Snow or shine, crowds throng the center of town on the first Friday of every month for the Gallery Walk (802/257-2616, www.gallerywalk.org , 5:30–8:30 p.m., free), Brattleboro ’s signature social event. Try to time your visit to coincide with Gallery Walk, as no other experience will give you a better feel for the spirit of the town. The streets take on a festival atmosphere as neighbors catch up on news and pore over the latest creations of their friends while noshing on vittles and red wine.
A free map and guide, available online, will help you plan your attack on the fifty-some venues, which are mostly concentrated on Elliot and Main Streets.
Be sure to check out William Hays’s landscapes and portraits (both human and canine) at the Artist’s Loft Gallery (103 Main St., 802/257-5181, www.theartistsloft.com , mid-Sept.–mid-May).
The best one-stop shopping is the River Gallery School of Art (32 Main St., 802/257-1577, www.rivergalleryschool.org/ , 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, and nights and weekends when classes are in session), which usually features many different artists, along with refreshments, in its large and well-lighted space.
Another sure bet is the In-Sight Photography Project (45 Flat St., 802/251-9960, www.insight-photography.org , 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Mon.–Fri.), which gets cameras into the hands of local youth, often with arresting results.
Also worth checking out, the Windham Art Gallery (69 Main St., 802/257-1881, www.windhamartgallery.com , noon–5 p.m. Thurs.–Sun.) has a prominent location on Main Street.