The Queen City
The largest city in Vermont, Burlington is home to about one-third of the state’s population. Residents enjoy all of the downtown amenities, including restaurants, shopping, arts & theater venues and a number of amazing festivals throughout the year. The city lies on Lake Champlain, allowing for boating, fishing, camping and other outdoor activities. Lakeside sunsets are gorgeous and lakefront property is highly sought-after.
Burlington is Vermont’s largest city and known as the Queen City. On the shores of Lake Champlain, Burlington’s Waterfront is breathtaking all year long. The city’s view of the Green Mountains and Adirondacks remind people living in Burlington of the beauty of their state even when in the city. Burlington has all of the entertainment, food, and shopping options residents and visitors crave, but with a relaxed and casual vibe.
Burlington’s charm and character is emphasized by its five colleges which keep this city young and vibrant, unique employment opportunities, and the Church Street Marketplace.
Burlington has a long and storied history. The city was incorporated in 1864, and there are still debates about whether the town was named for the Earl of Burlington or the prominent Burling family from New York City. In the 1800s, Battery Street, Church Street and City Hall Park areas were filled with commercial and industrial buildings and wealthy businessmen built large homes just up the hill.
Many of the old homes and buildings still stand today, and there are historic landmarks throughout the city. But there has also been great development, including the Church Street Marketplace in the 1970s. This pedestrian mall, featuring boutiques, restaurants and entertainment, is the hub of the city.
The Burlington Waterfront is a great spot any time of the year but is really spectacular in the summer. Residents enjoy strolls on the bike path, peaceful moments on the swinging park benches, or a boat ride from the Burlington Community Boathouse. The Boathouse is a full-service marina with overnight or hourly dockage and moorings.
The Burlington Bike Path is a seven mile paved path which runs along the Lake Champlain shoreline. The bike path connects to the Colchester Recreation Path by way of the bike bridge at the path’s northern end. Bikers, walkers, and runners covet this recreational path, and each year portions of the Vermont City Marathon uses the bike path as part of its 26.2 mile course.
North Beach is a city favorite. It offers a guarded beach, snack bar, picnic areas, a playground and kayak rentals. The North Beach campground is always filled with tents and RVs staying the night or all season long.
Leddy Park has a beach area as well as an ice arena for youth and adult hockey teams, ice skaters, and Vermont Children’s Theater on Ice. Skating lessons and public skating times are always popular too.
There are several parks throughout the city, and Ethan Allen Park is the perfect spot for a picnic, time on the playground, or hike or snowshoe along the trails. Historic Ethan Allen Park offers great views of the city and lake and connects to the Burlington Bike Path.
Burlington residents also like to spend leisure time with their four-legged friends at the off-leash dog parks.
Church Street Marketplace is a pedestrian only section of Church Street and showcases retail stores, coffee shops, and a wide range of dining options. From fine dining to pub style food, Church Street satisfies all palates. Church Street is often busy with street performers, festivals, and parades.
Annual celebrations like the Burlington Jazz Festival and the South End Art Hop are just a couple of Burlington’s best parties. Other resident favorites are the Brewer’s Festival, Mardi Gras parade, Fourth of July celebration, and the Farmers’ Markets.
The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts is in downtown Burlington and offers year round stage shows, musicals, comedians, and internationally known musicians.
The Echo Lake Aquarium and Science Center is a family friendly spot on Burlington’s waterfront. Echo has changing interactive exhibits and science education programs and camps. Another family friendly and popular Burlington scene is at Centennial Field, home of the Vermont Lake Monsters minor league baseball team.
The Recreation and Parks Department offers classes for interests of all kinds, keeping Burlington residents entertained, active, and informed. Summer camps and town athletic leagues are very popular, including the summer adult kickball league.
US Route 7 runs through Burlington and Interstate 89 is minutes away. Burlington International Airport is also close by and located in the neighboring town of South Burlington. The hub for Green Mountain Transit, GMT, is in Burlington. GMT offers several routes all over the county which make round trips from Burlington. There are also routes that take commuters to Middlebury, Montpelier, and St. Albans.
The Lake Champlain Ferries carry passengers from the Burlington Waterfront and travel across Lake Champlain to Port Kent, New York. The ride holds spectacular views and one more way for Vermonters to get out and explore the beauty around them.
Burlington schools are part of the Burlington School District. Because of its size and dense population, Burlington residents have several quality schools to attend. Champlain Elementary School, Edmunds Elementary School, J.J. Flynn Elementary School, and C.P. Smith Elementary Schools all take in students in grades K-5. Edmunds Middle School and Hunt Middle School serve students in grades 6-8. All Burlington students in grades 9-12 attend Burlington High School.
Burlington also offers two magnet schools. Magnet schools are meant to attract socially, economically, and culturally diverse students. Magnet schools base their curriculum around a chosen theme. The Integrated Arts Academy at H.O. Wheeler and the Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes are Burlington’s magnet schools.
The Burlington Technical Center is for junior and senior high school students who wish to complete two year technical programs from auto repair to culinary arts.
Burlington is a great mix of traditional New England heritage and young, artsy style. There is a strong tech community here, and in 2013 Burlington dubbed itself "New England's Gigabit City," and announced plans to boost internet speeds for economic development.