Personally, I really enjoy the process planning and organizing trips. I don’t necessarily plan day to day, by the hour activities, but I do pick out any sights or restaurants we absolutely cannot miss while we’re traveling.

About a month ago, I was starting to plan our upcoming trip to Acadia National Park. Along with scouting out the best trails to hike in Acadia, I also wanted to check out anywhere we could stop at along the way to Maine. I knew Boston and Portland would be destinations because of friends and family we have there, but we have also heard great things about Burlington, Vermont.

Unfortunately, I got way ahead of myself, and practically planned out an entire trip to Burlington Vermont before realizing how far it is from Acadia. Turns out, Burlington is almost as far away from West Chester as it is from Acadia. So I saved my notes for a later date and tried my best to put it out of my head.

Written notes for our trip to Burlington Vermont

My notes for a trip to Burlington.

A map from West Chester to Burlington Vermont to Acadia National Park

The trip is six and a half hours between each city.

SPOILING SURPRISES

What happened next is definitely one of the perks of traveling “two-sided”. One morning as I was getting ready for the day, I got a notification on my phone from Airbnb about an upcoming trip.

Since I hadn’t booked an apartment for our Acadia trip, I immediately looked up the host’s profile and found out they were located in Winooski, which is 5 minutes outside of Burlington. I called Brad and learned I had just accidentally discovered my birthday surprise. From September 13 – 18th, we would be staying in Burlington, Vermont!

Brad’s original plan was to surprise me the morning of my birthday, and leave within the hour. But having a week to do laundry and get my stuff together was actually a blessing.

Also, it turns out Brad had booked more than just an Airbnb. For a majority of our time there, we would be Couchsurfing. Since we hadn’t used Couchsurfing before, I was a little worried about what the set up would be like. But looking back on it now, I could not have asked for a better experience.


BIRTHDAY DINNER

After a beautiful drive through New York and Vermont, we arrived in town Sunday evening. Our Couchsurfing host was not home yet, so we grabbed the keys out of the mailbox and made our way inside. The apartment was adorable, but we quickly put our things away and headed back out to explore the town.

The heart of downtown Burlington is Church Street. Also known as the Church Street Marketplace, the street is home to dozens of stores/restaurants and is only open to foot traffic.

The street sign for Church Street at the Church Street Marketplace

We decided to eat at the popular Farmhouse Tap & Grill for my birthday dinner. Farmhouse has a laid back atmosphere, beautiful decor, and was a great place to kickstart our trip to Burlington Vermont.

Like many places in Vermont, they focus on farm fresh foods and source most of their ingredients from the local area. We weren’t starving, so we split a burger, salad and a half order of mac&cheese. It was hands down one of the best burgers I’ve had. This is also where I first came across Citizen Cider – a hard cider brewed locally in Burlington that puts any other cider I’ve had to shame. A must-drink if you are ever in the area.

Outside of the Farmhouse Tap and Grill, where we ate dinner on our trip to Burlington Vermont

Afterwards, we had plans to meet our host, Emily, for a coffee at Muddy Water’s. Emily is a senior at University of Vermont studying Environmental Studies, and is ironically from Pennsylvania as well (about 45 minutes from West Chester). She even went to the same high school as one of my childhood friends, who also goes to school in Burlington! I feel like we will be experiencing the “small world” effect frequently throughout our travels.

Have you taken a trip to Burlington Vermont before? If so, let us know in the comment section below!