Burlington Things to Do
A charming and picturesque New England town, there are plenty of things to do in Burlington.
Downtown & Church Street
The heart of Burlington is Church Street, a three-block cobblestone street which is dedicated to pedestrians. It is Burlington’s shopping, eating and entertainment district with more than 100 stores and restaurants. This area has an excellent vibe. The only way to see Church Street is to take the time to wander its length – you get to shop, people watch, and enjoy the fresh Burlington air at the same time. Take a glance around, you can also see Lake Champlain and a few mountains all around.
Lake Champlain Cruises and Ferries
Burlington runs along Lake Champlain which seems to set the mood of Burlington. It’s nearly always windy which makes the lake rough and reminiscent of the ocean. It’s a very moody lake; it can be in a dark mood – but when the sun comes out from behind the clouds it becomes bright and cheery. There are cruises offering sightseeing with historical narratives and a chance to just relax. They last about an hour and a half. Lunch, brunch, and special cruises are also available. This is Burlington’s best attraction, if you have time for just one thing here, then this should be it.
ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center
In 2003, the Lake Champlain Basin Science Center was renovated and the name changed to ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center. The acronym ECHO stands for Ecology, Culture, History, and Opportunity. This is where you can learn all about Lake Champlain, its history and its ecosystems. There are numerous aquariums, relics of old boats that sank on the lake, and educational exhibits on the lake’s watershed.
Drive on the Lake Champlain Byway
Head up Hwy 2 North from Burlington and you’ll be heading to a wonderful and scenic lake side drive which spans the various islands off of Lake Champlain. Along the way you’ll be treated to serene vistas and classic New England small towns complete with country stores with long porches that serve hot cider in the fall. Just a nice place to relax and let the lake breeze flow through your hair as you reflect on the more important things in life
University of Vermont
The University of Vermont is a wonderful place to take a stroll, especially in the fall. This university is somewhat spread out, so take your walking shoes. Examples of wonderful architecture are everywhere, as are nice walking paths. And, you can’t beat the vibe and energy walking in the path of the youth.
Other Local Highlights
There are many other things to see in the heart of Burlington or on its outskirts.
- Lake Champlain Chocolate factory tour (in town)
- Magic Hat Brewing Company (in town)
- Shelburne Museum (about a 20-minute ride)
- Vermont Teddy Bear factory (near the Shelburne Museum)
- Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory (a quick drive from town)
- Cabot Visitors Center – Famous cheese factory, about an hour’s drive
If you’re seeking the shopping, the relaxation or maybe want to learn a little something, you’ll find it in Burlington.
More from SmarterTravel:
- Beautiful Vermont
- A Car-Free Ski Weekend in Vermont? It Can Be Done (At Stratton)
- Things to Do in Stowe, Vermont
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about fun things to do in Burlington.