Burlington Explore Local With RVshare

Why We Love Travel

Suggest a Local Tip

From meeting new people to experiencing new sights, sounds, and smells – is there anything more exciting or rejuvenating than a break from the day-to-day mundanity? Traveling is an excellent way to immerse yourself in a new culture, setting, or way-of-life, but the best part is this: you don’t have to venture far from home to enjoy what this world has to offer.

Whether your journey takes you across your own city, to an unexplored part of your state, or even to the other side of the world, there’s no doubt you will still learn a lot about your surroundings – and yourself – along the way.

Benefits of Traveling Locally

While the culture an hour away from your home might not be drastically different from what you’re used to, you can still gain a deepened sense of appreciation for where you’ve laid your roots. Plus, traveling locally has a lot of benefits:


More cost-effective. Local travel is certainly a budget-friendly way to explore! Many activities and parks are free or have a low cost of entry. For day trips, you can also pack your own meals to save.


Eco-friendly way to travel. Travel is hard on the environment, but putzing around your area is more sustainable than air travel.


Quick trips. Getting out locally means you can do it more often! Long weekend trips are a lot easier to take when the destination is a short drive away.


Easy to plan. Preparing your itinerary for a local getaway will likely save you some time and stress.


More convenient. Especially if you have little ones, sticking close to home may be much more convenient than far-off destinations. If you forget something, have an emergency, or need to cut the trip short, being closeby definitely has its benefits.

Explore Local: Burlington, Vermont

The most populous city in the state of Vermont, Burlington is still decidedly a small town with a population hovering just shy of 45,000. That said, it brings big-city class and culture to the familiarity and friendliness of small-town living, all with a heaping helping of New England charm to tie it together. Here are our very favorite things to see, do, and explore in Burlington, Vermont! 

*Note: Some of the suggestions may not be doable due to coronavirus closures, but keep this list handy for when things start opening back up more! Be sure to check individual pages for specific operation details.

Parks in Burlington, Vermont

Button Bay State Park

One of the very best parts about living or staying in Burlington is how close it is to such a wide variety of preserved natural spaces — truly, there are more state parks in the area than we can fit on this guide! Here are just a few of the coolest state and national parks and preserves within an easy day’s drive of Burlington, VT.

Button Bay State Park

Situated on the edge of a bluff, Button Bay State Park offers dramatic views of Lake Champlain as well as a plethora of opportunities for family friendly outdoor fun. The lake is perfect for swimming, fishing, and boating, and an easy hiking trail offers opportunities for those who wish to wander (or run) through nature. It’s also located near communities that offer their own attractions such as museums, eateries, and more.

Camel’s Hump State Park

If you’re looking to get seriously wild, you’re looking for Camel’s Hump State Park, a sprawling 21,000 acre wilderness that’s largely undeveloped. The largest state park in Vermont, this green space is known for its network of hiking trails, which range in their length and terrain to offer something for every visitor, and primitive campsites are available for those who want to turn their nature trip into a more extended stay.

Grand Isle State Park

For those eager to find the perfect place to affordably camp on the shores of Lake Champlain, Grand Isle State Park offers a pretty ideal solution. With over a hundred RV-friendly campsites, many of which offer water and electric hookups, and other developed amenities like restrooms and hot showers, this state park has all the comforts of a private resort while offering the proximity to nature and affordability of the state park it is. It also boasts over 4,100 feet of lake shoreline as well as walking trails and more. 

Kingsland Bay State Park

Small but mighty, Kingsland Bay State Park measures just over 250 acres but offers an unparalleled viewing experience of Lake Champlain. While obviously popular for swimming, fishing, boating, and other lakeside activities, this park also offers great opportunities for hikers, bikers, picnickers, campers, and other outdoor recreation enthusiasts, and although there’s no on-site campground, there are some wonderful RV and tent camping options in the surrounding communities. 

Sand Bar State Park

A unique lake beach that will make you feel as if you’ve transported yourself all the way to the Atlantic coast, Sand Bar State Park is a seasonally open day use facility that’s perfect for those days when you just need to sit by the water and let all your troubles melt away. Along with 2,000 feet of sand lakeside beach, this park also offers canoe and kayak rentals, picnic areas, grills, and play areas. 

Underhill State Park

One state park inside Vermont’s nearly-40,000-acre Mt. Mansfield State Forest wilderness, Underhill State Park is, as its name suggests, tucked under the hill — or mountain — that is Mt. Mansfield, along its western slope. Hiking and camping are popular activities here, as is mountain biking, stream fishing, and more. 

Woods Island State Park

A completely unique state park that is — you guessed it — situated on an island, Woods Island State Park is a 125-acre stretch of land tucked into Lake Champlain. The park offers only five remote tent campsites and is accessible only by boat, making it an outdoor getaway unlike any other in the area. Because part of the island was once farmland, you can also find the remains of farm structures and even the unfinished beginnings of an airstrip on the island.

