Table of Contents
Fall in Love with Burlington, Vermont: Why You Need to Visit This Cozy College Town
Getting to Burlington
Travelers looking to get to Burlington, Vermont, have a few options. One of the most popular choices for getting there is by car, as it is only a 5-hour drive from New York City and allows travelers to explore the stunning scenery of New England. However, suppose travelers are looking for a more relaxing journey. In that case, they can also take the Amtrak train from Penn Station in NYC to Burlington. Several bus companies offer trips from NYC and other cities in the Northeast to Burlington. For those looking to fly, Burlington International Airport (BTV) offers flights from major cities such as Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia. Travelers should note that Burlington is busiest during the summer months, so it’s best to book flights and accommodation well in advance.
Best Places to Stay
From luxurious hotels and resorts to cozy bed and breakfasts and private vacation rentals, travelers have a range of choices to suit their needs. Of the top-rated places to stay, Hotel Vermont is a popular choice for its spectacular views of the Adirondack Mountains and Lake Champlain, plus its excellent restaurant, Juniper Bar. Seward House Bed & Breakfast offers four individually decorated rooms with cozy fireplaces and antique furniture for those looking for something more unique and charming. Many vacation rentals throughout the city provide a home away from home experience, including lakefront properties with stunning views. No matter the budget or style preference, Burlington has something for everyone.
Hotel Vermont is an independent and LEED Certified hotel located in downtown Burlington, close to Church Street and the shores of Lake Champlain. Guests can enjoy 125 guest bedrooms, 2,700 square feet of function space, on-site dining, and contemporary artwork. Additional amenities include free bicycles and yoga classes. Nearby attractions include Burlington Memorial Auditorium and Winooski Falls Mill District. Hotel Vermont offers an authentic local experience in the heart of downtown Burlington.
Lake Champlain is located in Burlington, Vermont, in the northwestern corner of the state, straddling the New York state line to the west and the Canadian border to the north. The lake is 435 square miles of surface water with an average depth of 12 miles at its widest point. It contains roughly 80 islands, three comprising four entire Vermont towns (most of Grand Isle County). Lake Champlain is known for its lack of bustle and over-development and offers visitors a refreshing experience. Those looking to learn more about chocolate can visit the Lake Champlain Chocolates Flagship Store, where they can enjoy family-friendly activities and discover all about chocolate. Lake Champlain is also just a few hours away from major cities in the Northeast, such as Albany, Boston, Montreal, and New York.
Juniper Bar & Restaurant in downtown Burlington, at 41 Cherry St; Burlington, is a popular spot for hotel guests and locals, offering locally-sourced seasonally-inspired breakfast, dinner, and drinks. The menu celebrates community efforts and local producers raising food and brewing beer. It has received excellent reviews on its service and food, with many customers praising the restaurant’s atmosphere. Juniper Bar & Restaurant is a great place to visit for a delicious meal or just to relax with friends.
Seward House Bed & Breakfast
The Seward House Bed & Breakfast allows guests to experience a unique and historic getaway. Built-in the 19th century by Dr. William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt Webb, the Inn was opened as Shelburne Farms’ guest house in 1987 and has been lovingly preserved. The property boasts Victorian architecture and modern amenities, such as cookies and guided tours of the home’s many fascinating aspects. Guests will also appreciate the Inn’s hip, upscale atmosphere, conveniently located in downtown Burlington. Whether looking for a romantic escape or a family-friendly adventure, the Willard Street Inn is the perfect home base for any Vermont adventure.
Burlington, Vermont, is a popular tourist destination known for its waterfront park and Church Street Marketplace. The Ethan Allen Homestead, a historic house museum and national historic landmark, is a must-see for tourists. The University of Vermont is also worth exploring, with its beautiful campus and numerous attractions. The Church Street Marketplace offers visitors various shops and restaurants to explore in central Burlington. The waterfront park is another popular tourist destination with scenic views and various recreational activities. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic or a leisurely stroll along the lakefront. No matter what your interests may be, Burlington offers something for everyone.
Ethan Allen Homestead
The Ethan Allen Homestead is located in Burlington, Vermont, off Route 127. It is a multi-use property with over three miles of trails open from sunrise to sunset year-round. It is home to various wildlife species, including raccoon, deer, and gray squirrel. The historic house museum was built by Ethan Allen around 1787 and is now open to the public for tours. The grounds also feature the Burlington Wildway Trail and other trails that connect to riverside trails and bike paths. Visitors can enjoy various outdoor activities while exploring the grounds and learning about Vermont’s history with a visit to the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum.
