Located on the shores of Lake Champlain is Burlington, VT, a jewel of the state’s Adirondack region. A small urban town with a population just under 40,000, Burlington regularly tops ‘best small towns’ lists due to its vibrant cultural offerings and beautiful surroundings. A college town, a thriving downtown and commerce area, and a welcoming spirit are the hallmarks are of this must-visit locale.
Cultural Life in Burlington
The Burlington area is known for its wonderful cultural offerings. It is home to a wide variety of art galleries and theaters. The Flynn Theater hosts the Vermont Stage Company, the Lyric Theatre Company, and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra while the Flynnspace offers more cutting edge experiences in their black box theater.
Local artists and their works are on display at the BCA Center. This five story art gallery is also home to classrooms along with galleries and studios all focusing on the arts. The Bern Gallery is the place to see glassblowing with live demonstrations daily. The gallery hosts a hookah bar and displays art and jewelry from local artists for sale.
Burlington has an interesting and rich history. The Ethan Allen Homestead is the last home of Ethan Allen, the famous Revolutionary war hero. Visitors can take a guided tour of the home and the surrounding property.
The Church Street Marketplace is the scenic center of Burlington. A mix of boutiques, shops, and delicious restaurants line the downtown street of the marketplace which is only open to pedestrian traffic. During spring and summer, street performers delight the crowds at the Church Street Marketplace day and night. Musicians, folksingers, puppeteers, dancers, sidewalk artists, and more perform daily.
One of the town’s hidden jewels is found atop Williams Hall at the University of Vermont. Situated just across from the University Green, the William’s Fire Escape is one of the best spots to view Downtown Burlington. From the top of the fire escape visitors can see from downtown to sparkling Lake Champlain. Locals say the best time to visit is at sunset as the sun dazzles across the water creating magic.
A trip to Burlington area would not be complete without a visit to Lake Champlain. Visitors will want to tour the ECHO at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain. ECHO offers information about the lake area, a lake aquarium, and hands on science experience center for the entire family. The Spirit of Ethan Allen III allows tourists to experience the beauty of Lake Champlain without getting wet. Located at the Burlington Harbor, the boat leaves on scheduled cruises of the lake every day.
Burlington gives visitors who want to get closer to the water great access to the waterfront right from downtown. Parking is available at College Street and at North Beach for a minimal fee. Free access is available for walkers and bikers.
Burlington is a town of celebrations. Festivals and celebrations are held throughout the year celebrating everything from jazz to beer.
- -February: Winter Carnival arrives with sleigh rides, ice sculpting, and a big parade
- -March (varies): Celebrate Fat Tuesday with a Mardi Gras Parade
- -May: Vermont City Marathon
- -June: Burlington Discover Jazz Fest
- -July: Fireworks for the Fourth
- -July: Vermont Brewers Festival on the waterfront
- -August: Enjoy street performers at the Festival of Fools
- -August: The one of a kind Dragon Boat Festival on Lake Champlain
- -August: Vermont Air Show
- -December: Bring in the New Year with First Night fireworks, a parade, and more!
What are you waiting for? Burlington, VT is a treasure of the Lake Champlain region that you will love to discover again and again.