No matter what exotic tidbits or intriguing locales students attempt to haggle out of this town, in the end, they still wind up with good 'ole Middlebury—a small, antique dollhouse of a village, dotted with restaurants and shops that all close between 5 p.m. and 12 a.m., and a smattering of snow-covered cobblestone streets. It’s quiet, it’s quaint, and it can feel suffocating at times. On the other hand, the atmosphere caters well to those more inclined toward outdoor activities—particularly winter sports, hiking, and swimming. There are several renowned ski areas around (including the one owned by the College), a maze of magnificently groomed cross-country ski trails, lakes, rivers, and falls.
The Middlebury experience feels similar to being inside a cozy penny candy store or an old-fashioned piggy bank. If you’re a country bumpkin, a lover of the magnificent outdoors, or are simply anxious to be liberated from the noise and pollution of the city, Middlebury is for you. It will certainly not overwhelm you with shopping options, nightclubs, or traffic lights. However, you can get anything and everything you need for survival in Middlebury, as long as you’re not counting on 24-hour stores. If you’re looking for variety and a less-settled atmosphere, you’ll have to take the trip to Burlington. If you don’t plan on bringing a car, it shouldn’t be much of a problem—usually even the most disagreeable people finagle a couple of friends with vehicles, and everyone visits Burlington frequently.