72 Hours In...Brattleboro, Vermont
A stop on Amtrak's Vermonter line, Brattleboro is only a few hours but worlds away from New York City.
An air of mystery permeates Brattleboro, Vermont, a tiny town adjacent to the Connecticut River. The people of Brattleboro are polite but to the point. Downtown coffee shop Mocha Joe's has a detective-type adorning their cups, and the Mystery on Main Street bookstore specializes in its namesake genre, eschewing all others. But Brattleboro lends itself to exploring, getting lost among the stacks of vintage paperbacks piled high in the used bookshops, and antique stores along the strip.
There are two excellent choices in Brattleboro and each one will give you a totally different experience. The Latchis Hotel in the historic downtown on Main Street, is Art Deco style with a theater just a couple doors down. Approximately two miles from the downtown is the Colonial Motel and Spa. Although it is just off the highway it backs up to the woods and the rooms feel remote. Attached to the property is The Tavern restaurant, a no-frills watering hole with an American menu peppered with comfort food.
Brattleboro might be the biggest book lover's town in the U.S. In less than a half a mile radius, there's Baskets Books, Mystery on Main Street, Brattleboro Books, and Everyone's Books. Mocha Joe's Cafe has free books lined up on a shelf, encouraging patrons to take whatever they want.
"Stay Frosty" is the message drawn in a light blue chalk outside In the Moment Records. Inside, thousands of vinyl records new and used are neatly organized on table tops and even strung up in the back. Take time browsing the stock, which also includes accessories.
Like books, there is no shortage of coffee shops in Brattleboro either. But the clear standout is Mocha Joe's. Enter by taking stairs down off the street into the cooled space which offers handcrafted bars by local Tavernier Chocolates and specialities like the maple latte. Steps away, Amy's Bakery & Cafe offers baked goods, sandwiches, and a seating area with a glimpse of the mountains and river.
The waterfront Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery acts as a "welcome to Brattleboro," just steps from the train station and situated right on the river. In town, Hermit Thrush Brewery is dedicated to New American Sours and offers tours "when they feel like it."