Montpelier is the smallest state capital in the nation, with fewer than ten thousand inhabitants. Surrounded by leafy gardens, the golden domed State House (Mon– Fri 7.45am–4.15pm) is well worth a free tour for its marble-floored and mural-lined hallways (July to mid-Oct Mon– Fri 10am–3.30pm, Sat 11am–2.30pm; Tel:802/828-2228). Copious information on accommodation, here and throughout the state, is available from the Capitol Region Visitors Center, opposite the State House at 134 State St (Mon– Fri 6am–6pm, Sat & Sun 10am–6pm; Tel:802/828-5981 or 1-800/VERMONT, Web: www.vermontvacation.com ). Good B&B rooms can be had at the central yet quiet Betsy's Bed & Breakfast, 74 E State St (Tel:802/229-0466, Web: www.betsysbnb.com ; Price: $131-160). For more luxurious digs, try the Capitol Plaza Hotel, 100 State St (Tel:802/223-5252, Web: www.capitolplaza.com ; Price: $201-250).
For food, students from the local New England Culinary Institute run the Main St Grill & Bar at 118 Main St (closed Mon; Tel:802/223-3188), serving excellent, inexpensive, experimental dishes from all over the world. Coffee Corner, on Main Street at State (Tel:802/229-9060), has been serving dirt-cheap diner food for over sixty years, while Capitol Grounds, 45 State St (Tel:802/223-7800), is definitely tops for your morning coffee or tea fix.
There are several options for live music; Langdon Street Café, 4 Langdon St (Tel:802/223-8667, Web: www.langdonstreetcafe.com ), has a homey feel, with live music nightly and beer, wine, and coffee, while Black Door Bar, 44 Main St (closed Sun; Tel:802/223-7070, Web: www.blackdoorvt.com ), is a bit fancier, with jazz or zydeco ($3 cover).