Travel Guide to Burlington & Stowe, Vermont

By Caitlin Hornik

Craving a vibrant and lively but cozy trip? Choose Vermont! With only a 45-minute drive separating these two charming towns, pack a 2-for-1 punch and visit Burlington and Stowe on your Vermont vacation!

What to Know

Nestled between the Green Mountains and CC Putnam State Forest, Stowe is a quintessential ski town packed with history and charm. Burlington is a trendy waterfront town, located right on Lake Champlain. These two opposites attract to create a perfect vacation featuring so much of what Vermont’s best.

When to Go

Stowe offers visitors the best array of activities between September and February, especially for those who love to hit the slopes! But Spring offers a great opportunity for a quieter visit, and the summer months will offer plenty of sunshine. Burlington is bustling during the Summer, with lakeside activities taking center stage. But busy season is December through March, overlapping nicely with Stowe to offer even more opportunities for snow bunnies to enjoy.

How to Get Around

Stowe and Burlington are most easily accessible by car. There is a regional bus service, Green Mountain Transit (GMT), offering limited public transportation. Both towns are also great for biking and walking, depending on where you’re staying!

What to Eat

Stowe is home to many cozy pubs and restaurants. As expected from a ski town, there is an emphasis on hearty and filling cuisine. But don’t be surprised if you see lots of dishes that include fresh, locally sourced ingredients and produce!

Speaking of produce, the Burlington Farmer’s Market is not to be missed. It offers plenty of treats and healthy ways to start your day during the Summer. Yea-round, you can find restaurants, food trucks, and plenty of trendy spots to dine.

If you’re an ice cream fan, you won’t want to miss your opportunity to experience the Ben & Jerry’s factory! Located in Waterbury, between both Stowe and Burlington, it’s an ice cream lover’s dream -- And a perfect way to spend a Vermont afternoon.

What to See

Even if snow activities and sports aren’t your cup of tea, there are plenty of ways to take full advantage of a trip to Stowe. Visit the Trapp Family Lodge (yes, those Von Trapps that you know and love from The Sound of Music) and then head to the Von Trapp Brewery and Bierhall just down the road. This will surely leave you feeling like you’re in the Alps!

There are additional parks, breweries and wineries, and outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy! Rent kayaks or bikes, walk Stowe Recreation Path, visit Stowe Mountain Resort, and more!

Burlington offers many of the same activities, from rentals and parks to breweries and vineyards. Spend time at Waterfront Park and Battery Park for beautiful views of Lake Champlain!

Also, be sure to check out the Church Street Marketplace for shopping, and the Shelburne Museum for history and art in more than 40 buildings!

Day Trips

Hiking day trips are a viable option in both towns. The Stowe Pinnacle Trail is one of the most popular and offers spectacular views. Derway Island Nature Trail in Burlington is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon.

Smugglers' Notch is a ski resort that is easily accessible from both Stowe and Burlington. So if you’re seeking more time on the slopes, be sure to check it out!

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