Long known as a bastion of revolutionaries and free-thinkers, Burlington, Vt., proudly flaunts its independent bearings and live-and-let-live attitude. Visitors will find plenty of cultural attractions and outdoor fun in the state’s most populous city that also serves as a hip, laid-back college town ringed by Lake Champlain and mountains.
Shake off the sleepies with a nitro cold brew and breakfast sandwich at Kru Coffee. For a light lunch, try the freshly squeezed juices, bowls and salads at Thorn & Roots. Dinnertime
is best savored at Juniper in Hotel Vermont, which serves veggie-forward fare. Sample the local cider at Citizen Cider, with small bites like burgers and mac ’n’ cheese.
Cyclists will find no shortage of routes to explore. Many hotels offer bikes to their guests for touring the city. Head to the Burlington Greenway for 7-plus miles of paved trail winding its way along Lake Champlain. (Go early for fewer crowds.) Shops like Outdoor Gear Exchange, North Star Sports and Local Motion all offer rentals.
For amazing views of the Adirondacks and surrounding valley, venture south to Mount Philo State Park in nearby Charlotte. Climb 968 feet to the peak for amazing
views; the nearly 1-mile route up is doable for most. There’s plenty of seating at the summit, including Adirondack chairs, for taking in the gorgeous scenery.
Cool off on the lake with a narrated cruise on the Spirit of Ethan Allen, where you’ll hear tales of Champ the lake monster, the region’s history, shipwrecks and more. The
ship offers food service and a full bar. There are three sailings daily through October, as well as sunset, brunch and dinner cruises.
Take a stroll through the pedestrian Church Street Marketplace for all your shopping pleasures. The beautifully manicured pedestrian mall is lined with historic buildings and bustling shops and eateries. Don’t leave without visiting Lake Champlain Chocolates to indulge in locally made confections and ice cream.
Plan a trip to Burlington with a AAA travel advisor.