Last month, Chris and I took a trip up to visit friends in New England. (Here’s Part One, about our Mount Cardigan hike, if you missed it.)
On our first full day after arriving in Hanover, the two of us took a little day trip over to nearby Burlington, Vermont.
You may know Burlington, the largest city in Vermont, as being the home of Bernie Sanders (and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream). But it’s so much more than that! It’s a great, manageable size (population around 42,000) with a laid-back, New England hipster vibe and TONS of delicious food and beer. Plus, in 2015, Burlington became the first U.S. city to run completely on renewable energy!
This was actually my second time in Burlington—I went last summer for a work conference. And I LOVED it. So when we planned our trip up to Hanover, I knew I wanted to go back (and take Chris with me to show him all my favorite spots).
So—now that I’m an expert, having visited Burlington twice, I wanted to share my five favorites in this adorable little lakefront city!
1. Taste as much beer (and cider) as you can.
Beer, cheese, and apples—three of my absolute favorite things, and Vermont is known for them all. No wonder I like it there so much. There are SO many good places to get a flight in Burlington! My favorites of the ones I’ve tried are two local spots: Zero Gravity and Citizen Cider. (Magic Hat is also based in Burlington—I haven’t been, but I hear they have great tours.)
2. Take along walk along (or a boat ride on) Lake Champlain.
The photos pretty much speak for themselves here. But, I do have to note that you can take a sunset cruise for just $25, which is more than worth it for a closer view of the Adirondacks and a sunset on the water.
3. Shop at the Outdoor Gear Exchange.
Chris and I went here because I needed shoes for our hike the next day, and I was blown away—it’s the BEST outdoor store I’ve ever seen. Man, if I lived nearby I know I would drop some serious cash at this place.
It’s located on Church St., the main shopping area (and tourist destination) in Burlington. Home to many chain stores, but this one is one-of-a-kind. Chris and I only stopped in during our visit, but I could have spent HOURS in here.
4. Stop by Lake Champlain Chocolates for homemade truffles and Vermont apple cider caramels.
Also located on Church St., they also sell homemade hot chocolate, ice cream, fudge, and much, much more.
5. Explore the beautiful University of Vermont campus.
UVM, home of the Catamounts, was established in 1791—the fifth college in New England at the time behind Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, and Brown. UVM is now considered a “Public Ivy,” and is most known for its environmental studies program. Which is obvious from the on-campus gardens, greenhouse, composting bins, solar panels, etc. that you’ll see walking around campus. With that kind of history and respect for the natural world, it’s no surprise that campus is a beautiful place to explore.
BONUS: See the WORLD’S TALLEST FILING CABINET!!!
Yes. This exists, and it is in Burlington. Okay, to be honest, Chris and I didn’t actually plan to go see this—in fact, we saw it in a list of Burlington attractions online and laughed at it, but then we drove right past it as we were leaving Switchback Brewing! So of course, we had to stop and get a photo of this impressive monument. 🙂
So there’s my five favorites in Burlington! If you haven’t been, it’s definitely worth a visit—overall, it’s a great little city with lots to do, see, eat, and drink. Have you been? What else would you add?