The vibrant town of Brattleboro, Vermont, with a population just over 12,000, is 20 minutes from Marlboro's rural campus. Brattleboro is an eclectic community located in the Connecticut River Valley and a regional center for art, commerce, and technology. It was listed as one of the "20 Best Small Towns in America" by Smithsonian magazine, one of the "10 Best Small Towns in America" by Fodor's, and in the top 10 in the book The 100 Best Art Towns in America, with many galleries, music venues, bookstores, and performance spaces to experience. Among the blocks of historic red-brick buildings you can find cozy cafes and four-star restaurants featuring local fare and international cuisines, including Indian, Thai, Korean, Greek, and Italian. Mother Earth News named Brattleboro one of "Eight Great Places You've Never Heard Of", and its college-town feel was recently highlighted on Vermont Public Radio.
Some of the highlights in Brattleboro include a monthly Gallery Walk, a Friday evening when art venues all over town host exhibit openings and special events, and a lively farmers' market every Saturday during the warmer months. The Latchis Theater is one of several popular venues for music in town, and also one of the few surviving art-deco theaters in New England. In February, there is a world-class ski jumping competition at Harris Hill, the only Olympic-size ski jump in New England and a Brattleboro tradition since 1922. In March, the annual Women's Film Festival showcases documentary and feature films and events all over town, highlighting women's issues and their place in the arts. In June, the town is the site of the Strolling of the Heifers, the world's only parade of flower-bedecked calves led by future farmers, and in October the town is abuzz with the Brattleboro Literary Festival.
Nearby recreation opportunities are plenty: you'll find plenty of hiking, paddling, swimming, camping, caving, nature walks, and the like. Explore local rivers, hundreds of acres of forests and trails, and the lofty Green Mountains to the west. Additionally, Brattleboro is less than two hours from eight of New England's best ski resorts—and a small ski lift at a municipal park right in town.
- Brattleboro Museum and Art Center
- Catherine Dianich Gallery
- C. X. Silver Gallery
- Gallery in the Woods
- Vermont Artisan Designs
- Vermont Center for Photography
- Brattleboro Music
- Friends of Music at Guilford
- Marlboro Music Festival
- Vermont Jazz Center
- Yellow Barn Music Festival
- Hooker-Dunham Theater & Gallery
- New England Center for Circus Arts
- New England Youth Theater
- Sandglass Theater
- Vermont Theater Company
There are Marlboro vans and MOOver buses four or five times a day, so you don’t need a car to get to town. Brattleboro is great for people who like seeing some cool, local art, biking or window-shopping. Brattleboro is not so great for people who prefer malls and big cities. There’s plenty of stuff to check out but it can get a bit boring if you go every day. My favorite part about Brattleboro is its shops. You can find some awesome stuff for cheap if you know where to look. The Brattleboro Co-op is another gem, where you can buy organic and fair-trade groceries to your heart’s content.
-Joanna Moyer-Battick '12
Living in Brattleboro
All of the students who live in town form their own off-campus community, as well as finding their own niche in the larger community. Brattleboro offers the comfort and convenience of a small town, but is also extremely progressive. One of my favorite things about Brattleboro is the “gallery walks,” where all of the shops and restaurants in town turn into art galleries, often including art from my fellow students. Brattleboro also offers tons of opportunities for outdoor recreation. However, the most important part for me is that the people I find here, the elderly woman sweeping her front porch or the children building forts in the backyard, refresh my perspective on my academic work and on humanity.
-Thea Cabreros '12