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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:
Burlington has several interesting sites for visitors:
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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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.