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Burlington, . . . . Queen City And Crown Jewel Of Vermont

Updated on February 25, 2014
Glenn Co profile image

I am from greater Burlington, Vt., where my wife and I spend as much time as possible outdoors.

The Vermont city that has it all, from a state university and several great colleges, to a beautiful waterfront on magnificent Lake Champlain and several wonder

This Vermont city of 42, 417 at the 2010 census, and a greater Burlington area population of approximately 208, 055 at the 2009 U.S. census, has it all!!

Besides the numerous options for things to do in the city itself, it is less than an hours drive to several great ski areas including Stowe, Jay Peak and Smugglers Notch!!

It was the birthplace of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, and the alternative rock band Phish, and has lately given birth to the .com juggernaut as well as several other .com companies!!

The greater Burlington area is one of the few areas in the country where real estate prices have remained relatively stable, making it a very desirable place to own real estate!!!!

Downtown Burlington
Downtown Burlington

A Brief Geographic And Historical Look At Burlington, Vermont!!

Burlington is located approximately 217 miles north of Boston, 117 miles north of Albany. N.Y., 298 miles north of New York, N.Y., 45 miles south of the Canadian border and approximately 94 miles south of Montreal!!

The land that would eventually become Burlington was awarded by Govenor Benning Wentworth on July 7, 1763 to Samuel Willis and sixty three other settlers.

Land clearing began in 1775, with the erection of a couple of log huts, but was delayed by the American Revolution from becoming a true and permanent settlement until 1783, when the settling was spear headed by Stephen Lawrence and his family.

The town was officially organized in 1785.

The War of 1812 was very unpopular with Vermonters, who refused to provide financial support or militia units, and voted for the Federalist party, who opposed the war.

There were, at one point, about 5,000 troops stationed in Burlington, many of them being quartered in the main building of the University of Vermont, where a memorial plaque now commemorates them.

On August 2, 1813, the British ineffectually shelled Burlington for about 10 minutes, which had no impact on the war.

Burlington's position on Lake Champlain caused it to develop into a trade center and port of entry, particularily after the completion of the Champlain Canal in 1823, the Erie Canal in 1825 and the Chambly Canal in 1843. Steam boats were connected to the Rutland and Burlington Railroad, and the Vermont Central Railroad by wharves along the Burlington shoreline.

Burlington saw fit to incorporate in 1865.

Burlington's prosperous Victorian era left behind many examples of fine Victorian architecture.

In order to accomodate the heavy freight traffic of the day, the Pine Street Barge Canal was built. (This canal became the subject of a concerted clean up effort in 2009.)

In 1981, current U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders was elected the country's first Socialist mayor, and remained mayor of Burlington until 1989.

Approaching the Burlington Waterfront
Approaching the Burlington Waterfront

Burlington; A City Of Four Magnificent Seasons

Temperatures in Burlington can range from a record -30' F on Jan.15, 1957, to a record 101' F on Aug. 11, 1944!!

While the four very distinct seasons in Vermont are all beautiful in their own right, they can also be frustrating for those who are unprepared!!

Summers in the Burlington area are magnificent, with temperatures averaging in the mid seventies to high eighties, with breezes off the lake and abundant sunshine.

Hiking, jogging, bike riding, boating and swimming, as well as several different summer festivals, make it hard not to love summers in Burlington!!

Winters are equally magnificent here, providing you are dressed properly in Gore Tex and Polar Fleece or the equivalent, and prepared to work and play outdoors in the abundant snow.

If your inclination is to close yourself indoors for the duration of the winter, the season can become remarkably long and arduous!! There are however, several great ski areas within an hour of Burlington, as well as many places for sledding, ice skating, and beautiful Christmas displays in the Church Street Market Place.

Spring, depending on whether it is a short transition into summer, or a long, protracted affair, is beautiful in that the trees start to bloom, the birds arrive back from wherever they have wintered, the snow and ice are dissappearing, and you are able to transition from Gore Tex and Polar Fleece to light spring jackets and sweaters!! Bicycles and motorcycles soon reappear, and boats and sailboats magically arrive back on the big lake!!

Autumn in Vermont is so beautiful as to almost be indescribable!! With the non - coniferous trees changing color from greens to brilliant hues of red, yellow and orange, you will think that you've landed in an artist's water color painting. Bicycle riding, hiking, walking along country roads, fishing and boating are at their best, and you are able to get back into those light sweaters and jackets that you abandoned when spring came to a close a short 4 -5 months ago!!

