What a Small City Should Be


Montpelier may be the smallest state capital, but don't let our size fool you. People who live and visit Montpelier enjoy small town life with big city amenities. Montpelier is often recognized by major national magazines and blogs for its historic and walkable downtown, winter beauty and as one of the best places to live. We invite you to experience all Montpelier has to offer, whether relocating or just visiting.

Here are links to recent articles recognizing all that is great in Montpelier:

The 26 Most Beautiful Towns in America by Condé Nast Traveler

"Montpelier is the least populated of all the state capitals, which gives it the same amount of small-town charm as any other city on this list. In lieu of Walmart and Starbucks, you'll find maple syrup farms, traditional European architecture, and a bustling downtown area lined with quaint shops and cozy cafes."

18 Surprisingly Cool Small Towns In The USA by BuzzFeed
"This place has nailed the picturesque small-town aesthetic. Montpelier is the country's smallest state capital (by population), but has a surprisingly lively music and arts scene. .. Being in New England, it's obviously beautiful in the fall, and in winter it's also popular for snowshoeing, ice fishing, ice climbing, and skiing." 

51 Affordable Discoveries Across America 2019 by BudgetTravel
"Of all the accolades earned by Montpelier, “best arts town” might stand out the most. The nation’s smallest capital city offers professional stage performances at the Lost Nation Theater, live music by Montpelier Alive, and the Green Mountain film festival at the Savoy Theater. An impossibly quaint downtown is filled with art galleries and museums, bookstores and coffee shops, with the beautifully restored Vermont statehouse standing guard across the Winooski River. Community involvement is big here, with outdoor concerts held on the capital lawn and in parks around town, a co-op gallery called the Front that displays works by local artists, and a quarterly Art Walk that encourages more than two dozen galleries, shops, and cafes to open their doors."

Weekend Getaway to Montpelier, Vermont by offMetro
"Montpelier may be the smallest state capitol in the U.S.A., but the city of under 8,000 inhabitants radiates with a rich culture and charm that could only be found in Vermont... a perfect weekend getaway for visitors." 

5 Best Weekend Trips In New England I Took As A College Student In Boston by Elite Daily
"Montpelier is really cool because you get that small town charm and a big city bustle at the same time, and you can even drive slightly out of the city to unplug and enjoy time with Mother Nature."

Ten Best Small Towns for Shopping by USA Today
Just steps from the Vermont State House lies the pedestrian-friendly Montpelier downtown shopping district – a neighborhood packed with shops, antique stores and restaurants. Find one of a kind pieces from Vermont artists at the Artisans Hand Craft Gallery, pick up a new cooking gadget at Capital Kitchen or browse treasures from around the world at Global Gifts.

Best State Capitals to Live in - 2019 Edition by Smartasset
"Montpelier, Vermont takes the No. 4 spot. Montpelier has a median income after housing costs of $47,845, the eighth-highest on this list. The city also has the lowest rate of violent crime in our study, just a little more than 213 incidents per 100,000 residents."

50 Most Charming Small Towns in the U.S. by Travel Channel
"It's the smallest state capital in the U.S., but Montpelier, Vermont, has a thriving arts and music scene, and it's rich in history and natural beauty. It's also home to the New England Culinary Institute, so visitors come for its diverse cuisine and fine restaurants. Wintertime brings snowshoeing, ice fishing, ice climbing, skiing and other outdoor sports to enjoy."

Capital Times! Montpelier the perfect spot to embark on foliage adventures by Boston Herald
"On any adventure, it’s important to have a “base camp” — a place you return to, regroup and reflect on your experiences, but that also lets you savor amenities you may not find on the open road. For a foliage expedition in Vermont, the perfect choice for a base camp is the capital city of Montpelier. Located in the central part of the state, Montpelier balances charm and sophistication, serenity and bustle. Centered by the state capitol building (a showpiece in the fall when its brick and gold dome stands out, flanked by colorful trees; how many statehouses are a few steps away from a beautiful hike in the woods?), the city of busy yet walkable streets is dotted with amazing dining spots, quaint and captivating shops, an art scene and district, and much more."

Why Montpelier, VT, is a Best Small Town 2015 by Livability.com 
"...We already knew about the city's great school system, which was just one of the categories we looked at when ranking the Top 100 Best Small Towns 2015. Montpelier also scored well in social and civil engagement, natural and cultural amenities, and health care....A thriving arts community and access to a host of year-round outdoor recreational activities also top the list of livability traits. Besides Hubbard Park – a forested area offering access to trails and scenic views from right in the middle of town – residents have access to the North Branch River via the North Branch River Park..."

Food and Culture Florish in Montpelier by Boston Herald
"...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..."

Here is a Capital Idea, Trek Up to Montpelier by Boston Herald
"...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..."

36 Hours in Montpelier by the New York Times
"...The residents of this New England town in the foothills of the Green Mountains include students (at the Vermont College of Fine Arts), movie buffs (each March it hosts the Green Mountain Film Festival), foodies (the New England Culinary Institute is based here, after all), artists and outdoors enthusiasts. They also include, for part of the year, the legislators who supported, with their votes and their forks, Vermont’s 2009 Farm-to-Plate Initiative, underscoring the state’s commitment to a strong sustainable agricultural economy. Whether you’re in search of a meal at one of the many new farm-to-table restaurants, an art house movie or live music, you’ll find it all in this little capital city..."

Number One Best Small Town Downtown in America by Best Choice Reviews 
"...Earning the number one spot on our list is Montpelier, Vermont. This small town has minimal crime, excellent schools and is a pleasure for residents and visitors alike. The downtown area is not only beautiful, but it also offers many craft-beer bars and excellent dining establishments. Long time residents own many of the shops in the downtown area and the locals are proud of their small town fellowship. Downtown Montpelier offers delightful boutiques and shops, adorable bookshops, antique stores, coffee shops and plenty of places to eat..."

Parade Magazine, 16 Best Main Streets in America
"...A mix of craft-beer bars and “exquisite” restaurants make the area near the intersection of State and Main streets a magnet for foodies. With the town’s many shops owned by locals, residents enjoy a small-town camaraderie where “almost everyone knows your name.”..."

Huffington Post Travel, 15 of New England’s Most Picturesque Towns
"...[Montpelier] makes up for its diminutive size with its independent spirit and rustic charm. The downtown area is concentrated around Main Street, which is full of quaint restaurants and shops, and State Street, where the state house is located. Montpelier is a great place to sample New England specialties. Try the maple syrup at the Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks, cheese at the Cabot Creamery, and whatever’s on the menu at the New England Culinary Institute..."

Smithsonian, 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2014 (#16 of 20)
"...Film lovers should think about visiting the town in March, when Montpelier becomes home to the Green Mountain Film Festival, an annual festival that began in 1997. The festival screens mostly new work from around the world, interspersed with a few classic films. Most of the films shown are documentaries, and some are student-made..."

Outside Magazine, 16 Best Towns to Live In
"...Of course, when you’re smack dab in the middle of the beautiful Green Mountains, you tend to be mindful of your environmental impact. In the winter, locals ski Mount Mansfield’s backcountry or make the 40-minute drive to the Sugarbush or Mad River Glen ski resorts. In the summer, there’s canoeing on Mad River, hiking on Mount Hunger, and mountain biking around Millstone Hill..."

Thrillist, 10 Most Beautiful Towns in America During the Winter
"Montpelier looks like the snow-covered town you'd build for your model train set -- if, you know, you were into that kinda thing. Which you're not, of course, but if you were. By the way, it's also the only state capital without a McDonalds -- just a random fun fact you should know when you're totally not building a model of the town in your basement."