Updated: Jan 21, 2020
By Abby Hoover
One of the best things about the Hudson Valley is its proximity to everything the Northeast region has to offer. Day trips and weekend getaways are abundant and there’s no limit to what you may find along the way! Burlington is on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain and just a few hours north of Albany. Also the home of the University of Vermont, it is a town bustling with local business, culture and live music - and just down the road from some great skiing!
If you get in late after a long drive, the best place to warm up and wind down is Farmhouse Tap & Grill. With plenty of local and craft beers, and a variety of food and appetizer choices (they even have a raw bar!), it is a great choice for dinner. If you’re visiting in the summer, enjoy their beer garden, but some would argue their parlor in the basement, is even better. Farmhouse offers something for everyone and can accommodate large parties.
Whether you like to get up early for breakfast or sleep in until noon, Monarch & the Milkweed is the perfect brunch spot to kick off a day of shopping in downtown Burlington. Try the juiciest fried chicken and gravy with waffles and wash it down with lots of coffee or a rich hot chocolate. If you’re up for it, their delectable pastries and desserts are not only a treat for the eyes but a sweet way to round out the meal. In addition, they offer MILKWEED cannabis confections in the form of picture perfect truffles.
Just up the street, Church Street Marketplace is the heart of downtown Burlington. With pedestrian-friendly walkways, local and retail shopping, great restaurants and coffee, and historic architecture, visitors can easily spend a whole day taking it all in. If you’d like to spend the afternoon perusing shelves of books, don’t miss Crow Bookshop near the top of Church Street.
Near the center of Church Street is Ben & Jerry’s, which originated in Vermont. This isn’t the original, but it’s still a sight to see… and taste! Also local, the University of Vermont’s Catamount Store has everything you need for gameday. Keep Vermont Weird is the place to pick up souvenirs for your trip, but caution, it’s a tight squeeze! A list of all the stores Church Street has to offer can be found here.
If you’re in need of a break after shopping all day, Halvorson’s Upstreet Cafe is the place to stop once you’ve reached the top of Church Street. Take the opportunity to warm up and rest from shopping with their small plates and appetizers, as well as an extensive beverage menu. Be sure to snap a photo of what Church Street’s namesake when you see it. The Unitarian Church was built in 1816 and is one of the oldest remaining churches in Burlington.
To get your blood flowing again, head to The Archives, an arcade bar that will transport you back in time. While craft beer and classic cocktails flow, beat your high score in Pinball or Pac-Man. The games take tokens, so bring cash to exchange.
After playing games, satisfy your appetite at Pascolo Ristorante. It’s the place to go if you’re in the mood for classic Italian food in a cozy underground venue with exposed brick and plenty of room for good conversation.
To end the night, Light Club Lamp Shop is a magical little spot to sip craft cocktails and let the live music fuel a dance party, or cozy up in one of their many corners to converse. Filled with vintage lamps, chandeliers, and sconces of all designs, it’s the perfect hideaway for a chilly evening. (And while you’re there, check out ¡Duino! (Duende) and Radio Bean!)
Just minutes from downtown Burlington, Misery Loves Co. is what Sunday brunch dreams are made of! Taking a creative spin on a Southern classic, their cheddar beignets drizzled in honey butter are the perfect mix of sweet and savory. Whether you brunch with espresso or mimosas, Misery Loves Co. has what you need. Be sure to make a reservation, and check out their supper menu if you can’t make it on a Sunday.
On the other side of the square in Winooski, Birdfolk Collective bursts with local and sustainable goods. This adorable little shop is the place to go for great gift ideas and all cool and creative things Vermont. Stop by Scout & Co. next door for a smoked maple latte while you’re there!
If you’re driving back to New York, stop by Shelburne Farms, a great place to work out some of that road trip stiffness or all the delicious food consumed in Burlington. Over 10 miles of trails take visitors through the working farm, including a dairy, horse barn, children’s activities and more. Make sure to check their website for seasonal tour offerings, and bring your snow boots! On your way through town be sure to stop and explore Shelburne Country Store’s seven rooms are full of goodies, holiday decorations, local offerings and so much more.
The last stop on your road trip should be Dakin Farm. They have been making Vermont Maple Syrup for 78 years in their Sugarhouse off Ethan Allen Highway. Take a break from driving and tour their farm and retail store to learn the history of maple syrup. While you’re there, stock up on meats, cheeses, and of course, syrup!