Downtown Burlington Historical Buildings
Downtown Burlington Historical Buildings

Burlington Discover Jazz Festival

Called by The Chicago Review Press "one of the top ten festivals in the world"

Running from June 3rd through June 12th, the 2011 Discover Jazz Festival once again came off flawlessly, with accolades being given freely!!

The Boston Globe said of the 2011 festival "Burlington Discover Jazz Festival is a cross between New Orleans (a jazz / funk programming mix) and Montreal (events involving the whole town) . . . What other festival has concerts in city hall?"

DownBeat Magazine said "Laid back and hospitable; with its brewpubs, boating, hiking and Green Mountains adding a nice edge to the scene!!"

New England Jazz News said "This is the way a Festival should be run!"

Al Fresco on Church Street Market Place
Al Fresco on Church Street Market Place

Vermont Brewers Festival

A yearly celebration of brewers from both from Vermont and other areas!!

Held on the first weekend of July, the 2011 brewers festival featured 22 Vermont brewers, 5 Quebec brewers, several brewers from New Hampshire and New York, as well as brewers from Connecticut and Maine, and as far away as Escondida, Ca.

Combine this brewers festival with the al fresco restaurants and traffic free status of the Church Street Marketplace, and you have a safe, wonderful, fun weekend celebration!!

Annual Dragon Boat Races

This Early August Event Is A Magnificent Event Collecting Money To Fight Cancer

Typically held on the 1st Sunday in August, the Dragon Boat Races are a fun, festive way for people to enjoy the beautiful Burlington water front, have tons of fun paddling in or watching the Dragon Boats race, and generate much needed money to fight .cancer.

The people who crew these Dragon Boats are dedicated and enthusiastic, believing wholeheartedly in the cause they are involved in, and really wanting nothing more than to generate some desparately needed funds to help alleviate this nemesis of theirs, cancer.

The crews usually start arriving at the Burlington waterfront at 8 - 8:30 AM, to greet their friends and to prepare for the races ahead.

The races, beginning at 8:30, run until around 3:25, and are arranged in10 divisions, according to competitiveness, and last 5 - 10 min. per heat, to cover a distance of approx. 1/2 mi.

Burlington's Festival of Fools

This Annual Festival Kicks Off The Month Of August In Burlington

Experience the true zaniness of the Burlington community by visiting Church Street and downtown Burlington on the 1st weekend of the month of August to experience outdoor plays, music in the park, great food, and an unbelievable feeling of comraderie and community.

Street artists jump, ride unicycles, juggle fire and otherwise completely captivate their audiences, while street vendors serve all types of deliciuos and varies goodies.

To see Church Street at it's best, be sure to go to the Festival of Fools!!

You'll love it, your kids will love it and your parents will love it!!

Lake Champlain Maritime Festival

Another annual celebration of Burlington and Lake Champlain, usually held on the 2nd weekend of August.

Celebrating life on and around the "Big Lake" this Maritime Festival truly is a must see.

Leaving the Burlington waterfront
Leaving the Burlington waterfront

Jan. 2014 - Burlington Named One Of The Top 10 Tech Hubs

In January, 2014, named Burlington one of the country's top ten tech hubs.

Citing organizations such as BTV Web App Group, who meets several times per month for presentations and networking, Laboratory B, the area hackspace that holds regular events, the group Green Drinks, a sustainability group who meets twice a month, and CodeForBTV, a civic group that meets weekly, and receives support from the national group Code For America, and has produced several improvements to local systems and organizations.

There is also a meet up group, Burlington Net Squared, that covers many different tech angles, and Tech Jam.Vermont, an annual event sponsored by, a Burlington based company.

Burlington's tech scene is also burgeoning in virtual space, with The Front Porch Network, a dedicated local forum, a very active Facebook community, and Burlington has a sizeable subreddit which has its own IRC channel,

This culture affords tinkerers a laboratory in which to tinker and practice, and participation in this culture offers valuable business connections within the Burlington community.

To quote, "We're excited to see where this leads."

Burlington Named The 38th Smartest City By Luminosity


2013 - Burlington Named The Best College Town In The Country.

In Dec. 2013, Travel and Leisure named Burlington the best college town in the country.

Citing local legends like Ben and Jerry's, and the band Phish, as well as attractions like great coffee shops, breweries, bike paths and live music venues, the magazine went on to tout Burlington's hippie vibe and artisanal food scene.

