When you hear “Burlington, Vermont,” what comes to mind? Coats? Views of Lake Champlain? Burlington has plenty of both, but if you’re looking for things to do in Vermont and happen to be up Burlington way, there’s a ton of amazing activities ready for you to enjoy.
Burlington is a vibrant and exciting city, with a hopping nightlife and a thriving artistic community. We created this guide to assist those folks who are considering a Vermont trip and are looking for suggestions on things to do.
Our look at Burlington attractions gives you enough options to keep your schedule jam-packed for your entire time in the city. We’ve got details on beer tours, art exhibits, musical adventures, and more. With our assistance, you’ll experience the best Burlington has to offer and will want to come back on your next vacation to continue your exploration.
Synaptic Supercollider💥 is a conference and festival that takes place in Burlington every October. The event brings together forward thinkers to discuss new trends in innovation entrepreneurship, music, lifestyles and the arts.
Want to combine a deep dive into art and music with some of the best food and shopping Burlington has to offer? Church Street is just the place you’ve been looking for. The four-block-long concourse is convenient to hotels, is a National Register Historic District, and includes craft centers, restaurants, sculptures, and live music. If you like local flavor when finding things to do in a new city, Church Street is the perfect choice.
Lake Champlain is one of the great treats you get to experience when you visit Burlington. The waterfront has miles of recreational trails that border both the lake and the town, and you can easily stroll or bike to it from your hotel. As you walk the trails, you’ll pass through six waterfront parks and, depending on the time of day, might catch a Lake Champlain sunset, one of Vermont’s most beautiful natural events.
Walking or biking aren’t the only things to do around the lake. Burlington is home to a number of cruise ships that give regular tours of Lake Champlain. Enjoy a meal or special occasion on the lake on board a Spirit of Ethan Allen cruise, or go back in time on a Friendship Sloop. A cruise is the perfect way to experience the lake without sacrificing comfort. It satisfies the eyes and the soul.
Vermont in general and Burlington in particular boast broad biological and geological diversity, with a wide range of ecosystems and fauna. The Echo Leahy Center, located on the waterfront, is the perfect museum in which to investigate the Lake Champlain region’s past and present; it contains interactive exhibits about the lake and land around Burlington. Hand-on presentations at the Center are perfect for young explorers, and the views of the surrounding mountain ranges can’t be beat.
Does your taste run more toward nightlife and shows when you’re looking for things to do? Burlington’s got you covered on that front, too. There are lots of venues for shows, including the venerable and beautiful Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. You’ll find everything from opera to touring musicals here all year long. Opened in 1930, the Center has long been the host for high-culture pastimes, and it continues to provide the city with a cultural center. The Flynn Center is convenient to hotels and downtown, too.
Vermont is a mecca for great beers, and Burlington is the epicenter. There are fantastic breweries dotting the area around Burlington, and they love to have visitors. Take an afternoon to tour breweries such as Foam Brewers and Pub & Brewery; you’ll find friendly staff and some of the tastiest brews you’ve ever encountered.
Burlington is home to a vibrant and innovative artistic community, and every corner in the city seems to contain a new and exciting mural or sculpture. Experience a taste of that creative energy by taking a tour of Burlington’s art galleries. The city’s South End is overflowing with galleries and studios, and every September brings the annual Art Hop to the neighborhood. Soothe your soul with a visit to the South End’s galleries, and find the painting, photo, or sculpture that speaks to you.
If your notion of a perfect night out includes time spent listening to live music in a local club, then you’re going to love Burlington. The town boasts an impressive nightlife; you’re sure to find a club that appeals to your taste. Check out Higher Ground Music for the latest touring and local acts performing in a ballroom environment, and pay ArtsRiot a visit for a live musical experience in a more laid back, restaurant-and-bar setting.
No trip to Burlington would be complete without a visit to the ice cream empire created by the city’s hometown heroes. Ben & Jerry’s has been a source of local pride for a long time, and the company’s local factory is a fantastic way to see how the sweet treats go from ingredients to the final product. After the tour, satisfy your ice cream craving with samples and tastings. Ben & Jerry’s is a Burlington institution, and they welcome guests with open arms.
Burlington is Vermont’s home for the arts, and that includes comedy. While you’re in the city, spend an evening at the Vermont Comedy Club, located downtown. The venue features national standup acts as well as local up-and-comers, and it also offers classes for adults, teens, and kids who are interested in advancing their own comedy chops. If you’re looking for a few laughs and a drink or two, a visit to Burlington’s comedy scene is just what the doctor ordered.
Our look at the best things to do in Burlington is just the tip of the iceberg, of course. The city is overflowing with activities and is waiting for you to discover them. Our suggestions give you a good launching point, so use them well, and enjoy your time in our city!
Outreach, Synaptic Supercollider
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