A Local's Travel Guide to Burlington, VT

Stay, eat and play like a local with HGTV Magazine's guide to this vibrant Vermont city.

HGTV Magazine shares the best travel tips for staying in the vibrant city of Burlington, Vermont.

The City of Burlington, Vermont

HGTV Magazine shares the best travel tips for staying in the vibrant city of Burlington, Vermont.

Photo by: Alamy

Alamy

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In Burlington, you can play outside year-round. The city, located on picturesque Lake Champlain, is surrounded by two mountain ranges, which means there’s an endorphin-boosting activity for every season. And eating well is a given: More than 100 restaurants in the area source ingredients from organic farms nearby. (Vermont’s farm-to-table movement is one of the oldest in the country.). Rent a place near pedestrian-only Church Street for access to local shops and artists, or book a house on the lake and hike, bike and boat your way around. Read on for tips on how to make the most of your stay.

Get to Know Burlington, VT

  • Population: 44,595

  • Nickname: The Queen City

  • Claim to fame: It’s the first US city to pull all of its energy from renewable sources.

  • Art cred: Nearby Shelburne Museum has one of the world’s largest collections of American folk art.

  • Hometown brand: The iconic Burton snowboarding company is headquartered here.

Your Tour Guides: Sarah Beal (cofounder, Common Deer), Luis Calderin (co-owner, Santiago’s Cuban Cuisine) and Ashley Carlow (principal designer, Highline Design Studio)

Things to Do

HGTV Magazine shares the best things to do in the city of Burlington, Vermont, like a ride on the Burlington Greenway.

Bike Path in Burlington, Vermont

HGTV Magazine shares the best things to do in the city of Burlington, Vermont, like a ride on the Burlington Greenway.

Photo by: Alamy

Alamy

Biking is a great way to take in the city, says Sarah. This well-maintained path (aka the Burlington Greenway) stretches 8 miles along the lakeshore and is part of the longer Island Line Trail that goes all the way into the Champlain Islands.

“I go here to laugh my butt off,” says Luis of the club, which hosts national acts alongside local heavyweight talent. “The sketch comedy and improv nights are super fun.”

You can picnic lakeside in this park near the Church Street Marketplace and catch a sunset from the grassy overlook. Or jump on a charter boat to explore Burlington by water. “We love going out on the Friend Ship sailboat,” says Ashley.

Where to Eat

Food and Drinks from Burlington, Vermont Craft Brewery

Food from Local Vermont Brewery

HGTV Magazine shares the best places to eat in the city of Burlington, Vermont, like this local craft brewery with signature brews plus cocktails and bites.

Photo by: Courtesy of Zero Gravity Craft Brewery

Courtesy of Zero Gravity Craft Brewery

Hit the beer hall inside this brewery to get a taste of the city’s famous craft beer scene. You’ll find a dozen Zero Gravity brews plus cocktails and bites. “The dirty fries are not to be missed,” says Sarah.

Eating at this family-owned gem “is like a hug from a grandma,” says Luis. “They have solid offerings at a great price point — the way a diner should!” His breakfast order: a McHandy sandwich with sausage.

The menu here changes daily and features ingredients found only in the Green Mountains and Champlain Valley. “The food is fantastic, and the coffered wood ceiling makes it extra special,” says Ashley

Places to Shop

Local Gift Shop in Vermont

Souvenir Shop in Burlington, Vermont

HGTV Magazine shares the best places to shop in the city of Burlington, Vermont, like this souvenir shop with items from local makers, including syrup, candles, handcrafted vases and jewelry.

Photo by: Courtesy of Common Deer

Courtesy of Common Deer

Ashley recommends her fellow tour guide’s shop as a perfect place to find souvenirs from Vermont makers, including local syrup, candles and handcrafted vases. “I also shop for myself here,” she says. “They have killer jewelry!”

Get suited up for all your adventures here: camping, paddling, you name it. “Burlington is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, and you’ll find just about anything you need,” says Sarah. Plus they rent bikes!

“It has that quintessential record-store energy, and the staff are experts in almost every genre,” says Luis, who spent a lot of time here as a young DJ. (It has been open since 1980.) Find new and used vinyl, CDs, DVDs, tapes and even turntables.

Where to Stay

Cozy Family Home

Neutral Living Room in a Vermont Rental House

A Cozy Vacation Home in Burlington, Vermont

HGTV Magazine shares the best places to stay in the city of Burlington, Vermont, like this comfy rental home that sleeps 10.

Photo by: Courtesy of Airbnb

Courtesy of Airbnb

Bustling Church Street is a block away from this newly renovated, five-bedroom rental. Sleeps 10, $489 per night (average rate), airbnb.com

Lake Front Home With a Pool

Cheerful, Neutral Bedroom in a Vermont Rental House on Lake Champlain

Cute, Lakefront Vacation Home in Vermont

HGTV Magazine shares the best places to stay in the city of Burlington, Vermont, like this cheery lakefront home with a pool.

Photo by: Courtesy of VRBO

Courtesy of VRBO

This cheery spot sits on the shore of Malletts Bay on Lake Champlain. It has beach access. Sleeps 8, $411 per night (average rate), #3044325 on vrbo.com

Fabulous Remodeled Home

Updated Kitchen in a Historic Vermont Rental Property

Blue and White Farmhouse-Style Kitchen in a Vermont Vacation Home

HGTV Magazine shares the best places to stay in the city of Burlington, Vermont, like this remodeled historic house with a large kitchen.

Photo by: Courtesy of Airbnb

Courtesy of Airbnb

An updated kitchen and large dining table are great for feeding a crowd in this historic house. Sleeps 5, $280 per night (average rate), airbnb.com

Beautiful Landmark House

Neutral Living Room in a Landmark Rental Home in Vermont

Gray Living Room in a Historic Vermont Vacation Home

HGTV Magazine shares the best places to stay in the city of Burlington, Vermont, like this historic, center-hall Colonial.

Photo by: Courtesy of VRBO

Courtesy of VRBO

History buffs will appreciate the traditional look of this 1875 center-hall Colonial. Sleeps 8, $700 per night (average rate), #3425440 on vrbo.com

Gorgeous Lake House

Rental Lake House With a Stone Fireplace

Rustic, Lakefront Vacation Rental in Vermont

HGTV Magazine shares the best places to stay in the city of Burlington, Vermont, like this gorgeous lake house.

Photo by: Courtesy of VRBO

Courtesy of VRBO

There are water views from nearly every window of this pet-friendly cottage. Sleeps 6, $369 per night (average rate), #3135605 on vrbo.com

Garden Studio

Cozy, Neutral Studio for Rent in Vermont

Vacation Rental in Burlington, Vermont

HGTV Magazine shares the best places to stay in the city of Burlington, Vermont, like this cozy garden studio.

Photo by: Courtesy of VRBO

Courtesy of VRBO

This small apartment with a fireplace is in an area packed with restaurants and parks. Sleeps 3, $148 per night (average rate), #920053 on vrbo.com

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