This past year I went on a few short business trips to places I had never considered going to before, and Burlington, Vermont was one of those places that pleasantly surprised me. Prior to going I really didn’t know much of anything about Burlington or Vermont. It was only a 2 day trip and most of the time was booked-up, but I did get a bit of free time to explore downtown. We arrived in the afternoon, so took a moment to stop by and take in the views of Lake Champlain before checking into our hotel. The air was incredibly refreshing and the view was beautiful, especially when the sun started setting. I was also surprised to see that the park signs were in both English and French, but it is very close to Canada so that may be why.
Burlington itself was not a particularly large city but it was very clean and nice. Right in the center of town was Church Street Marketplace, which was lined with all sorts of stores and restaurants, while also being walking distance to both the lake and City Hall Park. My free time was later in the day so most of the stores in the area were closed already, but I did get to stop in The Whiskey Room. I enjoy whiskeys and bourbons, so when I read that this was one of the local places to go I thought it’d be fun to see if they had any local whiskeys for me to try. I ended up trying a local maple flavored whiskey, which ended up being a bit too sweet for my tastes. But it had a nice atmosphere and I even had a friendly chat with a guy in town for a conference.
Another evening we were able to have a great meal at Hen of the Wood, and even got lucky with quick seating at the bar. The food there was just delicious! It’s just outside the center of town and we ended up walking between 2 parking garages to find it, but it was worth the detour. I highly recommend this spot, but if you’re more than 1 or 2 people I suggest you make a reservation because you could end up waiting a good while otherwise. There seemed to be a never ending flow of people coming in and it only got busier as the night went on.
In regards to accommodation we stayed at the Hilton Garden Hotel, which was recommended to us. It was just off City Hall Park and has only been open for about a year, so it is very nice. They even provided free water, coffee and cookies in the lobby every morning. Since it was still a bit chilly when we were there I really enjoyed the fire pit out front. It was a really relaxing way to end my day.
Overall Burlington, Vermont was a fun little detour.