Burlington Tours

Whether you like hiking, fishing, shopping, or visiting sites of Vermont history, Burlington makes a great base from which to explore northern Vermont. From Burlington day trips to the surrounding area provide a glimpse of Vermont’s beautiful countryside and attractive small towns.

You don’t need a car to take day trips in Burlington. Suggested itineraries for walking Burlington tours would include a visit to the pedestrian shopping mall on the Church Street Marketplace and to the museums and libraries of the University of Vermont. A bike path runs along Lake Champlain from the waterfront to Winooski. Winooski is the site of the Ethan Allen homestead, a reconstruction of the home of one of the most famous figures of Vermont history. Allen led the Green Mountain Boys against intruders from New York and against British forts in the Revolutionary War. Green Mount cemetery contains a large statue marking Allen’s tomb. His brother Ira once had a mill on the Winooski River. Burlington day trips follow the paths of Riverfront Park in Winooski to explore several generations of hydroelectric engineering built to harness the river’s power.

Food lovers will want to take day trips in Burlington to nearby Essex, where the New England Culinary Institute operates a restaurant, Butler’s, at a renowned Burlington hotel, the Inn at Essex.

Shelburne village is another must-see destination for Burlington tours. Shelburne is an upscale village seven miles south of downtown Burlington. It is home to Vermont’s most famous attraction, the Shelburne Museum. The museum has one of the most unique collections of American folk and fine art. The sprawling complex also displays whole buildings from around New England, including a 1890 railroad station, a lighthouse, and a round barn. The 42-acre grounds alone are worth Burlington day trips, the formal gardens, intimate courtyards, and fragrant lilacs are all elegantly landscaped. The museum is open 10 am to 5 pm daily from mid-May to mid-October. Winter hours are limited. Tickets are about $20 for a two-day pass.

Shelburne Farms is another sight worth seeing on Burlington tours. In the late 1800s, heirs to the Vanderbilt fortune bought 4,000 acres of land on a peninsula into Lake Champlain. They destroyed many buildings and forests on the land and replaced them with carefully planned woods, colossal Tudor-style barns and stately mansions. Huge mounds of earth were moved to create artificial hills. Over the years many buildings fell into disrepair. The farms are now a non-profit venture focusing on working farming. Guided tours are available in the warmer months for a small fee.

Horse enthusiasts will want to take their Burlington tours to the National Museum of the Morgan House, a center dedicated to the famous Vermont breed of horses. Children will enjoy a visit to the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory, just south of the Shelburne Museum. For family Burlington day trips a little farther afield, head to the popular Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory in Waterbury.

Springtime is the ideal time for Burlington day trips to the Vermont Wildflower Farm, about 15 miles south of the city. In summer, the violets give way to daisies and black-eyed Susans. Seeds and books are available in the farm’s store.

Because Vermont is a relatively small state, a day trip from Burlington could take in almost all of the state’s sights, not just those mentioned above. But you only need to travel a few miles from the city to arrive at areas of unspoiled natural beauty or the beautifully carved landscape of Vermont’s farmland.

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