Burlington, Vermont Area Guide

Burlington, Vermont
Area Guide

Burlington, Vermont is located hillside overlooking Lake Champlain, 45 miles south of the United States-Canadian border and 95 miles from Montreal, Quebec. Burlington is the central hub of the Burlington-South Burlington metropolitan area, which includes three counties (Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle) and the cities Burlington, South Burlington, and Winooski; the towns of Colchester, Essex, and Williston; and the village of Essex Junction. The City of Burlington is highly rated for its new urbanism, smart growth, easy living standards and mixed-use development, along with one of the lowest crime rates in the country and one of the best air-quality measures nationwide. Burlington and its neighboring communities are progressive in attitude and forward-thinking in terms of ecological awareness and expansion. The Burlington area prides itself on small-town values and cosmopolitan attractions, making the Burlington area one of the most highly sought-after places to live in the United States. To learn more about life in the Burlington area, Chittenden County or the state of Vermont, please visit:

City of Burlington
http://www.ci.burlington.vt.us/

State of Vermont Tourism
http://www.vermontvacation.com/

Vermont Find and Go Seek
http://www.findandgoseek.net/

History

By the late 1700’s, the 300,000 acres of land that would become the state of Vermont were co-owned by Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen, as part of the New Hampshire land grants. The City of Burlington was chartered in 1763 and the state of Vermont was admitted into the Union of States in 1791. Burlington’s position on Lake Champlain helped both the city and the area develop into a center of trade and point of entry, especially following the completion of the Champlain, Erie and Chambly Canals. The wharves allowed steamboat access, connecting freight and passengers with the Vermont Central Railroad and the Rutland & Burlington Railroad rail systems, bringing industry, commerce, manufacturing and new residents to Burlington.   By 1860, Burlington had already flourished into a major northern lumbering port and manufacturing center. The historic districts of Burlington and its neighboring towns have been well-preserved, bearing testament to the Victorian prosperity of Vermont’s past. To learn more about the history of the City of Burlington or its neighboring towns, Chittenden County or Vermont, please visit:

Vermont Historical Society
http://www.vermonthistory.org/

Vermont Division for Historic Preservation
http://www.historicvermont.org/

Vermont History Museum
http://www.vermonthistory.org/index.php/museum/museum-overview.html

Ethan Allen Homestead Museum
http://www.ethanallenhomestead.org/

Vermont in the Civil War
http://vermontcivilwar.org/index.php

Parks and Recreation

Rudyard Kipling wrote that Lake Champlain was one of the most spectacular places in the world to view a sunset; our residents and visitors could not agree more. The Burlington area, on Lake Champlain’s eastern shore, is equally accessible to the Winooski River, providing guests with all manner of seasonal water sports available for enjoyment. From hiking, biking and rock climbing to fishing, swimming, sailing, kayaking and canoeing, there’s an adventure awaiting you by land or by water. Equestrian activities, camping, nature watching and picnicking are available at most national and parks; no matter what your preference, there’s a place to enjoy it in Chittenden County. The municipal parks of our communities—from Burlington to Essex Junction—are meticulously maintained and offer a variety of amenities to enjoy year round: public gardens, bike paths, public ice skating facilities, playgrounds and community gyms and spaces are just a few of the unique features of our local and community parks. In addition to our wealth of state, national and municipal parks, nature enthusiasts will not want to miss a visit to the waterfront ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, which houses over 70 species of reptiles, amphibians, fish and other invertebrates. Eco-travelers should note that the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center is located in Vermont's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified Green Building. To learn more about enjoying the forests, mountains, rivers and lakes of Vermont’s great outdoors during your time in Chittenden County or the Burlington area, please visit:

Vermont State Parks
http://www.vtstateparks.com/

Vermont National Parks Service
http://www.nps.gov/state/vt/index.htm

Vermont Outdoor Guide Association
http://www.voga.org/nature.htm

Appalachian National Scenic Trail
http://www.nps.gov/appa/index.htm

Green Mountains and Finger Lakes National Forest
http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/greenmountain/index.htm

ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center
http://www.echovermont.org/

