Okay so I lied, you probablyyyy could guess this place if you, like, “ski” or do winter sports. But I do none of these things, and thus mostly travel here during the off season. I’m excited to share why this place is so awesome even if you aren’t Mrs. Mountain (lolz) like me. So maybe let’s consider this a city girl’s guide to a not-so-city kinda place.
No filter!! ^
This place is VERMONT, as some of you may have guessed as I went to college at The University of Vermont. I’m not exactly the stereotypical UVM “hippie,” so a lot of people are surprised that I went here, but honestly I kind of liked not being surrounded by other basic b’s like myself (just kidding I obviously managed to find the other basic b’s). All jokes aside, I genuinely loved meeting so many different kinds of personalities here – a huge reason I chose the school in the first place.
Now that I am graduated, I still love going back to my college town of Burlington (part 1 – below) as well as Stowe (part 2 – click the link!). Here’s why I love going back, as well as what I like to do in each place.
Where to stay
We always stay at the Hilton Burlington or the Hilton Garden Inn (yes there are two Hilton’s within a five-minute walk from each other). These hotels are both a short walk to Church St., the pedestrian, cobblestone walkway downtown where all of the shops and restaurants are. I like both of these hotels because they are nice as well as convenient, but at the end of the day I’m not about to get too excited over a Hilton on a blog post. 😉
I’ve never stayed at Hotel Vermont; but I hear that hotel is amazing, but likely pricey.
I’m obsessed with all of the restaurants on Church St. It’s cool that most of them are on this one street, because once the weather is nice, everyone sits outside and it becomes a pretty picturesque, lively scene. (For anyone that lives in NYC, it kind of reminds me of the scene down in the Seaport District).
Splash at the Boathouse
Vermont is a pretty health-conscious place, and the food generally reflects this – but DON’T WORRY, there are a million options that offer loads of unhealthy food just like any other destination. 🙂 Some of my fav restaurants include New Moon Cafe (healthy options for breakfast/brunch serving mostly students who are heads-down in their laptops – or if they are anything like me mostly just pretending to be), Skinny Pancake (restaurant by the water that ONLY SERVES CREPES – it’s so unique and a must-visit), Sweetwater’s (classic American bistro, never disappoints), Farmhouse Tap & Grill (love the backyard patio at this place, offers great cocktails), Splash Boathouse (honestly don’t remember or care how good the food is here as the amazing view of Lake Champlain cancels out any other memories from this place), and lastly, Penny Cluse (funky brunch place, always super crowded because it’s so good).
Church St. is filled with tons of cute boutiques and interesting shops (fav rando shops include Trinket [sells everything from jewelry to trinkets for the home, kitchen, etc.] and Slate [home decor store]). There are also some retail chains including Free People, Urban Outfitters, Athleta and Lululemon – so it’s nice to have a balance of common chains + uncommon boutiques (that, tbh, just carry the same shit you’d see in a Nordstrom but likeeee, it’s a boutique so that makes you edgy right??).
My favorite boutiques are Monelle Vermont (preppy AF, I swear there is a Lilly Pullitzer cult that lives in the basement but it’s fun to look around), ECCO (sells department store stuff like Michael Stars + JSlides), Whim (pricey department store stuff too, but more curated to be edgy/funky) and Stella Mae (large shoe selection, think tons of Frye boots, etc., as well as upscale, cool clothing).
Activities (slash good photo opps??)
Oakledge Park during wintertime
The activities I’m about to list out center mostly around getting a sweet Instagram but at least I am honest.
Waterfront Park is all the way downtown. It’s a park (no shit) with a walking path, benches and some swingy benches too (!!). It offers an amazing view of Lake Champlain and the green mountains. Grab a creemee (Vermont’s version of a soft serve) from Burlington Bay Cafe and watch the sun go down here. People like to rent bikes and follow the bike path that runs through Waterfront Park, too.
Oakledge Park and North Beach are great places to have a wine picnic and watch the sunset as well. North Beach also has some interesting people watching and I will leave it at that. *cringes*
If you’re feeling craaazyyyy, I’ve had fun berry picking at Adam’s Berry Farm. This farm is located in Charlotte, a town right outside of Burlington. Ummm, I don’t know what else to write about berry picking so let’s switch over to Stowe.