On the shores of the mighty Lake Champlain sits Burlington, the largest city in the state of Vermont. It is a pioneering city in renewable energy and pot smoke. The students of the University of Vermont who call the city their home, love it for its vibrance and progressiveness, and are only slightly dissuaded by its six month winters. The city of forty two thousand is the quintessential little big town. If you are paralyzed by choice or by excitement of this city of wonders, look no further than this comprehensive list of things to do in the Burlington area. Take your weekends in stride with the following fun activities.
1. The World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet: This 38-drawer-high structure in the Southern edge of town is the miraculous brain child of artist Bren Alvarez. Erected in 2002, it is a stunning social commentary on bureaucracy, representing the 38 years of paperwork that Alvarez accumulated working in city government. Stare up in amazement and think about a time your heart was stifled or your creativity was put on the back burner.
2. Church Street Marketplace: At the center of downtown Burlington is a five-block section of Church Street closed off to cars. Populated by shopping pedestrians, the marketplace has it all, from coffee shops to boutiques to restaurants that spill out into the street. Admire the trees lining the pathway as they change with the season and the beautiful brick church at the head of the street.
3. Lake Champlain Waterfront: Burlington is lucky to border such a large and beauteous body of water as Lake Champlain. Walk along the esplanade and soak it all in, the Adirondack Mountains across the way and the many boats on the choppy blue water. With your thinking time, briefly consider the impact of red-tape on your life, when the tediousness of the workplace wore on you particularly. What commentary is this water making on that phenomenon? None. It’s just water. It doesn’t make a statement. Head back to the World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet promptly.
4. The South End: If you are looking to get-your-eccentricity-on with a ten dollar almond milk espresso and a new aged art exhibit, the South End of Burlington is the place for you. Or, get your head out of your ass and head to the World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet. The world isn’t just abstract pieces and croissants, sometimes it’s bureaucratic hell.
5. Ben and Jerry’s Factory: That’s in Waterbury. Not Burlington. This is about sights of Burlington. But if you are looking for social activism and stomach ache, look no further than the World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet.
6. Champlain Parkway: Just kidding—this was a proposed roadway that was never built, put in bureaucratic limbo for over fifty years. Something to consider at the World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet.
7. Switchback Brewing Co.: Enjoy a hoppy IPA brewed right here in Burlington, Vermont at Switchback’s taproom and bar. If you are too young to legal imbibe, head back to the World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet and think about the Champlain Parkway and the bureaucratic hell that is so pervasive in our local governments.
8. Shelburne Farms Museum: This place has literally hundreds of physical structures, and not one of them holds a candle to the World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet. As you can probably tell, there is a ton to do in the Burlington area. So get out, explore and most importantly, have fun.