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Shops, restaurants, fountains, and sculptures line Burlington's Church Street Marketplace, a pedestrian-only mall.

Beaches, Bikes, and Ben & Jerry’s in Burlington

Take a stroll through picturesque Burlington, Vermont — a quintessential American small town.

Mountains provide a picturesque backdrop for Burlington, a town that sits on Lake Champlain’s eastern shore and may just be the quintessential American small town. It only takes 20 minutes to walk from one side of downtown to the other. The famous Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream got its start in a Burlington gas station. For a tour of the factory and a sample, though, you will have to drive 30 minutes southeast to Waterbury. Back in town, take advantage of Lake Champlain’s recreation opportunities, such as biking or kayaking. A more relaxing option is to take the ferry across the lake. Spend the night at one of Burlington’s B&Bs, such as the Lang House or Willard Street Inn (note: Some B&Bs do not allow young children). If the kids are younger, the Marriott Courtyard Burlington Harbor or Hilton Burlington are good options.

Providing views of the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain, Burlington’s 7.6-mile (12.2-kilometer) Waterfront Bike Path—a former railroad track—links six major waterfront parks. Walk it, bike it, or skate it. For a souvenir, visit the Vermont Teddy Bear Company and have a personalized stuffed bear made just for you to take home.

Have dinner at Splash at the Boathouse. The restaurant has a kids' menu and the view of the sunset over Lake Champlain can't be beat. Just a ten-minute drive from Burlington in Shelburne is Champlain Lanes. The bowling alley is open until midnight or later every night, except Sundays, when they close at 11 p.m.

For information on bike rentals in Burlington go to

For ferry trip details go to

Recommended lodging: Lang House; Willard Street Inn;

Based on articles from National Geographic Traveler and compiled by Stephanie Robichaux