Hiking in Burlington, Vermont

There’s such an incredible multiplicity of natural things to see and explore around Burlington. Here are some of the best hiking trails in the area to add to your itinerary, regardless of your interest or fitness level.

Rock Point Trail Loop

At a little over a mile altogether and seeing just over 100 feet in elevation gain, the Rock Point Trail Loop is a relatively easy choice, making it good for those who don’t have much hiking experience. Its beautiful lakeside views are coupled with dense tree cover, beautiful wildflowers, and the opportunity to spot local wildlife and birds.

Red Rocks Park Loop Trail

A loop of just under three miles altogether, the Red Rocks Park Loop Trail sees about 226 feet in elevation gain, translating to some gently undulating hills and putting it in the easy-to-moderately challenging category. The dirt and gravel trail is paired with a wheelchair-accessible pathway, both of which offer a great comprehensive overview of Red Rocks Park including waterside views as well as forest cover. 

Island Line Rail Trail

If you’re in need of a hike that’ll really stretch your legs (or you’re a cyclist), the Island Line Rail Trail is a must-do. At a little more than seven miles one way — which makes for more than 14 miles round trip — this long, flat trail is certainly an excellent opportunity to while away a sunny afternoon while working up a sweat, and offers some stunning views of the surrounding countryside as you do so. Including both paved and gravel paths, this area also offers several unparalleled sunset spots. 

Donahue Sea Caves

A truly one-of-a-kind hiking experience, the Donahue Sea Caves trail is short and steep: you’ll only traverse about a half a mile altogether, there and back, but you’ll see about a hundred feet in elevation gain. You’ll need to watch your footing as you descend into these small but incredibly scenic sea caves, which are actually best accessed in the winter months. 

Poke-o-Moonshine Trail

Although technically over state borders in upstate New York, Poke-o-Moonshine Trail is well worth the drive — which is, after all, only a little bit more than an hour from Burlington. This trail is definitely the most challenging on our list so far, scaling more than 1,200 feet in the space of less than four miles, so it’s a great workout if you’re looking for one. That said, the stunning views you get from the peak are well worth working up a sweat for, even reluctantly. 

Restaurants in Burlington, Vermont

Burlington is well known for its bustling restaurant scene, and no matter what you’re in the mood for, you can find it. Here are just a few of the best eateries in town, from Italian to Mexican and everything in between. 

Trattoria Delia

Whether you’re looking to make date night special or simply looking for a delicious and thoroughly satisfying meal, Trattoria Delia is a can’t-go-wrong option situated in a romantic basement setting with a stone fireplace. Known for its carefully crafted pastas, beautifully plated entrees, and noteworthy wine list, this Old World eatery has something for everyone — and also offers an online Italian specialty market for those who want to try their hand at this kind of cooking at home! 

El Cortijo Taqueria y Cantina

Burlington is about as far north of the Mexican border as you can get without literally being in Canada — but you can still enjoy delicious and authentic Mexican eats in town. El Cortijo Taqueria y Cantina is the local go-to not only for tacos, but also for enchiladas, burritos, bowls, nachos, and more. Plus, the bartenders mix up a mean margarita to wash it all down with. 

Revolution Kitchen 

You say you want a revolution… but you want it to taste good, too? Revolution Kitchen has your back. Offering exclusively vegetarian and vegan fare made with the freshest locally sourced ingredients, this place is simultaneously good for you and for Mother Earth, and also so scrumptious that even your carnivorous friends will want to come back for seconds. 

Asiana House

What are you craving? Maybe it’s freshly prepared sushi, udon noodle soup, deep-fried tempura bites or something else entirely. Maybe you’re looking for teriyaki, katsu, or bi bim bap. No matter what you’re after, Asiana House offers delicacies from across the continent of Asia, all served up with flare and the freshest ingredients available. There truly is something for everyone. 

The Farmhouse Tap & Grill

Serving up comforting, down-home food with elegance and attention, The Farmhouse Tap & Grill is a gastropub… but one whose fare is composed entirely of locally sourced, farm-to-table ingredients. The restaurant has won awards for its burgers as well as its selection of craft beers from across the state of Vermont, and offers quick snacks as well as more satisfying entrees. 

Activities in Burlington, Vermont

Great dining and the great outdoors are truly just the beginning. Here are some of the coolest things to do in Burlington! 

For Kids and Families

If you’ve got the kids with you, you’re in luck — here are some of the best things to do in town with family members of all ages. 

ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain

Located as it is directly on the shores of Lake Champlain itself, ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity for hands-on learning and truly works to ensure visitors of all ages leave feeling edified about this magnificent lake (and all the other natural structures it’s attached to). Various events and programs provide even more opportunities to get involved.

