Quirky Brattleboro Defined: 6 Things That Make Brattleboro Unique

If there’s one town that embodies the phrase “Keep Vermont Weird,” it’s Brattleboro. Where does that distinct personality come from? From the vibrant nature of our arts scene to an annual parade of heifers (a cow who has yet to bear a calf, in case you’re not down with the dairy lingo), we throw around the term “quirky” with pride and affection here in Brattleboro.

The downtown Brattleboro Food Co-op's extensive selection is part of a town-wide commitment to eating locally-sourced fare.

1. A HIPPIE HISTORY LEFT ITS MARK (LIKE, EVERYWHERE).

The back-to-the-land movement caused Vermont’s population to increase by nearly 15% in the 1970’s, and the counterculture influence over the course of that decade endured, and can be seen in Brattleboro today. From a deep-rooted commitment to the environment and a fantastic food co-op, to an artistic bent that includes a monthly Gallery Walk through local shops and businesses, it’s easy to see how Brattleboro’s hippie history has helped shape its personality.

2. WE HAVE A THRIVING ARTS COMMUNITY.

Brattleboro runs a number of arts-related events and programs throughout the year, including Jazz Fridays at The Lounge and the annual Brattleboro Literary Festival. Supporting the arts scene are more galleries and studio spaces than your average American small town. A few of them include the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, River Gallery School, and the Vermont Center for Photography, whose exhibits display work from both local and world-renowned photographers.

Art and performance festivals are abundant in Brattleboro, adding to its quirky character.
Photo: Matthew Ragan/CC BY-SA 2.0.

There’s also no shortage of incredible spectacles to enjoy in the Brattleboro area. Between the Vermont Jazz Center, the Vermont Theatre Company, and high-flying performances at the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA), you’ll always have a place to be entertained.

3. WE HAVE AN ANNUAL PARADE OF COWS.

The Strolling of the Heifers parade.
Photo: Jeffrey M. Lewis/CC BY-ND 2.0.

Holy cow! Each June, hundreds flock to downtown Brattleboro for the Strolling of the Heifers Parade, the main event of the annual Stroll Weekend. Heifers of various breeds and sizes, adorned in hats and colorful flowers, march up Main Street and Putney Road to the Brattleboro Common, while folks chow down on delicious fare from local farmers and moooove to some jammin’ live music.

4. THROWBACK SHOPPING.

Did someone say vintage? Downtown Brattleboro is lined with shops that have survived the test of time, and have proved themselves staples of Brattleboro’s offbeat identity. Bragging artisan shops, used bookstores like Brattleboro Books, and a vast collection of old-fashioned housewares and furniture at Experienced Goods, Brattleboro is truly a destination for anyone seeking a throwback shopping experience.

5. A LOCALVORE DINING SCENE.

Unapologetic foodie? Downtown Brattleboro is loaded with restaurants, bakeries, and cafes that support a strong sense of community and commitment to small-town living. Catch river views and artisan treats at Amy’s Bakery Arts Cafe, or grab a bite at the aptly-named and ever-delicious Brattleburger. Farm-to-table meals at Duo Restaurant and the craft beer bar at Whetstone Station are also very popular.

Whetstone Station in downtown Brattleboro is a popular location for craft beer and locally-based fare.

With a personality that manifests the “Keep Vermont Weird” philosophy, there’s no place quite like Brattleboro. At the Latchis, we embrace our town’s quirky character. (After all, what’s more unconventional than an 18th-century art deco hotel?) Being steps away from everything that makes Brattleboro special, we’re more than just a great place to stay in an amazing town — we get to be part of the magic.