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With adventures, restaurants, and nightlife galore, Burlington, Vermont is the ultimate late-summer retreat.

Stand on a sidewalk in downtown Burlington, Vermont on a clear summer day with Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains in plain view, and you may need to pinch yourself. Fortunately for us, it’s not a dream, and after a few hours in the car, this outdoor vacation destination will have you smiling and breathing easy.


Elegant and charming with a splash of historic brilliance describes the Willard Street Inn. This Victorian-style mansion has the everyday comforts expected, plus rooms as beautiful as they are classy. 800-577-8712, Sip a glass of wine from the award-winning list, relax with a spa treatment, or take a culinary class from the nation’s top instructors at The Essex Resort and Spa. Suites here feature fireplaces and large four-poster beds. 802-878-1100, The Courtyard Marriott Burlington Harbor is home to some of the best views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Best of all, the shops and restaurants of downtown Burlington are just steps away. 802-864-4700,


Trattoria Delia combines the charm of historic Vermont with elegant Italian dining. Enjoy any of the traditional Italian offerings for lunch or dinner and be sure not to miss the gelati for dessert, prepared with eggs and milk from local Vermont farms. 802-864–5253, If you close your eyes in Leunig’s Bistro and Cafe, you may forget where you are as the sounds and smells of Paris overwhelm your senses. The dinner menu consists of classic favorites like Beef Bourguignon, while lunchtime is made delectable with the Leunig BLT. 802-863-3759, A trip to Burlington would not be complete without visiting the Red Onion and ordering the Red Onion sandwich. The laid-back atmosphere and outdoor seating make this sandwich shop a must- see as well as a must-taste. 802-865-2563,


Lake Champlain is quite literally an outdoor adventure paradise. Take a ride along the 1,300+ miles of connected bike routes or visit the Waterfront Diving Center and pick up all the gear needed for a plunge beneath the surface of one of the finest freshwater dive spots in New England. 802-865-2771, Leave some room in the car for your golf bag and tee off at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Vermont National Country Club. 802-864-7770, The hustle and bustle of Church Street Market Place has a little bit of everything for the weekend voyager on a mission to eat, shop, and simply relax. Live music combined with local vendors and access to downtown Burlington shops and outlets mean there is always something to do. Different events are scheduled every weekend and offer a wide array of tastes and styles. -Andrew Christoffels