Burlington, Vermont is THE place to be if you love seasonal fun, New England traditions, and nature in all its gorgeous, untamed glory. There is always something going on, dependent upon the seasons.
During the spring and summer, the Lake Champlain region is a go-to for swimming and water sports. Whereas, autumn brings the beautiful changing leaves and cool breezes to the nearby Green and Adirondack Mountains. Winter means sleds, slopes, and chilly fun—plus, a few festivals and holiday celebrations in a number of parks and the downtown Burlington district. Burlington is perfection for nature lovers and outdoorsmen.
Burlington is a charming town with 40,000 residents
As for the Burlington inner city, the Church Street Marketplace is a 1900s throwback, with restored architecture, shops that line the sidewalks, street performers, and a few amazing restaurants. It seems that everything a traveler could want is conveniently located in one place.
Tour the odds and ends of unique, family-owned shops. Or, take a few samples of homemade fudge and chocolate truffles from the local Lake Champlain Chocolate candy store. It’s even nice to simply sit and talk with the locals, as you are sure to learn a bit of good history, legends, and lore that comes from generations of Burlington ancestry.
Vermont and New Hampshire are cut down the middle with a crisscross of International highways, with Burlington to the left of Interstate 89 and 91. These long-going roads make it easier for travelers to hop on in Burlington for a few days of family fun.
The ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, for instance, is a popular choice for families, science lovers, and fun seekers.
Located on College Street, the center is divided into sections—each with a kid-focused element that makes the exhibits interactive and educational. There are well-over 70 animal species here, many of which are saltwater or freshwater fish, since the museum teaches about lake ecology and species preservation. For a bite to eat, hit up the on-site Waterside Café for classic fare, like cheeseburgers, fries, and a bottle of water.
If your gears turn more for history than science, the Ethan Allen Homestead would be a good afternoon to-do. Seated on 140 acres of gorgeous, well-kept lands, with mountain ranges as far as the eyes can see, this house was once the homestead of Ethan Allen—one of the founders of Vermont. The house has been restored and turned into a tour museum, where you can glimpse what life was like in the late 1700s and early 1800s. On the grounds, there are gardens, ponds, wide-open valleys, and a number of nature paths to explore. It’s common to see families of deer in the area too.
If there is one thing that Burlington locals love to do, it’s eat good food. You have to remember that this little Vermont town is a New England hub, situated alongside a beautiful lake. This means seafood—well-prepared, delicious, and in heaping helpings.
Shanty on the Shore is a high-ranked seafood restaurant on Battery Street, where guests rave about the gorgeous patio views and deep-fried jumbo shrimp.
Old-fashioned and friendly, the restaurant’s top menu items include shrimp tacos, lobster bisque, classic New England clam chowder, crab cakes, hush puppies, homemade coleslaw, and the clam strip roll. If seafood isn’t your thing, try the traditional Shanty Burger with melted cheddar cheese, or the Chicken Sandwich on a fresh-baked roll. Stop by on your birthday and get a free slice of homemade pie.
There are a number of great hotels in Burlington!
As a matter of fact, the four top-ranked Burlington hotels include The Hotel Vermont, The Courtyard Burlington Harbor, The Hilton, and Green Mountain Suites Hotel.
The Hotel Vermont
The Hotel Vermont on Cherry Street is one of the highlights of Burlington for all kinds of travelers. Guests love the room layouts, which resemble little apartments, with separate sitting rooms, well-furnished kitchenettes, spacious bathrooms, and comfortable, plush queen-sized beds.
This hotel has a few luxury quirks that guests rave about too.
For instance, daily breakfasts are served in the dining room downstairs every morning. However, for guests that are too sleepy to make it that far, there is fresh-brewed coffee with fresh fruit and muffins for breakfast on every floor of the hotel.
Love the locals arts scene? Check out Frog Hollow Craft Center, where you can peruse the works of local artists, and even craft your own. You might even run across some episodes of the Frog Hollow Green Mountain Artisans on the local PBS channel as you travel through Vermont!
Courtyard Burlington Harbor
The Courtyard Burlington Harbor is another Cherry Street favorite, with closeness to all of the urban offerings of downtown Burlington.
Lake Champlain is in view from most of the rooms, so you get to see the sunsets over the waters from a high-rise perspective. Features of the hotel include a heated, indoor swimming pool and jacuzzi, free high-speed internet, an on-site eatery, bar, and lounge, room service, a banquet room for parties, and airport transportation.
Each room is one you’ll want to spend your whole getaway in, with plush beds, oversized tubs, stand-in showers, fluffy towels, and movie channels on free premium cable.
The Hilton is a budget-friendly place to stay, with simple accommodations, basic amenities, and a few pleasant luxuries.
With close proximity to downtown Burlington, this hotel is a favorite for lovers of the urban arts scene, shops, restaurants, and attractions.
Some notable hotel features include a heated, indoor swimming pool and hot tub, an on-site restaurant with a full bar and lounge, room service, free high-speed internet, and a business center with conference rooms.
In your downtime, check out The Growler Garage, where you can sip some local brews and challenge locals to games of darts, 8-ball pool, and shuffleboard.
Green Mountain Suites Hotel
Green Mountain Suites Hotel is a Dorset Street favorite, with high-ranked accommodations that make it more winter lodge than typical hotel. Branded by Hawthorn Suites, the hotel features a ski lodge feel, with a lobby fireplace, an outdoor lounge area with a fire pit, and big, comfortable, plush blankets that keep guests warm and cozy through the coldest nights.
Other highlighted amenities include attentive, pleasant customer service, super-comfy beds with plush mattresses, breakfast buffets, wine and beer in a full-stocked bar with a lounge area, and shuttle bus services or airport transportation. For fun, the hotel also features a heated, indoor swimming pool and a couple super-hot, relaxing Jacuzzi tubs.
Ready to explore the well-kept family-friendly parks and annual festivals in charming Burlington, VT? Book now. Save now. TravNow!