Whenever you tell someone you live in Vermont the first question you usually get is, “Oh, are you near Burlington?” Burlington has got to be the most well-known city in the state, which is no wonder since it is also the largest.
Situated on the eastern shoreline of Lake Champlain, Burlington offers a picturesque setting for picnics in Waterfront Park, scenic cruises on the Spirit of Ethan Allen and seasonal lakefront dining at Splash or Breakwater Cafe and Grill. Head over to North Beach (you can take the bike path!) for some fun in the sun – rent a kayak or stand-up paddle board and get out on the lake.
After spending time on the lakefront, make your way up to the Church Street Marketplace to do a little shopping. Along the brick-lined street you will find more than 100 shops with everything from high-end fashions and jewelry to VT made crafts and arts. Some of our favorites:
- Frog Hollow – features the work of local VT artists including paintings, jewelry, pottery and sculptures
- Lake Champlain Chocolates – delicious handcrafted chocolates, try the fudge or their hot chocolate
- Outdoor Gear Exchange – find all the gear you could possibly need for any VT outdoor adventure
- Apple Mountain – all of the Vermont products you’re looking for: maple syrup and candy, specialty foods, Vermont tees and hoodies and souvenirs
All of that walking and shopping will really work up an appetite, and there are plenty of restaurants to choose from downtown. A few not to miss:
- Leunig’s – a piece of Paris in downtown Burlington, a great spot for people-watching when you can dine al fresco
- Vermont Pub & Brewery – VT’s oldest craft brewery with awesome beers and pub style food
- Penny Cluse Cafe – awesome breakfast, make sure you get in early to grab a seat
- Skinny Pancake – yummy savory or sweet crepes, try the Lovemaker with Nutella, strawberries and whipped cream
There are also some great options for entertainment – catch some live music at Nectar’s and grab a plate of their famous late night gravy fries. The Flynn hosts a number of live performances including plays, operas, ballets and comedians. ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center features permanent and traveling exhibits, with lots of hands-on activities for the kids.
And if that’s not enough, there are lots of local events to check out throughout the year – Discover Jazz Festival, Vermont Brewer’s Festival, South End Art Hop, and Magic Hat Mardi Gras just to name a few. Also not to be missed – the Burlington Farmers’ Market is held outdoors in City Hall Park during the warmer months and is a great spot to find local foods, treats and locally made crafts.
With so much to see and experience, it’s no surprise that Burlington consistently lands in the top places to live!