Situated on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, Burlington is a city in Vermont that thrives on tourism.
That’s not to say however that the city isn’t also fraught with a great community vibe, colorful culture, and picturesque natural settings.
Surrounded by the beautiful Green Mountain range, not far from Canada’s southern border, and full of vibrance, Burlington is the perfect place to travel to with friends and family for loads of epic fun.
If you’re looking into things to do in Burlington, VT you won’t be disappointed.
The city is packed with cultural hubs such as art museums aplenty, historic landmarks, a bustling marketplace, and loads of entertainment.
Furthermore, the city is surrounded by amazing natural settings such as state parks, lakeside beaches, mountain resorts, and miles worth of bike/walking paths.
Finally, the city is also home to tons of breweries, eateries, and shopping, each with its own local flair.
So if you’re looking for a truly Vermontonian experience, you’ll find loads to do in The Queen City.
Check out a few outstanding recommendations.
Things To Do in Burlington, VT
1. Church Street Marketplace
Whether you’re looking for stuff to do during the day or at night, Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, Vermont has you covered.
One of the top Burlington attractions, Church Street Marketplace is a pedestrian shopping and dining mecca.
Comprising four blocks between Main and Pearl Streets, the marketplace is surrounded by gorgeous historic buildings that have earned it a spot on the National Historic Register.
A day at Church Street Marketplace is surely a day well spent.
The marketplace is home to tons of thriving shops and boutiques, multiple museums, salons and spas, and merchant cart vendors.
Furthermore, the marketplace is home to loads of inviting eateries; from bistros to burger joints and sweet shops to fine dining, there are options for every palette.
What’s more, there’s even colorful nightlife, walking tours, and a handful of local breweries.
Whether you’re looking for romantic things to do for a date night or a fun way to spend the day with family, Church Street Marketplace is one of the coolest places to go in Burlington.
Address: 131 Church St, Burlington, VT 05401, United States
2. Lake Champlain
Burlington’s eastern shoreline is bordered by the majestic beauty of Lake Champlain.
One of the top vacation spots in all of the US, Lake Champlain is a prime location for pleasure boating.
Whether visiting Burlington today or this weekend, Lake Champlain is a must-see tourist attraction.
With both private and public beaches to explore, Lake Champlain is a summer hotspot in Vermont.
Perfect for sunbathing, beach sports, and swimming, it’s a great destination for family outings.
Moreover, Lake Champlain has tons of opportunities for paddleboarding and other water sports.
A waterfront park, gorgeous natural surroundings, and convenient amenities are all at your fingertips when visiting the lake.
Additionally, the lake is surrounded by campgrounds making it possible to enjoy an extended stay.
If you’re looking for things to see and do in nature, Lake Champlain should make your itinerary of what to do.
Address: Burlington, VT, United States
3. ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain
Fun things to do in Burlington are not hard to come by and this is especially true of ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain.
An epic destination to tour with children and/or science enthusiasts, the center is an open-air, hands-on aquatic campus.
The center shares its love of science, especially marine biology, with the public through interactive exhibits and lessons on “scientific discovery, [the] wonder of nature, and care for Lake Champlain.”
When visiting ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain plan to spend an entire day at this expansive museum; with two indoor floors, outdoor exhibits, and lake shows, there are so many things to do in a day.
Some of the more popular center exhibits include Dinosaur Discoveries, Frog World, an animal care display, and an engineering lab to name a few.
Additionally, the center has many convenient amenities including all-gender bathrooms, a picnic patio, a cafe, water fountains, and more.
With tons of science to be had under one awesome roof, it’s no wonder locals and tourists alike adore ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain.
Address: 1 College St, Burlington, VT 05401, United States
4. Fleming Museum of Art
Snuggled into the fiber of the University of Vermont, this art and anthropology museum is in the heart of Burlington.
With nearly 30,000 artifacts in its collection, the museum has the vastest and most diverse collection in all of VT.
With amazing rotating exhibits as well as must-see permanent exhibits, you will be awe-inspired during a tour of the Fleming Museum of Art.
An exceptional place to learn about history, art, and the world around you, this place is a great destination to add to your itinerary.
