Seven Days is here to show you around. Because to truly appreciate Burlington’s tech scene, you’ve got to see how it fits into the bigger picture.
Vermont’s largest city is jam-packed with award-winning food and beer, family-friendly activities, world-class outdoor recreation, and stellar nightlife options. And it’s just a quick drive to a few other towns not to be missed. So let your local Tech Jam tour guides spread the love for Vermont. Follow our picks for a perfect weekend getaway to Burlington — and beyond.
Take a Tour of BETA Technologies
Join us for a tour of BETA Technologies’ R&D headquarters in South Burlington. You will get to see the systems and operations behind the company’s efforts to develop an electric transportation system that will make aviation greener, safer and more accessible.
Sorry, this tour is sold out.
Bite Into Burlington
Gingerbread pancakes at Penny Cluse Café (File: Oliver Parini)
Strike up a conversation with a neighbor over the flaky croissants, maple biscuits and breakfast sandwiches at this community-focused café near Lake Champlain. The ovens turn out stellar freshly baked loaves, including seven grain, seeded baguettes and focaccia.
149 S. Champlain St., Burlington
City Market, Onion River Co-op
Burlington’s grocery cooperative has it all, from local produce to some of the best people-watching around. Get a breakfast sandwich or bagelwich with local eggs, Vermont cheddar, and all the meat or veggie add-ons your heart desires.
82 S. Winooski Ave. & 207 Flynn Ave., Burlington
Penny Cluse Café
Now-President Joe Biden ate blueberry pancakes at Penny Cluse in 2016 — joining the ranks of countless Burlingtonians who have been happily tucking in to buckets o’ spuds and huevos rancheros at this café for more than 20 years.
169 Cherry St., Burlington
The Skinny Pancake
Steps from Waterfront Park, crêpes are griddled before customers’ eyes; get ’em sweet or savory, depending on your mood. Breakfast items — the adorable-sounding Blueberry Frumple Cake among them — are served all day.
60 Lake St., Burlington
Zero Gravity Beer Hall
Breakfast at a brewery? Why not! The casual neighborhood beer hall opens early to serve buttery, brioche-like yeasted waffles and coffee from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
716 Pine St., Burlington
A Double Stack Smash Burger and hand-cut fries from Burlington Beer Co. (File: Daria Bishop)
Open daily for lunch and dinner, this historic brick building taps inventive brews, from Strawberry Whale Cake cream ale to It’s Complicated Being a Wizard, a double IPA. Sip a beer flight alongside your local beef burger and superlative shoestring fries.
180 Flynn Ave., Burlington
In a former diner, this hip taqueria spices up midday routines with tacos, burritos, enchiladas and award-winning nachos. Go loco for the killer margaritas.
189 Bank St., Burlington
At this counter-service spot, owner Ahmed Omar offers a multicultural menu of American and Somali fare — think Philly steak sandwiches, coconut chicken stew and beef samosas. Says one diner, “He will treat you like a guest in his own home.”
505 Riverside Ave., Burlington
Head to the Old North End for noodle soups, grilled meats over rice vermicelli and veggie stir fries. The popular Vietnamese restaurant has been dishing ’em out to high demand since 2008.
325 N. Winooski Ave., Burlington
This counter-service eatery has earned a reputation for Vermont’s best vegan fare. Everyone will find something to love about its creative, from-scratch, animal product-free menu. Even Food Network star Guy Fieri digs the signature Crunchwrap Supreme.
1 Mill St. & 1353 North Ave., Burlington
Deep City’s snapper ceviche with pickled peppers and espelette (File: James Buck)
Diners “meat here” for smoked brisket, pulled pork, ribs and more than a dozen beers on tap. The Food Network named Bluebird one of the top 45 barbecue spots in the country.
317 Riverside Ave., Burlington
Café Dim Sum
Longtime Burlington restaurateur Sam Lai and his wife, Li Lin, offer a traditional Chinese dim sum menu of small plates with pots of tea. Everything from dumplings to ginger beef tripe is made from scratch and designed for sharing. 95 St. Paul St., Burlington
Next to Foam Brewers near Waterfront Park, this sister restaurant serves vegan, gluten-free and carnivore pub fare. Choices include harissa grilled cauliflower, fried chicken sandwiches and poutine with braised short rib gravy.
112 Lake St., Burlington
Hen of the Wood
Rustic charm, a legendary wine list and a menu that honors local flavors distinguish this James Beard Award-nominated restaurant. The ever-changing menu swings from striped bass to kale canneloni.
55 Cherry St., Burlington
Church Street’s busy, buzzy Middle Eastern bistro serves up masterful mezze. It’s so good, Honey Road has earned the distinction of Vermont’s best restaurant, as well as several James Beard Award nominations.
