Last week, my sister and I visited Burlington, Vermont and WOW! The green mountains, outdoor trails, lakes and dining blew us away. I know you’re asking what made you go to Vermont? To be honest, it was never on my list to visit but that changed when my brother was accepted into the University of Vermont July 2022. He put his dream of becoming a doctor on hold for six years after losing mom. When he was accepted, the family quickly found him a place to live and he moved August 2022. I’ve lived out of state and understand the positive impact family can have on an already difficult transition, so visiting him was non-negotiable. Here’s what we did over the weekend.
Saturday | Day 1
Breakfast: Vermont takes farm to table to new heights. We started the day here and the Google reviews didn't disappoint. We arrived around 10:30am after touring the University of Vermont campus. Me and my brother ordered the Brakefast sandwich and my sister ordered the number 9, hot-honey chicken fried biscuit. Everything is fresh, homemade, and there's no meat on the menu. I know you’re thinking that looks like a chicken biscuit, but it’s actually an egg. We all agreed it was definitely an experience.
Activity: We went here and felt like little kids. The guided-tour was located 35 minutes from Burlington and I recommend buying tickets in advance. They are only $6 and can be purchased here. The tour is 30 minutes and includes the history of their beginnings, the production factory, and a sampling of ice cream. I wanted to go because of their social and economic activism which has been present since the 70's. Butterscotch was the complimentary sample of the day and it reminded me of Butter Pecan without the nuts.
Dinner: We went here and I’m glad my brother chose this authentic Turkish restaurant. We started with the calamari and falafels. I ordered Lamb Shish Kebabs with a Turkish white wine flight. My sister ordered Swordfish Kebabs and my brother went with Vegetable Güveç. It was an amazing dinner with excellent service.
Sunday | Day 2
Breakfast: We went here around 10am and arrived just before the crowd. We shared the polenta, smoked salmon and egg entree. The maple griddle biscuit was unlike anything we’ve had with homemade jam and butter. Lastly, we shared The Day Maker sandwich with herb aioli instead of bacon aioli.
I can’t stress enough about the amazing food quality we experienced at each restaurant and the excellent service. Fresh bread, bakery items, and specialty beverages were the norm. Maple is infused with many items but isn’t overpowering. What’s cool about this restaurant is the no screens rules which is enforced. A guy set up his laptop to work and was quickly asked to close it as it’s a no screen restaurant which I appreciated.
Vermont is all about community and it’s prevalent as we walked through downtown. We didn't see many chain restaurants and it reminded me of downtown Decatur. We stopped here after our walk and tried the Cold Pressed Mermaid Lemonade. I am a sucker for a cute drink but this was cute, good and not too sweet. The shop's flowers were beautiful which caught my eye first as we walked by. They also serve food, smoothies and popsicles.
Activity: After breakfast, we walked to the Ethan Allen Tower where we saw a beautiful view of the city. Due to the fires in Canada, it looks hazy but the weather was perfect. I told my brother I wanted to be outdoors and that’s exactly what we did.
Next, we walked Lake Champlain Trail and it reminded me of Silver Comet Trail. We stopped at the lake and ran into some of his classmates having lunch. I took some time to get to know them and was amazed at their tenacity to become chemists and doctors. All together, we walked 6 miles Sunday and burned over 1,000 calories. After the walk, we went here to enjoy Creemes and of course I picked the maple flavor. I’m lactose intolerant but this didn’t bother my stomach at all.
Dinner: we went here and arrived around 7pm. Eating dinner on the river after a day of hiking was just what we needed. I ordered the freshly caught scallops dinner special. My sister had the burger with garlic fries and my brother ordered the truffle, cheese and mushroom flatbread. Of course, as I've said before it was really good.
Vermont travel takeaways:
Direct flights from Atlanta to Vermont are available. Delta direct flights will depart early in the morning at 6am or at night at 8pm. If you're traveling from Atlanta, pre-pay for parking in advance. It took us over an hour to find airport parking between international, domestic and off-site parking.
The sun rises early in Vermont so bring a sleep mask if you are a light sleeper. The sun was up at 5:45am.
Pack your comfortable walking shoes that are made for distance walking, rain jacket, umbrella and layering clothes.
Take the bus, it’s free. You can view the schedule through The Transit app.