Burlington, Vermont

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.

Ridin High skate and longboard shop in Burlington Vermont

Our First Couchsurfing Stay

As avid Airbnb users, the thought of trying Couchsurfing never really crossed our minds before. But after Couchsurfing for the first time while in Burlington we quickly realized we had been missing out.

Our host was a University of Vermont student who shared an apartment with two other students. Since the couch was in use by another Couchsurfer, our host offered to let us stay in her bedroom for a few days (while she stayed at her boyfriend’s apartment).

Our Couchsurfing bedroom in Burlington Vermont

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.

The street sign for Church Street at the Church Street Marketplace

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.

Outside the Red Onion Cafe in Burlington Vermont
Outside the Crow Bookshop in Burlington Vermont
Outside of the Farmhouse Tap and Grill, where we ate dinner on our trip to Burlington Vermont
View of Church Street Marketplace in Burlington Vermont

Shelburne Farms

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!

The barn at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne Vermont
A donkey peeks through a fence at Shelburne Farms in Vermont
A chicken walking down a ramp at Shelburne Farms in Vermont

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.

A growler from Fiddlehead Brewery in Burlington Vermont
Pizza from Folino's in Burlington Vermont

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.

Sunset over Lake Champlain at Oakledge Park in Burlington Vermont

Last Stop New York

Next Stop Maine