Burlington also is an incredibly artistic community, with tremendous enviromental awareness, giving her, what most feel, is a difficult combination to top.

Add to all of this, her location on the shores of Lake Champlain, her proximity to many quality ski areas, and the numerous outdoor hiking / cross - country skiing trails, and the choice becomes even more appropriate.

If you still don't believe it, come, visit and decide for yourself!!

The Burlington waterfront
The Burlington waterfront

2013 - Kiplinger's Names Burlington # 2 Of Ten Best Places To Live!!

In the Sept. 2013 issue of the Kiplinger Report, Burlington was named # 2 of the top 10 places to live in the US.

By Kiplinger's definition, "good jobs, reasonably priced homes, great health care, and a manageable size are all essential."

They then sent a Kiplinger's reporter to each of the 10 contending cities, to find the "extra ingredient that makes them special".all in a

What they found were low unemployment rates, a reasonable cost of living index, a median household income of $60,552, a median home value of $265,500, great and varied farm to table dining, all in a cozy New England town of stunning beauty, with a vibrant and varied economy, hugging the eastern shore of Lake Champlain.

Burlington is also home to the Church Street Marketplace, one of the most successful pedestrian malls in the country, and also home to an eight mile bike and jogging path that follows the shore of Lake Champlain.

For those who love the outdoors, there are four or five great ski areas within easy driving distance of Burlington, and great fishing and boating on Lake Champlain, and hiking at numerous spots in the area.

2013 - Burlington Named 2nd Most Liveable City In The US.

In July, 2013, MSN Named Burlington, Vt. The 2nd Most Liveable City In The US.

Citing Burlington's very "green" attitude, and varied and healthy lifestyle, as well as a very low unemployment rate and plentiful jobs, MSN went on to say that Burlington was a stunningly beautiful city with a true New England feel.

Located on the shore of magnificent Lake Champlain, Burlington is ideal for those looking for an active outdoor scene, as well as a great and varied scene for foodies and micro brewery fans.

There are several soectacular ski areas within an hour of the city, and forest in abudnance for those who just want to enjoy nature.

Also, with several healthy and growing tech companies there, median incomes are better than those for most of the US.

2013 - Burlington Named One Of The 5 Healthiest Cities In America For Women.

In Feb. 2013, Women's Health Magazine Named Burlington One Of The 5 Healthiest Cities In America For Women.

Burlington really does have it all for those who try to be health conscious.

There are several great gyms, several luxurious health spas, and great restaurants that are concerned with serving heathy, sustainable fare.

In the winter, there is exceptional skiing in a variety of great ski areas to the north, south and east, cross country skiing and snow shoeing all over the place, and even some great spots to sled or toboggan, if that's your winter sport of choice.

In the spring, summer and fall, the sky is the limit as far as healthy outdoor activities are concerned.

Just make your choice, and then, go do it!!

Come visit the greater Burlington, Vt. area.

You'll love it.

Burlington, Best City In America For Men In 2012

For 2012, Men's Health Magazine Named Burlington, Vt The # 1 City In America For Men.

After evaluating 100 American cities, using 35 different criteria, Men's Health Magazine named Burlington, Vt. America's Healthiest city for men in 2012.

Using criteria ranging from exercise, employment, and air quality to heart disease, diabetes, and depression, and using sources such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the CDC, and the FBI., Men's Health, after weeks of mind-numbing math, came up with their list, which placed Burlington at the top of the list of America's healthiest cities for men in 2012.

A Downtown Burlington Park
A Downtown Burlington Park

2010 - Burlington Named Tree City USA!!

In May, 2010, the Arbor Day Foundation named Burlington "Tree City USA"!!

Drive around Burlington in the Spring, summer or fall, and you'll be amazed at the number of majestic oaks, maples, elms and birches that line the streets!! They are seemingly everywhere, and they're all magnificent and beautiful!!

Combine these majestic trees, many of which are over 100 yrs. old, with the manicured lawns and carefully maintained flower beds that abound in the city, and you'll begin to understand why people love Burlington so much!!

Boats on the Burlington Waterfront
Boats on the Burlington Waterfront

2010 - Burlington Named The Bass Capitol Of The Country!!

In June / July of 2010, Outdoor Life magazine named Burlington the "Bass Capitol of the Country"!!

With so much shoreline on Lake Champlain, it is hardly a surprise that Burlington is such a bass fishing haven!!

