Fun things in Burlington, VT
February 11, 2007 4:49 PM   Subscribe

Looking for fun activities in Burlington, VT

My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Burlington, VT for an extended weekend over our college spring break. We are looking for things that are fun to do, don't require you to have excessive funds (which we don't have) or be 21 (we are not). Preferably not more than 45 min away. Also we are not interested in skiing, but other things like tubing are fine. Also the Ben and Jerry's factory is already on our list. The trip is from March 8-11 if that makes a difference. Thanks in advance.
posted by coolin86 to Travel & Transportation around Burlington, VT (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
It's not in Burlington, but it's close by: The Vermont Country Store. They sell EVERYTHING. I believe there's also a nice little romantic gazebo in that area...

There's also Bromley mountain in Peru, VT. In the off season, they replace ski slopes with concrete mini-luge runs. You rent little car-like thingys, and gravity carries you down the mountain. Lots of fun.
posted by fvox13 at 5:31 PM on February 11, 2007

Ben and Jerry's is really only medium fun, more of a destination ice cream resort so unless you're really into it, feel okay with letting it drop off the list of you find other tantalizing things to do. Keep in mind that Burlington in March is still pretty cold and/or muddy so plan your activities and clothing accordingly. The weather can be pretty decent and if so there are neat places to walk/bike down by the waterfront. There are harbor tours that I've enjoyed, but they're not free though they aren't much. Also keep in mind that you're not very far from Montreal, so if you have a car and proper ID it can be a fun day trip north.

Good places to look are Burlington Craigslist and Seven Days, the indie paper. The Fleming Museum is just $3 for students and has a rotating collection of coll stuff. One of the good things about downtown Burlington is that most of the stuff is walkable and the buses are pretty easy to use and not too spendy. The public library and a lot of coffee shops (I like Radio Bean and they sometimes have live music) have free wifi so it's easy to stay connected. I live in a small town about an hour south, so to me Burlington is "the big city" where I go to see music, eat good food and connect with people (and shop at Small Dog). If you're looking for more outdoorsy stuff you might want to go north up to the islands or on a few hiking day trips.
posted by jessamyn at 5:51 PM on February 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'd go to Cabot Creamery - it is my favorite place in Vermont and way better than Ben and Jerry's as far as tours go.

But if you do go to B&J's, don't forget to stop by the Cider Mill down the road - tons of fun AND there is an outlet mall (kinda) further down the road that has a Cabot cheese and Lake Champlain chocolate tasting room. YUM!

ECHO Museum is a kinda fresh water aquarium and is medium fun, but expensive.

If it is nice weather, renting bikes and going on the bike path is a great way to spend an afternoon.
posted by k8t at 5:56 PM on February 11, 2007

You don't have to be 21 to visit Ben & Jerry's and take their tour!
posted by furtive at 5:57 PM on February 11, 2007

posted by furtive at 5:57 PM on February 11, 2007

Cheapish restaurants not to be missed: Bove's, American Flatbread, Red Onion, and Penny Cluse.

Second Tier cheap eats: Pacific Rim, Top of the Block Sandwiches.

Sweetwater's is cheap, but bad.

Plenty of shops for browsing on Church Street. I could spend days in North Country Books.
posted by Xalf at 6:31 PM on February 11, 2007

Eat at:
Starry Night Cafe (~30 min. down Rt. 7 in Ferrisburg)

sandwiches at Marco's Pizzeria(Williston Rd, S. Burl)

American Flatbread

Browse at:
Architectural Salvage Warehouse

North Country Books
posted by Rock Steady at 6:45 PM on February 11, 2007

What jessamyn said. You may also want to check the Official Vermont Tourism Site for other ideas.
posted by terrapin at 7:24 PM on February 11, 2007

Oh, and I forgot to mention Up For Breakfast in Manchester Center. Long wait, great food!
posted by fvox13 at 8:02 PM on February 11, 2007

I was never quite down with the Bove's love-fest. Their sauce is really unappealing to me. My wife and the rest of Vermont seem to love it, though.

Also, Lake Champlain Chocolates has a factory store in South Burlington where they do little this-is-how-chocolate-is-made lectures and have seconds available relatively cheap.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:38 PM on February 11, 2007

Burlington resident, here.

You'll probably want to spend a good chunk of time hanging out on Church St. Lots of unique shops and places to eat, and you can easily walk to Lake Champlain from there.

We usually eat at VT Pub and Brewery, but I would recommend A Single Pebble for dinner. Pretty expensive but it is absolutely worth it. Same with Sakura.

I've found that many places in Burlington don't accept reservations but those two places do.
posted by Diskeater at 6:30 AM on February 12, 2007

Another Burlington resident here. Lots of great advice so far. I just wanted to point out though that early March here is probably still going to be pretty cold. The average high temps for March are in the high 30's - low 40's. And while the bikepath by Lake Champlain is always nice for a stroll, right now the path is quite icy and the lake itself is completely frozen over (though it's fun now to take a stroll *on* the lake). But don't let that discourage you, just plan more for winter activities as opposed to spring ones. If you want to get outside, there's lots of good scenic snowshoe hikes in the area. The Green Mountain Club puts out a nice little book of good snowshoe hikes in Vermont, and you can rent the snowshoes from several local outdoor shops. As for nightlife, basically what Jessamyn said. I recommend checking out the Seven Days website. They have pretty thorough listings for local music. There is quite a bit of it, and lots happens at restaurants or coffee shops where you can get in with no cover or only a minimal one.
posted by jcamp3 at 6:11 PM on February 12, 2007

Looks like we're going to have plenty of things to pick from. I picked a few bests but they were all very helpful. The hive mind does it again. Thanks everybody.
posted by coolin86 at 5:16 PM on February 13, 2007

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