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Is Burlington City Vermont Worth Visiting? (Travel Guide)

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Cruise on Lake Champlain

Burlington City, Vermont is a hidden travel gem that we recently discovered. We had never ventured into the New England region of the United States; therefore, we were not quite sure what to expect. However, we were determined to embark on our inaugural journey to Vermont with an open mind. We were free from the burden of preconceived notions.

To that end, perhaps you are wondering if Burlington City, Vermont is worth visiting? Or maybe you have it on your must-visit list, but you are unsure of what to expect? Join us as we travel to Burlington, Vermont — we’ve saved you a front-row seat for the ride!

D isclosure: Our Burlington City, Vermont stay was hosted by Hello Burlington . H owever, all opinions shared herein are those of Afrostylicity® and are not influenced by any being or brand. 

Additionally, this post may contain affiliate links We may earn a small commission, at no cost to you,   when you make a purchase through the links Read our complete  disclaimer here,  and  Amazon Affiliate disclosure here.

The following are a few quick facts about Vermont. This is in the interest of providing background information to anyone unfamiliar with the state.

9 Quick Facts About the State of Vermont

  1. Vermont is one of six states that make up the northeastern region of the United States known as New England. The other states are Maine, New Hampshire, Massachussetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
  2. The name Vermont comes from two French words ‘mont’ and ‘vert’ which when translated mean green mountain.
  3. Vermont is referred to as the Green Mountain State.
  4. The Capital of Vermont is Montpelier.
  5. Vermont’s state slogan is “Vermont, naturally.”
  6. Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the U.S. To that end, the state tree is the sugar maple.
  7. It is the second smallest state by population.
  8. Vermont is in the Eastern Standard Time zone.
  9. Vermont is known for among other things, its natural resources and the breathtaking Green Mountains.

What is Burlington City, Vermont Known For?

Burlington, the largest city in Vermont, is located in Chittenden county. Specifically, it is in northwestern Vermont, on the eastern shore of the magnificent Lake Champlain. Note that Burlington is approximately 45 miles south of the US-Canadian border.  For this reason, it serves as a port of entry between Canada and the United States.

Uniquely, Lake Champlain runs through 2 states, 1 province, and 2 countries. These are Vermont and New York State, Quebec Province, and the countries of the United States and Canada. Additionally, while  in Burlington, you can see New York state’s Adirondack Mountains across Lake Champlain

Burlington is a college town, with 3 colleges and a university. Notably, Champlain College and the historic University of Vermont. Despite this, the population of the city is quite diverse, spanning multiple generations. 

Note that you will not find any skyscrapers in Burlington. As a matter of fact, Decker Towers, an 11-floor building in Burlington, is the tallest building in the state of Vermont. It is the shortest of any US states’ tallest buildings!

Our Experience in Burlington City, Vermont

Our visit to Burlington was during the summer, in the thick of what Vermonters described as a heatwave. A New England summer was a welcome change for us. Especially considering the furnace (that is Texas) that we were visiting from. The climate in Burlington in summer was moderate— just as we like it. 

Burlington is the perfect combination of Mother Nature’s breathtaking beauty, a rich historical influence, and the convenience of modern-day amenities. Additionally, as far as small cities go, Burlington packs a punch! There is a myriad of activities and experiences to engage in. We were certainly limited on time. However, we were determined to squeeze in as many adventures as we could into our visit.

Our goal is to walk you through our Burlington trip from the onset to the finale. We will be sharing reviews, tips, and recommendations, based on our experience.

Travel to Burlington, Vermont

Catch a Flight  

Note that Burlington International Airport (BTV) is the state of Vermont’s largest airport.

Airlines that fly non-stop to Burlington, VT include the following: Delta, American Airlines, United, JetBlue, Frontier Airlines, and Boutique Air. Find affordable flight deals to Burlington here.

