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Burlington (map)

 

With 42,000 residents, Burlington is the most populous city in Vermont.  It is located on Lake Champlain and only 45 miles south of the Canadian-US border.

Organized as a town in 1785 and incorporated as a city in 1865, Burlington became a center for the lumber and manufacturing industries, particularly after the Champlain Canal (1823), Erie Canal (1825), and Chambly Canal (1843) were completed.

 

There are two theories as to the origin of the name Burlington:

  • The town was named after Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington
  • The name honors the politically prominent and wealthy Burling family of New York

 

Burlington has several interesting sites for visitors:

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Vermont Travel Guide showing the Hildene Estate in Manchester, Vermont
Vermont Travel Guide showing the Vermont State House in Montpelier, Vermont
Vermont Travel Guide showing the Rock of Ages quarry in Barre, Vermont
Vermont Travel Guide showing an island in Lake Champlain in Vermont

Waterfront (map)

 

Burlington’s Waterfront Park is located west of downtown along the Lake Champlain shoreline.  This park is a very popular meeting point for locals and visitors alike and location for several of Burlington’s music and food festivals.  The park is beautifully maintained, has playgrounds and seating incl. hanging benches, and a bicycle and a walking path. 

Be advised that parking here is very limited and it pays to come early.

Burlington Waterfront trail in Vermont
Seaview at the Burlington Waterfront in Vermont
Burlington Waterfront trail and art in Vermont
Swing at the Burlington Waterfront in Vermont

Lake Champlain Chocolates Factory (map)

 

Lake Champlain Chocolates was founded in 1983 and produces more than one million pounds of gourmet chocolates each year.  

It has received several honors over the years:

  • Candy Bar Gazebo 1989: “Best New Bar of 1989”
  • Yankee magazine’s Travel Guide to New England: “Best of the Region”
  • Vermont Chamber of Commerce Winter Guide 2003: “Top 25 Picks for Kids”
  • The Boston Globe: “The world’s finest chocolate”

 

The factory store offers guided free tours with a chocolate sampling at the end.  The tour takes place on an elevated seating area in the store and consists of the tour guide talking, showing a video and handing out cocoa fruits.  No walking is necessary as you will only see the factory through the large window in the store.

Lake Champlain Chocolates Factory in Burlington, Vermont
Exhibit at the Lake Champlain Chocolates Factory in Burlington, Vermont
Chocolate sample at the Lake Champlain Chocolates Factory in Burlington, Vermont

World's Tallest Filing Cabinet (map)

 

If you are interested in seeing odd things, look no further.  The World's Tallest Filing Cabinet stands in Burlington, it is easily accessible and there is no admission.  It was built in 2002 by welding filing cabinets on top of each other.  By now, the cabinets are pretty rusty and some are being used by birds for nesting.

World's Tallest Filing Cabinet in Burlington, Vermont
World's Tallest Filing Cabinet in Burlington, Vermont

Church Street Marketplace (map)

 

Opened in 1981, the Church Street Marketplace is a four city block outdoor pedestrian shopping and dining mall along Church Street between Main and Pearl Streets in downtown Burlington.  We especially liked the diverse dining options here.

Since 2010, much of the Church Street Marketplace is part of the Church Street Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Together with the waterfront, Church Street Marketplace is a preferred place for outdoor festivals in Burlington.

Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, Vermont
Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, Vermont
Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, Vermont
Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, Vermont

Lake Champlain Cruise on Spirit of Ethan Allen III (map)

 

Launched in 2002 and with a capacity of 363 passengers, the Spirit of Ethan Allen III is Vermont's largest cruise ship.  It offers scenic cruises starting at around noon and ending with sunset and evening cruises.  Some cruises include meals (brunch, lunch, dinner), some include music, some narration.  Prices vary from $17.50 per person to $45.50 per adult person (children get discounted rates) before tax, depending on the type of cruise.

Lake Champlain Cruise ship Spirit of Ethan Allen III at the Waterfront in Burlington, Vermont
View from the Lake Champlain Cruise ship Spirit of Ethan Allen III at the Waterfront in Burlington, Vermont
View from the Lake Champlain Cruise ship Spirit of Ethan Allen III at the Waterfront in Burlington, Vermont
View from the Lake Champlain Cruise ship Spirit of Ethan Allen III at the Waterfront in Burlington, Vermont
View from the Lake Champlain Cruise ship Spirit of Ethan Allen III at the Waterfront in Burlington, Vermont
View from the Lake Champlain Cruise ship Spirit of Ethan Allen III at the Waterfront in Burlington, Vermont

North Beach Park and Kayaking on Lake Champlain (map)

 

North Beach is the largest beach in Burlington and the only beach with active lifeguards in summer.  It has a sand beach, swimming area and there are barbeques, food concessions, picnic tables, a playground, restrooms and showers.  During the summer you can rent kayaks, canoes and stand up paddleboards.

Parking is free from November to April, while there is an $8 fee per vehicle per day for non-residents.

Kayaking on Lake Champlain from North Beach Park in Burlington, Vermont
Kayaking on Lake Champlain from North Beach Park in Burlington, Vermont
Kayaking on Lake Champlain from North Beach Park in Burlington, Vermont
Kayaking on Lake Champlain from North Beach Park in Burlington, Vermont
Kayaking on Lake Champlain from North Beach Park in Burlington, Vermont
Kayaking on Lake Champlain from North Beach Park in Burlington, Vermont
World's Tallest Filing Cabinet in Burlington, Vermont

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