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Burlington (Vermont)

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Church Street Marketplace
Fall is a great time to visit Burlington because of the spectacular fall foliage
Burlington Breakwater North Light
Lake Champlain
First Methodist Church Burlington Vermont

Burlington [15] is the largest city in the American state of Vermont, with a population of over 42,000.


Situated on Lake Champlain, it is the heart of a small urban area that acts as Vermont's vibrant and cosmopolitan center. Known for its ultra-liberal environment and free-thinking spirit, Burlington is both a college town and an important commercial city, while maintaining an intimate atmosphere.

Fall is a great time to visit Burlington as the city is aglow in bright colors. Foliage season begins in mid to late September, with color increasing day by day until "peak" around the first or second week of October.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Burlington International Airport (IATA: BTV) (ICAO: KBTV), Airport Drive, Phone: 802-863-1889, [16]. Flights arrive daily via several carriers from as far away as Chicago and Orlando. Travelers from farther afield will have to make a connection in a larger city. There are non-stop flights to Burlington Airport from the following cities (some cities may be seasonal or only offer service certain days of the week): Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Toronto and Washington. Transit connections to Downtown Burlington are available via the Purple Line, running every 45 minutes between the airport and the Downtown Transit Center.

By car[edit]

Interstate 89 lies just to the east of town. The town center is accessible via exit 14W, while the south end of town can be accessed Interstate 189 at exit 13. Interstate 89 continues north to the Canadian border at Highgate, and south to the New Hampshire border. It is a 6 hour drive from New York City, a 3.5 hour drive from Boston and a 1.5 hour drive from Montreal.

By bus[edit]

  • Greyhound, +1 800 552-8737 [17]. There are 2 Greyhound stations in Burlington. 1 is the main Greyhound bus terminal located at the airport, & there is a 2nd one at the University of Vermont directly in front of the Royall Tyler Theater.
  • Megabus, [18]. Daily service to Burlington from Boston, New York City, Hartford, Amherst, and Saratoga Springs. Coaches with WiFi, Restrooms, Power Outlets and seats starting at $1.

By train[edit]

The closest Amtrak station is in Essex Junction, about a 10-15 minute drive to the east. (Local bus service is available from Downtown Vermont via the Blue Line/Route 2) Amtrak provides daily service to Washington, D.C. via New York City. During the summer season, Amtrak's Adirondack stops at Port Kent, NY, where transfer can be made to the Burlington-Port Kent ferry (see ferry directions below). The Adirondack provides daily service between New York City and Montreal, Quebec, following the scenic shores of Lake Champlain and the Hudson River.

By ferry[edit]

Ferry service is available seasonally from downtown Burlington to Port Kent, NY across Lake Champlain; this gives access to the Adirondacks area of New York state. See the Lake Champlain Transportation [19] for schedule and rates.

Get around[edit]

On foot[edit]

Downtown Burlington is one of the most walkable and beautiful small cities in New England, and you'd do well to get out of your car (parking in city and most private garages is free for the first 2 hours, and all day on Sundays) and soak it in.

By car[edit]

There are car rental offices at Burlington International Airport, including Hertz, Avis and Thrifty. Traffic is generally bad during the normal crunch half-hours (7:45 to 8:15 and 4:45 to 5:15). Williston Road to the east and Shelburne Road to the south are congested during those hours, and, unfortunately, unavoidable for the most part.

By transit[edit]

Burlington and the surrounding communities of Winooski, South Burlington, Shelburne, Colchester and Essex Junction are served by the Chittenden County Transportation Authortity (CCTA) which operates public buses. Buses are generally clean, uncrowded and relatively cheap. The main terminal is in downtown Burlington at the intersection of Church St. and Cherry St.

By bicycle[edit]

Burlington is a bike-friendly city. There are various bike lanes around the downtown area, and thanks to slow traffic and often courteous drivers, getting around the greater Burlignton area on bike is a breeze. In the summer extra bicycle parking is made available, and low bike related crime helps encourage everyone to get on their bikes. Bikes can be rented at Local Motion [21] located on the waterfront or at some of the other bicycle shops around town.