 

Ride a Train

You can take the Vermonter Amtrak Train to Burlington. There is a daily service from Washington, DC and St. Albans in northern Vermont. The train ride begins in DC and runs through New York City to Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The following are the Vermonter Amtrak Train stops that are closest to Burlington:

  • Essex Junction, Essex, VT stop which is approximately 6.8 miles (15 minutes) from Burlington. 
  • St. Albans City stop which is approximately 24 miles (32 minutes) from Burlington. 
  • Waterbury, VT stop which is approximately 27.7 miles (30 minutes) from Burlington 
  • Montpelier, VT stop which is approximately 38.9 miles (41 minutes) from Burlington 

Drive 

Depending on where you live, a road trip to Burlington, Vermont could be feasible. Enjoy the scenic route and take in all the sights of the glorious Mountain State.  Find affordable car rental deals here.  

Transport from Burlington (BTV) International Airport

If you will be renting a car for your stay in Burlington, the car rental options include Hertz, Dollar, and Enterprise. The rental car counters are within close proximity to the BTV airport’s baggage claim section. Our experience was record fast— the whole process took approximately 10 minutes.

If you will be using shared rides or taxis, these are also conveniently located outside the airport terminal. At BTV, you don’t have to deal with the hustle of navigating through a humongous airport. This eliminates the need for terminal shuttles. 

Where to Stay in Burlington, Vermont

Depending on your specific needs/preferences, you may choose to stay at a hotel or vacation rental. Burlington is not lacking in either option.

Burlington Hotels

Our top recommendation, based on our personal experience, is Courtyard Burlington Harbor. It is a Marriott Bonvoy hotel, known for its wide array of amenities. These include an on-site restaurant, indoor pool, fitness center, and incredible room options. We stayed in a spectacular lakefront room that completely blew us away!

Burlington City Vermont where to stay

In the event that you are unable to stay at Courtyard Burlington Harbor, check out the following additional Burlington hotel options:

Burlington City, Vermont Vacation Rentals

If you would prefer the comforts of a home away from home, consider staying at a vacation rental. We recently discovered Vacation Rentals By Owner, popularly known as VRBO . It’s become our favorite vacation rental option! This is given the fact that VRBO offers stays for every budget and a flexible cancellation policy. You can book your VRBO stay below:

Alternatively, the widely known AirBnB is always an option.

Getting Around While in Burlington City, Vermont

We highly recommend getting a rental car, if you desire to venture out and explore the city fully. However, if your plan is to stay within one area, then a bike rental should suffice. Burlington is heavy on cycling, with accommodations made for cyclists. This includes the availability of a ton of biking trails.  If you only need access to a car occasionally, you have the option of rideshare options such as Uber, or car share options such as CarShare Vermont.

Where to Eat and Drink in Burlington City, Vermont

Burlington is without a doubt a foodie haven! We were completely spoiled for choice when it came to food and drink options. Oh, to wine, dine, and unwind! 

The following is by no means an exhaustive list ( we would be here all day). Note that it is merely a list of our top recommendations that you can start out with as you explore the culinary aspect of  Burlington.

The Skinny Pancake

It is a Vermont creperie known for its mind-blowing selection of sweet and savory crepes. On the menu are delicious and affordable local food options. This includes breakfast all day, cocktails to go and so much more.

Burlington City Vermont travel guide

Bleu Northeast Kitchen

It is located in the lobby of the Courtyard Burlington Harbor hotel. The ambiance is upscale, warm, and inviting. We enjoyed an affordably priced, delectable dinner. This was all while taking in the sounds of a live band belting out catchy tunes. It was quite a delightful dining experience!

Spot on the Dock

Let us just start by talking about the view here! The restaurant is positioned on a dock (as it is so aptly named) on the shores of Lake Champlain. Enjoy the cool breeze of the lake as you partake in a grand selection of meal options including fresh fish. Their fish tacos were our ultimate favorite!

Burlington City Vermont restaurants

Additional Burlington City, Vermont Restaurant Recommendations

Juniper Bar and Restaurant

It is located within Hotel Vermont. It is known for serving fresh, local, ingredient-driven food and drinks.

Hen of the Wood

It is a fine dining restaurant open for dinner only.

Splash at the Boat House

It is a waterfront restaurant overlooking Lake Champlain.

Farmers and Foragers

Dockside food truck offering seasonal dishes that rotate weekly, and nautical cocktails. It is open seasonally from May to October.

Pizzeria Verita 

Wood-fired Neapolitan pizza, inspired salads, antipasti, as well as creative craft cocktails.