University of Vermont
The University of Vermont (UVM) is a public research university founded in 1791. It is considered a top 100 research university with enough size to offer a breadth of ideas, resources, and opportunities yet small enough to provide a supportive learning environment. The university works to improve the health of humans, society, and our planet. UVM also has an official athletics website for their team, “VCats.” The city of Burlington itself is the most populous in the state and offers a variety of activities for students.
Church Street Marketplace
Church Street Marketplace is located in Burlington, Vermont, an uncovered outdoor pedestrian shopping and dining mall. It consists of four blocks of Church Street and is home to a hundred stores and restaurants, as well as year-round events, entertainment, and more. Its colorful cafes, thriving art scene, festivals, and historical architecture make it the center of Burlington’s central business district. The Church Street Marketplace webcam offers a great view of the main strip of the open-air mall and shops. Visitors can enjoy the view while browsing the variety of stores, restaurants, and entertainment the marketplace offers. With its award-winning status and many attractions, it’s no wonder Church Street Marketplace is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
Waterfront Park is a public park located in San Diego, California. It offers a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean and is open from 6am to 10pm daily. The park is home to Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park and the Battleship Oregon Memorial, which was built in 1956 to commemorate an 1893 ship. It also features over 10 acres of the waterfront area, with plenty of room for visitors to explore and enjoy. Additionally, Waterfront Park features a closed shelter near the Fishing Pier that was renovated in 2020 to create Water Works Park. A Pease Lot parking area is available from May to October each year.
Burlington, Vermont, is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. From hiking to biking, kayaking to paddleboarding, there are plenty of activities to explore. Local outfitters provide the necessary equipment rentals and guided tours to ensure visitors get the most out of their outdoor experience. For hikers, Burlington offers a variety of trails ranging from easy to difficult, with stunning mountain views and lush forests. Bikers can explore the city’s many bike paths, with scenic views of Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains. Kayakers and paddleboarders can enjoy the tranquil waters of Lake Champlain while admiring its panoramic views and coastal wildlife. With so much to do and see in Burlington, it’s an ideal destination for outdoor adventurers!
Green Mountain Suites Hotel is located in South Burlington, Vermont, and provides guests with a comfortable and convenient lodging experience. The hotel has over 100 one and two-bedroom rooms, suites, apartments, and townhouses. Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant that serves a Vermont-style breakfast each morning. Other amenities include free breakfast, free WiFi, a fitness center, and a charming boutique Vermont country inn experience. The hotel’s convenient location is close to Church Street Marketplace, The University of Vermont UVM, and South Burlington’s popular outdoor attractions. Rated #1 on TripAdvisor for Stowe, Vermont Hotels, Green Mountain Suites Hotel provides travelers with an enjoyable stay in the area.
Food and Drink
Burlington is the place to be for foodies! The city has an abundance of delicious restaurants and breweries to explore. From the locally-sourced cuisine of the pubs to the award-winning craft beers of the breweries, there’s something for everyone. Of course, no visit to Burlington would be complete without trying local specialties — maple syrup, cheese, and craft beer. There are several top-rated restaurants in the city offering up these dishes. For a unique dining experience, head to Church Street Tavern or The Spot on the Dock. Both offer mouthwatering menus with something for everyone. Check out Queen City Brewery or Fiddlehead Brewing Company for a taste of Burlington’s craft beer scene. You’ll be sure to find something you love. With so many delicious options in Burlington, it’s easy to see why this city is known for its amazing food and drink!
Church Street Tavern
Located in Burlington, Vermont, the Church Street Tavern has been a popular destination spot since 1995. With an extensive selection of beer and wine and simple and freshly prepared food, patrons can enjoy a night out in the bar, lounge, or dining room. The tavern also offers craft beers and cocktails.
The Spot on the Dock
The Spot on the Dock in Burlington, Vermont, is a popular waterfront bar and restaurant. Located on Lake Champlain, it offers stunning water views and casual dining options. The menu includes a variety of appetizers, such as Avocado Fries, and cocktails, like Mango Margaritas and Blue Hawaiians. Guests can also enjoy a variety of beers and wines. During warmer months, patrons can relax in the outdoor seating area while enjoying dishes like Salmon Poke or Cobb salads. With its prime location and delicious offerings, The Spot on the Dock is a great place to enjoy a meal with friends or family.
