The Best Thing About Bennington?
Bennington is all about location, location, location. To the immediate west is the New York state line, to the south is Massachusetts, to the north is Burlington and then Quebec. It rests at an intersection of the northeastern corridor, an access point through which you can reach the rest of New England, New York, and even Canada, making it ideal for those who do business on the road. It is also home to Bennington College, one of the most storied and prestigious liberal arts institutes in the country, with varied alumni including author Bret Easton Ellis and actor Peter Dinklage, as well as the Bennington Battle Monument, commemorating a turning point in Green Mountain campaign of the Revolutionary War. Its historic district is excellent albeit it has suffered along with other New England towns during the collapse of the textile industry, its live theater and arts scenes are excellent, and the beautiful landscape brings in tourists en masse during the fall and winter. For those with a vested interest in nature, American history, or the arts, Bennington is an ideal home.
A local notes: I totally recommend the general area, it's absolutely beautiful, plenty of quaintness and nature spots.
The Worst Thing About Bennington?
In many ways, Bennington demonstrates the negative features of the northeastern corridor of the United States in the twenty-first century. Once a town with a thriving factory, many blue collar workers have found themselves out of work in the past twenty-years, as well as the town itself contending with tainted drinking water in the factory’s immediate vicinity. Drug use is also a noted problem amongst residents, particularly heroin. As such, the dissonance between those who move to Bennington and those who are lifelong residents is somewhat high, with transplants favoring the town and lifers occasionally disparaging it. This is not a universal dichotomy, though it is worth noting.
Here's a transplanter/expat about living in Bennington: *Lived in downtown bennington for a year before buying a home in a nearby town. The town is lovely to visit but has a a colorful crowd of locals to say the least. I moved from a city of about a million and Bennington had them beat in riff-raff street people. *
Lifestyle of Bennington
Like much of Vermont, Bennington prides itself on its closeness to nature. The Green Mountain National Forest is within driving range, as are the Shaftesbury and Woodford State Parks and Long and Appalachian Trails respectively. Skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing are popular winter activities. Additionally, the town boasts a modest golf course and recreation center, as well as a vibrant arts scene including the famed Sage City Symphony and the Oldcastle Theatre Company. And of course, the historical district offers opportunities to dive into the experience of the Revolutionary War. Finally, the highly decorated high school sports program and local eateries such as Blue Benn Diner lend it a charming small-town atmosphere.
Check out the Bennington calendar of events to see what's happening in the community: https://www.bennington.com/calendar
Worklife of Bennington
While factory jobs are on the decline in Bennington, there are other forms of work available. Bennington is home to the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, which provides interstate service and is known for its excellence in nursing and cancer research. Agriculture, forestry, fishing, tourism, and retail are also common fields of occupation. And of course, the elite Bennington College provides opportunities to professors, administrators, researchers, and other staff members.
It is also worth noting that while the location is appealing to those with a work-from-home lifestyle, high-speed internet connection in Bennington has long been considered problematic. While it is generally regarded to be improving, please bear this in mind when making decisions about moving here.
Why You Should Move Here Now
The past is alive in Bennington. The amount of local history, state history, and national history contained within the town limits is staggering, as is the beautifully preserved natural landscape of the area. If you want to live in the epicenter of the northeastern corridor and are willing to take a chance on a town in recovery, and the prices reflect that early stage revival then put it on your list.