CHURCH STREET MARKETPLACE
At this open-air mall in the heart of downtown Burlington, street performers and more than 100 shops and eateries fill a four-block stretch of cityscape. Browse, stroll, and take advantage of the free public Wi-Fi to update your Instagram feed with the highlights from your ramblings.
THE FLYING PIG BOOKSTORE
Although not located within Burlington’s city limits, this award-winning shop in nearby Shelburne is a worth a visit. Featuring more than 40,000 titles and knowledgeable staffers who have seemingly read every single one, the Flying Pig makes its home in the former Shelburne Inn. Named one of New England’s best independent bookstores on NewEngland.com.
ECHO LAKE AQUARIUM & SCIENCE CENTER
The “ECHO” in the name stands for Ecology, Culture, History, and Opportunity
— and this waterfront resource delivers on all counts. America’s “Sixth Great
Lake” is the focus here, and visitors will come face to face with Lake Champlain’s
denizens as they also learn about the area’s ecological history, shipwrecks,
and legendary monster “Champ.”
Burlington’s burgeoning South End Arts District hosts a bustling flea market on the third Sunday of each month from May through October, featuring antiques, handicrafts, artwork, brewery tours and tastings, and lots of food. Named a 2015 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Browsing.”
Cyclists skirt the city shoreline, cross the Winooski River, and connect with
suburban Colchester’s own bike trail. The fun really begins as the route heads
out onto Lake Champlain along a 3½-mile former railroad causeway. A seasonal
bike ferry links with scenic roads threading the Champlain Islands.
FLEMING MUSEUM OF ART
Refreshed by an extensive 2016 renovation, the art and anthropology
museum of the University of Vermont houses the state’s most broad-ranging collection
of painting, sculpture, decorative arts, and cultural artifacts from civilizations
ranging from antiquity to the contemporary U.S. The cache of some 20,000 objects
includes African masks; an Assyrian bas-relief; works by Corot, Goya, Rodin,
Homer, and Warhol; and an Egyptian mummy in its coffin. The book-filled museum
shop also has a pleasant café serving snacks and desserts.
BURLINGTON FARMERS’ MARKET
In the state that appreciates the “go local” movement more than just about any other, this legendary farmers’ market, now nearing its fifth decade, is not to be missed. Every Saturday from late spring through autumn, 90-plus vendors fill City Hall Park with seasonal produce, flowers, prepared foods, and more. You won’t leave disappointed (or hungry).
Places to Eat in Burlington, Vermont
BISTRO DE MARGO
As a young student-chef, Bistro de Margot owner Hervé Mahé trained
at France’s elite Ecole Supérieure de Cuisine Française. Then he spent 30 years
honing his skills at Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris, London, and Seattle.
In Burlington, he carefully crafts each dish — from an exquisite foie gras torchon
to a pan-seared cod filet — in a way that’s refined yet approachable.
PENNY CLUSE CAFÉ
Line up with the locals for a table at Burlington’s most popular breakfast spot.
It’s worth the wait for moderately priced ham ’n’ egg alternatives such as “Bucket-o-Spuds”
(home fries with melted cheese, salsa, sour cream, and scallions), the smoked-salmon
plate, and gingerbread pancakes. Not that you’ll need lunch, but that’s served
HEN OF THE WOOD
Award-winning chef Eric Warnstedt and his partner, William McNeil, who still
operate their popular establishment in Waterbury, have once again created restaurant
magic. At their chic second outpost, located next to the Hotel Vermont, the
menu features an ever-changing but always sophisticated selection of locally
sourced foods, including the signature hen-of-the-wood mushroom toast for which
the restaurant is named.
AL’S FRENCH FRYS
It’s all about the spuds at Al’s: freshly cut, quickly blanched, and double-fried.
A local institution since the late 1940s, Al’s was dubbed one of “America’s
Classics” by the James Beard Foundation.
Places to Stay in Burlington, Vermont
What to do in Burlington, Vermont, when you need a place to rest your head? Check out these great lodging options:
This downtown destination offers bright, modern accommodations featuring wood and stone accents from Vermont forests and quarries. Locally sourced ingredients are the rule at Juniper restaurant; other hotel dining options include a satellite location of the James Beard Award–nominated Hen of the Wood and seafood-oriented Bleu. Named a 2017 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best City Hotel.”
MADE INN VERMONT
Luxe B&B or micro-hotel? Burlington’s newest inn blends 19th- and 20th-century styles — including for-sale Vermont artworks — in a classic, cupola-crowned Victorian mansion. Enjoy gel-topped mattresses, in-room fridges stocked with local delicacies, a sauna, and an outdoor hot tub. Beer and wine are available, too. Named a 2015 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best New B&B.”