Burlington in 48 Hours

Photo by Bart Beeson

A summer weekend in Vermont's cultural capital

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Spend a great weekend in Burlington with this 48 hour itinerary.


It’s Friday night in Burlington, so you’ve got all kinds of options as to what to do and where to go.  Start off with a stop at Citizen Cider, which offers a variety of hard ciders and some tasty appetizers.  From there, walk the two blocks to food truck Friday at ArtsRiot, a restaurant and entertainment venue which hosts the event from May to September.  Popular with locals, it’s a great way to try various samplings of Vermont fare at one stop.

If you’re still in the mood for a nightcap, head a few blocks further south to the Zero Gravity Brewery tasting room for a locally brewed beer.


Start your Saturday day off at the Penny Cluse Café.  This popular spot is easy to pick out as there’s usually a small crowd waiting outside waiting for a table. Put your name in and, depending on how long the wait is, wander around Church Street, or grab a coffee at Uncommon Grounds Cafe to tide you over.

With a bellyful of breakfast, now’s a good time to explore downtown Burlington.  Hit the Church Street Marketplace to do a little window shopping, peruse the book selection at a local bookshop, or just park yourself on a bench for some people watching.  And make sure to stop by the Burlington Farmers’ Market, held each Saturday from May to October in City Hall Park just off Church Street.

If you’ve worked up an appetite for lunch, Skinny Pancake near the waterfront serves excellent sweet and savory crepes, and has plenty of outdoor seating to soak up the sunshine.  And if you have room for dessert, stop by the Burlington Bay Market just across the street for a creemee — the Vermont term for soft-serve ice cream.

Time to work off the morning eats with a nice bike ride on the Burlington Bike Path.  Rent bikes at Local Motion on the waterfront, and from there you can ride two miles south and check out Oakledge Park, or head north to Burlington’s beaches. After a stop at your hotel for a shower and a change, head a few blocks off Church Street to get away from the crowds and hit Duino Duende. Duino is a truly Burlingtonian spot with great food, a funky atmosphere, and the chance to catch some great live music at neighboring Radio Bean or the Light Club Lamp Shop.


Start Sunday off with a yummy breakfast at Magnolia Bistro, just off City Hall Park. Then, to see what some of the area outside of Burlington proper has to offer, head towards the Shelburne Museum, about a 20 minute drive south of Burlington. You could easily to spend a whole day here, as it contains several galleries and dozens of historic buildings spread out over 45 acres.

Having worked up an appetite exploring the museum grounds, head over to Folino’s, just down the road from the museum, for some great pizza and a beer from the adjacent Fiddlehead Brewing Company. For your last stop of the weekend, make the short drive over to Shelburne Farms and the Shelburne Inn. Here you can walk the beautiful grounds of the farm, or grab a cocktail at the Inn and take in the historic building and grounds.  And if you’re lucky, you’ll get the chance to take in one more sunset over Lake Champlain.

Have thoughts on other must-see spots or great restaurants in Burlington? If so, join the conversation in Hints and Tips below and let other travelers know.  

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