The city of Burlington, Vermont’s largest city, rests on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain. Consistently scoring top marks in health and happiness, Burlington continues to lead the nation’s polls as one of the best places to live in the country. With easy accessibility off of I-89, it’s a great place for a day trip, weekend getaway, or living year-round. Let’s take a look at some of the things about Burlington that make it the greatest city in Vermont.
What’s in a name?
Despite popular belief that the city was named for the Earl of Burlington, it is more likely that the city's name is linked to the Burling family of New York City, a prominent and wealthy 19th century family whose members were original grantees of eleven Vermont towns.
Lively with arts and culture.
The Vermont Symphony Orchestra is the oldest state-supported orchestra in the United States.
Burlington bike path.
Enjoy a leisurely walk or ride a bike along the path, which has access to Lake Champlain as well as some great beaches. The well-maintained path is a great place for all ages.
Burlington Farmer’s Market.
This is one farmer’s market that will never disappoint. While the outdoor summer market is phenomenal, the winter indoor market on the corner of Union and Main has about 40+ vendors selling fresh breads, bakery goods, uncured meats such as bacon, excellent goat and cow's milk cheeses with samples available, maple syrup, distilled gins, and basic root veggies. There are also vendors selling Asian hot lunches. Check their website for Saturday schedules during the winter.
Church Street Marketplace.
You’ll love that car access is blocked off, making this a stretch of easily navigated shops and restaurants. Outdoor musicians often play along the marketplace, and this is a great (and dog friendly!) place to spend the day. There are plenty more interesting shops on the side streets, too.
Sitting on the rocks or the swinging chairs looking out at the lake is peaceful and serene at any time of the day. This park is wonderful to have right in the heart of downtown.
ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain.
The ECHO Center is a great place for families to see up close many of the living things in and around Lake Champlain. Their changing specialty exhibits are always a draw.
Vermont values its fresh, local food, and there is no shortage of culinary choices in Burlington.
Cruise around on Lake Champlain.
From dinner cruises to private sailboat rentals, there is something for everyone to enjoy on a boat cruising around Lake Champlain.
Check out Switchback while in Downtown Burlington or as part of a Vermont Brewery tour. A very nice place with lots of seating, and you can try a few beers for only $5. They give you a good portion to try and you’ll love the free pretzels or hot dogs for sale. Not to be missed is “Brewga” which is were you can go to have beer AND do some yoga.
World’s tallest filing cabinet.
A very unusual sight, but super cool to see. Some might even say it’s a piece of art. A cool little stopping point if you're heading somewhere, or as a destination on its own.
This may not be Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium, but you DO have a good chance of spotting Champ! It's an older stadium in great shape with employees who are always happy and helpful. A great place to spend a summer evening watching a baseball game!
Ethan Allen Homestead.
The nature walking here is phenomenal and the entire homestead serves as a tranquil oasis in the heart of the New North End. There are a variety of trails to choose from including a riverside trail that provides a relaxing walk along the Winooski River. Guided tours of this historic site occur from May 1 - October 31, 7 days a week.
Burlington City Arts Center.
A gem of a gallery with metropolitan and local artists, classes, exhibitions, galleries on several stories in a historic old fire station on Church Street. Free with donations accepted.