Five favorites in Burlington, Vermont

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.

This is just a bad iPhone pic of a small portion of the store—it’s at least 3x as big as this!

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.




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?





3 thoughts on “Five favorites in Burlington, Vermont

  1. ramsayl

    Awesome post! It makes me want to go back there 🙂 I’ve only been once, in the dead of winter, so I missed out on some of the stuff you got to see. But I still loved it! I miss the East Coast/New England a lot now that I’ve moved to CA (after going to college in MA) so maybe my boyfriend & I will make a trip back East and stop in VT, and follow some of your advice!


    1. Thanks! You definitely should!! The summer is really the best time to visit—the waterfront isn’t really open the rest of the year. But the beer & cheese is ALWAYS available. 😉 If you do end up making a trip, you’ll have to let me know if you agree with my list!


  2. I’m a city girl and I go to UVM and surprisingly Burlington won my heart the first time I went up to visit the university! My favorites downtown are definitely the coffee shops, though some of the best ones are more out of the way of Church street. Next time you go if you’re a fan of tea, there’s a really cute and zen tearoom called Dobra which I highly recommend!!!


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