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MAP of local activities and restaurants
Get on your bike: Get info about the Burlington Bike Path and rent a bike at Local Motion. Ride the 8-mile bike path along Lake Champlain, including the 2-mile causeway across the lake (though the bike ferry that connects the end of the causeway to the Lake Champlain Islands will not be running). Or, find one of Burlington’s many other bike trails in or around Burlington on the Local Motion site.
Cruise Lake Champlain: Take a cruise on the waters of Lake Champlain, sailing out from downtown Burlington on the Spirit of Ethan Allen with full catering. For a no-frills ride on the water, take one of Lake Champlain’s ferries between Vermont and New York.
Grab a paddle: Lake Champlain can be a great location for kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddleboarding. Paddling is limited before Memorial Day, but there are some very nice tours in Central Vermont operated by Umiak outfitters.
Follow the trail: Vermont is home to the Long Trail, a challenging stretch of the Appalachian Trail, and many other scenic hiking trails, Vermonters refer to spring as "mud season" and the Green Mountain Club asks hikers to stay off trails until Memorial Day. However, there are many trails that are either paved or hard packed that allow for some great views and paths into a forest springing to life after the winter. The Mount Philo Trail is paved, a short drive from Burlington, and offers great views of Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains.
Go birding: There are tremendous birding opportunities in Vermont, including the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge. The Audubon Center in Huntington and its Birds of Vermont museum are worth the drive, especially if you stop at the Stone Corral Brewery in Richmond (where you can also explore the historic Round Church).
Get on your horse: Are you a horse person? Vermont has a long history of horse breeding and equine activities. The Morgan Horse Farm and the Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm are two good examples offering tours, riding, and history.
Make a weekend of it: Vermont State Parks are located in many locations around Burlington and Lake Champlain, and across the state. Most have camp sites and many offer lean-tos and cabins. Several have lake-front beaches for swimming and boating. All of them offer beautiful Vermont scenery.
Come to Vermont and taste some of the finest craft beer in the nation. Hill Farmstead Brewery (Greensboro) was Ratebeer.com’s “Best Brewery in the World” for 2013 and 2015. Heady Topper, a double IPA brewed by The Alchemist (Stowe), is regularly rated as one of America’s best (and most sought-after) beers. Other Alchemist brews rotate through their offerings.
Closer to Burlington, there are several highly-rated and much-enjoyed breweries and brewpubs:
Burlington Beer Trail:
Beyond Burlington Beer Trail:
More Vermont Beer Trails:
PLACES TO VISIT
Shelburne Museum: Explore a remarkable museum of more than 150,000 works of folk art, contemporary art, design and manufacturing. The collections are displayed in 38 buildings spread across 45 acres of land, many of which are historic: 18th and 19th century houses, a one-room schoolhouse, a lighthouse, a railroad station and locomotive, a jail, a covered bridge and a 220-foot steamboat.
Shelburne Farms: Visit this 1,400-acre agricultural estate and National Historic Landmark, featuring a working farm, children’s farmyard, walking trails and special events.
Echo, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain: Learn about the history, science and stewardship of Lake Champlain at Burlington’s education-focused aquarium. See up close the Lake’s many species of fish, amphibians and reptiles - and keep an eye out for Champ, Champlain’s resident lake monster.
Vermont Historical Society Museum: Drop by the Vermont History Museum and explore the Green Mountain state’s history from the time of Abenaki civilization to the present day. An award-winning permanent exhibition, “Freedom and Unity”, guides you through Vermont history from the 1600s to the 21st century. (Montpelier)
Fleming Museum of Art and Anthropology: Take a short walk across the UVM campus to the Fleming and its fascinating collections of premodern and modern art and folk objects from around the world. In addition to the permanent collections and temporary exhibits, there are often weekend lectures and workshops.
Rock of Ages Granite Quarry: Take a tour of Smith Quarry, a 600-foot-deep granite quarry, watch artisan carvers create ornaments and sculptures, and go bowling on an outdoor granite lane. (Barre)
Lake Champlain Chocolates: Learn about chocolate making and enjoy samples on this tour of one of Vermont’s finest chocolatiers.
World's Tallest Filing Cabinet: Visit one of Burlington’s iconic landmarks: a 38-drawer tower of filing cabinets that claims to be the world’s tallest.
Ben and Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard: Indulge in a factory tour at the home of one of the nation’s most popular ice creams, including samples of your favorite flavors. Then take a trip to the Flavor Graveyard, commemorating gone-but-not-forgotten flavors like Turtle Soup and Urban Jumble. (Waterbury)
Escape Room 60: Who better than librarians to solve the case and escape from Vermont’s escape room? You and a group of friends work together to find clues, crack codes, unlock doors, and escape!
Check these sites for event listings for the Burlington area: