Weekend Getaway: Better in Burlington

Michelle Behr, Staff Writer 

Need to get out of Oneonta? If you are willing to spend four hours in the car, Vermont may be just the place for you. Vermont has everything from skiing, to shopping and factory touring.

I recently took a trip to this beautiful state for the first time to visit my friend at St. Michael’s College. Her school is right outside of Burlington, which is the largest city in Vermont, located on Lake Champlain.

The cobblestone streets are filled with bunches of privately owned shops, along with more well-known stores like L.L. Bean and Urban Outfitters, which are great for window shopping.

We also went into a couple of specialty food stores like the Saratoga Olive Oil Co. Here you can spend almost an hour trying free samples of olive oils and balsamic vinegars. These stores are within walking distance from Lake Champlain, and the view is worth the walk.

Afterwards, we went to the famous Muddy Waters Cafe. The café mocha and the blueberry white chocolate cookie is to die for. The café reminded me a little of The Yellow Deli due to the wooden exterior and warm, cozy vibes.

Although we did not have enough time to go, Burlington also has a lake aquarium called ECHO. The aquarium is a non-profit organization geared towards teaching the general public about Lake Champlain.

Vermont is home to many company factories such as Ben & Jerry’s, Cabot Cheese, and the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory. All of these places have factory tours and a store for visitors.

I am a huge Ben & Jerry’s fan and was ecstatic to finally visit the place where it all happens. The factory is in Waterbury, which is about a half an hour from Burlington. At the factory, there is a $4 tour that visitors can take to learn where and how the ice cream is made. At the end, a free ice cream sample is given out of a flavor Ben & Jerry’s is considering putting into production. There is also a huge gift store where you can get just about anything with the Ben & Jerry’s logo on it. Outside the factory and up a hill there is a flavor graveyard. The flavor graveyard pays homage to all of their discontinued ice cream flavors. It was fun to read the headstones of ice cream flavors that are no longer in production. Some of them sounded really tasty, while others made me question why they were even put into production in the first place, such as the peanut butter and jelly flavor.

Vermont is also known for its great skiing mountains located in the Green Mountain Range. We did not go skiing because there was no snow on the ground during my visit but some of the most popular ski resorts include Okemo, Sugarbush, and Stratton.

All in all, Burlington, Vermont is a very doable weekend getaway. The drive is mostly traffic free and if you need to stop half way through, Lake George is about two and a half hours into the drive. The city of Burlington and the surrounding area has a little bit of something to offer for everyone and will not disappoint.

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