Vermont's state capital is undeniably cosmopolitan, though it still manages to maintain its small town charm. A great destination for those looking to explore the sights and sounds on foot, the city features a refined selection of shops, galleries, and restaurants. For those looking for a quiet escape, without limiting artistic and culinary amenities, Montpelier makes for a perfect New England getaway.
From upscale thrift shops to used bookstores, as well as carefully curated boutiques, Montpelier offers a treasure trove of vintage bargains.
Montpelier was one of the first American cities to champion farm-to-table cuisine. Kismet Kitchen features local seasonal vegetables, as well as seafood and meat dishes, and La Puerta Negra specializes in Latin cuisine created with local ingredients.
After a long day of taking in the sights, Montpelier offers an outstanding selection of craft breweries, many with live music, including the Three Penny Taproom, a must-stop for craft-beer lovers.
From pre-Civil War architecture to classic American art, Montpelier provides an exceptional opportunity to acquaint yourself with New England's past.
Montpelier also offers breathtaking natural surroundings. From bird-watching and raspberry picking to nearby skiing and swimming, Montpelier has boundless natural beauty.
Given that Montpelier offers as many cold as well as warm weather activities, the city is an ideal travel destination year-round. Just be sure to dress appropriately since temperatures can drop to freezing in winter.
Air travelers can reach Montpelier through Edward F. Knapp State Airport in Berlin, a private airdrome, or Burlington International Airport, located 35 miles away. Greyhound service from the airport averages $20. There is also town car, car rental, and taxi service available.
Amtrak has daily service to Montpelier Junction in Berlin, on the Vermonter route, which runs from St. Albans, Vermont to Washington, D.C.
Montpelier is on I-89, which connects with Burlington. U.S. Route 2 and Vermont Route 12 also traverse the city.
Greyhound and Megabus both stop in Montpelier. The Green Mountain Transit Authority provides commuter service to Montpelier, Burlington, Richmond, and Waterbury, as well as the airport.
The Inn at Montpelier dates back to the early 1800s and features spacious rooms. The more modern Capitol Plaza Hotel and Conference Center includes a steakhouse on site and a gym.
College Hill - the College Hill neighborhood is home to the Vermont College of Fine Arts, which features live performances and art exhibits.
Downtown/Cliffside - the Downtown/Cliffside neighborhood, Montpelier's historic district, houses the Capitol Building and the Vermont Historical Society Museum, as well as shops and restaurants.
Elm Street - the Elm Street neighborhood, along the North Branch River, features North Branch Vineyards, a small family winery that produces renowned wines.
The Green Mountain Transit Authority (GMTA) offers local bus service throughout the city, with stops in Montpelier and Barre, as well as Waterbury, the Vermont State House, the Ben & Jerry's factory, and the Berlin Mall. 10-ride bus passes are available for $12.
Montpelier's taxi service includes the Green Cab VT company with a fleet of alternative fuel and hybrid cars. There is a minimum charge of $8.25 for trips up to two miles.
Given its small size, Montpelier is fairly easy to drive around. Public parking is readily available with rates starting as low as $0.35 per hour. Rental cars are priced at under $80 a day.
Montpelier's downtown shopping area features many inexpensive options, such as vintage store the Getup Vintage on Langdon Street. In the same space, you'll find Buch Spieler Records, which trades classic vinyl and more. Bear Pond Books on Main Street specializes in new, used, and rare signed books.
Aside from standard supermarkets, such as Shaw's and Price Chopper, Montpelier also features the Uncommon Market, which carries groceries, fresh seafood, steaks, wine, and beer. The cost of groceries in the city is slightly above the national average. For example, a gallon of milk is typically priced at $3.56 and a dozen eggs at $2.75.
The Skinny Pancake serves breakfast dishes, crepes, and paninis for under $9. Sarducci's, a casual Italian trattoria on the Winooski River, features wood oven pizzas and pasta dishes priced under $15, and the Royal Orchid is renowned for its Thai specialties for under $18.