Are you seeking an adventure in downtown St. Albans? Maybe you’re a new visitor or new community member, or you’ve been here your whole life and are looking to learn something new! There are the obvious activities, but some hidden gems too…Read on.
Downtown has a lot to offer the community members and visitors through music, arts, activities, shopping, and dining, but have you thought about any of these options to complement the usual suspects?
- Self-Guided Walking Tour
- Painting the Park
- Catch a movie in the local theatre
- Attending one of the many festivals
Self-Guided Walking Tour
Have you taken a walk around Downtown St. Albans lately? Explore the city on a self-guided walking tour and take in the sites. Did you know this city is rich with history and was actively involved in the Civil War? Maybe you recall or have heard of the St. Albans Raid?
Go on, go ahead, and start your walk with a tour of the St. Albans Historical Museum (once a school) – a good place to brush up on the city’s history before venturing on. Then stroll down to the city’s Main Street, where you might find a bulldog on one of the buildings, or see old signage of ghosts of businesses past. A walk down Main Street offers architectural views of buildings that have been around since the 1800’s or so, and the old United States Post Office building with its beautiful pillars stand at the city’s edge.
Hop on down Lake Street and see the new Hotel, and the refurbished St. Albans House, as well as the St. Albans Foundry Co., founded in 1840 and while the building is still standing today, but home to a local eatery. The list goes on as the story and originations of each and every building in the Downtown St. Albans area.
What about the railroad history of this town? Now a humble station for freight and passengers, St. Albans was once a bustling rail community seeing more than 200 trains passing in a day! The foundry and other local businesses contributed to the rail industry and distributed goods in all directions. While it has changed considerably, it is the history that made this city, and its founder’s names are on buildings and streets all around.
Major fires wrecked the city twice, but the resilient city rose from the ashes and developed better infrastructure to prevent such catastrophes from occurring again. When you are at the museum, you may just find a bit of information about that too.
Stopping by the local bookstore, you can find countless books on the city’s history and visit some of the sites integral to the growth of the city.
So go on ahead now and stop by stores and restaurants enjoy what they offer today, but observe their histories of long ago. Feel free to ask the people around town and in the shops what they know – you’ll be sure to hear some stories of this community’s history.
Paint the Park!
Okay, don’t literally paint the park, but I’m thinking maybe a picture of the park. Are you an artist or the creative type? Get out your supplies, your canvas or drawing paper, find yourself a spot in the park, and get to work. No matter the weather, Taylor Park offers a beautiful scene for photographing, painting, or sculpturing. Look in some of the downtown shops for artworks of this area; you might just find a photograph or painting of the Lady’s of the Fountain in Taylor Park. In summer, the gardens are in full bloom and offer a floral backdrop to capture the park.
If you are photographing, we love to see your works, and you can share them with us by tagging @DowntownSt.Albans on Facebook or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catch a Movie
Again, an abundance of history, The Welden Theatre 3 has seen several reiterations, the building has historical significance too. Located directly next to St. Albans City Hall in the “Collins Block, established in 1895”, which can be seen on the exterior of the building. Today, the theatre continues to be family owned and operated as it has since its inception in the 1940’s. It offers guests digital screening with three theatres playing current movies at lower prices than many franchise operations in other nearby areas.
Festivals, Festivals, and More Festivals!
In late April, the city is host to the Vermont Maple Festival and puts the region at the center of the Maple Capital of the World. That might be a made-up name but roll with it because the Maple Syrup in this county is some of the best. Haven’t tried it? Then you have no idea what you are missing! The Vermont Maple Festival is PACKED with so many things to do in the three days including:
- Antique and craft shows
- Maple syrup contests
- Maple syrup smothered pancake breakfasts
- To die for maple creemees (soft serve)
The Festival of Trees is a spectacular week of events with an evening Gala, fireworks and tree lighting in Taylor Park, a scavenger hunt, stories by Santa, and so much more at the beginning of December kicking off the holiday season.
Winter Blues Arts Festival provides community members, community artists and creatives to come together and teach others their skills and interests, including Open Mic, singing, dancing, nalebinding, and painting demonstrations. Each year the festival workshops and presentations change to offer a wide-range of learning opportunities. Maybe you’ll find a new interest.
The Summer Concert Series takes place in Taylor Park every Wednesday evening beginning at 5:30pm with various live bands. Some past performers include The Nobby Reed Project, INCAHOOTS, The Citizens Band, and many more.
Well, now there you have it, some things to do in Downtown St. Albans, but if you are ever looking for more, you can visit Downtown St. Albans website or our Facebook page. Share your ideas for an adventure in Downtown St. Albans on Facebook or email at email@example.com.