How to Spend 24 Hours in Burlington, Vermont

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I took a short trip to Burlington, Vermont. We both turned 21 this year, so we wanted to experience the U.S., just the two of us, as we now had the legal age to go alone.

Driving in the U.S. was something that I was a bit afraid of. I felt like people were not driving the same in the U.S. as in Canada, especially since the driving system is in miles and I am used to kilometers. Thus, taking a short trip to Vermont has also allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and prove to myself that I can drive in the U.S.

Plus, it was the first time we passed the borders as new adults. Hence, it was another challenge to our short trip and another reason why going to the U.S., just the two of us, was a milestone.

Why Burlington, Vermont?

Burlington is the perfect place if you are looking for a short road trip from Quebec City or Montreal. We had only 24h to spend, so we thought it was the perfect place for an adventure without going too far.

Burlington is 1h45 away from Montreal. From Quebec, it’s about 4h. We were visiting some friends in Montreal, so this was the best way to split the road in two.

Travel Tip

Even for a short trip, I suggest always taking medical travel insurance when visiting another country. Plus, sometimes, when it’s for less than three days, some institutions offer it for free. Ask your financial institution or travel agent about your options depending on your trip.

Where to stay

We stayed at the Quality Inn Shelburne in South Burlington. Staying downtown Burlington can be a bit costly, so staying in Shelburne is a good option if you are on a budget. Plus, the hotel is only 10 minutes away from Church Street, the main attraction downtown.

What to do

Church Street Marketplace

Church Street is a beautiful little street with many shops and restaurants. At the end of the street, there is the Unitarian Church, which has given the name to the place. Along the street, there is a lot of street art, such as beautiful murals and musicians performing. There are also beautiful historic buildings, and it is close to the University of Vermont, another great place to wander around.

Ben & Jerry’s

I was very excited to go to Ben & Jerry’s since we do not have one in Quebec City, and I love their ice cream. Our supermarket has some of their products, but it is pretty costly. Plus, I wanted to experience the “real” Ben & Jerry’s experience.

There is a Ben & Jerry’s on Church Street, so why not explore the city while enjoying a cone of their best seller: half-baked chocolate and vanilla ice cream.

Essex Outlets

The Essex Outlets are 20 minutes away from downtown Burlington. It has many stores that sell local products and cute little boutiques. Note, however, that it is not an outlet with fashion brands where you can buy discounted clothes. It is rather a place with local stores, a few restaurants, and a movie theater.

Waterfront Park

Waterfront Park is the perfect place to go to take an evening walk by Lake Champlain. Of an area of 1,269 km2, Lake Champlain is a vast lake shared between the U.S. and Canada. You can also take cruises on the lake. If this is something that interests you, take a look at the website Cruise Lake Champlain.

From Waterfront Park, you also get a beautiful view of the Adirondacks, which makes it the perfect place to watch the sunset. Make sure to stop at the cute swinging chairs to enjoy the view!

World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet

Finally, one cannot go to Burlington without going to this iconic and unusual attraction. The World Tallest Filing’s Cabinet is a structure made by the artist Ben Alvarez. It has in total 38 drawers, which represents “the number of years of paperwork that Alvarez accumulated while working on a local street project” ( The structure is really in the middle of nowhere, but it is worth the detour, in my opinion.

This is it for How to Spend 24 Hours in Burlington, Vermont! I hope you enjoyed this post and that it made you want to discover this cute little town in the U.S.

If you are looking for more road trip ideas, make sure to check my previous posts below. After all, summer is adventure season!

À bientôt!



World’s Tallest Filing’s Cabinet:

Waterfront Park:

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