A Little Town With A Lot of Heart

By Amy Allen

Vermont is filled with small, unique towns, each offering their own charm in the form of general stores, restaurants, and shops and Brandon, Vermont is certainly on that list. Located roughly halfway between Rutland and Middlebury, Brandon is not a spot to simply pass through in the car; it’s worth a stop.

A village green is at the center of the downtown area, and is marked by a historical monument that commemorates soldiers from the town who died fighting the Civil War. A gazebo is also located on the green, and throughout the warmer months, people gather there for outdoor concerts and craft fairs. The buildings in town are known for their historical architecture, with many referring to Brandon as a “quintessential New England village.

One of Brandon’s defining characteristics is its support of art. The downtown features several art galleries, along with a non-profit artists guild that features the work of local artists and promotes art throughout the state. Perhaps the most famous artist to call Brandon home is beloved American folk artist Warren Kimble. Kimble and his wife have lived in Brandon for nearly 30 years and until recently, owned and operated a gallery in town that showcased his work. Kimble’s distinctive art features beautiful barns, farm animals, sweeping trees and American flags.

In addition to its art galleries, Brandon features several gift shops, as well as wonderful restaurants. One of its most famous restaurants is Café Provence, a chef-owned spot featuring food from the chef’s native country of France. The spot also offers cooking classes for those interested in learning traditional French cooking techniques. For more casual fare, there is a very popular spot that sells tacos (and ice cream), a great bakery/coffee shop, and Chinese food restaurant as well.

Brandon also offers lodging, which contributes to making it a popular wedding destination. The Brandon Inn is centrally located downtown, and the popular Lilac Inn is just outside the downtown area. Also just outside the downtown area is one of Brandon’s newest and most popular attractions: the Barn Opera. Opened in late August of 2021, the Barn is the state’s only theatre specifically designed for opera. Live performances are offered throughout the year with a 110 seat capacity. Fans have raved both about the quality of the performances and the unique beauty of the theater.

Brandon truly offers something for everyone, even a beautiful, cascading waterfall in the center of town. It’s worth checking out, whether for just a few hours or even overnight, so that visitors are able to uncover all the big things this small town has to offer.

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