center – Th, F, S.

    A recent feature is/was toys, like a dollhouse made by employees of the Estey Organ Company, carved trains, and more.

    • A few oldies but goodies

      If your guest is here New Year’s Eve don’t forget the fireworks at the Retreat Meadows at 9:30pm.

      New Year’s Day there will be hayrides and the Amidon concert – I’m sure the paper will have the First Night info.

      I always used to take visiting friends to see the Newfane Common (if they are still doing the luminaria, a dusk visit is nice)with a stop at the fancy “old fashioned” store across the street. If it’s daytime, stop in to the bank on Route 30 – it still looks as it did a very long time ago. Plus, the drive there will take you past a nice covered bridge on Route 30.

      If your guest is here on a Saturday, there is the winter farmer’s market at the Rivergarden.

      Weather depending, don’t forget the trails on Wantastiquet. Going to the top may be a bit too icy, but up to the first lookout ought to be okay. (I only walked those trails once in 18 yeas when there weren’t already other footprints in a fresh snow.)

      There is also a nice break from winter by visiting the century old plus conservatory at Smith College in Northampton. It’s free, and there are several plant rooms in which to wander around. It re-opens Jan 2. And if you’re at Smith, there is a wonderful little art museum (admission charge) on the campus.

      There is a large indoor butterfly garden around Deerfield MA which is supposed to be nice. They charge, though.

      If a longer trip is okay, those Renoirs are still waiting to be seen at the Clark Institute in Williamstown, MA. If you are a library member, I think you can reserve a free day pass. If you do go there, stop in the modern art museums carved out of old factory buildings at North Adams. Friends have told me it’s really a gas!

      That’s all that occurs off the top of my head.
      Hope this was of some help.

  • SIT

    When I am showing someone around Brattleboro, I often bring them to SIT, just to see the campus and the incredible view. I know that you have restaurants covered, but if the cafeteria is open, it is a great place to have an inexpensive, appetizing lunch. I like having lunch there, as I often get a chance to converse with students at the next table.

    From there, you might take a drive up Kipling Road, just to see some rural Brattleboro settings.

  • Music, short hikes to beauty, books

    Jazz at Vermont Jazz center.

    Nearby, music at Next Stage in Putney.

    If the weather is nice, and the snow deep enough to make the underlying ice not a problem, the hike from from behind Solar Hill to the Harris Hill ski jumps is short and at the end, you get to peer down the ski jump, and contemplate bravery and beauty. Also, the mammoth tusk was found near the ice pond, so it is fun to hike along and think of the mammoths that trod these same locations.

    There are books you will never find on a Kindle at Brattleboro Books.

  • Circumnavigating Brattleboro

    There’s a great driving loop that circles Brattleboro and takes you through some “Real Vermont” country.

    1. Start at the Main & Canal, by the Food Co-op. Go through Malfunction Jct. and head south down 142 , along the river towards Vernon.

    2. After about a mile +/- go right on Broad Brook Rd (Twisty road) to Rt. 5 in Algiers (Guilford).

    3. Go right on 5 & quick left on Guilford Center Rd. for about 2 ½ miles. (This is past Fitch Road on the right and Clark Drive on the Left.) Look for some sand piles on the right (Highway Dept.). This is Guilford (Center).

    4. Turn right, just beyond piles onto School Rd. Look for Town Office sign.
    (You will pass the Town Offices and Guilford School on right.) School Rd. becomes Bennett Rd.

    5. About ½ mile later, Bennett intersects Bonneyvale Rd. (“T”-intersection). Turn left on Bonneyvale. This is the best part, as it is farmland – what Vermont used to look like. Bonneyvale twists and turns. Be careful at junctions so you stay on it. In about 6 miles you’ll be back in Brattleboro on Western Ave.

    6. Turn right on Western to return to town. All told, it’s about 15 miles.

    You can also do it backwards, but I know this way better.

    I will try to post a map.

  • Harris Hill

    It’s easy to drive to the base, and you can just walk right up to where the jumpers take off from.

    Bonus points for bringing binoculars and sending someone to the top of Wantastequet with binoculars so you can wave to each other.


  • Witner Farmers' Market

    Take them to the market at the River Garden on Saturday. Open from 10-2.
    Still lots of fresh local produce, apples & pears from Dwight Miller Orchards, fresh baked goods including the amazing pastries from Wild Flour Bakery, syrup and much more. Have lunch…or gather up all the makings for a great dinner.

    • Tastings & Shopping

      My guests always get a kick out of going to the Grafton Cheese Company and the Sapling Distillery for samples, both on Route 30. Chelsea Royal Diner was a fun stop for great food in a funky atmosphere. Basketville in Putney and the Vermont Country Store is a must. There’s so many places to go, people to see and things to do!

  • I should mentioned this but...

    I was in Brattleboro last week! Well, Wednesday through Friday actually because I was in NH visiting my sister. I still long to move back there but there are three major roadblocks in my way:
    1. Finding employment,
    2. An affordable residence and…
    3. A way for a single guy to move up there!

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