Since its inception in 1931, the museum has been a hub for world-renowned artists.
In fact, you can count on seeing displays by the likes of such artists like Picasso, Rembrandt, and Rockwell. Housing both contemporary and historic art from around the world, a visit to the Fleming Museum of Art is an immersive cultural experience.
Whether you fancy yourself an art savant or not, Fleming Museum of Art is a place anyone can enjoy.
Address: 61 Colchester Ave, Burlington, VT 05405, United States
ArtsRiot is a trendy arts venue in downtown Burlington, Vermont.
Showcasing performing, culinary, and visual arts, ArtsRiot answers the question of what to see when visiting the area.
A place that feeds your soul and appetite for the unique, ArtsRiot is one of Burlington’s best tourist attractions.
With multiple facets housed in one epic venue, ArtsRiot has it all: live music, amazing artwork, and delicious eats.
Established in 2012 and situated in Burlington’s South End, ArtsRiot is a great place to catch a concert, live theatrical performance, or a comedy show to name a few.
What’s more, ArtsRiot is home to a full-service restaurant serving some of the most delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner in town; ArtsRiot also has full-service bars slinging creative and delicious spirits.
A place where the community gathers to bask in food and culture, ArtsRiot is a must see.
Address: 400 Pine St, Burlington, VT 05401, United States
6. Burlington Bike Path
If you’re looking for free things to do during your visit to Burlington, be sure to pay a visit to Burlington Bike Path.
One of many wonderful outdoor activities to enjoy during your visit to VT, the Burlington Bike Path is a 7.6-mile path that weaves around Lake Champlain and Connects Park.
Although dubbed a bike path, it can be used for more than just cycling.
Visitors to the path have been known to stroll, power walk, jog, skate, and more.
Running from the South End of Burlington and to the North End at Winooski River, the path provides users with many beautiful things to see.
An exceptionally popular attraction during all four months of the year, any time is a good time to visit Burlington Bike Path.
Along the route, you can observe some marvelous sights including Oakledge Park, Winooski River, parts of the Green Mountains, and Lake Champlain.
Whether visiting Vermont today or this weekend, anytime is desirable to visit the bike path.
Address: Burlington, VT, United States
7. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
Although the ice cream brand is a national treasure, it got its start in Burlington, Vermont.
Known for its eclectic yet delicious flavor profiles coupled with its clever names, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream is a Vermont mainstay that you have to check out while in town.
However, besides popping into a local shop for a scoop, you can also visit the ice cream factory.
Daily factory tours allow visitors an inside look at the inner workings of this famed creamery.
While touring the factory, you can enjoy a scoop or more, shop the funky souvenir shop, and relish this slice of Americana.
If you’re looking for unique things to do during your time in Vermont, definitely pay a visit to Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.
Address: 36 Church St, Burlington, VT 05401, United States
8. Vermont Comedy Club
One of many cool things in Burlington, Vermont Comedy Club is a great place to blow off some steam and enjoy an entertaining evening packed full of contagious laughter.
With a communal home base of local comedians on its roster, Vermont Comedy Club is one of the greatest places to see when visiting Burlington.
With a pointedly diverse list of comedians on rotation, there’s always someone new to see as well as diverse content to enjoy.
In addition to enjoying one of the best shows in town, Vermont Comedy Club has an in-house cafe called “Happy Place” that serves up delectable bites all night long.
Tasty noshes, sweet treats, coffeehouse-style java drinks, and more can be munched while you enjoy the show.
Finally, Vermont Comedy Club offers kids’ and adult comedy, improv, and sketch classes; this makes for a fun experience for family and friends alike.
If you’re wondering where to go for lots of laughs and an all-around good time, be sure to visit Vermont Comedy Club.
Address: 101 Main St, Burlington, VT 05401, United States
9. North Beach Park
What’s more fun than spending warm summer days on the beach?
Although better known for its winter sports scene, Vermont is home to lovely white sand beaches.
If you’re planning your visit to VT during the summer months, be sure to add a stop at North Beach Park.
As Burlington’s largest beach, its spacious landscape makes it perfect for spreading out with friends and family.
