17 Best Burlington (Vermont) Spots To Visit And Photograph

Burlington is a city in northwestern Vermont, on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, south of the Canadian border. It is the most-populous city in Vermont and has a lot to offer. Water lovers can enjoy the many marinas and beaches. Hikers, walkers, and bikers can enjoy the countless miles of trails. Shoppers can spend days roaming Church Street Marketplace. And photographers can capture the endless beautiful sights.

Here are 17 of the best sights to see and places to photograph in Burlington, Vermont:

Burlington Earth Clock

Circles for Peace, a Vermont grassroots non-profit organization, installed the Burlington Earth Clock as its inaugural initiative in 2006. The clock consists of a 43.5-foot circle and 14 granite stones that weigh between 3.5 and 20 tons. The Earth Clock keeps track of the sun’s passage north and south along the horizon as the seasons change. A sundial is located in the center of the circle. Your shadow reveals the time of day when you stand on the dateline in the sundial’s middle.

The Burlington Earth Clock is conveniently located along the Island Line Trail, which is popular among walkers and bikers. The views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks in the distance, truly make this a must-see spot in Burlington, Vermont.

Church Street Marketplace

The Church Street Marketplace is a lovely uncovered shopping and dining area that stretches for four blocks between Main and Pearl Streets in Burlington, Vermont. The mall was envisioned in 1958 and constructed in 1980-81. The Church Street Marketplace Commission manages the approximately 86 storefronts which include five national chain stores as well as local retailers of clothing, home-wares, books, and other goods.

Many of the buildings within Church Street Marketplace are historic and the Church Street Historic District was actually listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.

Donahue Sea Caves

The Donahue Sea Caves are located across from Burlington High School, between North Avenue and Vermont Route 127. hey are accessible via the Donahue Sea Caves trail – it is a half-mile, moderate out and back cave trail. In the winter and spring, it’s a great hiking trail because the ground/water is frozen. In the summer, you’ll need a kayak or boat to get to the caves. Once inside, visitors will notice schools of fish swimming beneath the pristine ice, or a palette of rose, ochre, and red rocks polished by millennia of water and wind.

The limestone caves are typically thought to be relics of the waves of the Champlain Sea, which covered this area around 10,000 years ago. (Although, there is some debate on the exact formation of the caves)

Ethan Allen Homestead

The Ethan Allen Homestead, located at 1 Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington, Vermont, is a historic house museum. It is Ethan Allen’s only surviving home in the state and it was built around 1787. It is open to the public from May to October each year. Ethan Allen (1738-1789) is regarded as one of Vermont’s most influential early public personalities. He played a key role in achieving Vermont’s independence from New York and ultimate statehood.

The home is a simple one-and-a-half-story post-and-beam building with a gable roof and clapboard siding. Its main facade is three bays wide, with a three-light transom window and cornice above a center entry framed by simple molding. Although the original large brick chimney has been removed, the inside of the home follows a Georgian central chimney plan. In 1986, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Ethan Allen Tower

The Ethan Allen Tower can be found at the city of Burlington’s highest point within the 60-acre Ethan Allen Park. The 40 foot stone tower boasts commanding views of the city, Lake Champlain, the Green Mountains, and the Adirondacks.

In a magnificent ceremony overflowing with pomp and circumstance, the tower was officially opened and dedicated in 1905. A marching band performed in the city park, and a cavalry-led parade crossed the city, escorting scores of dignitary carriages to the entrance gates. Thousands of people traveled by ferry and rail to attend the celebrations, which were attended by President Theodore Roosevelt.

If you are looking for a beautiful structure and some of the most amazing views in Burlington, Vermont, you have to check out the Ethan Allen Tower!

Ferry Dock Marina

The Ferry Dock Marina is located right in downtown Burlington, Vermont, within walking distance to the Burlington waterfront, restaurants, hotels, and the Church Street Marketplace. It is a great spot to take in views of Lake Champlain and the active boating scene.

Leddy Beach

Leddy Beach is located in Burlington’s New North End, just off North Avenue. Leddy Beach is a 1500-foot sandy beach that is complete with a grassy picnic area with grills and picnic tables. Locals and visitors alike appreciate the tranquility of this beach. When the sun begins to set, head to Leddy Beach for some spectacular views!

