Vibe•Norman Rockwell, with
a twist of politics
Median housing price•$159,060
Average number of sunny days•157 per year
Most relaxing way to spend
an afternoon• World-class skiing less than
an hour away, at Stowe
Simple fun for less than $10•Sampling a
pastry at La Brioche Bakery & Café
Who knew?•Montpelier is the only state
capital without a McDonald’s restaurant.
IN-SPIRED The churches and
homes of downtown add
intimacy to America’s most
livable capital city.
IT MAY BE THE SMALLEST CAPITAL CIT Y in the United States—one
local official affectionately refers to the intersection of Main Street,
home to City Hall, and State Street, with the capitol, as “the corner
of ‘Walk’ and ‘Don’t Walk’”—but there’s plenty to do in Montpelier.
First, there’s politics, the local sport, as residents keep track of
what’s going on in the legislature. (Insiders say Democrats tend to
get their coffee at Capitol Grounds Café, while Republicans favor
the Coffee Corner.) Then there’s the city’s active arts scene (locals
say the town’s relaxed pace and eclectic crowd fuel creativity).
And music festivals abound. “On any given weekend I can listen
to great local music—jazz, folk, Celtic fiddling—or I can see a play
or go to a yard sale,” says resident Roberta Harold, 56. “There’s
so much to do here, and the people are great. They’re the kind of
people who will come plow you out of a storm, no matter what.”
including five more
places in which to
live a simple life—at