Are you ready for the beauty of Burlington? With panoramic views of the Adirondack Mountains and Lake Champlain, don’t let anything stop you from visiting this dream destination. Home to gorgeous year round weather, every season is the best season to visit Burlington, Vermont.
Burlington’s young and hip vibe will make you feel alive; with fantastic restaurants, cool breweries, and fun shops all around you, it’s hard not to have a great holiday! Embrace outdoor living at its finest, with biking, hiking and much more at your disposal.
This blooming city is home to an incredible arts and cultural scene, with local artists, entertainers, and events to be seen. Feel a part of this kind and growing community on your trip to Burlington.
Without further ado, here are some of our favorite things to do in Burlington VT.
SHOP CHURCH STREET MARKETPLACE
Downtown Burlington is the place to be! With unbelievable shopping, restaurants and local galleries, you have to stop by Church Street Marketplace for a taste of Vermont life. Walk the brick paved blocks of Church Street and fall in love with the vibrant and active outdoor shopping center in Vermont’s largest city.
With over 100 shops and restaurants to see, it’s the best place to wander the streets, talk to locals, grab a coffee and people watch. Enjoy year-round fun with a variety of events, live music, and entertainers along the street, all while admiring the beautiful architecture.
Make sure to catch a show at The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts while you’re in town. Check out the best craftsmanship Vermont has to offer with a stop at the Frog Hollow Craft Center. With a thriving arts scene and cultural center, this small area packs a lot of entertainment!
Stop by for dinner, drinks or delicious ice cream and turn a family shopping day into a lovely night out. The thriving atmosphere is electric and it’s the perfect place to spend time with family and friends.
RIDE THE BURLINGTON BIKE PATH
Grab your helmets and start cycling! Whether you’re an exercise fanatic or looking to enjoy a leisurely cycle, ride the Burlington Bike Path. Located on the Burlington Waterfront, this recreational route is perfect for all ages and great for sightseeing.
With beautiful views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack mountains, this scenic bike path is one for the books. Enjoy parks and beaches as you pass through differing neighborhoods and picturesque treasures.
The path itself is beyond amazing, and it’s a great way to explore more of Burlington and experience new adventures. For instance, you could take the path to Oakledge Park (which is awesome), and then veer off just a bit to see The World’s Tallest Filling Cabinet before grabbing a beer at Queen City Brewery. Talk about adventure!
Don’t have a bike? No problem! You can either rent a bike locally in town or feel free to walk the path as there is a designated shoulder for non-bikers. The paved path is great for an all-day outdoing and adventure! Bring a picnic, pack a sandwich, or grab a coffee and enjoy the beautiful outdoors on Burlington Bike Path.
CHALLENGE THE KIDS AT THE ECHO LEAHY CENTER
Challenge kids and get immersed in Vermont’s innovative science museum with a visit to The ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain. The ECHO Leahy Center is a nonprofit centered around discovering science, preserving nature, and caring for Lake Champlain.
With interactive and live exhibits, children will understand the foundation of science and how they can positively impact the world and Lake Champlain. Focusing on environmental issues, it’s never too early to teach children the importance of conservation. Watch 3D movies to understand the past, present and future of species and scientific wonder.
Children will be captivated from the moment they enter the museum, and the relevant exhibits will teach children a powerful message. This is an outstanding science museum on Burlington’s Waterfront, which will engage children and parents on issues that are relevant today.
Tip: Buy tickets online so you can beat the lines and enjoy more of the museum.
NOSH AT THE BURLINGTON FARMERS MARKET
Are you looking to shop local and help small businesses on your vacation? Then head over to Burlington’s Farmers Market! Open every Saturday from late spring through the fall, it’s time to shop till you drop!
Shop for groceries or personalized gifts, surrounded by community members and beautiful views of downtown. From artisan gifts, fresh produce, baked goods and much more, enjoy this local tourist attraction. Buy a souvenir from your vacation, or simply appreciate local creations and enjoy the charming downtown area.
This is truly a wonderful weekend activity. Roam with families and friends, try new foods and enjoy some of Vermont’s classics, such as cheese, meat, and treats in just a couple hours. With a great selection of products and variety of vendors, it’s definitely worth the visit!