See[edit][add listing]

  • ECHO at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, 1 College St., Phone: +1 802 864-1848, [22]. Daily 9AM-5PM in summer. Lake aquarium and science center. $9/$7.
  • Downtown Burlington is home to an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants, and is well-known for its pedestrian Church Street Marketplace [23].
  • Regular cruise tours of Lake Champlain aboard The Spirit of Ethan Allen III [24] leave from Burlington's harbor.
  • Shelburne Museum, Route 7, Phone: +1 802 985-3346, [25].
  • Street performances Ranging from violists to folksingers to hip-Hop dancers, Church Street is home to a multitude of performers, and you don't have to pay a penny, although it doesn't hurt to leave a few dollars.
  • Waterfront — At the bottom of College street. $5 for parking.
  • North Beach, 52 Institute Road (behind Burlington High School on North Ave). $8 for non-resident parking or get there for free from the bikepath at the Waterfront (go right when looking at the water) [26]
  • Williams' Fire Escape, Williams Hall, University Place, Burlington, VT. One of Burlington’s hidden treasures is a few flights up the fire escape of one of UVM’s buildings. Williams Hall, located across from the University Green, is an architectural masterpiece in its own right. However, the sunset sights seen from an outside stairwell are some of the best views one will experience. If there are not too many people/students visiting the spot, it is a romantic and breathtaking place to visit. At the uppermost flight of the fire escape, all of downtown Burlington, spanning to Lake Champlain, is visible. At sunset, the sun hits the water and the buildings in a lovely way.
    View from below the top level of Williams Hall's fire escape

Do[edit][add listing]

Burlington is renowned for its cultural amenities and strength in the arts, providing the opportunities typical of a much larger city.

  • Flynn Theater. Home to the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Vermont Stage Company, and Lyric Theatre Company.
  • Flynnspace. Presents alternative and avant-garde performances in an intimate, black box theater.
  • Ethan Allen Homestead. Guided tours of Revolutionary War Hero Ethan Allen's final home located on Burlington's Scenic Intervale [27]
  • Robert Hull Fleming Museum
  • BCA Center. A five-story complex of galleries, classrooms, and studios run by Burlington City Arts.
  • The Bern Gallery, 135 Main St (Downtown Burlington across from City Hall Park), 802.865.0994, [1]. 10am-9pm. This is a "Must See" local grass roots art gallery with LIVE GLASSBLOWING DAILY. The Bern Gallery smoke shop makes custom glass, has Burlington's ONLY Hookah Bar, features all types of local artwork and jewlery, as well as being a Vermont accredited glass blowing school. The Bern Gallery is also home to The Pipe Classic, the glass industries original premiere pipe-making competition! Held every September, The Pipe Classic features the talents of 12 glass artist chosen from across the nation to come compete head-to-head in this true celebration of pipe-making.  edit
  • Center for Mindful Learning, 173 North Prospect St. (The Burlington Friends Meeting House), [2]. CML offers guided meditation practice on Sunday nights from 7:00-9pm.  edit


  • Biking [28] — Burlington has a 7.6 mile bike path that runs along the lake and now connects to the Colchester bike path.
  • Hiking — Vermont has an abundance of beautiful, hikable mountains. Mount Philo is a leisurely hike for beginners, especially with younger kids. Camel's Hump and Mount Mansfield offer more challenging terrain, but reward hikers with beautiful summit views of the Champlain Valley. All three mountains are within 1 hour driving distance of Burlington.
  • Skiing — several alpine and cross-country ski resorts and backcountry ski trails are within an hour of Burlington--and you can nordic ski in the city, as well, at Red Rocks Park and Burlington Country Club. Written by a local, the Vermont skiing blog [29] reports on snow conditions, resort options and more.
  • Magic Hat Brewing Company [30] — is a tour worth checking out in the Burlington region. For a more comprehensive listing of Vermont Brewery Tours visit [31].
  • Sunset Drive-In Theater [32] — in the neighboring town of Colchester, this theater sends patrons on a nostalgic trip back to sixties with double features of movies. Open seasonally from late April to early September. Cost: $8.50 for adults, children under 12 get in free.


