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Best place to dance outside Chittenden County (retired cat.)

Rusty Nail

Winner:
Rusty Nail

RUST BELT

An old bumper sticker used to read, “The best thing about Burlington is that it’s so close to Vermont.” While the Queen City may be the state’s cultural and economic center, rural areas are not exactly lacking for “big city” amenities, especially where entertainment is concerned. In particular, Stowe — aka Little Aspen — boasts a smorgasbord of nighttime hotspots to suit most any taste. And their crown jewel is undoubtedly the Rusty Nail Bar & Grille on the Mountain Road. The cavernous après-ski destination is a favorite of locals and tourists alike, featuring an enormous dance floor, a tasty menu, a game room and, er, “top-notch” live entertainment on weekends. And the late-night fun isn’t relegated to winter; the joint is jumping in the warmer months, too. Or at least it will be, after ongoing renovations are complete.

- Dan Bolles