156 Church St., Burlington
Stay and Play
Shelburne Farms (File: Daria Bishop)
Family Friendly Activities
Burlington Farmers Market
Farmers market Saturdays have been a Burlington staple since 1980. The weekly market feels like a festival of Vermont-made fare and crafts. The whole fam can find something to snack on here, from fruit-filled pastries to Taiwanese potstickers.
Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m, at 345 Pine St., Burlington
Church Street Marketplace
Downtown Burlington’s pedestrian mall is a charming place to stroll and enjoy street performers. Stop into art galleries, bookstores and the Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop along the way. When the weather’s nice, dine outside and watch the world go by.
Church St., Burlington
ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain
Devoted to the ecology, culture, history and stewardship of Lake Champlain, this waterfront museum offers educational exhibits and interactive activities for all ages — think daily animal demos and 3D film screenings.
1 College St., Burlington
Walk the paths toward Lake Champlain at this 1,400-acre nonprofit farm and education center. Spot the friendly Brown Swiss cows, then stop into the Farm Store & Welcome Center for a taste of the farmstead cheddar they help produce.
1611 Harbor Rd., Shelburne
Spirit of Ethan Allen Lake Cruise
You haven’t really seen Burlington until you’ve viewed it from the middle of Lake Champlain. The Spirit of Ethan Allen sets sail multiple times a day through mid-October, offering narrated cruises filled with fun facts about the lake, its history and its inhabitants. Refreshments — and bathrooms — are available on board.
1 College St., Burlington
The Mt. Philo trail (File: Jay Ericson)
Parks and Recreation
Andy A_Dog Williams Skate Park
Hit up Burlington’s world-class skate park, dedicated to a late local DJ and skateboarder. Located just off the waterfront bike path, it’s got rails, ramps, boxes, a half-bowl and a half-pipe. You might even catch some pros — Tony Hawk dropped in a few years ago.
Lake St. (north of Waterfront Park), Burlington
This scenic path for bikers, runners and walkers extends eight miles along the city’s shoreline, from the southern end of Oakledge Park north to the Winooski River. Part of the Island Line Trail, it connects to a gravel causeway with gorgeous lake views. Need wheels?
Rent a bike trailside from Local Motion, 1 Steele St., Burlington.
Mount Philo State Park
The perfect high-altitude locale for picnics with friends, Mount Philo offers big views in exchange for relatively little hiking. The 968-foot peak overlooks the Lake Champlain Valley and New York’s Adirondack Mountains.
5425 Humphreys’ Rd., Charlotte
Rock Point Trails
Geologists from around the globe visit Rock Point to view the dramatic Champlain Thrust Fault — see it yourself while exploring two miles of public walking and hiking trails along the rocky shores of Lake Champlain. Get a trail pass before arrival, and park off-site at nearby North Beach.
20 Rock Point Rd., Burlington
The crown jewel of Burlington’s shoreline is Waterfront Park, a sprawling, grassy destination for sunbathers and Frisbee enthusiasts. Find ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain at the south end and the Andy A_Dog Williams Skate Park to the north.
10 College St., Burlington
Out on the Town
Swimmer at Nectar’s (File: Jordan Adams)
You’ll find ample entertainment at this bar and arcade, with locations in Burlington and nearby Winooski (aka the Brooklyn of Burlington). They serve up everything from sour beers to sake to Street Fighter II.
191 College St., Burlington
45 Main St., Winooski
The Flynn’s Main Street marquee is a beacon for fans of music, theater and dance. The lovingly restored 1930s art deco movie house draws nearly 200,000 individuals each year to experience world-class arts and entertainment. On Tech Jam weekend, it hosts comedian Fortune Feimster and all-vocal country act Home Free.
153 Main St., Burlington
Merrill’s Roxy Cinema
This family-owned downtown theater plays a mix of mainstream and art house flicks, from Nope to Marcel the Shell With Shoes On. The screens may be smallish, but the popcorn can’t be beat.
222 College St., Burlington
The storied venue where Phish once played presents a wide variety of live music and the best gravy fries around. Head upstairs to Club Metronome for your dance fix.
188 Main St., Burlington
Vermont Comedy Club
Expect the cream of the crop at this small but mighty venue — Tech Jam weekend brings New York City comic Carmen Lynch. The club’s bar churns out crave-worthy cocktails by night and scrummy coffee by day as the Happy Place Café.
101 Main St., Burlington
Hit the Road
Daytrips Along the Way To/From Boston
Stowe Recreation Path (Courtesy of Nancy Piette)
(45 minutes from Burlington; 3 hours, 22 minutes from Boston)
See where some of Vermont’s most coveted craft beers are brewed. Sip a Heady Topper or Focal Banger IPA in the outdoor beer garden, or sign up for a brewery tour, which includes a commemorative tasting glass and a can of beer.
