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Centered on a former mill that once produced fabrics and then, later, aircraft parts, Ludlow has an unpretentious made-in-Vermont character that seems miles from the prim grace of white clapboard Grafton. Low-key and unassuming, it has transformed into a somewhat hip destination thanks to the skiers who come by the busload to ski Okemo Mountain, a once-sleepy resort that has come to life in recent years. It's notable for being one of the few ski towns in New England that didn't go all Tyrolean and over-the-top with ski huts, chalets, and boutique shops. Ludlow still lacks splashy nightlife and fancy restaurants today, but many longtime visitors like it that way.

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