Summer Fun in Burlington, Vermont

Turn your college visit into a summer road trip!

Whether you’re here for the annual Champlain College Summer Open House, or for a Campus Tour and Information Session, make sure to set aside time to explore the rest of Burlington during your visit. Named #1 Best College Town by Travel & Leisure, Burlington has something for everyone, from outdoor adventures to local produce to the Ben & Jerry’s Factory.

Burlington’s Great Outdoors

It’s no secret that Vermont is an outdoor-lover’s paradise. Facing Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains, Burlington offers many different ways to get outside and enjoy the Vermont summer weather.

The Waterfront Park is one of the most popular spots in Burlington to catch the sunset over the mountains. Located on the bike path, this is a great place to go for a stroll, sit by the water, or bring a picnic and spend the afternoon in the sunshine.

Adirondack Mountains from the Burlington Waterfront park.
No trip to Burlington would be complete without taking advantage of this view, especially for the sunset. Photo by Logan Hall-Potvin, ’19 // Hall-Potvin Photography

You can also take advantage of the Greenride Bikeshare initiative to rent a bike for a few hours. Simply download the app and unlock your bike from one of the docks around town, including one located on the Champlain campus. Bonus tip: Champlain College students are automatically eligible for a discounted annual membership!

Ben & Jerry's Greenride bicycle shares on campus.
No bike? No problem! You can check one out from the dock in front of the Center for Communication & Creative Media. Photo by Duncan Persons, ’19 // Duncan Persons Photography

Want to get out of the city for the day? Mount Philo is an easy hike 20 minutes out of town, and offers a breathtaking view of the Champlain Valley from the top. If you’re looking for a more challenging hike, Camel’s Hump, located 45 minutes away, is one of the highest summits in Vermont and has a great view of Lake Champlain.

A Foodie’s Paradise

The view from Camel's Hump.
Camel’s Hump is the most climbed mountain in Vermont thanks to its spectacular views that reach across the Champlain Valley to Mount Washington and Mount Marcy. Photo by Logan Hall-Potvin, ’19 // Hall-Potvin Photography

Shelburne Farms is a historic working farm and environmental center located in Shelburne, VT, about 20 minutes outside of Burlington. The farm has year-round events for the whole family, and is focused on sustainability and education. It was among the first to implement a farm-to-table menu in Vermont at The Inn & Restaurant, where you can make a reservation to taste their fresh products including cheeses, vegetables, and meats. Their Sunday brunch is the perfect way to experience everything the farm has to offer.

Shelburne Farms is a local environmental education center and restaurant.
Shelburne Farms is a great place to bring the whole family and learn about sustainable food systems in an idyllic setting. Photo by Logan Hall-Potvin, ’19 // Hall-Potvin Photography

If you have a sweet tooth and are craving a piece of local history, look no further than the Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tour. Only 30 minutes from Burlington, the Ben & Jerry’s Factory offers daily tours and the chance to visit the Flavor Graveyard, as well as their gift shop and the ice cream stand.

One Vermont staple you cannot miss is the legendary maple creemee. Known as soft-serve everywhere else, this local speciality is made with milk from Vermont dairy farms and, of course, maple syrup. Join the hunt for the perfect maple creemee by starting on the waterfront at the Burlington Bay Market & Cafe and enjoying your treat with a lake view.

If you spend just five minutes on Church Street, you will notice an abundance of independent coffee shops. Each has their own personality, from the earthy Muddy Waters to the galactic Cosmic Grind to the bustling Uncommon Grounds, so you’re sure to find the perfect one for you. Church Street is also home to a variety of local shops including Quarterstaff Gamesand Earth Prime ComicsMaven Skate Shop, and the Crow Bookshop.

Students hanging out on the Church Street Marketplace.
Church Street is the bustling pedestrian center of town. It’s the perfect place to catch up with friends and spend some time outside. Photo by Ryan Bent, ’08 // Ryan Bent Photography

Explore Community Events

The Burlington Farmers Market is a regional attraction.
The Saturday Farmers’ Market is an amazing opportunity to be a part of the Burlington community. Bringing together live music, local produce, and great food. Photo by Quinn DiFalco

The Burlington Farmers’ Market is a weekly event that takes place every Saturday morning from May to October and brings together over 90 local vendors, artists, and farmers. The community gathers for fresh farm produce and flowers, local craft beers, and to-go treats such as samosas, scallion pancakes, and maple lemonade. This summer the market has been temporarily moved to Pine Street and is able to welcome even more vendors.

Every Wednesday and Friday this summer at 12:30 on Lower Church Street, Burlington City Arts puts on the free Summer Concert Series. Featuring local bands and new artists, this is a great opportunity to discover some new music and gather to enjoy the sunshine.

Another Burlington City Arts initiative is the Artists’ Market, where local artists and artisans display their work in City Hall Park every Saturday morning from May to October. Pick up some unique, hand-crafted jewelry, stoneware, or paintings and support local artists.

The Art Hop is an annual block party event.
There is a vibrant arts scene in Burlington. Whether it’s outdoor music or markets or galleries, you’re sure to find something new to discover. Photo by Quinn DiFalco

Experience Life as a Local

As a member of the Champlain College community you are also a member of the Burlington community. A campus visit would be incomplete without experiencing life as a local. From discovering a favorite coffee shop to hitting the trails to shopping at the Farmers’ Market, there are so many opportunities to discover what makes Burlington such an incredible place to live and study.

Want to experience Burlington for yourself? Come to a Summer Open House and see what all the hype is about! If you can’t make it to the Open House, make sure to book a Campus Tour and Information Session and check out everything Burlington has to offer.


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