A big thank you to Vermont Tourism and Cabot Cheese for coordinating this incredible media trip. As always, all thoughts and opinions are mine alone. Thank you for supporting the brands that make the SweetPhi blog possible.
If you’re looking to spend a wonderful weekend in a super picturesque locale that has a Northeastern town vibe, is super walkable and has amazing food, I’d recommend Burlington, Vermont.
Today I’m so excited to share with you a Burlington, Vermont weekend travel guide. I’ll admit, when I discovered I was going to be traveling to Burlington, Vermont for a few days, my first stop was Google Maps, to see where it was!
I saw that it was nestled on the shore of Lake Champlain in Northern Vermont. I was immediately excited because Vermont has always been on my travel wish list.
Although I went to graduate school in Ithaca, New York (I went to Cornell University), I did not get the chance to travel around to neighboring states as much as I wanted to.
As soon as I arrived in Burlington, I was struck with how welcoming the small airport was, and by how green the scenery was. Very fitting that Vermont’s nickname is “the green mountain state.”
Burlington is a small town, with a college town vibe and a brick-paved pedestrian mall with gorgeous buildings and scenery all around, and Lake Champlain as a backdrop and everything is super walkable!
One thing that really stood out about Burlington was the artsy feel. There were the most gorgeous murals on the walls. Seemingly around every corner I’d stop and stare at the beautiful murals (like I shared in this picture from my Instagram)!
Where to stay in Burlington Vermont:
- Hotel Vermont: When in Vermont, would you stay anywhere else? This hotel was modern and stylish, yet rustic at the same time. The rooms were simple and gorgeous with beautiful touches (like a flannel blanket and wooden and leather décor) and everything felt very ‘Vermont’ (even the soaps in the bathroom were from a Vermont company). The hotel had all these wonderful activities for guests. For starters, they have bikes for guests to use. In the hallways they had espresso machines and in the afternoon a cheese plate. Side note here – the cheese in Vermont, oh my goodness, the sharp cheddar is incredible, especially Cabot Cheese (I brought some home for my family, and yes, I got stopped at security lol…but the cheese made it through!) I also saw an ice cream cart in the lobby where they were giving guests ice cream! The view from my hotel room out onto Lake Champlain was so beautiful, one afternoon instead of doing work, I just sat there staring.
Where to eat in Burlington Vermont (aka best restaurants in Burlington Vermont):
- Hen of the Wood |dinner: Vermont dining at its best! Hen of the Wood highlights local ingredients to showcase the region. The food was so incredible. I loved that when we got the menu, the server highlighted the date of the menu because she said it changes so frequently based on what is seasonal. We had an incredible cheese plate-let me tell you, Vermont has some excellent cheese-and then had a variety of small plates. The highlight for me though, I must admit, was the dessert. I had a salted honey tart that was so so so good. Salted honey is where it’s at these days (remember my salted honey latte that can be made at home?).
- Revolution Kitchen |dinner: If you’re looking for fresh local Vermont vegetarian food that is super good, I’d highly recommend this place. They told us that everything on their menu was sourced from Vermont, even their tofu. I had an amazing coconut curry tofu dish. Their appetizers were incredible – I’m still thinking about their salad wraps!
- Penny Cluse Café |breakfast/brunch/lunch: Breakfast and lunch served all day. Their portions are huge. The food was perfect for a hearty breakfast to fill you up for a day of exploring ahead. I will say that their breakfast potato game is on point. They have a menu item called ‘bucket-o-spuds’ which are basically loaded nacho breakfast potatoes, definitely recommend!
- Tomgirl Juice |juice bar: if you’re up for a little bit of a walk from downtown, Tomgirl Juice has an array of freshly pressed juices and smoothies. I will say that they are a little on the pricey side, but if you’re into juices, I’d definitely go! I was so happy to continue my summer of smoothies and salads on my trip to Burlington!
- Monarch and the Milkweed |breakfast/brunch/lunch: Oh my goodness, I cannot recommend this place enough for breakfast/brunch. First of all, the small bakery has this amazing Parisian vibe with little marble tables with just a few single fresh flowers on the tabletop, and every bite of food was better than the next. On the way out, I got a cookie to enjoy later, and that was incredible too.
- Leunig’s Café & Bistro |lunch/dinner: Right in the center of Church Street Marketplace sits Leunig’s Café which serves a Parisian inspired menu. They have a little street vendor spot, almost like a little food truck where they sell fresh fried beignets which are definitely worth stopping for.
- Barrio Bakery |breakfast/brunch/lunch: This bakery is perfect for a light lunch of pizza/focaccia flatbreads. After a day of walking around, it was great to get a quick bite to eat, and it was light and not heavy.
- Onyx Tonics |coffee bar: If you’re in Burlington, you absolutely must make a stop at Onyx Tonics for their iced maple lattes. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know what a huge fan of iced coffee I am. Even in the winter when it’s snowing, I go for iced coffee. There’s just something about the coldness ice adds to coffee that I absolutely love. I like coffee with a little bit of sweetness and cream. The maple latte, oh my goodness, it was so good. It wasn’t overly sweet, and was really a fantastic flavor combination, something I just might have to recreate for the blog. Onyx Tonics is a coffee tasting bar, so if you’re into coffee tastings, definitely stop at this place.
What to see & do in Burlington Vermont:
- Take a bike ride or walk along the lake. There are tons of bikes available for rent – either via city bike rack rentals on the streets, or via the hotel.
- Take a boat ride on Lake Champlain – make sure to pack some Cabot cheese so you can have a cheese board on the boat ride. Cabot cheese makes these amazing “cracker cuts” –already cut cheese slices, so it’s super easy to transport them and have cheese on the go!
- Take a walking tour of Burlington
- Go to the farmer’s market – with all the fresh produce that Vermont has to offer, there is definitely something for everyone: maple syrup, fresh produce, cheese, honey, booze.
- See some art: Flemings Museum -they were putting up a beautiful art installation when I was there, it went from the outside of the museum through the windows and into the inside. If you’re looking for a more casual experience, I’d suggest Frog Hollow – a place where local artists sell their work, so you can take a piece of Vermont home with you. It’s along Church Street Market.
- Go to one of the many breweries or craft cider makers in the area
- Walk and shop along Church Street Market – stop to get some chocolate from Lake Champlain Chocolates-I’d suggest their chocolate maple toffees, sooo good, they’re dark chocolate and in the center there’s maple toffee
You know it’s a wonderful place to visit when you come home and your legs and feet hurt for several days after because of all the walking you did!
One of my favorite things about Burlington was how walkable it all was. In one instance you could go from shopping along Church Street and then turn around and 10 minutes later be at the waterfront of Lake Champlain!
You also know it’s a wonderful trip when you bring home Cabot cheese for your family dinner cheese board and there are only crumbs left.
Have you ever been to Vermont?