Travel Guide - Burlington, VT!
Hello friends! Did you have a wonderful weekend? It finally (*FINALLY*) cooled down a bit after the stretch of crazy heat/humidity here in Boston. I ran three miles a couple of times in the past week, and was SOAKED with sweat by the end of my runs. Stay tuned for a post later this next week about my summer workout essentials, because I find that I really have to update my routine to make it fit the weather.
With this heat comes summer vacation, and my husband and I recently got back from a three-day trip to Burlington, VT. We had been there twice before, so at this point we've covered a lot of ground, and I wanted to share our recommendations with you all! Let's get into it.
WHERE TO STAY:
We've stayed in two separate Bed & Breakfasts in Burlington, and we've also stayed at the Double Tree hotel when my husband ran the Burlington marathon. I would highly recommend a B&B if it fits into your budget and travel plans. We absolutely loved our stay at Made Inn as compared to the other B&B we tried a couple of years ago. We made the three-ish hour drive from Boston, and were immediately greeted with a glass of wine and the most friendly host - Linda. We felt so welcomed, and she was a wealth of knowledge of local restaurants and things to do.
What I loved most about our visit was that it felt like home - I don't know about you, but I never sleep very well in hotels, and a "stay-cation" defeats the purpose of taking time off because I feel obligated to run through my to-do list. SO, our bed and breakfast stay was the most relaxing, comfortable, and I slept amazing because it just felt like home! Breakfast was amazing (even for healthy eaters :)). From wine and beer, to the awesome snacks in our room, to awesome recommendations -- Linda is absolutely amazing. She's SO much fun -- I hope we can be like her "when we grow up!" Also, there's SUCH amazing/cool decor throughout the whole B&B - we had a chalkboard wall in our room, and I loved reading what other guests had written! We will definitely be back.
WHERE TO EAT:
There are so many delicious restaurants in Burlington, so this only scratches the surface. Here's the ones we've tried and loved!
Honey Road: If you are from Boston and have been to Oleana in Somerville, Honey Road is very similar and JUST as delicious. If you love trying a multitude of delicious (but still very filling!) small plates and clever craft cocktails, this is your place. DEFINITELY order the hummus and the pita. In addition to the hummus, we also tried the kale/quinoa salad, muhammara, grab leaf dolma, and lamb and it was all amazing!
Juniper: Juniper is a restaurant situated in Hotel Vermont, and we ate there the night before the Burlington Marathon. Juniper began as a local ingredient-driven cocktail and beer bar and has grown into one of Burlington’s liveliest restaurants. I had the veggie burger (which was pretty good!) and Dan ordered plain chicken and pasta because he was running the next day. I definitely want to go back on an evening that doesn't involve a marathon the next day - the ambiance and drinks looked amazing too!
Revolution Kitchen: Founded in 2013, Revolution Kitchen is Burlington’s first restaurant featuring an all-vegetarian menu, which is pretty darn cool! I ordered the vegan tacos (with portobello mushrooms instead of ground beef or chicken!) and they were delicious and also a good portion size. Loved this lighter fare after some pizza earlier in the day.
Hen of the Wood: Hen of the Wood is definitely a pricier option, but it was SO delicious -- you definitely need a reservation in advance! It has a warm inviting atmosphere, a historic and visually appealing setting, seamless service and most importantly outstanding wine and beautiful food. The restaurant is committed to the amazing Vermont farmers, and that shows through their dishes.
Farmhouse Tap & Grill: I LOVE THIS PLACE! If you combine a great bar serving craft beer and an apparent commitment to farm-fresh ingredients along with a relaxed and causal atmosphere, you have the Farmhouse! The Farmhouse menu is a vehicle for showcasing Vermont grown, raised, and produced ingredients. They start with what is available locally, and build the menu foundations from there. I've tried the chicken salad (so bomb), a burger, a turkey sandwich for lunch, and more recently a fresh strawberry and arugula salad. All were delicious!
Folino's: If you're looking for delicious wood-fired pizza with a BYOB policy, look no further. Folino's crust is “naturally leavened” which means they don't use commercial yeast. Folino's keeps a starter alive which is a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (fungus). The bacteria give the dough flavor by making acid. The fungus metabolizes sugar creating CO2 which makes the dough fluffy. Folino's keeps their pizza simple in the best way possible - we grabbed a "growlette" from Fiddlehead right next door, and enjoyed with our pizza.
Onion Rivier Co-op: We stopped by the Onion River Co-op to pick up some Kombucha and noticed that they also have an area to pick up some takeout. The co-op provides conventional, organic and local products at a fair price. Over 4,000 customers pass through the co-op doors each day in search of the quality products offered - we didn't get a chance to grab dinner here, but definitely have it on our list!
WHAT TO DRINK:
The Alchemist - The Alchemist is in Stowe, which is about 45 minutes outside of Burlington. Obviously most people know about Heady Topper, but I loved getting to do a quick tour of their facility and get to sample three different beers (which definitely tasted different on-tap as opposed to fresh out of the can!) Sidenote, if you're looking for some good food after hanging at the Alchemist, a quick pitstop at The Bench should do the trick.
Shelburne Vineyards - It was a little bit drizzly on one of the days that we were in Burlington, so we decided to swing by Shelburne Vineyards for a wine tasting and to hang out on their super comfy patio. We got to try a LOT of different wine for $8, and also got to keep the wine glass. We ended up taking a few bottles home with us as well - loved it!
Fiddlehead Brewery - Fiddlehead is right across the street from Shelburne and also right next to Filino's pizza, which made it pretty darn convenient to stop by after our winery trip. We loved the beer we tried, and was even better that we were able to bring it next door to Filino's.
Zero Gravity Brewing - We loved the atmosphere at Zero Gravity Brewing - we stopped there for a quick drink prior to dinner one night. It's situated in a Flatbread (which is one of our fav's back in Boston) and was a fun way to try some new brews. Would recommend!
WHERE TO GO:
Lake Champlain: Definitely make time to hit up the walking path along Lake Champlain. We did a long walk/run there each morning, and it's absolutely breathtaking to be that close to the water. It was definitely HOT out when we were there, but it's cooler along the water. There's also some fun restaurants down by the lake that are definitely on my list to try!
Ben & Jerry's: You have to stop at Ben & Jerry's at least one time for the factory tour. It was actually really interesting to learn how the brand was built, and you get a free sample at the end of it (jackpot!). We also go our own small cups after the tour, and hung out outside in the beautiful weather to enjoy. If you have kids, this is a MUST!
Burlington Farmer's Market: In the summer, there is a HUGE Farmer's Market close to downtown that completely takes over. There was a TON of fresh fruit/veg. and I even said to Dan that when we eventually settle down somewhere, I want to live close to a Farmer's Market like this. I could totally see it becoming a Saturday routine to stop by!
Hiking: There's a ton of great hiking trails close to Burlington - because it rained one day, and we went to Montreal the second day, we didn't get a chance to hike this time, but it's definitely on our list for next time!
Day-trips: We made a day-trip to Montreal, and it was both of our first times there! We had so much fun walking around downtown, trying new food, and having a drink or two. Burlington is so close and it took us about an hour and half each way. Such a pretty drive through Canada, and I would highly recommend seeing what other cities are close by because it's so fun to do trips like that!
Have you guys every been to Burlington? Would love to hear your favorites below!