I can confidently say that I know the city of Burlington like the back of my hand. I’ve spent several months there, living in a great little apartment with my girlfriend who used to study at the University of Vermont.
Burlington is the largest city in Vermont, home to a little more than 40,000 people and squeezed beautifully between the shores of Lake Champlain and the spectacular Green Mountains. It is a progressive college city that is made up of bike rental shops, green parks, numerous pubs and microbreweries (Vermont has the most breweries per capita of all U.S. states), and a few excellent museums. It is a multi-award-winning city, previously listed as ‘happiest small city in the U.S.’, one of ‘America’s best downtowns’, in the top 10 of ‘great places to live’, as one of the ‘most promising tech hubs to watch’ and so on.
Oh! And it’s also the birthplace and HQ of Ben & Jerry’s. If that doesn’t add to its appeal, I honestly don’t would know what would.
5 Places To See in Burlington VT
Church Street Marketplace
This is the place to be in Burlington. Church Street is a beautiful tree- and shop-lined pedestrian street that extends for several blocks in the heart of the city. There are dozens of (specialty) stores, bars and restaurants with outside terraces, and street performers.
Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts is located on Main Street and is a member of the League of Historic American Theaters. One of the largest theaters in New England, it is been the beating heart of culture in Burlington.
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Vermont’s is home to dozens – if not hundreds – of (micro)breweries and Magic Hat is one of the best ones. This eclectic brewery’s guided tours are great fun and are ended with a visit to the bar.
If Church Street is too busy for you, a few minutes’ walk will take you down to the Waterfront and its parks. Facing west to the Adirondacks and New York State, the sunset views are absolutely stunning. A scenic bike path follows the Lake Champlain shoreline and leads past more parks and a few excellent sandy beaches. The Waterfront is also home to the renowned ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center.
Arguably one of the most peculiar museums around, Shelburne Museum features everything from thousands of miniature circus figures and 400 dolls to more than 200 horse-drawn carriages, 40 old buildings and 120 weather vanes. This open-air museum is so varied that it is impossible to become bored!
I’ve highlighted my top 5 places to see in Burlington VT, but there are of course more than just a handful. I would suggest starting with these, though, but if you have more time, consider visiting the Ethan Allen Homestead, Shelburne Farms and the University of Vermont as well.