Written By: Brittany Blazey
At Sarah Harrington Real Estate, we have helped many people move to Vermont in the past year. We find that new residents are often curious about the best places to eat, to shop, to play, and to explore. We created this guide to showcase a few of our team’s favorite things to do in Burlington, Vermont.
1. State Parks.
Ask a Vermonter what they do on their summer weekends and you can guarantee that their plans will include getting outside. Red Rocks Park is a 100-acre hiking area and relaxed swim spot offering 700 feet of waterfront. Traverse the beautiful cliffs and then hop in for a refreshing swim in Lake Champlain. Finish off your day with a BBQ at the picnic area complete with grills–just bring your own supplies, charcoal, lighter fluid, etc…Summer gate hours are 8:00AM to 7:00PM daily starting the Tuesday after Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Leddy Park is another favorite park of ours in Burlington, Vermont. Bring your own barbecuing supplies to use the grills and enjoy swimming at the beach nearby. There are activities for everyone from public tennis courts, basketball courts, softball field, soccer field, pickleball, and more!
2. Bike Path.
Burlington, Vermont is one of the most bike friendly cities to live in. This is why we encourage cruising around downtown and the waterfront like a local on a bike from Local Motion! You will enjoy riding down the beautiful Island Line Trail to the Local Motion Bike Ferry. This ferrybrings you up to the Champlain Islands with an encouraged $10 donation for the trip. The summer daily service runs from Friday, June 18th to Monday, September 6th.
Island Line Trail Video:
Need a snack after your ride? Your best summer day in Burlington, Vermont is not complete without a visit to Bob’s Creemee Stand. Higher in butterfat content, creemees are like soft serve ice cream, but better!
Vermont is known for its wide variety of craft selections from beer, cider, liquor, and wine to even soda and tonic waters. For craft beer finatics, you can’t go wrong with Zero Gravity Brewing and Switchback Brewing. Zero Gravity offers a wide selection of beers including IPA’s, Sour Ales, and Stouts. They also offer food from the phenomenal restaurant next door The Great Northern with our favorite dishes including: Maine Smoked Scallop Poke and Frank’s Dry Aged Steak Sandwich. At Switchback Brewing, enjoying a cold brew on the outdoor patio is a special treat. This ultra dog-friendly tap room is sure to please the pickiest of IPA’s lovers in your life. After you finish your brew, take a walk down to Oakledge Park to hike around and watch the sunset.
Beer not your thing? Try Citizen Cider including our favorite, Dirty Mayor which is a hard-apple cider with lemon and ginger. They also have a new hard seltzer offering including: “Apple All Day,” “Lemon Spritz,” “Ginger Love,” and “Hibiscus Lime.” Enjoy outdoor seating, pub food, and mingle with the locals at their relaxed taproom.
Walk a few blocks down the road on Pine Street and you’ll hit Dedalus Wine Shop. This summer Chef Micah and the Dedulus team are bringing BBQ on the Terrace to Burlington from Wednesday to Saturday, 4PM to 10PM with no reservation needed. The menu includes everything from champagne, white wine, red wine, rosé to savory culinary creations like wagyu flank steak, and chorizo!
Now, let’s walk you through a day of eating in Burlington, Vermont.
We fell in love with women-owned TomGirl Kitchen for their delicious and nutritious menu items including fresh pressed organic juices and Instagram-worthy smoothie bowls. You have the option to take your breakfast to-go or sit down on their outdoor patio. We recommend that you explore the SodaPlant and others shops on Pine Street either way!
Honey Road is your can’t miss destination for the most delicious lunch of your lifetime! This Eastern Mediterrean Mezze serves up flavor packed dishes including: Harissa Chicken Wings, Baba Ganoush, and Grilled Octopus just to name a few. They also offer doughnuts every Saturday and Sunday starting at 9AM, so don’t miss popping in for a fresh one if you feel so inclined.
Within the Old North End of Burlington is Butch + Babe’s. A local gem serving up “produce-driven grandma chic”American comfort food classics. This can’t miss this eatery offers “Mac & Cheese Pancakes” and other tasty treats that have been featured on the Food Network series Diners, Drive In- ‘s, and Dives with Guy Fieri. With Guy’s stamp of approval, you’ll need to check it out to see what you think! We promise that you will be impressed.
5. Events & Activities.
Pack up your sunscreen, towels, and a picnic lunch! We’re heading down to the Lake Champlain Sailing Center for a fun day of sun and surf! From August 2 to September 6th drop-ins are welcome to rent water crafts (for 2 hours maximum) including dinghies, paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes at the CSC. Looking to stay on land? The Sailing Center also offers Yoga On The Dock (and deck) for $15 (drop-in) from May 1 to September 5th. WND&WVS’ is also an option for those looking to enjoy some waterfront fun. Join a group of passionate watermen and women for day-use paddleboard rentals and prime beachfront at Burlington Surf Club. Whether you choose the CSC or WND&WVS’, both will give you the opportunity to make local connections while relaxing and taking in the views of Lake Champlain!
Want to keep the lakefront fun going? Hop on The Spirit of Ethan Allen for a scenic narrated cruise, Champagne brunch cruise, or sunset cruise among others. Prices will vary depending upon the types of cruising adventure that you choose to take!
6. Church Street Marketplace.
It’s time to shop until you drop! It’s hard to not fall in love with Church Street Marketplace. With Vermonter owned shops throughout you’re helping our economy and supporting a neighbor’s dream by shopping here. A few of our favorite boutiques include Monelle, Ecco, and Dear Lucy Shoes. As for other local shops to explore, some of our favorites include Kiss The Cook and Homeport for the best unique home gadgets and décor items.
7. Burlington Farmers Market.
You can’t come to Burlington in the summer and not attend the farmer’s market. It’s a Burlingtonian staple. We love perusing the vendor stands and conversing with local makers and producers. It’s a fun way to make community connections! Our team loves Barr Hill for the best local gin for cocktails. Nomadic Kitchen Confections for their “Dulce de Leche” marshmallows that make the best campfire smore. Maple Wind Farm for the highest quality pasture-raised meats as needed for your barbecuing festivities. There are so many more local vendors that we love too, but recommend that you visit to see which might be your new personal favorites. You can discover other local BFM vendors to support within their Summer Vendor Directory.
There are so many fun things to do in Burlington, Vermont during the summer. From dining to docking, there’s something for everyone to enjoy! We hope that you found our article to be helpful and look forward to helping you find a home here. Contact Sarah Harrington at [email protected] to begin the process of finding your perfect home in Vermont today!