I wasn’t completely sure of the plan … but honestly, when I travel, I never really am. Starting from the southern end of Vermont, Stowe and the Mad River Valley were definite destinations, but as for the before and after part of the journey … your guess would of been as good as mine.
Checking in on mom in the northeast (who is thankfully recovering wonderfully), I decided it was time for a visit up to Vermont. Has it grown much in the last 12 years, where are the jobs and can you compare ski town living in the east to the west?
By the scene and backed up traffic in Brattleboro in the late afternoon, my first question was quickly answered. Yes, Vermont has grown. Either I have been living in Wyoming for too long or that town has actually tripled in size. I remember spending a night or two there a couple of times in the mid 90’s and enjoying the small town, somewhat hippie, alternative lifestyle it had. This week, I drove in, through, and out on to my next destination. It really had more of a city feel to it and that was not on this week’s Vermont trip agenda. I am sure it is a great place, but it did not have the small, mountain town feel that I was searching for today.
My first night surprisingly enough ended up in Montpelier. It would have been easy enough to drive right on to Stowe, but this pleasant Vermont state capital town immediately drew me in. The town has a population less than 10,000, good restaurants, 3 coffee shops (not Starbucks!) within a two block radius, excellent proximity to outdoor recreation, non-resort/hospitality job opportunities and a real diverse population for a town in Vermont this small in size.
On one hand you have the more urban Burlington and Brattleboro, and on the other, Vermont ski areas with a large hospitality/tourism economic base. If you are looking for something in the middle … Montpelier may just be your place.