Of note, North Beach Park is the only lifeguarded beach in VT.
Nestled on the shore of Lake Champlain’s gleaming water, the beach is a perfect place to relax in the sun, play beach sports, swim, and enjoy watersports.
In fact, North Beach has tons of wonderful amenities to enhance your visit.
For instance, there are picnic tables, restrooms, a playground, access to a 9-mile bike path, kayak and standup paddleboard rentals, and much more.
The perfect VT beach to enjoy a sunny summer day, North Beach Park is a must-do.
Address: Burlington, VT 05401, United States
10. Mount Philo State Park
Mount Philo State Park is a nearly 240-acre park providing epic views of Lake Champlain, the Green Mountains, and the Adirondack Mountains.
With picturesque views to die for and loads of opportunities for adventurous activities in the outdoors, Mount Philo State Park is one of the best free things to do near Burlington.
One of the best ways to enjoy the park is by hiking the scenic nature trails which range in difficulty from easy to moderate.
Other top activities to enjoy at the park include picnicking, swimming, wildlife observance, and more.
Additionally, Mount Philo State Park is home to a small area reserved for tent camping.
The park is also loaded with convenient amenities such as picnic pavilions, public grills, bathrooms, ample parking, marked trails, and a rustic lodge.
Best of all, a visit to Mount Philo State Park is one of a few things to do in Burlington that permits dogs.
Address: 5425 Mt Philo Rd, Charlotte, VT 05445, United States
11. Three Needs
The Three Needs is a chill bar setting and one of the most fun places to visit with adults in Burlington.
Established in 1995, the owner’s vision was to curate a casual atmosphere where everyone felt welcome.
Essentially, Three Needs is a place to kick back with buddies, imbibe on delicious local microbrews, devour tasty food, and play games.
Open seven days a week, Three Needs is one of the best after-hours Burlington attractions.
The pub is packed with pool tables, foosball, and bar seating surrounded by a cool, vibey aesthetic.
Furthermore, Three Needs is uber-popular for its pizza menu; slinging boardwalk-style specialty pizzas for eat-in and take-out, the pub’s “Pizza Cube” is another great draw to the establishment.
Lastly, the pub’s outdoor patio area is a wonderful way to hang out in mild weather.
One of the best places to visit, Three Needs is a great pub to check out today or this weekend.
Address: 185 Pearl St, Burlington, VT 05401, United States
12. Bolton Valley Resort
Situated high in the beautiful Green Mountains, Bolton Valley Resort is one of the top Burlington attractions.
This year-round mountain resort serves up epic snow sports in the winter months and sunshiney mountain biking (among other activities) in the warmer months.
With a ski-in slopeside hotel, Bolton Valley Resort places you close to all the fun the mountain has to offer.
Whether traveling alone or with friends and family, the resort’s accommodations make for an epic stay.
In the winter months, the resort offers day/night skiing and snowboarding lift tickets as well as rentals, lessons, and childcare.
Additional winter sports include snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, and backcountry skiing.
Year-round activities at Bolton Valley Resort include indoor swimming, sauna, mountain biking, disc golf, and more.
All of these amazing activities are in your backyard when you book a stay at this legendary resort.
Address: 4302 Bolton Access Rd, Richmond, VT 05477, United States
13. Shelburne Museum
This art and design museum near Burlington, Vermont is an institution perpetuating Americana values and relics.
Situated on nearly 50 acres around Lake Champlain, the museum comprises nearly 40 exhibition buildings.
With more than 150,000 pieces in its collection, there’s so much to see during a visit to Shelburne Museum, one of the greatest tourist attractions in Burlington, VT.
If you’re looking for places to go suitable for visitors of all ages, Shelburne Museum is your ticket.
Notably, Shelburne Museum’s world-class collection features works of art encompassing French Impressionism to Modern American exhibits.
Some of the diverse collection includes mediums such as textiles, decoys, paintings, pottery, and beyond.
Furthermore, the museum’s breadth of work includes decorative arts, a quirky circus collection, toys, and so much more.
Finally, the buildings the collections are housed in are beautifully landscaped and representative of historic New England architecture.
If you’re considering what to do in Burlington, be sure to check out Shelburne Museum.
