Beckoning with the perfect blend of old New England charm, arts, culture, and nature, Burlington – Vermont’s largest city is one of those places you can not help but fall in love with.
Located on the shores of Lake Champlain, between the Adirondack and Green Mountains, Burlington is a quaint Vermont town in the New England region, the USA with a population of over 40,000. Spanning in an area of 40km2, this city makes it an attractive base for exploring the rest of northwestern Vermont. Aside from being a college town and an important commercial city, Burlington became the first city in the U.S. to run entirely on renewable energy.
This beautiful city oozes a spirited, youthful vibe and more ethnic diversity than anywhere else in Vermont. With the walkable downtown, bike paths, farmers market, fabulous food co-op, and proximity to nature, the city is considered one of America’s greenest and most livable cities. Pack your gears and get ready to enjoy the stunning city of Burlington on your upcoming trip.
WHEN TO GO TO BURLINGTON
With its four striking seasons, the city of Burlington offers tourists fantastic and unique experiences in any season. Traveling to the city during the spring and summer, you will have the opportunity to indulge in festivals and outdoors on alive streets. The picnic benches, playground, and bike paths of Leddy Park intrigue warm weather revelers. Besides, swimming, fishing or just enjoying on beaches are also wonderful activities in these seasons.
If you are an avid romance and want to immerse in the breathtaking leaf-falling autumn scene, Burlington Bike Path is worth a visit. Do not forget to visit this path to view the vibrant autumn colors and take beautiful photos on your trip to this city. In winter, the city intrigues a crowd of visitors to head to the Paquette Arena to ice-skate or go skiing around nearby resorts. Visiting the pretty city of Burlington, any time of the year is a good time for interesting outdoor activities and amazing experiences.
TRANSPORTATION TO BURLINGTON
As the heart of a small urban area that acts as Vermont’s vibrant and cosmopolitan center, there are so many ways for tourists to get into this city. One of the most convenient means of transportations to reach Burlington is by plane. You can fly to Burlington International Airport that is served by many airlines with non-stop service to destinations as far as Chicago and Orlando.
In addition, cars are also a popular way of getting to the city. You can access the town center via exit 14W, Interstate 189 at exit 13, or Interstate 89 lying just to the east of town. Additionally, route 7 can also be useful for accessing Burlington from the south, as it travels north from western Connecticut and Massachusetts and the southwestern Vermont town of Bennington. It takes you 6 hours drive to get to the city from New York City and three a half-hour drive from Boston and about 2 hours drive from Montreal.
Another means of transportation for you to move to Vermont’s largest city is the bus. You can get in Megabus – the daily service to the city from Montpelier and Boston. Also, a train journey to reach Burlington is ideal. You can buy a train ticket from the Amtrak station that provides daily service to Washington, D.C. via New York City. And do not miss ferries – one of the unique means of transportation to come to this city. You can take a ferry trip with Lake Champlain Ferries that operates a seasonal ferry service from 3 King Street Dock in downtown Burlington to Port Kent, New York across Lake Champlain. This service offers tourists fresh and unique experiences.
THINGS TO DO IN BURLINGTON
With an enviable location next to New England’s largest lake and not far from Vermont’s premier ski mountains, Burlington will definitely leave you in awe with stunning attractions and wonderful experiences.
Take a boat trip on Lake Champlain: Getting out on Lake Champlain, you will have the opportunity to take your eyes to admire the views of New York’s Adirondack Mountains to the west and Vermont’s Green Mountains to the east or take a shot at spotting Champ and trying to photograph a Loch Ness-like lake monster. Consider booking a cruise aboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen, which offers daily cruises as well as special cruise events.
Spend time on Church Street: No trip to Burlington would be complete without visiting Church Street – the city’s lively, central, open-air shopping thoroughfare with more than 150 shops, kiosks, and restaurants. This area is great for shopping, especially if you are looking to shop locally. Do not forget to stop for a delicious scoop of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream – Burlington’s most famous home-grown global success story. Enjoying live music played by street entertainers is also a fantastic experience that you should not miss when exploring Church Street.
Explore history at the Shelburne Museum: Located in the south of Burlington, the Shelburne Museum houses American folk and decorative art in 39 exhibition buildings with collections of paintings, folk art, quilts, and textiles along with New England history and architecture. Visiting the museum, you will have the opportunity to explore the historic buildings which include houses, barns, a meeting house, a one-room schoolhouse, a lighthouse, a jail, a general store, a covered bridge, and the 220-foot steamboat ‘Ticonderoga’.
