April 24th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
There are only about 2200 of us here in Vernon Vermont, the home of Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture. So we typcially run into Brattleboro a couple times a week to get our necessities in terms of food, arts, movies, music, shopping and such. It's an artsy town with a decidedly green personality.
Brattleboro's Food Co-op is one of the biggest and best in our state, as is the local Farmer's Market. Many restaurants like The Works and The Marina serve local, organic food. And of course the area is full of small organic farms like Malhana Farm, Relly Bubs and Lilac Ridge.
I wasn't a bit surprised to see Brattleboro make #11 on a list of the “20 Best Small Towns in America” in Smithsonian Magazine's May issue. The editor said the number one criteria for making the list was culture: "a high concentrations of museums, historic sites, botanic gardens, resident orchestras, art galleries and other cultural assets common to big cities". But they were looking for small towns with populations less than 25,000, "so travelers could experience what might be called enlightened good times in an unhurried, charming setting".
When you're heading north into Vermont from New York, Connecticut or Massachusetts, Brattleboro is the first Vermont exit off I-91. And Vernon is just a few miles South on Route 142. Stop in, stroll around downtown, have a cup of Mocha Joe's coffee and see if you agree with the Smithsonian. We think you will!