What's Burlington like for a visit? How about to move to?
October 17, 2019 6:25 PM Subscribe
We (spouse, 8-mo-old beeb, and I) are visiting Burlington, VT for a long weekend, Nov 8-11. We're staying pretty central, I think-- near the waterfront right by the Church Street marketplace. What should we check out for fun while we're there (details below the fold)? More importantly but less immediately, what should we see and do to evaluate it for permanently relocating to next year?
- We're staying at the Hilton on Battery between Cherry and College (thanks, credit card points)
- What's great to see and do with an infant in tow? We're up for walking, and will also have a car. History, nature, seasonal, shopping, hiking all possibilities. Ability to accommodate a 3-hour wake window between naps a near necessity (though short stroller refresh naps are possible).
- Food! Only what is doable with an infant, naturally, so lunches and early, casual dinners are going to be our go-to. But yeah, a range of good food tends to be what we base our vacations around.
- Any further details on what tends to be open/closed, possible/impossible in early-mid November would be appreciated. How much outdoor stuff tends to be open? Nearby parks accessible? That sort of thing.
- We've lived in Philly for a long time; spouse lifelong, me since moving here for college, and permanently after graduating 12+ years ago. We are specifically looking for something smaller and quieter, recognizing that it's coming with tradeoffs.
- I work remotely and could relocate with almost zero friction. (The relocation grant is why we started looking in the first place, with full awareness that it's not guaranteed for the future.) Spouse is currently not working, but has experience in academic research (developmental psychology) and at some point (not immediately) would likely look for something similar or administrative at the university. Alternatively, she may start a small business; is the area good to small businesses or no?
- We own our house here, have equity, and will probably benefit a bit from increased market value. We plan to try to buy immediately (likely mostly-remotely) when we move. Is this a bad idea? i.e., does the area take some "settling in" before having a good sense of where we'd get the right neighborhood fit? (I'd say this about Philly, e.g.)
- On that note, we are interested in checking out neighborhoods where we'll be able to have a yard, a good public school district, and ideally some walkability/bikeability for under ~400k. We'd love a "downtown" area within a couple walkable/bikeable miles. I'd personally like to avoid tons of driving on a day-to-day basis, i.e. mandatory car trip whenever we leave the house.
- other towns: would it be worthwhile to visit South Burlington while we're in town? Or even further afield?
- What’s the variability like for public schools? Are most schools in Burlington fine/good? There’s a lot of catchment-to-catchment variability in Philly, so we’re not sure how it works there.
- We don't currently have a dog (RIP) but getting one is high on the after-we-move list. Walkability to dog-friendly parks etc is on the radar.
- Sort of generally: how easy is it to make friends in Burlington as a mid-30s adult without having local coworkers? Initial thoughts: I grew up UU and would likely check out the local fellowship. I have a coworking space membership here in Philly and might start going to a coworking space instead of working solely from home.
- is there anything else we should know about living in Burlington or Vermont in general? Especially coming from a larger mid-Atlantic city like Philly.