Green City: Burlington, VT

by Sammi Richardson

We, the editors at, have decided to chronicle our travels and highlight some of the green aspects in various cities. Please feel free to submit city ideas and information for upcoming Green City features

Burlington, Vermont—or the state of Vermont, in general—no doubt brings to mind thoughts of maple syrup, mountains and outdoor activities. It is actually a city that probably represents the idea of “homegrown” and green living more than most. . In  2002, the city of Burlington developed a shared partner plan called the Burlington Legacy Project, this plan allowed the government to partner together for a sustainable future and help offer a healthier lifestyle to the residents and visitors.

Whether you’re planning a trip to Burlington for business or pleasure, or even there is much to see and do.

Thousands flock to Burlington and Vermont every year to see the lush foliage in the fall. This city is known for its laid back and outdoorsy lifestyle and offers something to see or do year-round.

When traveling to Burlington, there are many places to stay in, but the Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center is certainly one to consider, as it is a green hotel that your eco-friendly mind can relax in. The property takes steps to understand its impact on the environment, cultural-heritage and the community.

It’s easy to get caught up in the fun restaurants and stores that the downtown area offers. If you’re looking for some entertainment and family fun away from the buzz of popular and famous Church Street, I recommend going to Shelburne Farms. This is a 1400-acre working farm, national historic site and non-profit educational center located on Lake Champlain. The farm offers walking trails, children’s farmyard, an inn with a restaurant and even a property tour.

Are you into composting? You’ll be pleased to know that Burlington features a compost facility that collects food scraps from restaurants, supermarkets and food manufacturers. The scraps are sold to farmers, gardeners and landscapers. You can even pay the facility a visit and get your own first-hand tutorial on composting.

Farmer’s Markets are certainly in abundance in this city too. Make sure to stop by one of the 16 farmer’s markets for to indulge in delicious fresh produce, breads and other goodies. Burlington offers so much in the way of local, homegrown foods. And if you’re a sucker for maple syrup, be sure to stock up, as you’ll no doubt be able to get it much less than you can in your local grocery store.

In the summer, Burlington becomes an outdoor hub for various types of exercise and activity. If you want to get a real feel for the city during your stay, take your bike around the beautiful Lake Champlain waterfront. You’ll get fresh air and exercise, and a fantastic scenic view! There are many shops that you can rent bikes from, for an hourly or daily rate year-round.

While you’re already outdoors, make sure to make it a priority to visit Green Mountain Audubon Nature Center. There are nature trails, diverse habitats and even wildlife exhibits too. The center offers something for everyone and shouldn’t be missed.

Another place that you shouldn’t leave Burlington without seeing is The Burlington Earth Clock. This unique exhibit is a 43-foot-wide sundial that is made of slabs of granite from local quarries. You can stand in the middle and look towards the mountains. The stones in front of you represent where the sun sets during equinoxes and solstices. This is a must-see exhibit that you will surely remember!

I hope these tips make your next trip to Burlington fun and memorable. If you’ve been to Burlington before, please let us know what your favorite thing about this city is in the comments!

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