It is also host to the huge Lake Champlain annual fishing tournament, which brings anglers from every part of the country here to try their luck at winning trophies in several different categories for several different species of fish!!

Burlington Condominiums
Burlington Condominiums

2010 - Prettiest Town In America

In May, 2010, Burlington was named the "prettiest town in America" by!!

Regardless whether you're looking at the numerous parks in Burlington, or the Lake Champlain waterfront, or the beautiful, established neighborhoods, or the trees and greenery that surround the city, it truly is the prettiest town in America!!

Some Burlington Homes
Some Burlington Homes

2009 - Burlington Named Best Place In The Country To Raise A Family

In 2009, Children's Health Magazine named Burlington as the # 1 place in the country to raise a family, and National Geographic Adventure, in the category "Start A Family", named Burlington one of the top U.S. cities to Live and Play!!

There are many, many reasons that Burlington is such a great family place!!

It has a very highly rated, progressive educational system and a very low crime rate!!

It is a great place to develop fitness, be outdoors and stay healthy!!

There are many beautiful parks, bike paths, state parks as well as boating and other outdoor activities in the area!!

The Burlington Bikeway
The Burlington Bikeway

2008 - Healthiest City In America

In 2008, the Center for Disease Control named Burlington the Healthiest city in America!!

Between the active four season lifestyle in Vermont, and the high quality medical care available here, Burlington truly is a city that is condusive to good health!!

Whether you enjoy biking, skating, joggong or just walking, the Burlington bike path, which follows the shoreline of Lake Champlain, is a wonderful place to work off those extra pounds while staying fit.

If you prefer swimming, the many beautiful beaches in Burlington on Lake Champlain are ideally suited for you.

In the spring and fall, you can easily switch to running or hiking on any of Vermont's many hiking trails to keep your cardio where you want it.

In winter, choose your weapon, either alpine skis, cross country skis, snow shoes or a sled or tobaggan!! You'll love Burlington, and Vermont in general in the winter time!!


2008 - Burlington Named The Greenest City In The U.S.

In 2008, The named Burlington the greenest city in the U.S., and Organic Gardening magazine named Burlington the 2nd greenest city in America!!

If you care about the enviroment, and endorse green living, Burlington is the place for you.

There are several recycling facilities dedicated to extending the life of old furniture, etc. by giving to people who are less fortunate, and at the same time, keeping it out of the land fills.

Alternative energy has been a in the foreground here for many years, and enviromental engineering is prevalent.

There is also an entire "green" mindset that one notices if they spend any time here, whether it be in the careful and conservativel use of paper goods, recycling or alternative energy!!


Burlington Named "One Of Four Places To Watch" In The U.S.!!

In 2007, the AARP named Burlington one of four places to watch in the U.S.

Based on community livability, smart growth, easy - living standards, etc., Burlington was named as an ideal location for older residents!!

Burlington also has many programs and agencies in place to help maintain the quality of life of its senior citizens!!

Boats At The Burlington Waterfront
Boats At The Burlington Waterfront

Burlington Ranked # 5 Among Top Ten Places To Retire Young

In April, 2007, Money Magazine ranked Burlington # 5 among its "Top Ten Places to Retire Young"

When you consider the outdoor activities available in and around Burlington, as well as the magnificent real estate available, Burlington truly is hard to beat!!

When you retire, there are countless investment oppertunitues here, fantastic boating on Lake Champlain in the summer, some of the best skiing in the east less than an hour away, as well as wonderful art galleries and restaurants of every type and ethnicity!!

A View Of Oak Ledge Park
A View Of Oak Ledge Park

2006 - Burlington Named Best Of The Best Places To Live

April 2006 - Men's Journal Magazine named Burlington Best of the Best (Top 5 of their 50 best places to live!!)

Again, when you look at the fitness and athletic oppertunities found here, combined with the fabulous restaurants, art galleries, shopping etc., Burlington really is hard to beat.

Add Lake Champlain to the mix, with its boating, swimming, fishing and, scenic beauty etc, and you begin to understand why Burlington is such a wonderful place!!

Add the excellent educational system here, plus the safety of the city, plus the other family friendly aspects, and you begin to understand why people love the area so much!!

Without your comments and suggestions, our job becomes much more difficult!!

Please tell us about any ideas you might have to improve this site, regardless how far outside the box they might be!!

Thank you for stopping by our site!!

Glenn Conant


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