Historic Downtowns

Preserved for the New Century

Vermont's thriving downtowns are where visitors and residents find the distinctive local businesses, historic buildings, and rich cultural and social activities that form Vermont's special sense of community.

Vermont's authentic and attractive downtowns and villages are widely recognized as a key part of the state’s allure. Not only will you find streets and architecture of historical significance, but also memorable shopping and dining experiences. Locally-owned retail businesses display everything from hardware to specialty goods, and fine restaurants serve fresh, local food and craft libations that have attracted international accolades. Vermont downtowns are a centerpiece of community life.

With help from the Vermont Downtown Program established in 1994, aggressive revitalization efforts are now in place in all of the state’s major downtowns. Building on each community’s history, these local efforts have demonstrated how revitalization encourages the local economy and cultural institutions, while supporting growth in a way that minimizes environmental impacts.

In recognition of Vermont's efforts to preserve downtowns, the World Travel & Tourism Council in London chose Vermont’s downtowns and the Vermont Downtown Program as one of only three finalists in the Destination Award category in their 2007 Tourism for Tomorrow Award.

Vermont has given special recognition to 23 downtowns: Barre, Bellows Falls, Bennington, Brandon, Brattleboro, Bristol, Burlington, Middlebury, Montpelier, Newport, Poultney, Randolph, Rutland, Springfield, St Albans, St Johnsbury, Stowe, Vergennes, Waterbury, White River Junction, Wilmington, Windsor, and Winooski.

But these aren't the only Vermont towns that will give you wonderful experiences. Woodstock, Grafton, Shelburne ... we could go on until we've named all 251 Vermont towns. But we won't. Instead, go out and explore. We think you'll enjoy what you find.