Exquisite historic buildings are home to Vermont’s state government, shopping, commerce and world-class dining and arts. Outstanding outdoor recreation is within minutes of the downtown. Montpelier is the largest urban historic district in Vermont. The crown jewel is the impeccably restored State House – one of the oldest and best preserved in the country. Three blocks away is the city’s unique business district. Linger at independently-owned shops offering books, recordings, clothing, fine crafts and pastries, or dine in one of the many restaurants, cafes or delis in the city.
The thriving arts community has earned Montpelier recognition as being one of the best 100 small arts towns in the United States. Lost Nation Theater stages six months of professional performances each year in City Hall Auditorium. Montpelier Alive ensures the city hosts great music performances and events almost every month. The arts cinema, Savoy Theater, also produces the World Cinema series and the Green Mountain Film Festival in March, drawing movie connoisseurs from far and wide. Several downtown venues present live entertainment every weekend and most week nights as well. Warm weather brings Wednesday night band concerts on the State House lawn, a pocket park music series, and Third Thursdays — all great reasons to visit downtown Montpelier.
Then, there are many museums and galleries. City Hall houses the U.S.S. Montpelier naval museum. The Vermont Historical Society Museum’s award-winning exhibit “Freedom and Unity” provides a captivating window on Vermont’s past, while the T. W. Wood Gallery & Arts Center showcases works of a Civil War era Montpelier native and contemporary artists.
Nestled in a valley at the confluence of two rivers and sheltered by surrounding hillsides, Montpelier also offers ample recreational opportunities. A bike path follows the Winooski River. The North Branch River Park offers almost 200 acres of gentle trails and access to miles of challenging cross-country skiing or walking. Hubbard Park, the city’s premier forested park, with great views, a stone observatory, and trails, is a short walk from the State House.