It often seems the same handful of iconic U.S. cities get all of the attention. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Seattle, etc. you get the idea. While those cities are undoubtedly magnificent, the U.S. is overflowing with a multitude of incredible, albeit less-famous, cities.
For anyone looking for a new city to explore, one that is bit off-the-beaten-track so to speak, consider planning a getaway to Burlington, Vermont. Vermont, in general, is a state that flies under the usual tourist radar, a fact which the locals are more than pleased about.
Not that the locals aren’t friendly, indeed Vermont is filled with some of friendliest, and quirkiest, people in the nation! What we mean is, Vermont is the kind of state where those who live in it are well-aware of its many accolades, and understand that life under the radar is peaceful and less crowded.
7 Reasons to Visit Burlington Vermont
Ok, back to Burlington. Burlington is the ideal destination for those who love nature, food, beer, being active, savoring all things locally-grown. To paint a clearer picture of what the town is all about, here’s a quick list of some of our favorite highlights of Burlington:
1. Burlington Greenway
Burlington is a fantastic example of a city that is so wholly interconnected with its surrounding nature. Vermont is not a densely populated state, making it easy for those living, or visiting, it to get in touch with nature without feeling crowded, even in the heart of Burlington! The Greenway is a delightful eight-mile paved path that runs along the Lake Champlain shoreline. On any given day you’ll see runners, walkers, and bikers making their way along the path.
2. Burlington Farmers Market
There are farmers markets, and then there’s the Burlington Farmers Market. This is the kind of market all the others attempt to emulate. This is the real deal. It helps that Vermont features an abundance of farms and artisans, many of whom you’ll find at the weekly market. During the summer months, the market is outside and features over 90 stands. Once the colder weather sets in, the market is held inside the University of Vermont.
3. Church Street Marketplace
Nature may be the soul of Burlington, but the Church Street Marketplace is the heart of the city! Best described as an open-air mall, Church Street is a pedestrian-friendly avenue constantly abuzz with activity. The street is lined with historic architecture, entertains, shops, and dining establishments. Various festivals take place on Church Street year-round, as well.
4. Shelburne Farms
One of the classic attractions to visit in Burlington that’s a bit outside of town is Shelburne Farms. Today the farm is a National Historic Landmark, spanning 1,400 lush acres along Lake Champlain. It’s still a working farm, but there are also plenty of educational and tourist features to enjoy as well. During a visit you may find yourself milking a cow, chasing chickens, and watching cheesemakers work their magic.
5. Experience Being on the Lake
Strolling alongside Lake Champlain is a favorite pastime, yet nothing compares to actually being on the lake. There are a variety of ways to get out on the lake; we recommend the Spirit of Ethan Allen, which is a cruise ship and floating restaurant. You’ll learn about the geology and history of the lake, as well as the tales of the lake’s Loch Ness Monster.
6. All The Beer
Chances are you’ve heard already, but Vermont is quite the craft beer mecca. Though there are a variety of cities touted as such, rest assured that Burlington is the real deal. It’s impossible to spend a few days in Burlington and only go to one brewery, there are just so many to enjoy! From Zero Gravity to Switchback Brewing Co., your palette will be in hop heaven. Here’s a quick resource to help you narrow down your options.
Aside from beer and nature, the next best thing about Burlington is the food. A true foodie town, the city is dense with excellent dining establishments featuring locally sourced fare. By far one of the most satisfying culinary experiences in the city is The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa. Originally a culinary school, today The Essex is both a culinary school and luxury resort. Pop in an take a cooking lesson, or stay for a few days and take multiple cooking lessons in between chowing down on the delicious fare at either restaurant on-site.
Though we love our nation’s big, famous cities, there’s something distinctly satisfying about exploring somewhere a bit less well-known, and Burlington is exactly that type of city. Between the cuisine, nature, history, and friendly locals, we know you’ll leave Burlington with full bellies and satisfied spirits.