Burlington hosts several festivals and events throughout the year. This list changes every year but the following events staples of the community.

  • First Night, December 31st. Parades, performers, and fireworks help to mark the coming of the new year. Burlington continues the First Night tradition with plays, performers, and a grand welcoming of things to come.
  • Winter Carnival, February time frame. Celebrate the winter with Ice Scptures, parades, and sleigh rides.
  • Mardi Gras Parade, weekend before Ash Wednesday. Burlington hosts its own Fat Tuesday parade which is usually scheduled for the Saturday before Ash Wednesday. A large parade goes up Church Street, bands play in the clubs and streets, and special events hosted by Magic Hat Brewery.
  • KeyBank Vermont City Marathon, Sunday before Memorial Day [33]. A qualifying race for major national marathons, it is one of the largest sporting events in the city with street vendors, musicians and food stalls during and after the race. The marathon begins and ends at Waterfront Park and traverses much of the city. Expect major city streets to be closed down in the morning hours and most hotel rooms booked far in advance.
  • The Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, first two weeks in June [34]. The Discover Jass festival is the largest event of its kind in the state and draws internationally renowned performing artists to the city each summer, as well as throngs of jazz, blues, gospel and Latin music fans. Its the highlight of the summer festival season. Venues throughout the city, including Waterfront Park, Memorial Auditorium, Contois Theatre, Waterfront Theatre, and The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, [35].
  • Independence Day Fireworks, evening of July 3. The City of Burlington holds its' fireworks the evening of the 3rd, so as to allow people to attend both it and the smaller towns' festivities on the 4th. If you go to the latter, prepare to leave early as many roads are closed for parades and it's not always possible to reach towns without Interstate exits between mid-morning and late afternoon of the 4th.
  • Vermont Brewers Festival, mid-July, [36]. Taste microbrews from Vermont and throughout New England during this annual summer gathering on Burlington's waterfront. General admission is $25/session which includes 10 tasting tickets and a complimentary tasting glass. Discounts are available for admission tickets purchased before July 1st.
  • Festival of Fools, early August. A curated festival of street performers. [37].
  • Dragon Boat Festival, early August, [38]. The Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival is hosted by Dragonheart Vermont, a breast cancer survivor and supporter dragon boat team. Local companies man 10 person dragon boats in head to head races on Lake Champlain.
  • Vermont Air Show, late August. Watch an air demonstration of older and newer airplanes. Sometimes held at Hanscom Field and sometimes held over the downtown area.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Church Street Marketplace, [39]. Four blocks of Church Street are closed to all motor traffic and creates an open air mall in the heart of the city. A variety of eateries, shops, and stores provide a diverse place to find unique gifts.
  • Burlington Town Center Mall. Connected to the Church Street Marketplace is the downtown mall. This indoor shopping area has a lot of the traditional stores you would find in an enclosed mall. Anchor stores include Macy's.
  • University Mall. On Dorset Street the University Mall is closer to campus and offers a wider range of shops than the Downtown Mall. Anchor Stores include Kohls, Sears, and JCPenny's.
  • The North Face Store @ KL Sport, 210 College Street, [40] is a locally owned outdoor store specializing in The North Face clothing, outerwear, and equipment. This store provides the gear and information necessary for enjoying the natural splendor of Vermont.

A wider range of stores can be found just outside of Burlington in Williston at Taft's Corner. Store in that area include Wal Mart, Best Buy, Staples, Toys R' Us and many more stand alone large chain stores.