Address: 6000 Shelburne Rd, Shelburne, VT 05482, United States
14. Switchback Brewing Company
This awesome microbrewery nestled in the heart of Burlington, Vermont, is a place to enjoy unfiltered local ales.
Founded in 2002, Switchback Brewing Company thrives on crafting “unexpected, relatable, great-tasting beer.”
What more could you ask for in a brew?
What makes Switchback’s brews truly unique is the unfiltered brewing process; the result is a delicate yet minutely flavorful beer that’s taste is unprecedented.
Today, Switchback Brewing Company has a lineup of 20 unique beers offered year-round.
If you’re interested in witnessing Switchback’s unique brewing processes, the brewery hosts incredible weekly tours.
Additionally, and most importantly, you can get your paws around an icy cold Switchback brew by visiting the Tap Room which is open seven days a week.
With daily specials, occasional special events, and more, Switchback Brewing Company is one of many great things to do in Burlington.
Address: 160 Flynn Ave, Burlington, VT 05401, United States
15. Ethan Allen Homestead Museum
Built in 1787, this historic house museum in Burlington, Vermont was built by Ethan Allan.
Situated adjacent to a nearly 300-acre public park along the Winooski River, the house is surrounded by walking/biking paths, gorgeous gardens, and a public picnic shelter.
Open daily for tours Spring through Fall, the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum and its surroundings is a lovely place to visit with family and friends.
Within the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum, visitors can tour the restored home of Ethan Allen, the famed war patriot and politician.
The museum not only shares the history of Ethan Allen, his family, and homestead workers but also the significant history of his era.
Ethan Allen Homestead Museum exhibits include displays regarding historical documents, local outlaws and revolutionaries, and era-specific artwork to name a few.
Through guided tours, intriguing lectures, and interesting displays, visitors can immerse themselves in the history of the late 18th century.
Address: 1 Ethan Allen Homestead, Burlington, VT 05408, United States
16. Oakledge Park
If you’re looking for free things to do during your stay in Burlington, a visit to Oakledge Park is in order.
Nestled along the coast of Lake Champlain, Oakledge Park is a wonderful place to experience many outdoor activities while surrounded by the beauty of Vermont’s natural environment.
A visit to Oakledge Park surely answers the question of what to do with children when visiting the area because the park is home to lots of opportunities for fun in the sun.
Notably, Oakledge Park has a wonderful playground, picnic facilities, an accessible treehouse, and even a bike path.
Additionally, Oakledge Park has comprehensive sports facilities that include bocce ball, tennis courts, volleyball courts, as well as beautiful open fields.
Furthermore, the park is home to pavilions, walking paths, and BBQ grills.
Finally, Oakledge Park is a wonderful place to enjoy beach and lake access; they even offer standup paddleboard rentals.
Fun for the whole family, be sure to add a visit to Oakledge Park when you’re in town.
Address: 11 Flynn Ave, Burlington, VT 05401, United States
17. Burlington Farmers Market
Located at the University of Vermont, the Burlington Farmers Market has been in business since 1980.
More than 40 years later, the market is still an agricultural hub that draws locals and tourists each Saturday from Spring to Fall.
The market is a great place to source local produce, meet local farmers, and experience Vermontonian agriculture at its finest.
Burlington Farmers Market is both a community and tourist destination that is one of many fun things to do in Burlington.
Home to farm stands, crafters, artists, and beyond, the Burlington Farmers Market is the place to go to experience all things Vermont.
From glassblowers to candlemakers, bakers to brewers, florists to weavers, and everything in between, the market is steeped in Burlington culture.
Additionally, the market is home to several cafes and eateries so spending the whole day at the market isn’t unreasonable.
Address: 345 Pine St, Burlington, VT 05401, United States
18. Shelburne Farms
If you’re wondering what to do during your visit to Vermont, be sure to check out this quaint working farm.
Situated in Shelburne, Vermont, a small town near Burlington proper, the farm sits upon 1,400 acres of working farmland that serves as a hub for sustainability and education.
Essentially a farm campus, Shelburne Farms is surrounded by walking trails for leisurely strolling, but the heart of the farm serves as an interactive classroom for learning all about farm life.
