Why you should road trip to see the quaint town of Brattleboro.
1. Mocha Joe's
The winter air's so fresh and crisp in Vermont that you almost forget the need for coffee. But when your sanity returns, don't fret: There's excellent java right on Main Street, at legendary bean-roaster Mocha Joe's. Served in deep mugs, their proprietary blend will keep you going all day - and maybe into the night. The café serves delicious baked goods and hot cocoa, too.
2. Grafton Village Cheese Company
Since the mid-1960s, this bustling cheese shop has been the place to stock up on carefully selected domestic white wines and artisanal gourmet foods, including the kind of aged Cheddars that make Vermont internationally famous. Try the Grafton Maple Smoked, which won a top prize at last year's American Cheese Society competition.
3. McNeill's Brewery
Absorb some local culture at McNeill's, an old-school pub with a booming microbrewing business. Long a Bratt-only secret, the brewery's amber drafts and imperial stouts are now beloved by beer snobs around the country and can be found on draft in bars as far south as Tennessee. The best bet: Try a $1 per-sample flight, then enjoy an icy pint of your top pick.
4. Twice Upon a Time
Three levels. Dozens of stalls. Heaps of furniture. Racks of vintage clothing. Piles of glorious junk. Braving this Main Street antiques emporium requires the skills of an archeologist and the patience of a bird-watcher. But sorting through strata after strata of thingamabobs and whatchamacallits is almost always worth it.
5. T.J. Buckley's
While there's lots of amazing food in Southern Vermont, nothing beats T.J. Buckley's. Expensive? Yes. Reservations required? With only 20 seats, highly recommended. Cash only? You betcha. But so worth it. Nestled inside a tiny 1920s diner car, this high-end restaurant has no menu. Chef Michael Fuller just cooks whatever looks best at the market that day. The result: exceptional locavore meals served out of an open kitchen.
6. Latchis TheatreYou'll absolutely want to take in a flick at the 1938 Latchis Theatre, an Art Deco masterpiece on Main Street. It doesn't really matter what's playing (although they do screen four first-run films a week). The featured attraction here is the gorgeous constellation mural on the main auditorium's ceiling. It may not be cuddling under the stars per se, but in the middle of a cold Vermont winter, it'll more than do.
More reasons to see Brattleboro.
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