Lone Rock Point

Lone Rock Point is a stunning and distinctive limestone crag located less than one mile from downtown Burlington, Vermont. It is possibly the most visited structural geology feature in all of New England, and it is featured in many structural geology textbooks as a classic example of a thrust fault. The point has a spectacular setting on the banks of Lake Champlain, with breathtaking views. Climbing is currently permitted on Lone Rock Point Cliff according to a special use agreement between CRAG-VT and the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont. The point is on private land, although it is open to the general public. Respect for the land is required, or penalties are imposed.

North Beach Park

North Beach is Burlington’s largest beach and the only one with lifeguards on duty throughout the summer. North Beach provides something for everyone, with food vendors, a playground, bathrooms with showers, picnic tables, and grills. During the summer, you may also rent kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards to make the most of Burlington’s waterfront. The beach and park are open all year long. The sweeping views from North Beach are not to be missed!

Oakledge Park Treehouse (Forever Young Treehouse)

The Oakledge Park Treehouse is the first publicly accessible community treehouse in the world. It’s at Oakledge Park, near Lake Champlain’s shoreline, and it’s a collaboration between Forever Young Treehouses and the City of Burlington. It was a collaborative effort as well. The initiative was supported by hundreds of volunteers and donors.

The treehouse is 15 feet from the ground and has a wooden walkway that makes it easy to get to. The higher branches are woven into the roof, while the trunk supports the vast floor. Inside the treehouse you can admire the craftsmanship and also the 360 degree views of Oakledge Park. Don’t miss out on this amazing Burlington, Vermont spot!

Overlook Park

Overlook Park is a 1.7 acre park on the west side of Spear Street in South Burlington. The park is most known for its scenic views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains. It is best to visit during the evening to watch the sunset. Walks along the recreation path are also wonderful.

Perkins Pier looking at Burlington Breakwater South Lighthouse

Perkins Pier is located at the base of Maple Street in Burlington Harbor. The pier offers beautiful views of the Burlington boating scene and also Burlington Breakwater South Lighthouse. The lighthouse was originally constructed on the Burlington Breakwater in 1857 as a navigational aid. Over the years, the lighthouse was replaced many times. The current lighthouse is a replica of the original and was funded through a transportation bill in 2001. The current lighthouse stands 26 feet tall and is active.

Red Rocks Park

Red Rocks Park is a beautiful park in Burlington, Vermont where you can enjoy the beauty of nature. The 100 acre park is open for use year round and boasts 700 feet of waterfront, designated swim areas, a picnic area, several miles of trails, scenic overlooks, and more! The Red Rocks Park Loop Trail is a beautiful 2.7 mile loop trail which takes you all around the park which I recommend.

Reverence (Whales Tails)

Jim Sardonis created the “Reverence” sculpture of whales tails in 1989. The tails, carved from 36 tons of African black granite, are between 12 and 13 feet tall and are designed to represent the planet’s fragility. The tails were commissioned by a local developer in 1989, and they were purchased by Technology Park Partners in 1999 and installed between exits 12 and 13 on Interstate 89 just west of Burlington.

Why whales tails? Surprisingly, railroad workers discovered the remains of a saltwater whale in Charlotte, VT, in 1849. The bones, which were thought to be those of a Beluga whale, were discovered 10 feet below ground in blue clay. The Champlain Valley was an extension of the Champlain Sea for 2,500 years after the end of the Ice Age (12,500 years ago).

University of Vermont

The University of Vermont (UVM) is a public land-grant research university in Burlington, Vermont. It was founded in 1791 and is among the oldest universities in the United States. it was the fifth institution of higher education established in the New England region of the U.S. northeast. There are many historic and beautiful buildings on the campus. Be sure to take a stroll around and capture some of the sights!

Waterfront Park looking at Burlington Breakwater North Lighthouse

Waterfront Park is a large regional park located to the west of downtown along the Lake Champlain Shoreline. The park offers stunning views of Burlington Breakwater North Lighthouse. The North Lighthouse was completed in 1854 and has been rebuilt several times. The current lighthouse is a replica of the original and was funded through a transportation bill in 2001. The lighthouse stands 35 feet tall and is active.

World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet

The World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet is located in Burlington, Vermont, and is constructed of 38 filing cabinets. The cabinets were welded atop each other into a skinny, towering pile by Bren Alvarez in 2002. Over the years, the filing cabinets have rusted a bit, but are still well worth seeing! The sculpture was recently set on a new foundation.

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