Shelburne Farms is home to a children’s farmyard, formal gardens, an inn, and a lovely farm store.
The farm’s inn is a wonderful place to stay if you’d like to immerse yourself in farm life for a few days.
Some of the awesome things to do during your brief or extended stay include lake swimming, learning to make cheese, milking cows, harvesting produce, and much more.
An all-encompassing farm experience, a visit to Shelburne Farms is the perfect setting to learn about this unique way of life.
Address: 1611 Harbor Rd, Shelburne, VT 05482, United States
19. Lake Champlain Chocolates
One of the so many fun things to see in Burlington, Lake Champlain Chocolates is a local institution.
This family-owned company has been in business since 1983.
Creativity, craftsmanship, and quality ingredients are the mantra by which the company crafts its vast array of delectable chocolates.
Famous for their exquisite truffles, each of which is expertly hand-rolled, Lake Champlain Chocolates has evolved into all-encompassing chocolatiers.
If you’re a chocolate enthusiast, you’ll enjoy a self-guided tour of Lake Champlain Chocolates’s flagship store where you can see the inner workings of the chocolate-making process.
Additionally, the store’s eat-in cafe is a wonderful place to enjoy a cup of java and some sweet confections.
Lastly, be sure to shop the storefront and take home your favorite local sweets; these make excellent souvenirs and gifts.
Lake Champlain Chocolates is open seven days a week so anytime is a good time to visit.
Address: 750 Pine St, Burlington, VT 05401, United States
20. Burlington Edible History Tour
A super unique way to dive into local history, this two-mile leisurely walking tour teaches about yesteryear in VT through food and drink.
Specifically, the tour takes visitors back in time to when farm-to-table was the standard and not the latest trend.
With a knowledgeable tour guide conducting you along an epic path to foodie bliss, you’ll learn about local history as well as enjoy tasty bites along the way.
Sampling delectable bits at five restaurants, all of which serve locally sourced foods, you’ll connect to Burlington history and native culture.
As you eat and stroll, you’ll hear tidbits about the first-ever local food truck, wine curated from backyard grapevines, and a German sausage-maker straight from Ellis Island.
Providing tourists with a unique side of Burlington history, the Edible History Tours run from June through October, perfect months for walking weather.
By far, Burlington Edible History Tours is one of the most fun ways to experience local history.
Address: 1 College Street, Burlington, VT 05401, United States
21. Hen of the Wood
Established in 2005, Hen of the Wood is a VT institution.
Sister to its Waterbury location, the Burlington restaurant is dedicated to locally-sourced, farm-to-table ingredients.
As such, if you’re looking for a truly authentic Vermont eating experience, Hen of the Wood is your place.
Best of all, because they only use in-season, local ingredients, the menu is ever-changing; this means no two visits to Hen of the Wood will ever be the same, however, the atmosphere and service are steadfast.
Working closely with a dependable network of growers, ranchers, bakers, and a team of other talented locals, everything that touches your lips comes from surrounding communities.
Notably, recipe ingredients come directly from VT’s Green Mountains and Champlain Valley.
So you can realistically spend the afternoon touring these beautiful natural settings and later enjoy the fruits of those places while enjoying a delectable dinner at Hen of the Wood.
Address: 55 Cherry St, Burlington, VT 05401, United States
22. Frog Hollow Craft Center
Famed as the first-ever state craft center in all of the US, Frog Hollow Craft Center is all things arts and crafts.
Founded in 1971 as a place that shares, supports, and perpetuates crafts, the center is a must-see for crafting enthusiasts.
Notably, one of the many ways the center supports VT artists is through showcasing their work in beautiful exhibits for the public to observe.
Additionally, visitors to the center can shop the works of the more than 100 artists whose art resides at the center.
From ceramics to glass, jewelry to metal, paintings to woodworking, and well beyond, the Frog Hollow Craft Center is a hub for local arts and crafts.
Additionally, the center frequently hosts special programs such as lectures, craft shows, festivals, and art auctions, all of which support local VT artists.
A wonderful place to bask in the beauty and creativity of local artists, Frog Hollow Craft Center should top your itinerary.
