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Introducing Montpelier & Barre

Montpelier (pronounced mont-peel-yer) would qualify as nothing more than a large village in most places. But in sparsely populated Vermont it's the state capital – the smallest in the country (and the only one without a McDonald's, in case you were wondering). Surprisingly cosmopolitan for a town of 8000 residents, its two main thoroughfares – State St and Main St – make for a pleasant wander, with some nice bookstores and boutiques, and a few top-notch eateries.

Montpelier's smaller, distinctly working-class neighbor Barre (pronounced bear-ee), which touts itself as the 'granite capital of the world,' is a 10-minute drive from the capital.