Welcome to Burlington! You won’t be disappointed with your choice of college location. Vermont’s queen city was selected as the No. 1 college town in America by Travel + Leisure Magazine in 2013. Burlington hosts innovative restaurants, excellent shopping on Church Street, and a thriving music and arts scene. Vermonters are well known for their outdoorsy spirit, and Burlington doesn’t disappoint with many nearby options for skiing and snowboarding, swimming, hiking, and biking. Here’s how one Culture writer suggests you spend a day, but you’re bound to discover more gems on your own!
8:30 a.m. PEDAL AWAY
If you’re looking for a way downtown, stop by one of the many Greenride Bikeshare hubs on UVM campus (Waterman Building, Bailey/Howe Library, Gutterson Fieldhouse, Redstone Lofts, Trinity Campus and the Medical Center) to catch a cheap and easy ride downtown. Students can get discounts on greenridebikeshare.com. There are many Bikeshare hubs around town, meaning riding the bike back up hill to campus isn’t necessary.
9 a.m. STRETCH IT
Sukha Yoga Studio, located on Church Street, hosts a weekly Summer Yoga Series. On Sundays at 9 a.m., join others in downward dog on the top block of Church Street. Suggested donation is ten dollars, and all proceeds go to various local charities and organizations in Vermont.
10:30 a.m. CARB UP
For breakfast, visit one of three Skinny Pancake locations. The waterfront property features live music, a large outside patio and Wi-Fi, perfect for an off-campus study spot. And if crepes don’t appeal to you, their menu has various breakfast plates, salads and sandwiches. The Lovemaker crepe, strawberries and hazelnut spread tucked inside a sweet crepe and topped with whipped cream, is a perfect post-workout meal. Vegan and gluten free choices are also available.
11:30 a.m. SHOP TILL YOU DROP
Church Street is a great spot in Burlington to go shopping. Crow Bookstore is a cozy local store with both new and used titles. Church Street also has restaurants, local boutiques and other national chain stores like Urban Outfitters, Gap, Athleta and Lululemon. For cheap thrifted clothing, Battery Street Jeans is a practical and sustainable option that is located not far from Church Street, on College Street.
1 p.m. GRAB THOSE CHOPSTICKS
For lunch, Single Pebble is an excellent option for authentic Chinese cuisine. This restaurant is well known beyond Vermont. Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate” featured Single Pebble’s mock-eel dish— sear-fried portobello mushroom, doused in sweet-and-sour teriyaki sauce — on their show. This is a great restaurant to bring family to as the bill can get fairly expensive, but don’t worry, it’s well worth it.
2:30 p.m. PASTRIES
For dessert, or an afternoon coffee, Monarch and the Milkweed is a wonderful little shop for delicious pastries. One of the best tarts is the chocolate caramel tart; it’s buttery, flakey and salty-sweet and will be finished way too quickly.
3 p.m. SUNNY SLUMBER
Vermont summers are hot and humid, so beach days are absolutely necessary. North Beach is easily accessible from campus via the Island Line Trail that borders Lake Champlain— that bike-share can come in handy again. North Beach Park is the largest beach in the area, and has a food shack, picnic tables and grills and showers to rinse off after lazing on the beach. Paddle boards and kayaks are available for rent, and lessons can also be taken. North Beach even has free Wi-Fi for sunny studying. Students can get a season pass for only $25!
7 p.m. LOCAL EATS
For dinner, try The Farmhouse tavern for local burgers and delicious salads. Outside seating is a must for people watching and cooling off with the warm breeze off the lake. Make sure to try the Rookie’s root beer, which is brewed right here in Burlington. Any of the salads are unique and flavorful. The burgers are all made with local meat and delicious. Make sure to order fries as well and try their homemade condiments such as mayonnaise, hot sauce and mustard.
8:30 p.m. SWEET SUNSET
After filling up with local eats, head down to the waterfront boardwalk to catch the sunset over the water. Bring a blanket to lounge on Battery Park grass, or swing on one of many rocking-chair benches. If going totally cliche Vermont is desired, swing by the Ben & Jerry’s on Church Street. The scoop shop is quaint, and constantly smells like waffle cones, freshly baked every 15 minutes. The Tonight Dough, Half Baked or any of the vegan flavors are must-tastes. Make sure to get one of those fresh waffle cones.
9 p.m. DANCE AND SING
A long-standing landmark of Main Street, Nectar’s is the king of Burlington’s night-life. Nectar’s became famous when the band Phish took the stage in the early 1880s while they were still students at UVM. Numerous musical acts take the stage every night, and there are plenty of 18+ events for those who are not yet of drinking age. Grab your dancing shoes and don’t be surprised if your voice is hoarse come morning.
11 p.m. – 8:30 a.m. SLEEP TIGHT
After a long day of jetting around downtown, it won’t be difficult to fall asleep. Located right downtown on Cherry Street, Hotel Vermont is the perfect local place to catch some ZZZ’s. This hotel boasts lake views and an aesthetic that combines rustic with modern. In the morning, roll out of bed and head downstairs to Juniper, the hotel’s restaurant for a locally-sourced brunch.