Address: 85 Church St, Burlington, VT 05401, United States
23. Battery Park
This historic, nearly 15-acre park is one of the most beautiful places in the US.
Established in 1870, the park provides visitors with sweeping views of Lake Champlain and the adjacent Adirondack Mountains.
A public park just outside downtown Burlington, Battery Park is a spectacular place to spend an afternoon with family and friends.
The park is home to wonderful characteristics such as a promenade, a bandshell, and historic monuments.
In addition to expansive open green spaces, the park is also home to a children’s playground, walking paths, and war monuments.
If you’ll be visiting Battery Park during the winter months, the park also has a public ice skating rink that’s made for memory-making.
The park is open year-round from sunrise to sunset and is the perfect setting for a morning stroll, afternoon jaunt, or evening concert.
Address: Battery Park Extension, Burlington, VT 05401, United States
24. Petra Cliffs Climbing Center
Located just a few miles from downtown Burlington, Petra Cliffs Climbing Center is just the place to blow off some steam, get some exercise, and best of all…have loads of fun!
Established in 2000, the center is an indoor climbing space that’s accessible to all ages and abilities.
Through climbing exercise, mountain education lessons, and experience-based instruction, Petra Cliffs Climbing Center helps visitors to hone their mountain climbing skills.
The indoor climbing center offers daily, weekly, and monthly passes as well as private lessons, adult clinics, and group/team building events.
Additionally, the center has a First Time Climbers program perfect for children and novices.
Best of all, the center has an epic Mountaineering School that provides nature-based programming, mountaineering programs, an avalanche program, specialty courses, and other nuanced programming.
A wonderful palace to hone your mountain readiness, Petra Cliffs Climbing Center is a must-do for mountain enthusiasts.
Address: 105 Briggs St, Burlington, VT 05401, United States
25. Burlington Surf Club
This lakeside destination is the best place to enjoy the summer months when visiting VT.
Nestled along the white sandy shores of gorgeous Lake Champlain, Burlington Surf Club is the most fun place to visit in the warmer weather.
If too much direct sunlight is not your cup of tea, not to worry because adjacent to the beach is a verdant and shady lawn expanse.
If you’re looking to have a good time on the water, the club has equipment rentals available for watersports.
Beyond the club’s natural beauty and perfect location, they’ve also got many convenient amenities publicly available to guests.
Some of the awesome amenities include changing rooms, locker storage, a daily schedule of activities, fitness classes, and so much more.
Open May through September, Burlington Surf Club is a wonderful place to spend your summer with children, family, and friends.
Address: 50 Lakeside Ave, Burlington, VT 05401, United States
26. Magic Hat Artifactory
If you’re looking for a truly unique Vermont experience, be sure to check out Magic Hat Artifactory.
This homegrown brewery is a must do, adult-only activity when visiting Burlington.
From its humble beginnings in the bathtub of a college dormitory, Magic Hat has grown into a national brewer that is known throughout North America.
Housed in an abandoned factory in the South End of Burlington, Magic Hat Artifactory has been in business since 1995.
Magic Hat’s most famous variety is a crisp and refreshing pale ale dubbed #9.
Other exclusive beer varieties such as delicious Hefeweizen, a single chair ale, and an India Pale lager can all be sampled and enjoyed during a visit.
A fun way to spend a few hours in Burlington, visitors are welcome to free tours and free beer samples at the factory.
Moreover, the factory is home to a most curious gift shop wherein you can purchase funky souvenirs and beer to go.
One of the top 10 places to visit in Burlington, you should definitely make plans to visit Magic Hat Artifactory.
Address: 5 Bartlett Bay Road, South Burlington, VT 05403, United States
Start Planning Your Trip To Burlington
Things to do in Burlington are not hard to come by.
The Queen City is jam-packed with so many exciting tourist attractions.
From comedy clubs to walking tours, world-class museums to farm-to-table dining galore, and everything in between, Burlington does not disappoint.
Whether visiting in summer or winter (or anytime therebetween) there are loads of exceptional experiences to be had.
All that’s left to do is book your accommodations, pack your car, and hit the road for the time of your life in The Queen City.