How Rutland County is Similar to Stars Hollow


Come Alive Outside might have gotten our nature-loving booties handed to us at Real Rutland Feud tonight by Rutland County Pride Center, but we loved every moment of it. Reason #110 to love Rutland, Vermont— these sorts of community events are a norm here,” says Arwen Turner, a resident of Rutland County who moved here in 2020, and a participant in the Real Rutland Feud. Community events that many people think only happen in TV shows and movies.


Rutland County Pride is announced as the 2024 Real Rutland Feud winning team.

In February, The Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region hosted the Real Rutland Feud! This live game show at the Paramount Theatre is based on the popular TV show, “Family Feud.” This community event is a fundraiser for the Real Rutland Program.

Ten local businesses and organizations competed in the show. The audience made up of community members, laughed throughout the evening and left the theatre looking forward to next year’s show. Rutland County Pride

swept the board in the first round and narrowly won the speed round, resulting in them taking home the Real Rutland Feud trophy!


Downtown Rutland, Vermont.

Arwen is not the only person to move to Rutland County and cherish local events. Sarah Ginolfi relocated to Rutland County in 2021. She says, “I grew up in the dispersed suburbs where community events were more likely to occur in localized schools, clubs, or other affinity groups. The whole town didn’t come together like we do here, so participating in Rutland traditions like this makes me feel a bit like I’m living among the Gilmore girls in Stars Hollow.”


If you are not familiar with the beloved show Gilmore Girls, it is set in a small New England town named Stars Hollow. Wikipedia describes Stars Hollow as, “a close-knit community.” The show features a town square, “Third Street” which is the historical landmark street in town, a diner almost everyone eats at, is home to locally hosted events throughout the year, and a cast of characters who know each other.

A band plays in Poultney, Vermont during Poultney Arts Day.

Living in the charming town of Stars Hollow has many similarities to the real-life experience of residing in Rutland County, Vermont. Both places offer a quintessential New England small-town atmosphere that fosters a strong sense of community and a slower, more relaxed pace of life.

Like Stars Hollow, most towns within Rutland County boast a picturesque downtown area lined with locally owned businesses, ranging from cozy cafes and bookstores to quirky boutiques and antique shops. The town greens and parks, much like the one in Stars Hollow, serve as a gathering place for community events, festivals, and outdoor activities.


Downtown Brandon, Vermont.

A few of our local towns like Brandon, Fair Haven, Pittsfield, and Rutland City have town squares equipped with a gazebo in a little park. On many of the streets surrounding the green area are historic and old buildings with small shops that are locally owned. These areas host townwide events throughout the year and small bands play music during the summer. The shops take part in these events by opening their doors and offering sales or placing seating outdoors during the warmer months for diners.


Brandon, Vermont recently renovated its downtown, creating a friendlier area for wandering amidst the planted

Summer Concert Series in Brandon, Vermont.

flowers, ordering takeout from a local restaurant and eating it by the fountain in the park, and walking the sidewalks to window shop or find that perfect new addition to your life. There is an antique shop, art galleries, local restaurants, a newly opened bakery with wood-fired pizza, and a wine shop where you can get the talk of the town like Luke’s Diner, a local brewery, and specialty shops.


Like Gilmore Girls, the town is home to The Brandon Inn, similar to Lorelai Gilmore’s “Dragonfly Inn.” In the summer, concerts are held on the green behind the Inn. Brandon residents and those from nearby towns flock to the

Summer Concert Series in Fair Haven, Vermont.

area to listen while eating packed dinners or food purchased to go at a local restaurant.

Summer concerts are one of the go-to and well-loved events for many towns throughout Vermont. Fair Haven also hosts a Summer Concert Series in their large, beautiful park, within the downtown business district. Surrounded by

large marble buildings, families bring their chairs or blankets and goodies to eat and drink, to enjoy the music while kids play in the open grassy area. There is usually a local food vendor or food truck selling snacks.


Friday Night Live in Downtown Rutland.

Moreover, Stars Hollow and Rutland County foster a tight-knit community spirit, where residents take pride in supporting local businesses and attending local events. Just as the residents of Stars Hollow were familiar faces at

Luke’s Diner or Miss Patty’s Dance Studio, Rutlanders can be found congregating at local hotspots like the Paramount Theatre or the Vermont Farmers Market.