Cycle along the Burlington Bike Path: Situated directly next to Lake Champlain, the Burlington Bike Path runs for 7.6 miles along its edge. If you are a big fan of cycling, you should not miss traveling the path right at the Burlington waterfront or venturing even further on the Island Line Trail that brings you a breathtaking journey and a unique experience.
Experience a night out in Downtown Burlington: Home to many fun bars and pubs that offer a low-key, Vermont vibe, Downtown Burlington will leave you a great nightlife. Be sure to drop into the Three Needs which is a hip, rustic bar with plenty of seating, pool tables, and good beers on tap, or the Gryphon – a classy joint and has delicious food on top of its solid cocktail options and Metronome – a tiny nightclub for dancing to the wee hours.
Besides, there are a variety of wonderful experiences in Burlington for you to explore such as drinking locally made beer, watching artisans at work at AO Glass, hanging out at a tea or coffee shop, visiting a historic homestead, going shopping the farmer’s market, picking apples and sipping cider.
PLACES TO EAT
Bistro de Margo: Having a good reputation for an exquisite foie gras torchon or a pan-seared cod filet, Bistro de Marge is an ideal restaurant for you while exploring Burlington.
Penny Cluse Cafe: As Burlington’s most popular breakfast spot, Penny Cluse Cafe is worth lining up and waiting for moderately priced ham and egg alternatives such as ‘Bucket-o-Spuds’ (home fries with melted cheese, salsa, sour cream, and scallions), the smoked-salmon plate and gingerbread pancakes.
Hen of the Wood: Travelling to Burlington, be sure to nibble on Hen of the Wood’s mushroom toast with house bacon and poached farm egg, or rabbit leg with buttered celery root, parsnips, and cranberries. Hen of the Wood is famous for the rustic yet sophisticated farm-to-table cuisine that put Burlington on the map as a culinary destination.
ArtsRiot: With creative Asian-inspired vegetable dishes sourced from nearby Half Pint Farm and Jericho Settlers Farm and fish line-caught from Wood Mountain Fish or Vermont Mangalista pork coming from Royalton Farms for the Mangalista pork taquitos, barbecue pork ribs, pork cheek carnitas, and crispy pork belly, ArtsRiot restaurant intrigues a large number of diners with wonderful culinary experience. Do not leave Burlington without treating yourself to savory dining at the pretty restaurant of ArtsRiot.
PLACES TO STAY
Burlington offers many types of accommodation such as hotels, homestays, and inns for you to rest your head. For a perfect trip to Burlington, consider these great lodging options.
Hotel Vermont: Offering bright, modern accommodations with wood and stone accents from Vermont forests and quarries, this downtown destination will make your trip complete.
|Address: 41 Cherry Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401, USA|
Made INN Vermont: Blending 19th- and 20th-century styles in a classic, cupola-crowned Victorian mansion, Burlington’s newest inn will definitely give you fantastic experiences. You can enjoy gel-topped mattresses, in-room fridges stocked with local delicacies, a sauna, and an outdoor hot tub.
|Address: 204 S. Willard Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401, USA|
If you are a festival avid and want to indulge in the lively atmosphere of events throughout the year, Burlington is worth a visit.
First Night (December 31): Mark the coming of the new year with parades, performers, and fireworks.
Winter Carnival (February): Celebrate the winter with ice sculptures, parades, and sleigh rides.
KeyBank Vermont City Marathon (Sunday before Memorial Day): As a qualifying race for major national marathons, it is one of the largest sporting events in the city with street vendors, musicians, and food stalls during and after the race.
The Burlington Discover Jazz Festival (first two weeks in June): This is the largest event of jazz in the state and draws internationally renowned performing artists to the city each summer, as well as throngs of jazz, blues, gospel, and Latin music fans.
Independence Day Fireworks (evening of July 3): The City of Burlington holds its fireworks on the evening of the 3rd to allow people to attend both it and the smaller towns’ festivities on the 4th – the independence day of the US.
Vermont Brewers Festival (mid-July): The annual summer gathering on Burlington’s waterfront with microbrews from Vermont and throughout New England.
Festival of Fools (early August): A curated festival of street entertainers.