To create the list, the online magazine asked the geographic information systems company Esri to search its data bases for high concentrations of museums, historic sites, botanic gardens, resident orchestras, art galleries and other cultural assets common to big cities. But they focused on towns with populations less than 25,000, so travelers could experience what might be called enlightened good times in an unhurried, charming setting. We also tried to select towns ranging across the lower 48. Read more online here.
The magazine describes Brattleboro as follows: “Nestled in southern Vermont, the riverside town of Brattleboro is a common rest stop for travelers driving up Interstate 91 from Massachusetts. Once you’ve strolled through the downtown historic district, lined with galleries, antiques shops, theaters and dance studios, it might be hard to get back in the car. Brattleboro takes pride in its reputation as a hidden artistic haven. On the first Friday of every month, local artists, galleries and museums exhibit new work and put on performances as part of the traditional Gallery Walk. Even if you don’t plan it, your visit will likely coincide with at least one of the many annual festivals in town: there’s the Womens’ Film Festival in March, the summer Brattleboro Literary Festival, and the Brattleboro Music Center’s Northern Roots Festival in January, which celebrates Northern music. In the unlikely event of boredom, take a day trip to nearby Naulakha, the estate of Rudyard Kipling, who once wrote of “a desire to be back on Main Street, Brattleboro, Vermont, U.S.A., and hear the sody water fizzing in the drugstore…and get a bottle of lager in the basement of Brooks House and hear the doctor tell fish yarns.”