Queen City Brewery
Queen City Brewery is a craft brewery located in Burlington, Vermont. Established in 2020, they specialize in traditional European and American recipes and ingredients to craft delicious beers. With over 60 reviews on Untappd, Queen City Brewery is highly rated among beer drinkers. Their ales and lagers ranging from traditional tastes to unique specialty beers. Additionally, they offer growlers of beer to-go. Queen City Brewery is the first brewery in Staunton since Prohibition, offering a wide selection of brews accompanied by a sample flight or pint.
Fiddlehead Brewing Company
Fiddlehead Brewing Company, located in Shelburne, VT, offers visitors a unique beer-tasting experience. At their tasting room and retail shop, guests can sample a rotating list of draft beers, including Fiddlehead IPA (6.2% ABV, 53 IBU), Second Fiddle (8.2% ABV, 80 IBU), Mastermind (8.1% ABV, 90 IBU) and Hodad (5.5% ABV). The owner and Brewmaster, Matt “Matty O” Cohen, opened the brewery focusing on the arts and sustainability. The brewery is open from four to eight PM on Mondays and Tuesdays and offers customizable waffle beanies for purchase. My husband and I recently visited Fiddlehead Brewery. We were impressed by their craft beer selection and commitment to sustainability and the arts.
Burlington is a great place to shop and explore, especially on the pedestrian-only Church Street Marketplace. This unique shopping center offers a plethora of unique boutiques and shops, ranging from vintage and antique stores to trendy clothing stores. Plenty of farmers’ markets provide fresh, local produce and goods, allowing shoppers to support local businesses while enjoying delicious products. With its lively atmosphere and exciting array of stores, Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace is sure to have something for everyone.
Burlington, Vermont, is home to some of the best cultural events in the northeast. From June 3-12, the city hosts the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival. Featuring a variety of jazz genres, the event includes performances by local, national, and international artists. With ticket prices ranging from $25-50 per show, it’s an affordable way to experience high-quality jazz. Insider tip: Bring a blanket and snacks for a picnic-style evening of music at Waterfront Park.
Day Trips and Excursions
If you’re looking for the perfect day trip from Burlington, Vermont, look no further! Join Vermontology Guided Tours on a guided tour from Burlington to Stowe for a day of adventure in the Green Mountains. On this journey, you will experience world-class skiing and snowboarding at Stowe Mountain Resort, explore the beauty of the Mad River Valley, and visit the Shelburne Museum. Enjoy an unforgettable day in the mountains and take spectacular views from the Trapp Family Lodge. Sugarbush Resort is a great destination for those who love outdoor recreation, with plenty of hiking trails, mountain biking trails, and waterfalls to explore. Take in the European-style setting of the luxury lodge while admiring nature’s beauty. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to experience all Vermont offers!
Snowboarding at Stowe Mountain Resort is a legendary experience. Stowe offers many options for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities with 116 ski trails, 13 lifts, and a gondola connecting the base and summit. It’s a relatively easy mountain, with chairlifts running from the base to the resort’s summit. The historic inn has been internationally acclaimed since the meetings and provides luxury skiing and riding for the whole family. With its community, landscape, and hospitality, Stowe is a popular destination for serious east coast riding. Skiing or snowboarding at Stowe Mountain Resort is an unforgettable experience.
Mad River Valley
The Mad River Valley is an area of Vermont encompassing the towns of Duxbury, Fayston, Moretown, Waitsfield, and Warren. Located in the beautiful Green Mountains along Route 17 and just off Route 100, it is approximately an hour’s drive away. The region is best known for its two ski resorts, Sugarbush Resort and Mad River Glen. The Mad River Valley itself is defined by the river that runs through it, ironically ending its prosperity in the past. Today, it is a popular destination for tourists looking to experience the area’s natural beauty and outdoor activities. Real estate in this area is also highly sought after due to its stunning landscape and proximity to amenities.
Shelburne Museum is a museum of art, design, and Americana located in Shelburne, Vermont. Founded in 1947 by Electra Havemeyer Webb, the museum has over 150,000 works displayed in 39 exhibitions. It includes galleries with art from various periods, a steamship, and a lighthouse. Visitors can enjoy concerts in the summer, and admission costs $25 from May to October. The museum is open daily from 10am to 5pm and is located 8 miles south of downtown Burlington. Sign up for the Shelburne Museum E-Newsletter now to stay connected.