Last week I sent out my first group of poems to be considered for an anthology collection. One poem was about time spent in Burlington, VT last summer.
Our friend Evick recommended so many things I thought would be useful to other visitors. So, I’ve included his comments below.
Accommodations in Burlington: Depends on what you’re wanting to spend. The Hilton comes to mind. It’s right downtown near the waterfront. It’s nice, probably expensive. If not that, I’d recommend the Sheraton. It’s right off the interstate, but right on Main Street; just a hop skip walk away from downtown and the UVM campus.
Food: Anything on Church St. Anything. Luenigs is great for lunch (it’s French). VT Pub and Brewery. American Flatbread has wonderful brick oven pizza with a really wide selection of beer. If a restaurant like that interests you, but you don’t want pizza, try the Farmhouse Tap & Grill -it is the place to be; do notice that the building used to be a McDonalds. Henry’s Diner off of Church Street -it’s an old diner car where you have to duck your head going in (best pie and coffee ever). And let me recommend Ri Ra Irish Pub for authentic Irish food (if you like corned beef or lamb.)
Bars: Three Needs is the place to be, hands down. I have a place in my heart for it always. Check it out. Nectar’s is an interesting place if there’s a good band playing there that night (order some gravy fries there). That place is best known for being the starting ground for Phish back in their early days. Das Beerhaus is as German as you can get. Many of the restaurants I mentioned also team up as bar (VT P&B, Farmhouse, Ri Ra).
Sights: Go to Ben & Jerry’s on Church St (their first official shop); you can skip the tour of their ice cream factory in Waterbury. Magic Hat is a neat little tour of a brewery; I recommend that. Shelburne Farms is neat, but you may also look into Shelburne Museum or Shelburne Vineyards.
Hike: Go for Mansfield; you can conquer that in a morning. Climb up the western slope starting in Underhill State Park. It’s the most accessible and the most eye-pleasing of the trails to the summit. Although if you hike from Stowe you do get to check out that little valley (a drive through Smuggler’s Notch is a surreal experience and makes you wonder how they constitute that as a road).
Misc: Pick up some Cabot cheese or some maple syrup. There’s many stores through the area that you can pick up all those kinda goodies like homemade jam or honey butter to send as gifts to friends and family; Dakin Farms is the ideal store.
Most importantly, go to small towns and villages; see the side of Vermont that isn’t Burlington and fall in love. Stop at a general store ( I once walked into one and came across two old men playing checkers on a pickle barrel). There are places up there where it seems that time has stood still since 1957. Just drive around and enjoy the natural beauty of the Green Mountains or look at the historic houses. It’s hard to go wrong up there, it really is. Villages/towns in that area: Montpelier (state capital), Waterbury, Middlebury. Robert Frost is from the VT NH area so there are things to see of him too.