Tips: I highly recommend going to the market early and bring cash if you can!
STEP BACK IN TIME AT THE ETHAN ALLEN HOMESTEAD
Time travel into Burlington’s history and see life through the walls and gardens of the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum. Understand daily life of the 1780’s and uncover the life of Ethan Allen, a farmer, businessman, writer, and war patriot.
Walk the grounds to see the beautiful gardens and woodlands that surround the property. Take a guided tour and relish in historic artifacts, finds and architecture. This tourist attraction is not only enriching, but it gives insight on the Allen’s family life.
The museum delves deeper than just Ethan Allen himself, but tells the story of Green Mountain boys, slavery in Vermont and the lives of women on the homestead. The significance of Vermont’s past is honored, and the Homestead is a triumph for all history buffs.
Address: 1 Ethan Allen Homestead, Burlington, VT 05408
SEE BURLINGTON FROM THE WATER
Take a trip on the water and see the landscape of Burlington during an Ethan Allen boat tour. Cruise, dine and unwind on a scenic trip with the Spirit of Ethan Allen. Take in spectacular views of the lake, city and mountains, and marvel at the history of this region. Grab your camera, a nice drink and get ready to relax.
Another way to enjoy the water is with a stop at Waterfront Park, which runs along Lake Champlain shoreline and is a popular destination for bikers and runners. It’s the perfect setting to enjoy a picnic, have a stroll and take in the beautiful views of the city. This park often has events and festivals so keep an eye out for some activities.
Looking for panoramic views of Lake Champlain and lots of space? Head on over to Battery Park. Battery Park is on higher ground, so it not only overlooks the lake, but also Waterfront Park. With concerts in the summer and an ice-skating rink in the winter, this tourist attraction is guaranteed fun for families. Learn about the historical significance of the park, while appreciating the great outdoors.
TOUR THE BEN AND JERRY’S ICE CREAM FACTORY
Your wildest ice cream dreams can come true at Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory on Church St.! From classic flavors to more adventurous mixes, try them all and experience the joy of exploring the factory. Ben and Jerry’s packs a tasty punch in every scoop, and this tour cannot be missed.
From start to finish, understand how Ben and Jerry’s became a household ice cream name and see how it all began. This is the first factory and only tour facility for Ben and Jerry’s, so now’s the time to see the production and manufacturing process firsthand.
From starting in an old gas station, to becoming a worldwide ice cream favorite, get a glimpse into the art of ice cream! When the tour is finished, stop off at the scoop shop and try one of the many delicious flavors. With a great gift shop, grab some souvenirs to remember your tour, and check out the “flavor graveyard” for a giggle!
“Do the World a Flavor” and enjoy a treat with family – Ben and Jerry.
GO BEHIND THE SCENES AT LAKE CHAMPLAIN CHOCOLATE FACTORY
Chocolate! A yummy treat, or an everyday craving. Step behind the scenes and look at Vermont’s very own Lake Champlain Chocolate Factory. From hand crafted chocolates to chocolate sculptures, look at how these specialized chocolates are made and how they get such scrumptious flavors.
Using local ingredients from farmers in Vermont, and sourcing fair trade certified products from around the world, these delectable chocolates are mouthwatering. Stop in, shop and try Lake Champlain’s famous truffles and hot chocolate.
Watch a video on the process, have a taste test and take home special treats your family will love. Sounds like a sweet family outing to me! Don’t forget to stock up on chocolates for Easter, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas.
SWIM AND PLAY AT NORTH BEACH
Suns out and it’s time to get beach ready! Take a day trip and play in the sun and splash in the lake all day long at North Beach. Sit on the largest beach in Burlington and enjoy the beautiful views and gorgeous weather all year long.
With concession stands, BBQ grills, tables, and playgrounds available at your leisure, spend a cheerful day with family. Get the most out of your beach day by renting a stand-up paddle board from one of the vendors and get a new perspective on beach life!
Swim and play in the water with a sense of security, as this is the only beach in Burlington with lifeguards. North Beach is a great family beach because the water is calm and the sand is clean. Build sandcastles, have a picnic, or rent water toys on this active beach.
Tips: The beach is free to the public, but you do have to pay for parking. Think about arriving early so you can choose a nice area to put your things and relax throughout the day!
