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Burlington, Vermont: One of the Best Small Cities in New England

Burlington VT - Church Street Marketplace

Church Street Marketplace, Burlington Vt. Photo credit: By Beyond My Ken (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons Vermont.

by Eric Hurwitz. Article updated on 11/30/16

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  Burlington is known as the "Queen City," and I couldn't agree more. New England is, no doubt, true travel royalty and Burlington reigns right near the top as a terrific small city.

Sometimes called a "mini San Francisco," the aesthetics of this small city never fails to amaze. The combination of the leafy, hilly college town vibe of the University of Vermont, a colorful pedestrian-friendly downtown, beautiful Lake Champlain, and the Adirondack Mountains of New York on the western shore make for a truly appealing travel destination.

You've heard of anchor stores at shopping malls? Well, Burlington does it another way with The Church Street Marketplace serving as the anchor to its downtown. With more than 100 places to shop and dine (including outdoor cafes), brick-paved walkways, fountains, historical architecture lending substance and character, and street musicians and other creative types adding a layer of personality and entertainment, this downtown district is surely one of New England's best.

Lively Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, Vt., at night.
Church Street Marketplace at night.

Annual events at Church Street Marketplace include the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival (May 31-June 9, 2019), the Festival of Fools (street theater during the first weekend of August) and the Sidewalk Sale, Aug.7-9, 2019. There's also the outstanding Burlington Farmers' Market with more than 90 stands held every Saturday from late spring until autumn at Burlington's City Hall Park right off the Church Street Marketplace. Be sure not to miss, also, the Trick-of-Treat  Street Halloween event on Oct. 27, 2019, Church Street Santa Parade and Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 29, 2019. You can find the dates for these events at the Church Street Marketplace web site.

But wait, there's more. The Waterfront Park area -- just a hop, skip and a jump from Church Street Marketplace  is an urban outdoor enthusiast's dream-come-true with the Lake Champlain Sailing Center, Community Boathouse, ferry crossing, music and food festivals, and a bike path, as well as some restaurants, shops and the ECHO Lahey Center for Lake Champlain -- -- a museum to inspire scientific discovery, nature and the care of Lake Champlain. The views at the waterfront of the Adirondack Mountains in New York make for some of the best scenery I've seen in New England -- especially at sunset. What an ideal place for a stroll and such a bonus as a true oasis in the heart of the city!

Sunset at the waterfront in Burlington, Vt., overlooking the Adirondack Mountains of New York .
Waterfront Park in Burlington.

There's a whole lot more to Burlington, so I recommend checking out the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce web site for more information. Hope you get to Burlington, it's really one of the "must-see" small cities in new England!

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