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Burlington, Vermont: Not Just a College Town

Buff Strickland Madison's giant farmers' market

Photo: Buff Strickland

Just what is it about Burlington?Is it the matchless location on Lake Champlain, sandwiched between the Adirondack and Green Mountains?The thriving downtown—a pedestrian-only carnival of smoothie parlors, found-art galleries, and frat-guy bars?Or is it the arms-open hilltop university, as welcoming to aspiring dairy farmers as it is to future doctors?

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Destinations: Burlington · Stowe · Essex Junction

Hotels (2)

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    The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa

    Rambling over 18 acres where suburban Burlington meets the Green Mountains, The Essex is a laid-back resort with a welcoming staff. The 120 rooms f... More
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    Hilton Burlington

    The Hilton Burlington, which contains 258 guest rooms, suites, and executive rooms decorated in autumnal reds, oranges, and yellows, has a boxy, mo

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Restaurants (4)

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    Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop

    As one of Vermont’s most-loved businesses, it’s fitting that Ben and Jerry’s flagship Scoop Shop resides in the heart of the Burlington’s commercia

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    Zabby & Elf's Stone Soup

    At Zabby & Elf’s Stone Soup, located just off downtown Burlington's Church Street Marketplace, customers start at the hot food and salad bar and pr

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    Al's French Frys

    Though located outside of Burlington’s historic center, Al’s French Frys remains an institution and veritable rite of passage for locals. Establish

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    Penny Cluse Café

    Taking over Ben and Jerry’s old downtown scoop shop in 1998, Charles Reeves and Holly Cluse opened a brunch café that serves gourmet versions of om

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Activities (13)

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    Burton Flagship Store

    Founded by Jake Burton in 1977, this namesake company is one of the nation’s leading suppliers of snowboarding equipment. This flagship store, loca

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    Peace & Justice Store

    Located on the Burlington Bay waterfront, this unusual shop is part of the Peace & Justice Center, a nonprofit organization that promotes human rig

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    Mt. Philo State Park

    Situated atop the eponymous Mt. Philo, this 168-acre park contains a small, 10-site camping area as well as an enclosed picnic pavilion that can be

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    Burlington Bike Path

    Stretching from south Burlington to the Winooski River delta, this 7.6-mile recreational path is popular with joggers, bikers, and inline skaters.

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    Paul Miller Research Complex

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    Stowe Mountain Resort

    Recently Stowe has added a gondola that connects its two mountains.

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    Shelburne Museum

    For many visitors, this 45-acre museum feels more like a wonderland than a museum, thanks mainly to the village-like layout that incorporates 25 hi

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    Shelburne Orchards

    After transforming his boyhood home into a full-time job in the late 1970s, Nick Cowles now manages 80 acres of apple, peach, and sour cherry orcha

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    Flynn Center for the Performing Arts

    Behind its iconic marquee, the city’s largest theater has served many roles since opening in 1930 as a vaudeville house. Today, the Art Deco main a

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    Horticultural Research Center

    At the Hort Farm (as it’s locally known), students from the University of Vermont have conducted biological research for more than 60 years. At pre

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    ECHO at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain

    As part of the revitalization of Burlington’s waterfront, the city opened the ECHO Center in 2003 to celebrate, preserve, and promote Lake Champlai

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    Local Motion

    The Rails-to-Trails movement of the 1990s opened miles of bike paths along the shores of Lake Champlain (and sometimes on it) and inspired the non-

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    Perkins Geology Museum

    A lesser-known attraction in the area, the Perkins Geology Museum is located on the campus of the University of Vermont. While school is in session

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Similar Trips (3)

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  • Central Vermont's Winter Playground

    Barnard, Waitsfield, Warren, Burlington + Northern Vermont, Central Vermont

    Ironically, despite efforts in recent decades to make it more accessible (two four-lane highways, the expansion of the Burlington International Airport), Vermont steadfastly remains caught in a uni

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  • Day Drive Around Lake Champlain

    Shelburne, Vergennes, Burlington, Essex

    The ideal way to explore the 115-mile-long Lake Champlain valley and lake is by car—especially during fall foliage season.

  • Mini Trip Guide to England's Most Talked About Garden

    Burlington, Northumberland

    On the grounds of Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, a most unorthodox English garden is taking shape—complete with towering jets of water and a bit of strychnine. Walk through the new pavilion and ...

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