A Guide to Burlington, Vermont

I love Vermont.  My husband and I have visited Vermont several times, each time with different destinations.  I think Burlington is our favorite city because it’s a cute town with lots of things to do in the area.  Plus, it’s a beautiful quintessentially New England town.  Although, to be fair, most of Vermont is that way.

A couple of weekends ago we visited Burlington for a long weekend.  Since Fall is the perfect time of year to see the Fall foliage in VT, I thought I’d give you the scoop on some of our favorite spots.  (Keep in mind that we were there before Fall, so you won’t see a lot of pretty leaves in these pictures.)

Where To Stay:

We were going to stay in downtown Burlington but my husband found The Essex, which is about 15 to 20 minutes away from Burlington.  We absolutely loved it there.  They have several buildings on the property for guest rooms, restaurants, venue (like for parties), and spa.  We did not use their spa.  Maybe next time.  😉


The grounds are beautifully manicured.  We walked around their gardens, sat at the outside pool (they also have an indoor pool and hot tub), and visited their two resident goats.

The resort is a culinary resort so it’s fitting that our room is delightfully decorated with a cooking theme.  They offer cooking classes and sometimes have guest chefs visit for seminars.  We opted not to participate because we were there for a short time and to unwind from our hectic lives, but I’d love to try the classes next time.

The resort has two restaurants on site.  We went to The Taven for dinner one day (where I had the ribs photographed below and my husband had a burger).  We also went for lunch another day and we shared a turkey club sandwich.  All of the meals were delicious.

How cute is the main lobby? It’s comfy and welcoming.

I enjoyed their complimentary coffee every morning in this quaint nook.

They also offer complimentary afternoon drinks and cookies.  The plate of homemade cookies are missing from the photo below because they were gone by the time I shot the picture.  (It wasn’t me that ate them all, honest.)  The cookies were yummy when we did happen to time it correctly.

They also have a little bakery in the main lobby.  It has all sorts of delicious treats, including gluten free options and even treats for your pets.  With all of the amenities at the resort, there is almost no reason to leave it.

There is a residential area located nearby the resort, which was perfect for my morning runs.  My husband was great about driving around the neighborhood several times to scope out a path that I’d feel safe using.  Running on the sidewalk in a cute suburban neighborhood was the perfect way to start the day.  To clarify, the whole thing was completely safe feeling, and most of the driving around it over and over was to invent a route that was the length I actually wanted to run.

What To Do:

Church Street Marketplace.  This is a must stop and by far my favorite thing to do in Burlington.   We make sure to stop by whenever we are in the area, or even when passing through to Canada.  There are a variety of shops, restaurants, and random street entertainers. We park at the Lakeview Garage, which is about a half a mile away.

The building in the picture below is one of my favorite shots.  There is so much history in Burlington.

We did a lot of walking, which was good so that we could burn off some of those Ben & Jerry’s calories.  😉  Since Vermont is the home of Ben & Jerry’s, we make sure to have their ice cream at least once when we visit (and sometimes more than once).

Lake Champlain Chocolate Factory Store.  We’ve visited this shop on two of our trips to Burlington.  You can see behind the scenes of their factory and how they make their chocolates.  Plus they even give you some free chocolate samples.  The store has a lot of chocolates and chocolate related items like hot cocoa, to choose from.  You can even buy some “reject” chocolates for a discounted price.  They are rejects because they weren’t wrapped to the brand’s standards.  The chocolate is still just as tasty so we left with a variety bag.

We were only in Vermont for 3 days so we didn’t have time to do a lot, but on previous trips we’ve done the following activities and would recommend them.

Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tour.  (About 30 minutes from Burlington.)

ECHO, Leah Center for Lake Champlain.  (In Burlington.)

University of Vermont.  (In Burlington.)

Vermont Teddy Bear Factory. (About 20 minutes from Burlington)

Shelburne Farms.  (About 15-20 minutes from Burlington.)

Magic Hat Brewing Company.  (A few minutes away in South Burlington.)

Where To Eat:

Ken’s Pizza and Pub.  We’ve eaten here on two of our trips to Burlington.  I was looking forward to this pizza all weekend.  Insert all the heart emojis.

Myer’s Bagels.  They make their bagels onsite.  The bakery is not fancy and it’s pretty hot in there because their restaurant shares the same space as their kitchen.  The bagels and bagel sandwiches are phenomenal.  They are located right next to a cute little book store.  We walked to it from the Church Street Marketplace because it didn’t seem far, but next time we’d drive to it.  (Even a mile seems pretty long when it’s hot out and there isn’t much shade on the walk.)  I got the egg, cheese, and bacon sandwich, and my husband got sausage instead of bacon.  As a heads up, my sandwich was way more tasty.


So that’s my guide to Burlington, VT.  I’m very lucky to only be a drive away.  If you ever have the opportunity to go, I absolutely recommend it.  There is a variety of things to do and see, depending on what you’re interested in.  The welcome centers offer great free maps that give you a bunch of options.  If you drive up Route 7, you’ll see so many things to stop at along your route.  Especially if you like antiques.

Vermont is one of our favorite destinations and hopefully from this post you can see why.


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