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8 Reasons to Move to Burlington, VT

This university town, the birthplace of Ben & Jerry's, offers amenities and attractions of many flavors

By Laura Hill on May 13, 2015

Market Street in Burlington, VT.
Burlington borough / Courtesy of Scott Smithson under a CC 2.0 license.

It’s surrounded by some of the most dramatically beautiful landscapes in the country, mixes historic charm with modern amenities, enjoys a vibrant intellectual and cultural life, and offers unparalleled outdoor recreational opportunities year round. No wonder Burlington, Vt., is ranked as one of the best places to live by numerous publications.

Here are eight reasons you should consider moving here.

 Church Street Marketplace

The pride and joy of downtown Burlington, this four-block-long, open-air pedestrian mall draws 3 million people a year. Music, street performers, public art, great food vendors and eateries, and outstanding shopping fill the brick-paved streets. Grab a cup of coffee, find a seat under an inviting umbrella and enjoy great people-watching.

 University of Vermont 

One of the oldest universities in the country, this venerable institution is attended by 12,000 students, including those in its highly respected medical school. A picture-perfect campus, the school is called UVM, which stands for Universitas Viridis Montis — “University of the Green Mountains.”

The Lake Champlain Islands 

Burlington’s location on the shores of Lake Champlain makes for world-class outdoor fun, much of which can be found in these islands, which stretch from Burlington to the Canadian border. Stunning sunsets, festivals (even in February!), lodging, dining and miles of beautiful coastline – day trips to heaven. 

 The Flynn Center for Performing Arts 

Burlington’s cultural scene is far larger and more exciting than the town’s size might suggest. Several art centers support the work of local creators, art galleries and classes abound. Musicians, dancers, actors and more are center stage at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, home to the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Theatre and the Vermont Stage Company and a calendar of top-tier performances from visiting artists. 

The Burlington Farmers Market 

More than 80 vendors of farm-fresh produce, flowers, artisan creations and edible goodies sell their wares each Saturday from late spring through fall at the market in City Hall Park.  Even Vermont’s storied winter weather can’t keep these farmers at home: a winter market, inside the War Memorial Auditorium, runs bi-weekly from November through April, with plenty of nice things to eat.


And speaking of nice things to eat, Burlington’s restaurant scene offers everything from sushi to spaghetti. Burlington has twice been ranked as one of the Top 10 Foodie Cities by Livability.com. Case in point is Bove’s, which has been serving authentic Italian fare on Pearl Street since 1941. The third-generation, family-owned business also produces and sells its own pasta sauces, pasta and meatballs – its roasted garlic tomato sauce got a happy nod from the Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Ben & Jerry’s 

What’s that about the best thing you ever ate? Cherry Garcia? Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough? Maybe the new Jimmy Fallon-inspired Tonight Dough? Whichever flavor they love, aficionados revere the fact that Ben & Jerry’s fabled ice cream was born right here in an old gas station back in the 1970s. Of course you can still find a B&J cone in Burlington, but you’re only half an hour’s drive to the font of all frozen wonderfulness in Waterbury, the Ben & Jerry’s factory. Tours? Yep. 

 The Vermont Lake Monsters 

No, nothing like the Loch Ness Monster, these terrors are Burlington’s Minor League Baseball team, affiliated, long distance, with the Oakland Athletics. Hard-working, if not always blessed with a winning season, the Monsters have sent an admirable number of players from Centennial Field on to the majors.


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