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Posted on: November 1, 2015

Food, culture flourish in Montpelier

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MONTPELIER, Vt. — It’s
easy to get into the groove
as you drive up Route 89
to all that is Vermont during
foliage season. The
views are lovely, and
the ride is easy. But
what visitors to Vermont
need to know is
there is a whole other level
of vibe just a quarter
of a mile off the highway.
Montpelier, Vermont’s
capitol city, is
a must-visit on any
road trip.
Montpelier is centered
by the beautiful
Vermont State
Capitol building
which, during foliage season, is
flanked by vibrant trees in their autumn
colors.
But the city has much more to
offer than that beautiful site —
you’ll find diverse foods, shopping,
people-watching and a great music
scene.
Montpelier has long offered
eclectic fun, but in the past year
it has experienced an explosion in
cultural and food offerings. This
year alone, the city welcomed two
new pho restaurants, two Thai
eateries, a Latin fusion spot, new
farm-to-table restaurants and, of
course, more tap rooms.
The city had already been home
to great Italian restaurants and
the famed Three Penny Taproom,
where you can sample some of
the state’s best craft beers and dig
into an amazing burger.
What’s nice about all this is the
ambience. Reading it on paper,
it sounds urban. And indeed, the
quality and the vibe is. But at the
same time, it’s the quaint feel that
makes Montpelier special. It’s not
unusual to bump into the state’s
highest level elected officials at a
local eatery — even presidential
hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Save time for shopping. Not a
city for box stores, you’ll find instead
locally owned shops with
distinct personalities. From vintage
music shops to cool toy stores
to unique clothing, it’s all along the
streets of the city.
On Oct. 3, visitors can enjoy the
Montpelier ArtsFest from 4-8 p.m.
The ArtsFest provides an opportunity
for seasoned and emerging
artists to showcase their talents.
Festival-goers can take a tour of
venues each curated by different
community art groups and individual
artists, crafters and performers.
In addition to the visual art, the
event will host a craft beer garden
and all kinds of performance artists
and buskers. www.montpelieralive.org
And just steps away is the lush
natural setting that makes Vermont
what it is. It’s easy to combine
a city dining and shopping
adventure with a taste of outdoors
here. Just behind the Statehouse
is Hubbard Park, where you’ll not
only find magnificent views and
plenty of foliage, but also hiking
and biking trails.

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Posted on: November 1, 2015