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Several chain motels flank Route 5 north of Brattleboro. Perhaps the best choice is the Quality Inn & Suites, 1380 Putney Rd. (tel. 866/254-8701 or 802/254-8701; www.qualityinnbrattleboro.com), featuring a restaurant, a fitness center with a sauna, and both an indoor and an outdoor pool. Double-room rates generally range from about $49 to $129, depending on size and season.

A One-Room Option -- The Artist's Loft, 103 Main St. (tel. 802/257-5181; www.theartistsloft.com), features one -- count it -- one guest suite, but if it's available, it makes a good base between mid-September and mid-May. A spacious, bright third-floor suite with two rooms in a historic building in the middle of downtown, it faces east, away from traffic and toward the river. It's run by Patricia Long and William Hays, who also operate the art gallery next door. (Hays's paintings adorn the guest room.) One funky and important point: The bathroom is in the owners' adjacent apartment. Rates are $138 per night, not including continental breakfast, and a bit higher during foliage season. If you're traveling with family or a group, ask about an additional room you can rent with the suite.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.