Attractions and Entertainment

Burlington is a city of duality—on one hand, a college town, on the other, a progressive, cosmopolitan city that has, on more than one occasion, been likened to the streets of Paris. The Church Street Marketplace is Burlington’s social and commercial center, a thriving shopping and dining district that is home to many community festivals throughout the year for both Burlington and its neighboring communities. Art lovers can explore the independent galleries of the Church Street Marketplace, attend one of the annual art festivals put on in the Burlington area, or catch the rotating exhibits at the nearby Shelburne Museum. Sports fans have much to choose from in Burlington—from University of Vermont’s athletic teams to minor league baseball, basketball, hockey, rugby and roller derby, there’s a team for everyone to cheer for. In terms of leisure, there’s no shortage of things to do and places to explore or relax in—there are multiple highly ranked golf courses, spas, shops and museums for residents and guests to enjoy during their downtime. For a taste of Vermont, take a tour and tasting of one of the local breweries, wineries or cideries—or for the sweeter side that Vermont is known for, take a tour of one of sugarhouses, and learn how maple syrup goes from tree to table. Burlington is also home to some of the most unique dining in Vermont—everything from authentic ethnic cuisine to local favorites like Handy’s Lunch or local franchise American Flatbread, or honor two Burlington favorites with a Ben & Jerry’s cone of Phish Food. To learn more about the attractions and activities of Chittenden County and the communities of the Burlington area, please visit:

Theatre, Culture and the Arts

Robert Hull Fleming Museum at University of Vermont
http://www.uvm.edu

Shelburne Museum
http://shelburnemuseum.org/

Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
http://www.flynncenter.org/

Vermont Art Galleries
http://www.artseenvt.com  

Sports and Activities

Vermont Golf Courses
http://www.golflink.com/golf-courses/state.aspx?state=VT

Vermont Lake Monsters Baseball
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/index.jsp?sid=t462

University of Vermont Athletics Catamounts
http://uvmathletics.com/

Burlington RFC Rugby
http://www.burlingtonrugby.org/

Burlington Bombers Roller Derby
http://www.burlingtonbombers.com/

Shopping, Dining, Leisure and Attractions

Church Street Marketplace
http://www.churchstmarketplace.com/

Burlington Town Center
http://www.burlingtontowncenter.com/

Essex Shoppes and Cinemas
http://www.essexshoppes.com/Welcome.asp?Key=1

University Mall
http://www.umallvt.com/

The Vermont Gift Barn & Gallery
http://www.vermontgiftbarn.com/

Vermont Sugarhouses
http://www.vtliving.com/sugarhouses/burl.shtml

Vermont Breweries, Wineries and Cideries Guide
http://www.vermontagriculture.com/buylocal/documents/2006VTBrewersmap1.pdf

Ben & Jerry’s, Burlington
http://scoopshops.benjerry.com/scoopshops/burlington/default.aspx

American Flatbread
http://americanflatbread.com/restaurants/burlington-vt/

Handy’s Lunch
http://www.handyslunch.com/

Events

Geologically, culturally, civically and historically rich, Burlington is a forward-thinking, progressive community that honors its small town values and idealism while embracing its cosmopolitan outlook. Chittenden County’s City of Burlington and its neighboring communities have a broad range of activities, parks, events and attractions to offer residents and visitors. In the Lake Champlain area, calendars are always scheduled to the brim. The annual Burlington City Arts Festival of Fools, the Giant Pumpkin Regatta and Festival and the Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival are area favorites that are not to be missed. To find out what sporting, historic, cultural or ecological events are happening during your time in the Burlington area, please visit these sites:

Vermont Brewers Festival
http://www.vermontbrewers.com/

Giant Pumpkin Regatta and Festival
http://www.vermont.org/pumpkin/

The Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival
http://www.ridethedragon.org/

Vermont International Film Festival
http://www.vtiff.org/

RunVermont, Vermont City Marathon
http://www.runvermont.org/page.php?pid=1&pname=home

Burlington City Arts Festival of Fools
http://www.burlingtoncityarts.org/Festival_of_Fools/

Church Street Marketplace Events Guide
http://www.churchstmarketplace.com/events/sponsored/

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