Honey Road

 Small plates, eastern Mediterannean mezze that is open for lunch and dinner.

A Single Pebble

Classic Chinese cuisine meals served family-style. 

Hong’s Chinese Dumplings

Northern Chinese style hand-rolled dumplings made from scratch and made to order. Larger than your usual dumplings!

The Whiskey Room

Extensive range of whiskey, craft beers & cocktails along with a tapas-style menu.

The Beach House

The Beach House, which is located on North Beach is the only place in Burlington City, Vermont where you can drink and dine right on the beach. Relax on the patio overlooking Lake Champlain and the Adindorack Mountains while enjoying a tasty meal and drinks.

Note that there are a good number of restaurants near Bank Street .

Dessert 

A notable mention is the Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop. Is there anything better than eating Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in the place where it was first created?

Places To Check Out in Burlington City, Vermont

Burlington City, Vermont is not short on outdoor activities. There are a wide array of recreational opportunities in the city. To that end, there are tons of public spaces. This includes parks like the downtown area urban City Hall Park, as well as Battery Park on the shores of Lake Champlain. In the summer, the Burlington Bike Path, also along Lake Champlain,  is typically filled with people walking, biking, exercising, or simply enjoying the scenic sights. 

Lake Champlain is a recurring theme— expectedly so, given its absolute splendor! The Spirit of Ethan Allen Cruise is a great way to traverse the lake. Once you are done cruising, pop into the nearby ECHO Leahy Center. It is a must-visit science and nature center right by Lake Champlain. 

The renowned Church Street Marketplace is a must-add to any city of Burlington to-do list. Located in downtown Burlington, it is a vibrant pedestrian mall that is a hub of activity. Explore local coffee shops, check out local breweries like Magic Hat Brewing Company, or tour historic buildings. Additionally, be entertained by street performers, and more. 

Note that it is a relatively short walk from the beginning to the end of Marketplace Street

Important

For medical services, Burlington city is served by the University of Vermont Medical Center

While in Burlington, you can purchase local produce, keepsakes, and more from street vendors at the Farmer’s Market. For lovers of music, one of the largest annual events in Vermont —the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival — is an annual week-long summer shindig. Art enthusiasts can embark on a short drive from the Burlington city center to the Shelburne Museum. The museum is the largest history and art museum in the greater New England area. 

To that end, for more detailed information, check out our 37 Things To Do In Burlington Vermont Travel Guide. 

Vermont summer vacation things to do

So, Is Burlington City, Vermont Worth Visiting?

Well, friends, we know that was a truckload of information! But we wanted to provide as much detail as we could. 

Now for the million-dollar question: Is Burlington, Vermont worth visiting? 

That would be a resounding YES! 

Burlington is without a doubt the epitome of nature’s beauty and good vibes. Based on our experience, the people are friendly and welcoming. Additionally, we enjoyed the diverse selection of things to do, and we truly loved the free-spirited, lively feel of the city. We may not have been sure about what to expect on our Burlington City Vermont getaway; however, we are so glad that we went in with an open mind. Our journey to unearth a hidden travel gem was undoubtedly a story worth writing home about! We have a first-hand account of what Burlington, Vermont is like, and we couldn’t be any happier. 

Seeing that our thirst to explore every nook and cranny of Vermont cannot be quenched, our wanderlust adventures must continue. We are looking forward to exploring more destinations within the state. 

Conclusion

To conclude, if you are planning a vacation, Burlington City, Vermont is undeniably a top place to visit.  It is our hope that this travel guide has inspired you to plan a visit to the Green Mountain State, immerse yourself in New England’s charm, and specifically experience the spectacular  Burlington City, Vermont! , it is a picturesque sight to behold! 

P.S.  If you found this post helpful or want to save it for later, please pin it on Pinterest!  Thank you. 🙂

Burlington City Vermont Travel Guide for travelers

The Ultimate Burlington Vermont Travel Itinerary

Now go forth and put Burlington on the map!🙂

3 thoughts on “Is Burlington City Vermont Worth Visiting? (Travel Guide)”

  1. Thank you! This is a wonderful list and super helpful for our upcoming trip

    Reply
    • Thanks for reading, Tara. We’re so glad that you’ve found the guide helpful!

      Reply

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