Burlington VT Waterfront & Outdoor Activities
To say Burlington is a haven for the outdoors is an understatement. The city sits right on Lake Champlain, providing stunning sunset views over the lake with the Adirondack Mountains as a backdrop. With the lake come some beautiful waterfront homes complete with docks, beaches, views… you name it. The lake is also a prime location for boating, kayaking, fishing, swimming, and ice skating. Burlington is also just a short drive to the surrounding mountains, where hikers, skiers, and snowboarders alike can find some of the best views and powder around.
Summertime on the lake may include sailing lessons through the Community Sailing Center, a snorkeling clinic through the Waterfront Diving Center, dragon boat racing through Dragonheart Vermont’s Annual Festival, or any number of annual races through RunVermont.
The 7.5-mile Burlington Bike Path is a great way to get exercise and see some of Vermont’s most beautiful views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. The popular path connects six different parks, starting in the South End at Oakledge Park & Beach and eventually merging into the Colchester bike path. Let the pooch run beside and don’t miss the dog parks. You’ll pass the fishing pier, also perfect for a picnic.
Waterfront Park, with its boardwalk, multiple greens utilized year-round for events, skate park, and plenty of space to watch 4th of July fireworks with your neighbors, is a centrally located stop with shuttle service to downtown and colleges. North Beach is a popular summertime hangout, complete with playground, campground, snack bar and facilities, picnic area, and lifeguard coverage. Leddy Park with the Gordon H. Paquette Arena is year-round fun for those living in Burlington’s “New North End”, with basketball courts, tennis, playgrounds, picnic areas, and a wintertime ice program serving local schools, leagues, performance groups, and with plenty of public skating.
The Echo Aquarium and Science Center is a fun place for kids and adults alike to explore the history and magic of Lake Champlain’s aquatic life, year-round. The Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center is the place for Black Box Theater, film showings, events, art exhibitions, and meetings, with an abundance of rental space for your private events.
Some find their way to the lakefront via the water, in which case the Burlington Community Boathouse will offer all that they need to enjoy the city from their watercraft. The Community Boathouse offers a full-service marina with hourly or overnight docking, seasonal moorings, showers, pump-out facilities, boat ramp access, proximity to several water view restaurants, and, of course, quick access to one of the best “creemees” in town, at the Burlington Bay Café.
For those wanting to board a boat, Lake Champlain Ferries offers convenient 1.3-hour ferry service from Burlington to Port Kent, New York (June through September). Lake Champlain Shoreline Cruises, Northern Lights, and Lake Champlain Sailing Cruises with the Whistling Man Schooner Company are three additional opportunities to see the city and shoreline from the water.
Learn more about what Burlington has to offer: