I was blown away by Burlington, Vermont. Who knew that this little city on the lake has so much to offer? In part 1 of this post (here), I described some of the aspects that make Burlington stand out. In this post, I have listed a few noteworthy observations about the city that you may find interesting if you have not yet made it up to this breathtakingly beautiful lakeside haven.
Have you ever had Green Mountain coffee? Well, it comes from Vermont (which is probably obvious to all you Francophones out there (with “Vermont” being derived from the words “Green Mountain”). There are about a dozen specialty coffee shops within a ten-minute walk of the city center. One place in particular that we visited was “Onyx Tonics,” which is an understated little café, located just outside the bustling downtown center. With only a few pastries on display at the counter, this place is worth visiting for good, strong coffee and not much else.
One does not consume “soft-serve ice cream” in Vermont, instead, one enjoys a “creemee,” which is basically the same thing. Just like with the coffee, you can find “creemee” stands throughout the small center in the summer. While you can also find hard ice cream in some stores (like Ben & Jerry’s, of course!), creemees are the most popular summer treat here.
If Vermont were a lollipop, it would be a rich deep amber in color and a saccharine caramel in taste. Vermont is the country’s leading producer of maple syrup and perhaps there is a surplus because there are so many maple-flavored things here — candy, creemees, coffee, cocktails, salad dressing — to name a few.
Burlington does not have a flat horizon, instead is has a beautiful mountainous backdrop. The mountains encircle the city like an embrace. From this side of Lake Champlain the closest mountains are a dark greenish-blue in color and further away they become paler and more indistinguishable from each other. From our vantage point, we look west toward New York state with the furthest grayish-blue mountains sometimes blending in with the cloudy sky. Additionally, there are plenty of hiking options (including Ethan Allen Park located within the city) to check out.
Burlington has made me wish that I were a better biker. There is a network of bike paths that can take you from Burlington to the surrounding areas. The most beautiful path, perhaps, is the “Burlington Greenway,” which is an eight-mile stretch along the Lake Champlain shore. Although I didn’t complete the whole loop, I was in awe of the water views, as well as the lush foliage overhead (which certainly keeps one cool in the summer months). A particularly interesting feature of this bike path is that one can peddle along a causeway (land bridge) and enjoy spectacular views from all sides.
For a long summer weekend, we found a lot to do in Burlington. If you like the outdoors and the small-town vibe, do consider stopping by!