Burlington, Vermont: A Guide to America’s Best Small City
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Burlington, Vermont: A Guide to America’s Best Small City

Burlington, Vermont, is a small city with a big personality. Situated on the shores of Lake Champlain, this vibrant community is known for its stunning natural beauty, vibrant arts scene, unique food culture, and historic landmarks. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, here’s a guide to everything you need to know about Burlington.

Explore Burlington’s Natural Beauty

Burlington is known for its stunning natural beauty, and there’s no better way to experience it than by getting out and exploring. Start by taking a stroll along the waterfront bike path, which stretches for miles along the shores of Lake Champlain. You can also rent a bike or a kayak and explore the lake on your own.

For a more immersive experience, head to nearby Shelburne Farms, a 1,400-acre working farm and National Historic Landmark. Here, you can take a farm tour, hike through the fields and forests, or simply enjoy a picnic on the grounds.

Discover Burlington’s Arts Scene

Burlington is home to a thriving arts scene, with numerous galleries, theaters, and performance spaces. Check out the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, a beautifully restored Art Deco theater that hosts a wide range of performances, from ballet and opera to comedy and rock concerts.

For visual arts, head to the Burlington City Arts Center, which showcases the work of local and regional artists. You can also take a stroll through the South End Arts District, a vibrant neighborhood filled with galleries, studios, and public art installations.

Indulge in Burlington’s Unique Food Culture

Burlington is known for its unique food culture, which combines the best of local and international flavors. Start your day with a visit to Penny Cluse Cafe, a popular breakfast spot known for its hearty portions and creative takes on classic dishes.

For lunch, head to the Farmhouse Tap & Grill, which serves up delicious burgers, sandwiches, and salads made with fresh, local ingredients. In the evening, don’t miss a visit to Hen of the Wood, a cozy restaurant that specializes in farm-to-table cuisine.

Explore Burlington’s Historic Landmarks

Burlington is steeped in history, and there are numerous landmarks and museums to explore. Start with a visit to the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum, the former home of one of Vermont’s most famous sons. You can also visit the University of Vermont’s historic campus, which includes numerous buildings dating back to the 19th century.

For a taste of local history, head to the Shelburne Museum, a sprawling complex of historic buildings and exhibits that showcase Vermont’s past. And don’t miss a visit to the Church Street Marketplace, a pedestrian-only street filled with historic buildings, shops, and restaurants.

Insider Tips and Recommendations

To make the most of your visit to Burlington, be sure to take advantage of these insider tips and recommendations:

-Visit in the fall, when the foliage is at its peak and the city is alive with festivals and events.
-Take a sunset cruise on Lake Champlain to see the city from a new perspective.
-Don’t miss a visit to the Ben & Jerry’s Factory, located just a short drive from Burlington in Waterbury.
-Check out the Church Street Marketplace, a pedestrian-only area filled with shops, restaurants, and street performers.
-Take a hike in the nearby Green Mountains, which offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
-Visit the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, a science and nature museum that offers hands-on exhibits and activities for all ages.
-Take a bike ride along the Burlington Bike Path, which offers scenic views of the lake and mountains.
-Explore the local food scene, which includes farm-to-table restaurants, craft breweries, and cideries.^ 

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