While summer is definitely the high season in Burlington, winter weekends offer plenty to do and a certain Vermont winter charm. You’ll trade in lunch at an outdoor restaurant for a winter cocktail or locally brewed beer next to the fireplace; kayaking on Lake Champlain for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing around Burlington’s Intervale farms. But whether you’re hitting the slopes during the day and headed out at night, or just want to take advantage of some of winter hotel rates to spend the weekend in town, there’s no shortage of options.
Start your Saturday off with breakfast at the Skinny Pancake – make sure to get something hearty to keep you warm during your morning adventure – a breakfast burrito or their biscuits and gravy should do the trick. From there it’s time for an outdoor adventure to work off that breakfast – so drive over to the Intervale for some cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Volunteers from the Intervale groom a 3-mile track through farm fields for classic and cross country skiing, and there are paths through the woods along the Winooski River for snowshoeing.
From there head up to explore Church Street and grab some lunch. Make your way to the always popular Leunig’s – a French-themed bistro and bar – and warm up with some onion soup gratinée. After lunch, take some time to explore Church Street — do some window shopping or grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate from the Uncommon Grounds café near the north end of the street, or at Muddy Waters café on Main Street, a quintessential Burlington coffee shop with a warm, laid-back atmosphere. If you need any gear, whether to purchase or rent for the weekend, make sure to stop by the Outdoor Gear Exchange – and if you’re looking to find a good deal on some used gear, make sure to check out the consignment store in the basement.
After a stop at your hotel to shower and change, head out for a night in Burlington. Make sure to look at what’s happening at the Flynn Center for Performing Arts, which hosts a wide variety of events, from big name musicians to locally produced plays. Before or after the show, grab some dinner at the Farmhouse Tap and Grill – if you can find a seat in the cozy basement beer parlor next to the fire, all the better.
On Sunday start your day off with breakfast in the neighboring town of Winooski – Sneakers Bistro has one of the best, and most popular, breakfasts around. If you need to kill some time while waiting for a table, take a walk down the street and check out Winooski Falls and the old mill buildings.
From Winooski, head out for a hike or snowshoe up Mount Philo. This small mountain just 15 miles south of Burlington offers great views of Lake Champlain and the surrounding countryside (and if conditions are right, there’s some great sledding to be had too along the access road). On your way back into town, stop by the Magic Hat Brewery for a beer tasting, or to go on a tour of the brewing facility.
Once back in town head out to eat at Pizzeria Verita in downtown Burlington. Sitting down to a tasty wood-fired pizza and a specialty winter cocktail is a great way to cap off the weekend.
Do you have ideas on other ways to keep warm during a winter weekend in Burlington? If so, join the conversation in Hints and Tips below and let other travelers know.