New England Travel: New England's Best Small Towns

DORSET, VT

Because… this is what picture-perfect looks like.

The Dorset Inn, established in 1796. Photo by Jesse Burke

For restless city-dwellers, driving into Dorset is like entering a Thornton Wilder scene—the perfect example of what urbanites forfeit in favor of skyscrapers and dim sum. Lined with clapboard homes and divided by a town green, Church Street is home to the requisite general store (complete with ’70s-era gas pump) and several gracious inns where days are dominated by pancakes and porch-sitting. But the town is more than a relic: In addition to penny candy, its store has a gourmet deli and a separate wine room. Perhaps that’s why there’s no mass exodus here during mud season; even the summer people come up year-round. —Brigid Sweeney

WHERE TO EAT, STAY, AND PLAY 

New England’s Best Small Towns 

  • Dan

    Don’t miss Great Barrington Bra & Girl (GBBG) at the top of Railroad Street, the area’s only full-service bra shop, and one of the best intimate apparel and accessories shops that you’ll find anywhere!

  • lo

    also- see Brad at Allium-the best bartender in the Berkshires

  • Dan Shaw

    One of the best places to eat in GB is not on Restaurant Row–it’s Cafe Adam http://tinyurl.com/nuqhc5

  • Claudia

    If you are serious about food, this is the place. It’s a couple of miles north of town.

  • fred

    no one in Shelburne Falls drinks Bud… they (we) prefer locally made micro-brews

  • Marti

    Don’t miss Millerton NY, one of Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel “10 Coolest Towns in America”. We are just 10 minutes or less to Sharon, CT and about 30 minutes to Great Barrington We’re a little bit Hip and a little bit Homey! To come on over.

  • Chris

    I have lived in Sharon all my life and it’s nice to see Sharon getting such recognition . The article got it right when it added Sharon.

  • Jonathan

    In Harvard, between orchards, you also have to go to the General Store (a gourmet/locavore paradise), get a cappuccino, sit on the Common, and look at the beautiful old houses. Then go to Fruitlands Museum.

  • Eve

    You forgot to mention the magnificent hillsides and valleys (ablaze with color right now) and the ancient pot holes and waterfalls, and my favorite – the very beautiful bridge of flowers.

  • Eve

    I forgot to mention above, I am talking about Shelburne Falls, MA.
    1

  • J

    Couple comments:
    The bad: Putnam might be quaint because of the antiques, but other than that – it’s pretty much a dump. I grew up near there.
    The good: Hancock IS a beautiful town, not to mention the incredibly nice people. It’s also next door to another beautiful town, my other hometown of Harrisville.