Lake Champlain Chocolates Factory Store

What kid — or adult, for that matter — doesn’t love chocolate? If you’re looking for a sweet way to enjoy a day, rainy or otherwise, grab the family and head for the Lake Champlain Chocolates Factory Store, where you can watch the master chocolatiers at work while you shop their mouth-watering products. Self-guided factory tours also include a brief video to help orient you further into the history and legacy of the craft. 

At Night

While you might not be going clubbing in Burlington after the sun goes down, it’s not like the whole place rolls up its sidewalks at 6 p.m. Here are some of the best spots for nightlife in Burlington. 

Church Street Marketplace

To be fair, you’re definitely going to want to visit this outdoor pedestrian shopping area during the daytime too… but stocked as it is with incredible eateries, bars, and entertainment venues, we’re pretty sure you’re going to find some good things to get into after night falls, too. Church Street Marketplace is like the beating heart of town, no matter what time of day or night you check it out. Just be sure to give yourself ample time to wander. 

Cheap Things to Do in Burlington

If you’re not quite ready to take out another mortgage on the house just to get familiar with Burlington, don’t worry — there are plenty of affordable to-do options to consider instead! 

Ethan Allen Homestead Museum

Originally built all the way back in 1787, the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum offers a unique glimpse into what life was like in Burlington centuries ago, displaying many period artifacts and tons of fascinating information. Seasonally open from May to October, this museum’s admission prices start at just $12 for adults, and demographic discounts are available. 

Free Things to Do in Burlington

If cheap is good, free is even better, right? Here are our favorite free things to do in Burlington, Vermont! 

Fleming Museum of Art

Part of the University of Vermont campus, the Fleming Museum of Art has drawn visitors from Burlington and beyond for 80 years thanks to its array of both permanent and rotating exhibits. The museum also regularly holds educational and entertaining events to help create more opportunities to get excited and involved. Best of all, admission is totally free. 

World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet

Yep, you read that correctly. Burlington bears the distinction of being home to the World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet, a unique piece of public art originally built in 2002 by a local artist named Ben Alvarez. This surreal sculpture was originally meant to be a commentary on bureaucratic delays… but today, it’s simply a fantastic photo opp, and totally free to visit.

Church Street Marketplace

Wellness in Burlington, Vermont

Spas in Burlington

Sometimes, you just need some professional help when it comes to relaxing — or maybe to redoing your look. Either way, these day spas and salons in Burlington have you covered.

Stephen & Burns Aveda Salon & Spa

Aveda salons are well known for their use of naturally derived, plant-based ingredients as well as the high level of skill their estheticians and stylists attain. The Stephen & Burns Aveda Salon & Spa offers the Burlington community a one-stop-shop beautifying and relaxing oasis conveniently located in the Church Street Marketplace, with services ranging from haircuts and color to massage, skincare, waxing and more. 

Blissful Healing Massage

If you really need to drill down into the body and find your sources of stress, Blissful Healing Massage can help. Also located in the Church Street Marketplace, this massage studio offers therapeutic touch in a wide variety of modalities, including massages tailored to pregnant people and those having just given birth. 

Best Gyms & Yoga Studios

Looking to get in shape — and stay that way? Here are the best gyms and yoga studios in Burlington, Vermont for those looking to sweat it out.

Marketplace Fitness

While there’s a wide array of big box chain fitness studios to choose from in Burlington, Marketplace Fitness stands out from the crowd thanks to its homegrown, friendly atmosphere, comprehensive range of equipment, fun and motivating group classes, and more. Staffed by compassionate personal trainers who want to help you succeed, this spot is sure to help you put your best foot forward day after day. 

Burlington Yoga

Yoga can be so many things, and can be about so many things — from challenging the body and finding a rhythmic flow to relaxing into the sensations of yourself. Burlington Yoga offers a variety of classes suited to yogis of all fitness levels, led by instructors who care about making the practice work for you. Plus, it’s situated in a comforting and warm environment. 

Day Trips near Burlington, Vermont


As much fun as Burlington itself is, it’s also true that there’s a big world out there to see… some of which is within a very doable day’s drive! Here are our best day trip and weekend getaway choices near Burlington. 

Montpelier, VT

Although less than an hour away, Montpelier offers a whole new experience of Vermont, with its quaint residential streets, incredible display of fall foliage, and, of course, status as the state’s capital. Given that you can be home in time for dinner anyway, why not make the drive? (Although you might want to stay and check out the restaurants in town for dinner, after all…) 

Montreal (Canada)

Got your passport on you? Then you can head over the border into one of the most stunning cities in the entire world, let alone in Canada. Grab a bagel, brush up on your French, and enjoy feeling like you took a flight over the Atlantic within the space of just a few hours of driving.

As a final reminder, some of these activities may need to wait until businesses fully reopen from coronavirus closures. However, there is still much to see and experience in Burlington that you can enjoy today! What are your favorite spots in Burlington? Send them our way to [email protected] or by tagging us on Instagram @rvshare and using the hashtag #rvsharelocal.

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