  • LeZot Cameras, 34 Church St, 802-652-2400, [3]. This non-chain, locally owned and operated camera shop has an amazing collection of lenses, manual cameras, and accessories; even their camera bags collection is large and versatile. Their repair shop is great, and the employees actually know cameras, love cameras, and you can see it. For the service, it is reasonably priced.  edit
  • Lower Main Neighborhood (Lo Main), Main St. from Pine St. to the Waterfront. This funky neighborhood sits between Church St. and the Waterfront, and boasts some of the best local establishments. Look for quirky antiques and collectables at Anjou and Little Pear, earth-friendly and locally made housewares at The Green Life, and delicious artisan breads, pastries, coffee and lunch at August First Bakery. Discover Burlington's special off-the-beaten-path neighborhood!  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Church Street, [41] has many places to eat along this pedestrian mall ranging anywhere from the famous "Hot Dog Lady" street vendor to the upscale dining of many varieties. The marketplace maintains its own directory. Church Street also hosts a variety of street performers.
  • Lake Champlain Chocolates, 750 Pine Street, [42] is a local chocolate maker. They have a company store and a viewing area to see the chocolate being made. They also have a small coffee bar where they serve espresso drinks and their own ice cream.
  • Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop No trip to Vermont would be complete without a stop by one of the renowned Ben & Jerry's scoop shops to sample their latest contributions to Americana. Indeed, few would dispute the fact that ice cream is in season every season. Presently there is a scoop shop located on the Church Street Marketplace at the corner of Cherry Street. The original Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop was located nearby on the southwest corner of College Street and Saint Paul Street.
  • August First Bakery, 149 S. Champlain St (At the corner of Main St.), 802-540-0060, [4]. M-F 7:30-5, Sat. 8-3, Friday nights 6-9 for Flatbread Pizza. Casual bakery cafe in downtown Burlington, baking artisan bread and serving delicious breakfast and lunch. Look for classics like BLT made with Vermont bacon on homemade baguette, and amazing pastries like their signature Hungarian Sweet Roll. under $10. (44.47540,-73.21710) edit
  • The Skinny Pancake, 60 Lake St, +1 802 540-0188. 8AM-8,12PM. A Burlington creperie. They serve sweet and savory crepes with a local twist. The "Heartbreaker" crepe features Nutella spread loaded with fresh bananas and local strawberries. Along with an emphasis on local and organic products, the S.P. offers molten swiss fondues and live music on Thurs. Fri. and Sat. $6 and up.  edit


  • Bluebird Tavern, 317 Riverside Ave., Burlington, VT 05401
  • Al's French Frys, 1251 Williston Road, South Burlington, +1 802 862-9203. [43]
  • Bruegger's Bagel Bakery, 93 Church St., +1 802 860-1995, [44].
  • New England Wings, 505 Riverside Ave., +1 802 658-6399.
  • Muddy Waters, 184 Main St., +1 802 658-0466.
  • Greenstreets, 30 Main St., +1 802 862-4930, [45].
  • Rusty Scuffer, 148 Church St., +1 802 864-9451.
  • Uncommon Grounds, 42 Church St., +1 802 865-6227
  • Vermont Soup Company, 1636 Williston Rd., So. Burlington, +1 802 862-5678.
  • Windjammer Restaurant & Conference Ctr., 1076 Williston Rd., So. Burlington, +1 802 862-6585, [46].
  • Sweetwater's, 118 Church St., +1 802 864-9800.
  • Ice House Restaurant, 171 Battery St., +1 802 864-1800.
  • Handy's Lunch, 74 Maple St., +1 802 864-5963.
  • Tommy's City Grill, 580 Shelburne Rd # 10, Burlington, VT 05401
  • Big Fatty's BBQ, 55 Main St, Burlington, VT 05401, 864-5513


  • American Flatbread, 115 St. Paul St., Burlington, +1 802 861-2999. [47]
  • Big Daddy's, 177 Church St, Phone: +1 802 863-0000. The footlong Oinkin' Gobbler is a local favorite, but the pizza is great as well.
  • Lee Zachary's Pizza House, 1234 Williston Road, So. Burlington, +1 802 864-9817.
  • Leonardo's Pizza, 83 Pearl St., +1 802 862-7700.
  • Manhattan Pizza, 167 Main St., +1 802 658-6776.
  • Mr. Mike's, 206 Main St., +1 802 864-0072.
  • Marco's Pizzeria, 1301 Williston Rd., So. Burlington, +1 802 658-5858.


