Five hour layover in Burlington VT ?
May 30, 2011 7:17 AM   Subscribe

Layover in Burlington, VT - Where can I check my bags so that I can just walk around with my laptop. Where should I go hang out for four hours or so?

Visiting old buddy and his family in Vermont. Have to wait for a ride from him in Burlington VT. Actually flying into Burlington on Jet Blue if it matters.

I know the website said that there is free wifi and a lounge or something at the airport but I've never been to Vermont and would rather see some stuff.

I think my friend mentioned a neighborhood near the university and Lake Champlain that has coffee shops and a flat bread pizza co or something.

So my questions are : Where do you think I could check my bags so I don't have to lug them around? Where should I check out? How should I get there from the airport ? Assuming a relatively cheap taxi? Where in Burlington should I go.

If it helps I am getting in around 12:30 p.m. on a Wednesday and need to be occupied/ entertained/ distracted until about 5:30 p.m. or so?

Thanks in advance fellow Metafis.
posted by Twinedog to Travel & Transportation around Burlington, VT (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The airport is actually walking distance from downtown, though you might not want to do with with luggage (it's about 2 miles). Just straight down Route 2 and you'll hit the pedestrian mall (Church Street) and further on the lake. Taxi would be cheap anyway. Most of the stuff is around Church street downtown--the university area is actually mostly residential. Just go there as a starting point.

There are about 20 great places to hang out and eat in that area, and another 20 okay ones. Just walk around until you find a place you like the look of. There's also a bike path and a rental place (Local Motion) down by the water, if you feel like something more vigorous.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 7:40 AM on May 30, 2011

Best answer: The airport is about three miles from downtown, so it's walking distance but you'd eat up a lot of your time walking. Concur that the Church Street area is worth meandering around and from there it's just a few blocks to being able to walk down to the lake and there are some great places to just hang out in the park and eat food or chill out and stare at the water. You can get maps at the airport. There are also regular buses, but I don't know the schedule they run on but they do go straight downtown. If you're coming in at normal hours there is an info desk there and folks are very nice. Like most airports, there is no bag check at BTV but you could always check your bags on your flight and pick them up later, though this may not work the way you'd like it to.

Yes, taxi would be cheap. The airport is so teeny it has one restaurant [which is fine] and an old control tower that you can sit and watch planes from [with free wifi] so if the weather sucks it's not the worst place to be.

A few different things you could check out

Coffee shops: I like Radio Bean and Muddy Waters and local place Speeder and Earls is nice
Library/Museum: public library is nice and spacious, UVM library has an interesting special collections section with a lot of local history, Echo Center is the local aquarium place [which is nice but not OMG you have to go!], Fleming Museum at UVM is another good place to go in bad weather
Beer: Lots of breweries and places to get microbeers: Three Needs, VT Pub and Brewery, not sure of others
Chow: Penny Kluse is one of the MeFi go-to places, I'm partial to Ali Baba felafel

All of this stuff is within 5-15 minute walk from everything else. Burlington has a pretty tight downtown area.

You can check out the Burlington Vermont tags for more.
posted by jessamyn at 7:52 AM on May 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yes, you'll want a cab to take you to Church Street, a pedestrian mall where there's a ton of good coffee shops and restaurants. When we're in town visiting family we commonly go to Penny Cluse (for food) and Uncommon Ground (for coffee/tea and WiFi).

I'd just take the bags with you from the airport, as I don't know if they even have lockers there. People in Vermont are friendly and you could probably just ask the counter staff at a coffee shop to put them behind the bar until you get back from wandering.
posted by gerryblog at 7:53 AM on May 30, 2011

I have no experience with Burlington, but most hotels with a bellman are happy to store your bags if you tip the bellman (usually a buck or two a bag).
posted by QuantumMeruit at 8:27 AM on May 30, 2011

Agree that your best bet is to just bring your bags with you, then take a cab down to Church St. I think there's actually a reasonable chance that a coffee shop might let you leave your bags there for a bit, especialy if you sat down and ate something first. Your friend could easily pick you up on Church St instead of at the airport.
posted by maryr at 10:31 AM on May 30, 2011

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