Burlington, Vermont, in the winter

Burlington Guide

(Credit: Louisen/Shutterstock)

Don’t be fooled by its small size: Burlington pulses with creativity. This lakeside city boasts one of the most vibrant art scenes in the country, with galleries, live music venues and performance spaces providing residents plenty of room to flex their creative muscles. Burlington is also a mecca for foodies, beer enthusiasts and everything maple.

Although Burlington is the largest city in Vermont, it has a very intimate atmosphere with fewer than 43,000 residents, and among friendly locals, you will quickly feel at ease. Home to the University of Vermont, Burlington exudes a youthful, energizing vibe . Located on the shores of Lake Champlain and in close proximity to the Green Mountains you will find a full-range of outdoor activities to enjoy, from hiking, biking, sailing and, of course, skiing.

What to do in Burlington

When you’re not enjoying the slopes of Stowe, Mad River Glen and Sugarbush, take in the independent culture of Burlington at Church Street Marketplace, an outdoor pedestrian walkway with open-air cafes, hip shops and street performers. If you are looking to experience some live entertainment, enjoy a night out at Flynn Center of the Performing Arts which showcases ballet, jazz performances and much more. Keep an eye out for all of the different festivals that are held in Burlington from the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival in June, Vermont’s Brewers Festival in July and the Dragon Boat Festival in August.

For the beer lovers, you won’t want to miss a Burlington Brewery Tour which includes the chance to sample some of the best brews that the region has to offer. There are also various beer trails all throughout Vermont where you can hop from one brewery or pub to the next while on a bike path or driving through a scenic route-with a designated driver of course. If there are specific places you want to visit there is an option to create your own beer trail .

Ski Resorts Near Burlington

Where to stay in Burlington

Burlington has a variety of hotel options to choose from. In the heart of Downtown Burlington only a block away from the lake you will find the cosmopolitan Hotel Vermont where you can book a ski-and-stay package that allows you to enjoy the mountains by day and Burlington by night. The hotel even has its own beer concierge to help you help you find your favorite brew in the city.

Experience history by staying at the Lang House , which was established in 1881. This B&B on Main Street is restored and newly renovated but has stayed true to its historic charm leaving it as the perfect option for a romantic getaway. For a modern twist to B&B’s, Made INN Vermont embraces Burlington’s artsy vibe with eccentric decor and a whimsy atmosphere.

For the budget-conscious traveler, DoubleTree by Hilton Burlington Vermont and Comfort Inn Suites South Burlington provide comfortable accommodations for reasonable rates only a few miles away from the Burlington airport.

Where to eat in Burlington

Burlington is a foodie’s dream with local, farm-to-table restaurants. Of course, with a large student population, you will be sure to find places that are affordable while also being worth indulging in.

Experience the Burlington Farmers Market held every Saturday for quick and cheap eats made by local specialty vendors like Open Hearth Pizza and Green Mountain Potstickers . Every Friday at the South End Arts District, dig in at the ArtsRiot Truck Stop where you will find live music, an eclectic bunch of food trucks and craft beer galore.

For breakfast, pleasure in locally sourced cuisine at Juniper at Hotel Vermont where you can savor in smoked pork loin eggs Benedict, red flannel hash and wild blueberry pancakes. If you are a pizza connoisseur you will want to check out American Flatbread , though given its popularity, you shouldn’t be surprised if you have to wait for service.

Burlington is the birthplace of the infamous Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. You will find your favorite flavors to choose from at the original store on Church Street.

Family-friendly activities in Burlington

If you are traveling with the whole family It can be hard to find an activity that will please everyone. Do not fret as Burlington is a city with an array of activities for all ages to enjoy.

Rent a bike or a set of roller-blades and head over to the Burlington Bike Path that runs along the Waterfront of Lake Champlain. The path passes North Beach, so if you want to take a little swim, make sure to bring a bathing suit along with you on the ride.

Near the Waterfront, the ECHO Lake Aquarium & Science Center has hands-on marine-focused exhibits. The center is a part of the Leahy Center which educates its visitors on the fragile ecosystem of Lake Champlain. Experience the Burlington City Arts gallery education program where students will explore artists’ processes and materials, and have the chance to create works of art inspired by exhibition themes.

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