  • Shanty On The Shore, 181 Battery Street, Phone: +1 802 864-0238. Fresh seafood and lake views. Expect a wait on weekends.
  • Tilley's Cafe, 161 Church Street, Phone: +1 802 658-4553. Unique World Flavors in a nautical island theme, including Seafood, American, and Vegetarian cuisine


  • Asiana House, 191 Pearl St, Burlington, +1 802 651-0818.


  • Hong Kong Kitchen, 1900 Williston Road, South Burlington +1 802 862-4622.
  • China Express, 293 Shelburne Road, +1 802 865-2155.
  • A Single Pebble, 133-35 Bank Street, +1 802 865-5200. Try the Mock Eel. [48]


  • Koto Japanese Restaurant, 792 Shelburne Road, So. Burlington, +1 802 660-8976.
  • Sakura Japanese Restaurant, 2 Church St., +1 802 863-1988, [49].


  • Tiny Thai, 24 Main St, Winooski (right outside of Burlington) +1 802 655-4888.


  • India House Restaurant, 207 Colchester Ave., +1 802 862-7800.
  • Shalimar of India, 16 North Winooski Ave., +1 802 864-5693. Have a great Sunday brunch which is ~$10 and buffet/all you can eat. Good deal.


  • Trattoria Delia, 152 St. Paul St., +1 802 864-5253.
  • Pascolo's, 83 Church St., +1 802 497-1613.

Mexican and Tex-Mex[edit]

  • Madera's, 3 Main st., +1 802 657-3377.
  • New World Tortilla, 10 N Winooski Ave., +1 802 865-1058.
  • Bueno Y Sano, 213 College st., +1 802 864-9900.
  • El Gato, 169 Church St., +1 802 540-3095.


  • Souza Brazilian Restaurant, 55 Main St., +1 802 864-2433.


  • Leunig's Old World Cafe, 115 Church St., +1 802 863-3759.
  • Amir's Kebab Cart, Church Street Marketplace (nxt to City Hall)Gyro, Chicken gyro, Doner Kebab

Drink[edit][add listing]

Bars and clubs[edit]

  • The Vermont Pub and Brewery, 144 College St., +1 802 865-0500. [50]
  • Akes' Place, 134 Church St., +1 802 864-8111. [51]
  • Ri Ra Irish Pub, 123 Church St., +1 802 860-9401. [52]
  • Nectar's, 188 Main St., +1 802 658-4771. [53]
  • Esox, 194 Main St., +1 802 862-7314.
  • What Ales You, 152 St. Paul St. (on the corner of Main and St. Paul), +1 802 862-1364.
  • Ruben James, (or simply "RJ's"), 159 Main St., +1 802 864-0744.
  • Church Street Tavern, 103 Church St., +1 802 658-1309.
  • Daily Planet, 15 Center St., +1 802 862-9647.
  • Red Square, 136 Church St., +1 802 859-8909 [54]
  • Three Needs Brewery and Taproom, 207 College St., +1 802 658-0889. Freshly-brewed self and local beers, as well as a small but decent selection of beers on tap. Red felt pool table in the back, and friendly barstaff.
  • Drink, 135 St Paul St., +1 802 860-9463. [55] Hip spot with seating and board games.
  • Magic Hat Brewing Company & Performing Arts Center, 5 Bartlett Bay Road, 802.658.BREW, [5]. Monday-Saturday: 10:00am to 6:00pm and Sunday: Noon to 5:00pm. Guided and self-guided tours. Self-guided tours may be taken any time during normal Artifactory hours. Guided Tours: Thursday-Friday: 3:00, 4:00 5:00pm Saturday: Noon, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00pm. The new bar is a sight to behold with 30 taps flowing and a constantly changing line-up of beers.  edit


