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Trip List by Moonmom21

Burlington on a Budget

3 Jun 2006  Burlington Locals
4.5 of 5 stars based on 11 votes

Explore Burlington, Vermont in a day with two residents of Vermont's largest "city". From the best cheap eats to free entertainment and outdoor activities, Burlington Vermont has something for everyone--and it can be east on the wallet!

  • Category: Perfect weekend
  • 1. North Beach Campground

    Set up camp for the weekend upon arrival Friday afternoon. Just a mile or two north of the city, North Beach campground is part of the Burlington City Parks system--and is in a prime lakefront location. Hop on and off the famous Burlington Bike Path, which runs right through the campground. At $23/night for a tent site, it's Burlington's best bargain for sleeping!

  • 2. FIrst Friday Art Walk

    On the first Friday of every month, art galleries throughout Burlington open to the public, and often provide free cheese and wine to hold you over 'til dinner! From 5-8pm join locals and tourists on the "Art Walk" to stroll through Burlington enjoying the art. There's an eclectic mix, so there's something for every taste, for sure. Be sure to save room for dinner.

  • 3. Pacific Rim

    Stroll over to Saint Paul street to the northwest corner of City Hall Park, and you'll arrive at Pacific Rim. A local favorite, Pacific RIm offers great asian food for a low, low price. Enjoy a cozy atmosphere as you dine on Singapore Noodles or Pad Thai. Your belly will thank you for the meal, and your wallet will thank you for the price, guaranteed. Most entrees are under $8. For those with a bigger budget, walk up the street to A Single Pebble--hands down the best asian restaurant in Vermont.

  • 4. Burlington Waterfront

    To end your first evening, make your way down to the lake to walk off dinner. A five minute walk down Main Street, College Street or Pearl Street will have you gazing across beautiful Lake Champlain, at the Adironack mountains of New York State. Watch the sailboats come in, and plan your next day while watching the sun go down. If you still have room, join Vermonters in a summer tradition--get a "CreeMee" (soft serve ice cream) at one of the two creemee stands on the waterfront, and learn what keeps Vermonters smiling all summer long. The best $1.50 you'll spend!

  • 5. Uncommon Grounds

    Need some coffee to start the day? Avoid the Starbucks across the street and enjoy the best cup of coffee Burlington has to offer at Uncommon Grounds. WIth an antique coffee roaster, and at least a dozen varieties, be sure to spend part of the morning here. You can people-watch from the inside or sit at one of the outside tables on Church Street. Pick up a copy of the free local weekly paper, Seven Days, and read it while you sip your coffee and enjoy a locally-baked scone or muffin. Yum!

  • 6. Church Street Marketplace

    Shop til you drop. (Or just window shop for free.) Walk along Burlington's pedestrian marketplace, and you'll find something for everyone. Ladies, be sure to check out Sweet Lady Jane or the Shoe Shop. If you're interested in art, check out Frog Hollow, a store dedicated to displaying the work of local Vermont artists. On summer days, there are often street performers--the best being the tightrope walker at the top of Church Street, who sets up shop in the evenings. It's a must see--and it's free (or maybe a dollar or two for a donation)!

  • 7. Burlington Farmer's Market

    If you are in Burlington on a Saturday in the summer, you can't miss it. Located in City Hall Park, the market runs rain or shine from 8am-noon every Saturday morning, and is a rite of passage in Burlington. Join locals doing their weekly grocery shopping and witness one of the most fun activities Burlington has to offer. Stock up on locally grown produce, artisan cheeses and fresh meats. NIbble on free samples or find the stand with the two Nepalese women selling their homemade stews for lunch--an absolute treat for the bargain price of $3. There's also an art market at one end of the stands...for those whose bellies are already full. See if you can get one of the famers to tell you the definition of a real "Vermonter".

  • 8. Burlington Bike Path

    OK--now it's time to work off that lunch! Hop on your bikes and head down to the lakeside Burlington Bike Path. Strap on your helmet, and bike along the path where Howard Dean got his political career started! Head north, and make your way to the causeway out into Lake Champlain. A "bike ferry" runs on summer weekends to shuttle bikers across the short portion of the lake that is missing a path. You'll be surrounded by the lake on both sides--for breathtaking views all around. If you need to rent bikes, there are several locations both in town and along the path that can help you out. "Local Motion" is a great place to start--they provide maps and rentals for all ages.

  • 9. American Flatbread-Burlington Hearth

    Enjoy the yummiest "bread" Burlington has to offer... don't dare call it pizza! Made with only locally grown Vermont ingredients, many of them organic, American Flatbread is a great dinner for a low budget. Share a flatbread, salad, and two beers from the local "Zero Gravity" brewery on site all for about $35.00. They often have great live music on the weekends as well. It's kid-friendly, but still maintains a hip atmosphere--great for a couple or a big group!

  • 10. Sneakers

    In the neighboring town of WInooski, you'll find the area's least-kept secret of Sneakers brunch. On your way home, be sure to stop at this eclectic restaurant for some good eats. There's always a line, but they provide free coffee outside, and the food is worth the wait! Tell them you'll sit at the counter, and you might get seated sooner. The omelettes are immense and the french toast to die for. The price isn't too steep. so it's friendly on the budget!