The Paramount Theatre not only uses its stage for local performances like the Real Rutland Feud, Lip Synch Battle, Rutland Youth Theatre, and dance recitals. Musicians and acts perform on the same stage as well like Josh Turner, Lee Brice, Vermont-local Grace Potter, STOMP, Bianca Del Rio, and Young and Strange. This theatre was built from 1912-1913 and opened on January 16, 1914. The interior is styled as a Victorian Opera House, featuring

The interior of The Paramount Theatre in Downtown Rutland, Vermont.

a pink rose fabric on the walls, a stenciled ceiling, and gold leaf applied to features along the box seating and proscenium. The Great Houdini was one performer to delight Rutland residents.


The Vermont Farmers Market in Rutland is outdoors in the historic downtown of Rutland City during the warmer months. A Saturday morning activity Sookie from Gilmore Girls would love. People of all ages wander the booths weekly, looking for fresh veggies, bread and pastries, milk, specialty foods, flowers, coffee, sauces, crafts, honey, and more to purchase! During the colder months, the market moves inside, and the products change seasonally, but you can be sure they are still local!

The surrounding natural beauty of Rutland, nestled in the heart of the Green Mountains, mirrors the idyllic landscapes seen in Stars Hollow. Residents can enjoy hiking trails, scenic vistas, and opportunities for outdoor recreation, just as the Gilmore girls frequently

Chittenden Reservoir in Chittenden, Vermont.

explored the charming town and its nearby woods.

Spend an afternoon in the sprawling 325 acres of Pine Hill Park within Rutland City. The picturesque 721-acre Chittenden Reservoir is breathtaking year-round. In late spring, summer, and early fall, paddleboarders, kayakers, and sailors are on the water at all hours of the day. If you are on the water as the fog lifts in the morning, you may spot a moose! The nearby trails are fun for the whole family to explore, taking hikers around the water and through the woods.

Bikers and hikers enjoy the 15+ miles of interconnected foot and bike trails within the Slate Valley Trail System. The trails span multiple cities, including Castleton, Poultney, and Wells, and border the Eastern side of New York State. The Slate

Valley Trails’ website is updated frequently, letting adventurers know which

Mountain bikers racing in the Slate Valley Epic in Poultney, Vermont.

trails are open and those closed due to mud or damage on the trail.


Lorelai Gilmore claims she can smell snow and knows when the first fall will happen. She associates the snow with happiness. Many Vermonters also get giddy during the first big snowstorm because that means it is time to go skiing or snowboarding again at Pico Mountain or Killington Mountain. Did you know, Killington is called “The Beast of the East” because it is the biggest mountain resort in the east and people ski into June?

Stars Hollow is rich in history, as is the Rutland Region. In total, ninety-five

Wilson Castle in Proctor, Vermont.

landmarks are listed on the National Register within Rutland County. Many landmarks are covered bridges, one historic landmark Vermont is famously known for. The only true castle in Vermont is the Wilson Castle in Proctor. Tours of the building are available year-

round; you can put your acting skills to the test during a murder mystery dinner or flaunt your bravery by spending the night in this house that is most definitely haunted.

While Stars Hollow is a fictional town, its charm and close-knit community atmosphere are beautifully captured in the real-life setting of Rutland County, Vermont. From the quaint downtown districts to the stunning natural surroundings, and the strong sense of community pride, living in Rutland offers a similar experience to the beloved world of Gilmore Girls.

We are happy to help you make your dreams of living in Stars Hollow real.

“Pizza in the Meadow” in Middletown Springs, Vermont.

Connect with our Real Rutland Concierge Coordinator to learn more about the area and opportunities, your potential future employer, and meet others who are like you and currently live, work, and play here. You could be part of this close-knit community, wandering downtown, buying fresh foods at the farmers market, friends with an

innkeeper, and reading your newly bought book from a locally owned store in a warm coffee shop.


If you are curious, here is more information about the Real Rutland Feud.

The Original General Store in Poultney, Vermont.

The Businesses and non-profit organizations that took part in the 2024 show were Casella Real Estate, Xfinity, Maple Leaf Clinic, Rutland Regional Medical Center, Killington Resort, Key Honda, Heritage Family Credit Union, M&T Bank, Come Alive Outside, and Rutland County Pride. Cape Air sponsored Rutland County Pride and Great Gulf sponsored Come Alive Outside. The Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region looks forward to hosting the show again in 2025.