100 Cottage Club Rd., Stowe
Ben & Jerry’s Factory
Dairy lovers tour the factory to get the full scoop on Vermont’s world-famous ice cream empire. Afterward, hit up the counter for a cone of Cherry Garcia or Half Baked. Don’t miss the infamous Flavor Graveyard honoring the “dearly de-pinted.” Schweddy Balls, anyone?
181 Waterbury-Stowe Rd., Waterbury
Stowe’s contemporary arts gallery mounts powerful exhibitions; its current show, “When the Well Is Dry,” brings the climate crisis up close. For something lighter, follow the annual outdoor sculpture show, “Exposed,” through town — it’s up through October 22.
90 Pond St., Stowe
Trapp Family Lodge
The hills are alive with hiking, mountain biking, disc golf and, in winter, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at this Alpine-style resort founded by the famous Trapp Family Singers. Make sure to visit the on-site bierhall.
700 Trapp Hill Rd., Stowe
Stowe Recreation Path
Spin your wheels on 5.3 miles of paved trails and wooden bridges along the west branch of the Little River. Hit the brakes for restaurants, galleries and gorgeous scenery along the way.
Rent a bike trailside from AJ’s Ski & Sports, 350 Mountain Rd., Stowe
Vermont Statehouse, Montpelier (File: Jeb Wallace-Brodeur)
(42 minutes from Burlington; 3 hours, 25 minutes from Boston)
In this impressive Capital City distillery and bar, sippers sample award-winning Barr Hill vodkas and gins, unique for their use of raw honey. Esquire included Barr Hill on its 2022 list of 27 best gin brands to drink right now. It’s a treat to sip a craft cocktail outside by the Winooski River.
116 Gin Lane, Montpelier
North Branch Nature Center
The forest is never far away when you’re in central Vermont. This 28-acre reserve on Elm Street maintains a network of hiking trails along the Winooski River. Nature programs for all ages include guided history walks and LGBTQ+ owl banding nights.
713 Elm St., Montpelier
Three Penny Taproom
Serving up craft food, craft beer and “well-crafted good times,” Montpelier’s long-standing gastropub offers 23 taps to please every palate. Lunch and dinner options include burgers, mushroom pasta and tater tots.
108 Main St., Montpelier
Vermont History Museum
This museum offers a great primer on the forces that have shaped Vermont. The award-winning “Freedom & Unity” exhibit — which uses the state motto as its thematic cornerstone — aims to walk visitors through Green Mountain State history, from early inhabitants to the present day.
109 State St., Montpelier
You can’t miss the golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse. Montpelier’s “bling,” as a couple of local teen rappers once described the building, doubles as the seat of the Vermont General Assembly. Take a self-guided or audio tour, then picnic on the immaculate lawn.
126 State St., Montpelier
The Forest Canopy Walk at VINS (File: Tom McNeill)
White River Junction Area
(1 hour, 27 minutes from Burlington; 2 hours, 4 minutes from Boston)
King Arthur Baking
The flagship campus of America’s oldest flour company is akin to the Holy Grail for home bakers. Stop in for a golden croissant, a cup of coffee and the excellent retail store. At the on-site Baking School, instructors will school you on everything from British meat pies to wild yeast.
135 Route 5, Norwich
Main Street Museum
This tiny museum is a modern-day cabinet of curiosities offering a mix of international and quirky Americana objects, like the Connecticut River Sea Monster. Each item, writes the museum, “tells some kind of story about human beings and the complex, sometimes baffling universe of which we are a part.”
58 Bridge St., White River Junction
Montshire Museum of Science
A perennial family favorite, the Montshire offers fascinating science exhibits and miles of nature trails. Daily programming includes science yoga, animal tracking and family science activities, and indoor interactive exhibits cover topics such as bubbles, motion and life in local waters.
1 Montshire Rd., Norwich
Pull over at a bridge on Route 4, summon all your courage and peer down. One hundred and sixty-five feet below, the Ottauquechee River flows through Vermont’s deepest gorge, carved by glaciers roughly 13,000 years ago. They don’t call it “Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon” for nothin’.
5800 Woodstock Rd., Hartford
Vermont Institute of Natural Science
How often does a raptor swoop two feet above your head? At VINS, visitors can experience this any day of the week. The 47-acre campus presents daily outdoor raptor programs with live owls, hawks, falcons and kestrels. For a view of the world from a bird’s perspective, head into the woods for the Forest Canopy Walk.
149 Natures Way, Quechee