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Welcome to Burlington


Situated in Chittenden County, Burlington is Vermont's biggest city and is a lively, yet laid back place with plenty to see and do. Ideally located on Lake Champlain's eastern shore between the Adirondack and Green Mountains, the city boasts galleries, museums, historic architecture, top-class shopping and a host of outdoor activities.

Originally one of the leading ports in the country with steamboat traffic on the lake boosting the local economy, the city was also the site of an important military hospital and army post during the War of 1812. Burlington continues to be voted one of the top cities to live in the USA and has a friendly, college-town atmosphere, which draws an estimated four million visitors a year.

Attractions in the city range from visits to the historic home of military leader and philosopher Ethan Allen to the ever popular Church Street Marketplace, cruises on Lake Champlain, and a visit to the Lake Champlain Chocolate factory for a free sample. An excellent way to make the most of the city's beautiful views is to hire a bicycle and follow the Waterfront Bike Path, a 7.6-mile (12km) route that runs from Oakledge Park at the southern end of town to the northern end at the beautiful Winooski River.

Information & Facts


Burlington's climate is moderate in comparison to the rest of the state, with temperatures modified by Lake Champlain. Winters are cold with snowfall, while summers are warm. The city is one of the cloudiest in the country, and rainfall occurs throughout the year, although August tends to be the wettest month. Temperatures in Burlington range from 16°F (-9°C) in January to 71°F (22°C) in July.

Getting Around

Burlington is a pedestrian-friendly city that is easy to negotiate on foot. Walking is also the best way to enjoy the beauty of the city and its surrounds. Car rental agencies are available in the city and at the Burlington Airport. Traffic is heavy at peak hours. The Chittenden County Transportation Authority (CCTA) runs the public bus system; the main terminal is at Church and Cherry Streets. Buses tend to be reliable and affordable. Hiring a bicycle is also a good option, particularly if one takes advantage of the Waterfront Bike Path.

English is the most common language but Spanish is often spoken in south-western states.

The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield managed to use the knowledge from a $5-correspondence course on ice cream making to create a multi-million dollar company. Enjoy a trip out to the Ben and Jerry's Factory in Waterbury and get a chance to see how the famous treat is made and sample their mouth-watering flavours. Tours of the factory take place daily. It is worth noting that ice cream is only produced from Monday to Friday, so on weekends, a short movie is screened instead.

One of Burlington's earliest inhabitants, Ethan Allen, was a charismatic backwoodsman-turned-statesman originally from Connecticut. In capturing Fort Ticonderoga during the Revolutionary War, and as the leader of the Green Mountain Boys, he secured his position as a folk hero and founder of Vermont. A man of many talents, Allen was also a philosopher and Deist, publishing Reason the Only Oracle of Man. Interestingly, Ethan Allen's brother Ira was founder of the University of Vermont in 1791. Visitors to the homestead can enjoy a wander through the 18th-century home, interesting exhibits and access to the beautiful grounds.

What could be more tempting than the thought of delicious, handmade chocolates and the chance to enjoy free samples? Lake Champlain Chocolates are all made on location in small batches and visitors can see how chocolates are made and enjoy the tastes and smells of the factory. Tours are available.

Perhaps one of the best ways to enjoy the USA's sixth largest lake is to take a cruise with Vermont's top Luxury Cruise boat, Northern Lights. There are a number of different options available, from themed sunset Dinner cruises (June to August), brunch or lunch cruises daily, or scenic cruises (June to October). Enjoy local music provided by live bands and enjoy a dinner/dance on an entertainment cruise, or simply soak up the beauty of the lake and its surrounds. Another option (though more pedestrian) is to catch a ferry; see www.ferries.comor call (802) 864 9804 for more information.

Looking for something a bit different?  Check out our selection of cultural & adventure holidays or if you're looking to go it alone then see our selection of solo holidays.

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