SUMMER 2022 TRIP – Are you looking for a city that offers local shops, breweries, restaurants and outdoor activities? Look no further than Burlington, Vermont, just a three-hour drive from the Capital Region.
“Burlington is tough to beat, especially when the weather warms up,” said Jeff Lawson, director of destination marketing organization Hello Burlington. “There’s nothing quite like Lake Champlain.
The 107-mile-long lake is the 13th largest lake in the United States, covering an area of 490 square miles. It affects parts of two states (Vermont and New York) and one Canadian province (Quebec).
In addition to swimming, activities such as paddleboarding, sailing, fishing, and cruising are possible on Lake Champlain during the warmer months.
“Getting out on the water is really easy,” Lawson said. “You can rent kayaks, sailboats, paddle boards and even learn to sail. The Spirit of Ethan Allen [offers] a beautiful cruise, especially at sunset.”
Visitors can also see the city by bike, according to Diana Wood, marketing and outreach manager for the City of Burlington’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Waterfront. “You can rent bikes or use the city’s Greenride bike share to ride around the” bike path that runs along the shore of Lake Champlain, Wood said. “You can also stop along the way for creams [Vermont slang for soft-serve ice cream]“said Bois.
THINGS TO DO
Wood also encourages people to visit one of his favorite places in Burlington, the Intervale Center, a 360-acre campus of farmland, trails and open space along the Winooski River.
The center extends to Ethan Allen Homestead, a historic house museum and former residence of the soldier who fought in the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Visitors can also climb the Ethan Allen Tower, a 40-foot tall monument.
“It’s a magical place to hike in the summer,” Wood said of the Intervale Center. “The tower will give you a spectacular view of the city, the lake and the mountains. This will give you an idea of what the valley looked like before the town developed around it.”
Wood also recommends visiting Burlington’s public and universally accessible treehouse in Oakledge Park.
“It’s a strong tree that’s wheelchair accessible and open year-round,” Wood said. “It’s pretty amazing.”
For those looking for something off the beaten path, Lawson recommends venturing outside of Queen City.
“If you’re heading towards Colchester, you’ll get great views of the Champlain Islands along the bike path,” he said of the nearly 11-mile trail. “Shelburne also has some great offerings, including a museum that has the largest selection of folk art.”
The Shelburne Museum, just 10 minutes south of Burlington, houses a collection of 18th- and 19th-century American folk art on its 45-acre campus. It has 39 different buildings, some of which are historic and have been transferred to the museum, including a carousel, a steamer, a Shaker barn and more.
“There’s nothing like the Shelburne Museum anywhere else,” Lawson said. “This is the most unique experience you will find.”
Lawson also recommends visiting one of Burlington’s many breweries, including Zero Gravity Craft Brewery, Switchback Brewing Company, and Foam Brewers, among others. According to the Vermont Brewers Association, more than one million people frequent Vermont breweries each year.
“Vermont craft beer is a category of its own, and Burlington is the epicenter of that,” he said. “We have so many great breweries and many restaurants serving beer from all over the state as well.”
‘BEST PUBLIC SQUARE’
A visit to Burlington isn’t complete without going to Church Street — a brick-built pedestrian street in the National Register Historic District that was named the “Best Public Square” in the United States for 2022, according to USA Today.
“It’s four blocks of shops and restaurants that are almost entirely locally owned,” said Julia Chalmers, marketing coordinator at Church Street Marketplace and Love Burlington. “It’s the heart and core of our city, and the center of downtown.”
Church Street has more than 100 businesses, according to Chalmers, making it a major attraction for shopping, dining and live music. This summer, Church Street will host many local events, including the 15th annual Festival of Fools, scheduled for August 5-7.
The festival features acrobatics, dancers, comedy sketches and music by international street artists.
Events and concerts will also return to City Hall Park this summer, including the Twilight Series Concerts, the Summer Concert Series and the BTV Market featuring local artists and creators every Saturday through October.
The 2022 Burlington Discover Jazz Festival is scheduled for June 3-12 and will be held at various Burlington venues.
“There’s always something going on in Burlington during the summer,” Chalmers said.
THE CITY REBOUNDS
Since Burlington relies heavily on tourism, the height of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many hardships for businesses in the city.
“The Burlington community has rallied around local businesses by shopping online, getting takeout and curbside pickups,” Chalmers said. “The city has also closed streets to allow outdoor dining, which has really helped them.”
Tourism began to rebound when pandemic restrictions were lifted across the state, according to Chalmers.
“Things started looking up in Burlington over the summer of 2020, and last summer things got back to normal,” she said. “Opening the Canadian border has also really helped the city bounce back.”
This city is gearing up for another busy summer season.
“There are so many pent-up requests for a Burlington vacation, so we’re really excited for the summer,” Chalmers said. “We expect things to be back to normal this year, if not better, and we are delighted to welcome everyone back to the city.”
Travel 2022: on the way to summer
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Categories: Life and Arts, Summer trip 2022