Living In and Around Burlington, VT

Burlington might best be described as a not-so-well-kept secret. In recent years, the city has been included in dozens of Top 10 lists for its exceptional quality of life, yet the national attention hasn't changed things much. It's still a place that combines stunning natural beauty, cultural appeal and the charm and warmth of small-town America. And, as one of the country's most livable small cities, Burlington offers a sophisticated arts scene and countless opportunities to enjoy shows and concerts, galleries, restaurants and nightlife.


Burlington is located west of the Green Mountains, just 45 miles south of the US-Canadian border and approximately 250 miles from Boston. It is the largest city in Vermont; the metro area of Burlington houses approximately one-third of Vermont's total population. Burlington sits on a hillside that slopes from the historic University of Vermont campus down to the spectacular Waterfront Park on the eastern shores of Lake Champlain.

A Vibrant Downtown

In the middle of downtown, you'll find a lively open-air pedestrian marketplace. Church Street is lined with outdoor cafes, restaurants and pubs, and features fine local and national merchants. A weekly farmer's market is held in City Hall Park in the warmer months, offering locally-grown food and the work of local artists. Burlington offers countless eclectic restaurants, from lively pubs to ethnic eateries, many of which serve organic and natural foods grown by local farmers. And meals can be accompanied by award-winning microbrews and a growing selection of excellent wines and spirits made right here in Vermont.

A City of Learning and the Arts

With the University of Vermont and Champlain College all located in Burlington, the city features the palpable energy that comes with being a college town and includes an arts and culture scene that belies the city's relatively small size. The works of emerging and well-known artists and artisans can be found displayed in galleries around town. Nationally known musicians play the area's clubs; the band Phish got its start right here in Burlington, and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals still perform at Burlington venues. Northern New England's leading arts venue, the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, attracts performers ranging from international dance troupes to touring Broadway productions. Burlington hosts an annual Discover Jazz Festival, the Vermont Brewers Festival, and many other events.

Beyond Burlington

A 10-minute drive from Burlington will have you looking over green pastures that stretch all the way to the slopes of the Green Mountains. A bit farther and you enter a world of small clapboard villages that define the essence of New England.

In villages like Stowe and Waitsfield, clusters of cozy inns, shops and restaurants lie at the base of world-famous ski areas. And that's just a small fraction of the outdoor adventure that awaits you in the area.

Fun Facts

Read more about living and working in Vermont.

Outdoor Life

If you enjoy being active and outside, you'll love living in Vermont. As the seasons evolve throughout the year, a tremendous variety of activities presents itself and contributes to Vermont's healthy lifestyle. There's always something new here to experience - you just need to get out there and give it a try. Each season brings new possibilities:


Vermonters have access to some of the best alpine skiing and snowboarding in the world. Many areas offer special season pass deals for students and residents and within roughly an hour, you can find yourself on the slopes of famous resorts like Stowe, Sugarbush, Mad River Glen and Jay Peak, to name just a few. Cross-country skiing, backcountry skiing and riding, snowshoeing, ice climbing, ice fishing and snowmobiling are all popular activities and are easily accessible from Burlington.

Spring and Summer

In the warmer months, Vermont offers some of the nicest weather you'll find anywhere. Down on Burlington's waterfront, Lake Champlain is America's largest lake outside of the Great Lakes and is a great spot to fish, sail, kayak and swim. Burlington offers a Community Sailing Center, where you can rent a variety of boats, and the city's bike path stretches along the shore for miles. In fact, Vermont is considered a cyclist's paradise for road and mountain bikers alike. Burlington also hosts a large annual marathon, and several triathlons are held in the area. And, of course, the Green Mountains offer countless hikes across the higher elevations of Vermont.


Vermont's spectacular foliage arrives as the hills come alive with color. Vermont's color season lasts a long time, changing first in the northern parts of the state and near the mountains, and last in the south and by the lake. There are many fall activities throughout the state, including craft and antique shows and apple festivals.

When you live in Vermont, you experience the feeling of community and the high regard for quality of life. Don't take our word for it...others have been saying just that:

  • Included in the top 10 "Most Promising Tech Hubs to Watch in 2014,"
  • #2 in United Health Foundation's "America's Health Rankings" 2013
  • #3 in the list of best states to raise fit kids, Child magazine (via NBC's "Today")
  • Vermont named the nation's smartest state, Morgan Quitmo State and City Ranking