We have family in Vermont so we’ve spent quite a bit of time in Burlington, as well as in the surrounding towns. This Travel Guide won’t focus on beer or winter sports — so keep that in mind when diving in. We’ve gone during the holidays when it is cold and snowy — it is a cozy time if you like to stay indoors, but it’s even better for those who enjoy skiing and snowboarding! Burlington is perfect for family getaways, a weekend away with friends and family, or for a romantic getaway. I love that you can visit Vermont in all seasons (and we have), and there is plenty to do both indoors and outdoors!
Where to Stay
- Coffee and tea right in the lobby every morning (along with local newspapers), and plenty of places to sit and relax!
- Grab breakfast at Bleu (delicious), and then head back over there for dinner and drinks in the evening.
Highlights: Kid-friendly, onsite gym and indoor pool, a small market with all the essentials, walking distance to restaurants, shops, and Church St., etc.
Other options: Hilton Garden Inn Burlington Downtown (we also loved his hotel — it has many of the same amenities, and a great breakfast buffet — as part of the buffet you get freshly made omelettes and pancakes!), Hotel Vermont (located right next to the Courtyard.)
Bleu Northeast Seafood is located within the Courtyard Burlington Harbor — we ended up getting breakfast here all three days during our most recent trip to VT. The restaurant does not have a kids’ menu, but they are kid-friendly, and we were able to create our own meal from the sides menu! By the third day the chef remembered us, and prepared it just right. Bleu VT had the most delicious pancakes with Vermont Maple Syrup — I would suggest stopping in even if you choose a different hotel!
ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain is a great place for children of all ages to learn about animals, science, marine life, history, and nature, and also has a spot to take in the beautiful views of Lake Champlain. Keep in mind the gift shop is right by the front door — they have so many great gifts and souvenirs! We will definitely be back!
Crow Bookshop located right on Church St. is one of our go-to stops when we are in Burlington — it’s a good mix of new and used books, and they have a selection of books from local authors. This trip we also discovered Phoenix Books (Essex location) — we loved this store, and we will definitely be returning. They were closing up when we arrived, and they still gave us time to browse and purchase books!
Church Street Marketplace is a must-visit while in Burlington — local shops, restaurants, bookstores (including the UVM Bookstore), plenty of food carts, and Uncommon Grounds (stop in for a coffee or tea and walk up and down Church St.).
Lake Champlain Chocolates is the flagship store in Burlington — you can watch chocolate being made, sample the flavor of the day, and buy some of your favorite Lake Champlain sweets.
Mimmo’s Pizzeria & Restaurant is right in Essex, Vermont — if you’re looking for a good Italian meal with huge portions this is a great spot. They have a decent wine list, and the restaurant is a family-friendly option (it’s right across the parking lot from Phoenix Books!)
Other area attractions: Ben & Jerry’s (Waterbury), Shelburne Farm (Shelburne), Burlington Farmers Market
Restaurants to try: Farmhouse Tap & Grill (great date night spot, or a night out with friends/family– they make their own condiments!), Hen of the Wood , Honey Road (we didn’t eat here, but it was packed every single time we went by!), Windjammer (one of our go-to restaurants — this is a good spot for larger groups, and people who like more basic options – including steak — and a great wine list. They have an upstairs area with a bar menu), Grazers Burgers (located in Williston), Vermont Tap House (located in Williston — go for the beer list and the warm pretzels!)
Burlington, Vermont is just over 3 hours away from Boston, 5.5 hours from New York City, and just over 2 hours from Montreal. There are so many places to visit in Burlington, but I wanted to share some of our go-to spots with all of you! Where are some of your favorite spots in Burlington?