  • Uncommon Grounds, 42 Church St., +1 802 865-6227. [56] Locally owned, they roast their own beans on site.
  • Muddy Waters, 184 Main St., +1 802 658-0466. Locally owned with beers on tap as well as the coffee.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Hampton Inn Burlington, 42 Lower Mountain View Drive, +1 802 655-6177, [57]. Offering complimentary breakfast and airport shuttle.
  • Hawthorn Suites South Burlington, 401 Dorset St, +1 802 860-1212, [58]. This all-suite hotel provides 104 spacious and well-appointed one and two-bedroom suites to meet all of your travel needs.
  • Sheraton Burlington Hotel & Conference Center, 870 Williston Rd, +1 802 865-6600, [6]. The largest hotel and conference center in the state of Vermont.  edit
  • Hilton Burlington Hotel, 60 Battery St, +1 802 658-6500. [59]. Overlooking Lake Champlain and Waterfront Park, the hotel offers vacationers 257 hotel rooms.
  • Courtyard Burlington Harbor, 25 Cherry St, corner of Battery St and Cherry St, +1 802 864-4700, [60]. Burlington's newest hotel, offers 127 rooms with breath taking views and exceptional staff service.
  • Willard Street Inn, 349 S Willard St, +1 802 651-8710, [61]. Very close to Champlain College and UVM with views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks.
  • Lang House on Main Street, 360 Main St, 877-919-9799, [62]. A cool alternative to a hotel and is just a short walk down the hill to downtown and the Church Street Marketplace. Free Wi-Fi, homemade breakfast and parking.
  • Quality Inn, 2572 Shelburne Rd (Exit 13 off Interstate 89), +1 802 985-8037, [7]. checkin: 4PM; checkout: 11AM. Recently renovated and affordable hotel on main Route 7 corridor. Indoor Pool, sauna, jacuzzi, sundeck, and fitness center, free breakfast, free wireless internet, free airport shuttle as well.  edit
  • Burlington Hostel, 53 Main St, 2nd floor, +1 802 540-3043 (), [8]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: noon. The only backpackers hostel in Burlington. Free wifi, free breakfast, security lockers provided. An inexpensive and comfortable alternative to ski resorts for skiers and travelers alike. $35.  edit
  • Holiday Inn Burlington, 1068 Williston Road, 802-863-6363, [9]. checkin: 3pm; checkout: 11am.  edit
  • Holiday Inn Express, 1720 Shelburne Road, 802-860-6000, [10]. checkin: 3pm; checkout: 11am.  edit
  • Comfort Inn & Suites, 5 Dorset Street, 802-863-5541, [11]. checkin: 3pm; checkout: 11am.  edit
  • Comfort Suites, 1712 Shelburne Road, 802-860-1112, [12]. checkin: 3pm; checkout: 11am.  edit
  • Smart Suites, 1700 Shelburne Road, 802-860-9900, [13]. checkin: 3pm; checkout: 11am.  edit
  • University Inn & Suites, 1 Dorset Street, 802-264-4104, [14]. checkin: 3pm; checkout: 11am.  edit
  • Speeder and Earls Coffee, 104 Church Street. Serving the best coffee in downtown Burlington, Ask Anyone.  edit
  • Hotel Vermont, 41 Cherry St, Burlington, VT 05401, 802-651-0080. checkin: 3pm; checkout: 12pm. Modern 4-star hotel offering stunning views of Lake Champlain.  edit

Stay safe[edit]

Burlington is known as one of the safest cities in the safest state in the entire country. No need to completely let your guard down, but not much to worry about here either. Take extra caution at night in the city's Old North End.

Get out[edit]

  • The Canadian border and Montreal, Quebec are less than a two hour drive north. Be advised that due to recent changes border crossing between the US and Canada now require a passport or enhanced identification (such as Vermont states Enhanced Driver's License, or EDL)
  • Smugglers Notch and Stowe ski resorts are within 45 minutes from the heart of the city
  • Just south of the city are several State Parks and some of the tallest peaks in the Green Mountains
  • Try to find 'Champ' the Lake Champlain monster who is supposed to be a sister to Nessie of Loch Ness

Routes through Burlington
Rouses Point ← Jct I-89.png  N noframe E  → Jct I-89.pngMontpelier
St. Albans  N noframe S  Rutland

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