TOUR THE FLEMING MUSEUM OF ART AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT
With arts and culture celebrated among Vermont locals, the Fleming Museum is a spectacle of creativity and history. With multiple art galleries in the Burlington area, step onto the beautiful campus of UVM and see why Fleming Museum is a must see tourist attraction!
Nestled in the Fleming Museum of Art you’ll find a huge amount of art from all ages, which include many European and American paintings, ancient art, and local Vermont pieces too. The collections and exhibits are timeless and tell a superb anthropological story.
The museum has enriching pieces that have you thinking deeper about life, art and the connection between them. Showcasing cultures and customers from around the world, step inside a diverse and eye-opening museum with community and equality at the forefront! Stroll the exhibits and take-home new knowledge from this treasured art gallery.
RIDE THE CHAMPLAIN VALLEY DINNER TRAIN
Discover Vermont’s scenic landscape and enjoy a luxurious meal on the Champlain Valley Dinner Train! On this three-hour round-trip excursion, experience a lavish three-course meal with family or friends while traveling between Burlington and Middlebury.
With private tables, create memories and connect with nature while in an inviting yet intimate setting. This would be a wonderful choice for a special occasion like a wedding anniversary or birthday. With a full bar available, order specific drinks to make the evening exceptional.
With different packages to choose from, you will not be disappointed on the Champlain Valley Train. From stunning summer rides, to experiencing the fall foliage, dine and ride on this once in a lifetime experience!
Tip: This train is not suitable for young children, and is only available for ages 7+.
EXPLORE SHELBURNE FARMS
Tour, hike and marvel at the beauty of Shelburne Farms. Set on 14 acres, Shelburne Farm is dedicated to educating the public on sustainable practices to make for a better future. Learn how to make better choices that will benefit communities and the earth while exploring the farm.
As this is an active farm, you can wander around the grounds or walk on one of the many hiking trails and learn more life on a working farm. With historical buildings and gorgeous views of the lake, learn from professionals and deepen your knowledge on agriculture and cultural customs. With a restaurant and inn featured at the farm; stay or dine at the property with a farm to table menu that is outstanding.
Children will be enthralled with the magic of Shelburne Farms, and I couldn’t recommend a better activity than visiting Shelburne Museum. The interesting building and superb exhibits tell a story through time with amazing folk art and compelling stories. Learn, share and change the future with a simple trip to the farm!
With all these tourist attractions occupying your time in Burlington, finding appropriate accommodations is key. Whether it’s a weekend getaway, a week with family or a spur of the moment trip; location, comfort, and price is crucial.
One of our favorite hotels in Burlington is the amazing Hotel Vermont. With great rooms, affordable pricing, and lots to see, this isn’t just a hotel — it’s an experience. The hotel works with local farmers to produce fantastic meals that can be shared at one of their many restaurants. Its dream location makes it ideal to walk around Burlington and feel like a local for your entire stay.
With plenty of options to choose from, make sure you feel comfortable with your destination and decision. There’s so much to see and such adventures to be had in Burlington, so start planning today!
Book Now: Hotel Vermont Burlington
BURLINGTON VT FAQ
How should I spend a day in Burlington VT?
There are lots of great ways to spend a day in Burlington, VT, but we’d suggest exploring Church Street, taking a walk along Lake Champlain, biking the Burlington Bike Path, or taking a selfie with the World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet!
Is Burlington, VT worth visiting?
Without question, Burlington is worth visiting. You’ll find plenty of great things to do here, including family-friendly activities, outdoor adventures, art galleries, restaurants, breweries, and even an awesome ice cream factory tour!
When is the best time to visit Burlington?
We think anytime is a great time to visit Burlington, but the summer months are the most popular time to visit. You’ll enjoy great temps and plenty of festivals and events around town from May through September.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR TRIP TO VERMONT
- YOUR VERMONT VACATION
- WATERFALLS: 11+ Vermont Waterfalls and Swimming Holes (+ Helpful Map)
- STOWE: 16 Things To Do In Stowe VT For Year-Round Fun
- RESORTS: 21 Best Vermont Resorts That You’re Going To Love
- WEEKEND GETAWAYS: 18 Spectacular Weekend Getaways In New England
WHERE TO STAY IN BURLINGTON
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