Our trip to Burlington, Vermont, has a special place in our heart for several reasons. First and foremost, it was the first major road trip we took during our gap year. Before this trip we had taken smaller trips to New York, New Jersey, and throughout Pennsylvania. Second, it was Leslie’s birthday (in fact, the trip was a surprise for her birthday). And third, we tried Couchsurfing for the first time during our trip to Burlington.
We arrived in Burlington on September 13th and stayed for five-nights before heading home on the 18th. During our time in the city we had meals at the Church Street Marketplace, visited Shelburne Farms, and tasted some local brews. Hell, we even learned about some guy named Bernie who was running for President.
Church Street Marketplace
One of the most popular things to do in Burlington is to walk up and down Church Street Marketplace. Located in the center of downtown Burlington, the Church Street Marketplace is a pedestrian shopping area with many different stores and restaurants. Just a short walk from our Couchsurfing accommodation, we found ourselves heading to Church Street at least once per day.
If you are looking for a place to eat in Burlington, we recommend grabbing lunch at the Red Onion Cafe and dinner at the Farmhouse Tap and Grill. Looking for a coffee or a place to relax and read a book? Then checkout Muddy Waters or Uncommon Grounds.
One afternoon we decided to leave Burlington to head to Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont. A 15-minute drive from downtown Burlington, Shelburne Farms is a non-profit focused on educating about a sustainable future. For the $8 general admission fee you can tour the farm, wander the walking trails, and checkout some cute barnyard animals!
We have to be honest, the sole purpose for our visit was the animals. From the typical chicken, sheep, and cows, to the miniature donkeys, all of the animals at Shelburne Farms were extremely cute! We even had the chance to milk a cow!
Taste Testing Local Brews
Whenever we travel we enjoy tasting some of the local craft beer. Some places it can be hard to find local beer, but when it comes to Burlington we had a hard time choosing from all of our options. Popular breweries in the area include Magic Hat, Zero Gravity, The Traveler Beer Co., and Fiddlehead Brewing Company.
For us Fiddlehead was a no brainer, as it was down the street from Shelburne Farms AND was attached to Folino’s Pizza. We had worked up an appetite after spending the afternoon exploring the farm. So we grabbed a growler from Fiddlehead and took it to Folino’s where we ordered a delicious wood fired pizza.
Another local brew we tried while in Burlington was a hard cider called Citizen Cider. We liked it so much, that we ended up buying a case of it from the tasting room downtown before heading home!
Sunset At Oakledge Park
Our final recommendation for anyone traveling to Burlington is to head to Lake Champlain to watch the sunset. One option is to go to the Waterfront Park, which we did during day. However, we enjoyed taking in the sunset from Oakledge Park. The park offers plenty of large rocks to sit on along the lake, or you can opt for the sandy beach.