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Public Post is a community reporting initiative using digital tools to report on cities and towns across Vermont.Public Post is the only resource that lets you browse and search documents across dozens of Vermont municipal websites in one place.Follow reporter Amy Kolb Noyes and #PublicPost on Twitter and read news from the Post below.

Montpelier Tops List Of 'Best Small Town Downtowns,' Woodstock Is #10

Montpelier Alive
Montpelier has been named the best small town downtown in America by Best Choice Reviews.

The website Best Choice Reviews has named Montpelier the best small downtown in the country, and Woodstock came in tenth on the list of 50 Best Small Town Downtowns in America.

Littleton, New Hampshire, just on the other side of the river, landed sixth on the newly released list.These local downtowns beat out some well-known destinations, including Steamboat Springs, Colo., Port Townsend, Wash. and Nantucket, Mass.

For the list, Best Choice Reviews defined a small town as a city or town with a full-time population of under 15,000 residents. The methodology took into consideration median home price and median income, as well as placement on other lists.

"Attention was specifically paid to those towns that have been named on a respected ranking list for Best Small Town, Best Main Street or Best Downtown," the Best Choice Reviews website states. "These respected ranking bodies include Parade Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, Fox News Travel, Travel and Leisure, Livability or Huffington Post Travel."

Other lists in which Montpelier has recently been included are:

  • Parade Magazine, 16 Best Main Streets in America
  • Huffington Post Travel, 15 of New England’s Most Picturesque Towns
  • Smithsonian, 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2014
  • Outside Magazine, 16 Best Towns to Live In
  • Thrillist, 10 Most Beautiful Towns in America During the Winter

"We paid close attention to the general appeal to the downtown area, including such things as general appearance, festivals or special events, dining, shopping, entertainment, arts and culture, parks, proximity to airports and hotels amenities available," Best Choice Reviews states. "The goal of this ranking list is to find the best small town downtown areas for both residents as well as visitors to the area."
Montpelier Alive, Montpelier's downtown organization, issued a press release about the ranking in which Montpelier Mayor John Hollar states, "Montpelier is a great place to live and it’s a great place to visit. We have an amazingly vibrant and interesting downtown that rivals cities that are many times larger than we are."

Montpelier Alive Executive Director Ashley Witzenberger added, "As the downtown community organization, Montpelier Alive knows we have everything that makes a very special downtown, but it is gratifying to gain this national recognition. Our store and restaurant owners help to create a unique experience and support a very full event and festival schedule each year. We are small but mighty."

Amy is an award winning journalist who has worked in print and radio in Vermont since 1991. Her first job in professional radio was at WVMX in Stowe, where she worked as News Director and co-host of The Morning Show. She was a VPR contributor from 2006 to 2020.
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