So, what are you up to now that you’ve moved to Philadelphia, Dan? Well let me tell you! One of my main goals with leaving NYC is to be able to travel more. So, while the weather is warm I decided to head north to Vermont.
From food to hiking, I’ll tell you exactly how to have a lovely, (covid friendly) vacation in Burlington!
1. Food! I don’t think it is physically possible for me to touch down in a new city and not immediately need food. I did my research before coming and based on the reviews, the Burlington Bay Market & Cafe is the best place to go for a quick bite to eat with great prices, and a lovely view from their outdoor seating.
2. Maple Creemees: Directly following your food you should get more food… I mean… dessert *wink*. A staple of the Burlington food scene is what they call a “Maple Creemee” (Maple flavored soft serve ice cream). For some reason it’s just better than regular soft serve just because it’s called a “Creemee”. But really the maple flavor takes it up a degree of deliciousness. *slurp*.
2. Street Art – Once you are full I’d recommend checking out the street art. It’s all over the place, just walk around downtown enjoy it. It’s like Brooklyn, New York… but like… clean and safe and friendly and no people around so like… ya know… better (and less covid).
3. Boat Tour of Lake Champlain – I HIGHLY recommend this! They have daily cruises at all different times of the day – a lunch on the lake cruise, a brunch cruise, a sunset cruise, etc. This was definitely the highlight of the trip. The tour guide / boat captain knew what he was talking about and gave a lot of history of the lake, the native american tribes that once were there, the wars that happened, and of course the Adirondack Mountains. They serve food and drinks so this is a good opportunity for a meal, or a snack or a beer (and they have great local beers on board too).
Fun Fact: Lake Champlain is the 6th largest lake in the USA (directly behind all five Great Lakes).
4. Lone Rock Point Hike – HIGHLIGHT!
“If you only do one hike, do this hike!”
If you only do one hike, do this hike! Also it’s not very strenuous (although it’s not handicap accessible there are some stairs and some small hills). This hike was gorgeous from the beginning to the end and I recommend going in the morning around 10 or so if you can. That’s what time I went and there were very few people around so it was silent and magical. You’ll come upon some breathtaking views. You can access this point from North Beach, or do what I did and park at the high school outside of the beach entrance (didn’t have to pay for parking) and then go through the Episcopal Church grounds (which is allowed) and there are great trails throughout – it’s an extra bit of a walk from the high school but it’s all scenic and lovely. My Youtube Video has some great footage of this hike but below are some shots from the main outlook point at the tip of the peninsula. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous and want a bit more of a challenge, I highly recommend that you climb down the cliff (not as hard as it sounds) and there’s a cool place to sit by the water, I did that and it was exciting climbing back up the cliff. Just go slow and be careful and you’ll be fine.
5. Beansies Bus – after your hike, you’ll be headed back toward town and this bus is right on the way. It’s a famous bus and has been featured in movies (My, Myself & Irene) and TV show episodes before. The veggie burger I got was $4 so it’s super affordable and good cheap food. I met the owner of the bus who was just sitting in a lawn chair outside hanging out, so it definitely had a good small town feel 🙂
6. Red Rock Park – another great place to hike… almost like walking through a park. Not difficult at all. The trails are nice and well kept, there is easy parking and if you want you can sneak off the path a little ways and swim in Lake Champlain which is cool.
7. Tacos at El Cortijo – This was probably my favorite food experience in Burlington. The tacos and margs were great, service was great, everything was just great. The tacos had great toppings and really tasty sauces too.
8. Junction Restaurant at the Essex Culinary Resort – I debated sharing this here because it was not entirely a pleasant experience, but the FOOD was so amazing that I have to tell you. I’m not necessarily recommending this spot due to the poor service for such a high price, more so just telling about my experience. “Junction” is connected to the Essex Culinary Resort (the hotel I stayed it, which was quite lovely. I do recommend it). The restaurant is a “fine dining” experience and you will definitely pay the price for it. This isn’t a yelp review so I don’t need to go into detail but the young staff has a bit to learn about hospitality – though the food was to die for (skip the gazpacho). The lamb dish and the mushroom ravioli literally had us sitting at the table in silence not saying a word. It was drool-worthy and made up for the fact that they were $40ish a plate.
Quick Tips for a successful Burlington Trip:
- Make reservations for your meals! FUN FACT – Burlington has a “Chef Shortage” right now so the restaurants are pretty busy. It’s not hard to get a reservation if you make one a few hours in advance but I highly recommend it or you’ll be jumping through hoops.
- There are very affordable options for food and there are some pricy options for food. From the time I spent there I think everything was pretty fairly priced and you get what you pay for, I recommend trying out some of the nicer places as well as some of the cute small cheap places.
- Definitely hike the Lone Rock Point trail. You won’t be sorry!
- Do the boat cruise on the lake!
- Take a picture and tag me on Instagram @DanLikesToEat and let me know how your trip is!
- Check out my Burlington YouTube Video below for a little more info.
Hope you enjoy!