The City in Brief

Chartered: 1763 (incorporated, 1865)
Head Official: Mayor Peter A. Clavelle (NP) (since 1989)
City Population
1980: 37,712
1990: 39,127
2000: 38,889
2003 estimate: 39,148
Percent change, 1990-2000: – 0.6%
U.S. rank in 1980: 590th
U.S. rank in 1990: 675th
U.S. rank in 2000: Not reported (State rank: 1st)
Metropolitan Area Population
1980: 115,308
1990: 151,506
2000: 169,391
Percent change, 1990-2000: 11.8%
U.S. rank in 1980: 224th
U.S. rank in 1990: 218th
U.S. rank in 2000: 183rd
Area: 15.48 square miles (2000)
Elevation: 112 feet above sea level
Average Annual Temperature: 44.6° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 34.5 inches of rain; 78.3 inches of snow
Major Economic Sectors: Services, manufacturing
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (April 2005) Per Capita Income: $19,011 (1999)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 1,871
Major Colleges and Universities: University of Vermont; Champlain College
Daily Newspaper: The Burlington Free Press


Burlington is the largest city in Vermont and is the state’s business, industrial, educational, financial, and cultural center. Situated on the eastern shore of beautiful Lake Champlain near the Green Mountains, Burlington is a port city offering spectacular scenery and year-round recreational opportunities. In the Greater Burlington area, the old lives in harmony with the new as farms that have been in the same family for centuries coexist with industries engaged in space-age technology. The region’s population is thriving while the high-level labor force leads to the prosperity of the overall business climate. Burlington’s successes have frequently been cited: in 1999, by the Arts & Entertainment Network (A&E) that proclaimed it as ”No. 1 of Top 10 Cities to Have it All,” along with the 2004 presentation of ”Outstanding Achievement Award” by the U.S. Conference of Mayors as part of its annual ”City Livability Awards.”

Geography and Climate

Burlington is built on three terraced slopes on the shores of Lake Champlain in northern Vermont. The lake moderates temperatures, relative to the rest of the state, by creating little variance during the four seasons; summers are cool while winter temperatures remain fixed below the freezing mark.
Area: 15.48 square miles (2000)
Elevation: 112 feet above sea level
Average Temperatures: January, 16.3° F; July, 70.5° F; annual average, 44.6° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 34.5 inches of rain; 78.3 inches of snow


Lumber Industry Supports Early Economy

Samuel de Champlain, adventurer and captain in the French Navy, was one of the first Europeans to explore the Burlington area. In the spring of 1609 Champlain was led on an expedition by a young Algonquian chief to the great lake of the Iroquois that now bears the name Lake Champlain. When the Iroquois caught sight of the party, a battle ensued into which the French were reluctantly drawn, inspiring the Iroquois animosity that caused them to align with the British against the French during the hostilities that occupied the territory for nearly 150 years over control of the area. In 1764 England’s King George III ruled that the disputed land in Vermont, at various times claimed by kings, governors, and land speculators, belonged to New York. Burlington had been chartered a year earlier but few people lived there. Among them was Ethan Allen who, to prevent Vermont from being annexed by any other state, formed the Green Mountain Boys. This group began to drive New Yorkers off the disputed lands, but their efforts were interrupted by the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775. The Green Mountain Boys were called upon to assist Connecticut Captain Benedict Arnold in seizing the cannon at nearby Fort Ticonderoga for transport to Boston, where the rebels required artillery for their battle against the British. Despite this assistance, Vermont as a whole remained a fiercely independent territory, and following the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 by the original 13 colonies, Vermont declared itself an independent republic. In 1791, however, Vermont agreed to join the Union, becoming the first new state after the original colonies.
By the early 1800s Burlington, which had been laid out by Ethan Allen’s brother Ira, was capitalizing on the abundant lumber in the region, carrying on a lively export business with Canada. The War of 1812 disrupted the city’s economic life when President Thomas Jefferson ordered an extension on the trade embargo with the British to include trade with Canada, thus foreclosing the major economic outlet of the Burlington region. Citizens ignored the embargo, smuggling goods across the border. This situation, which might have resulted in Vermonters aligning themselves with Canada against the United States government, was resolved when the British were defeated on Lake Champlain in 1814.
By 1830 lumber supplies in the Burlington area were nearly depleted; the city shifted to importing timber for finishing into boards and wood products for shipment elsewhere. By the mid-nineteenth century, Burlington was the third largest lumber mart in the country, attracting many settlers of French-Canadian descent. In 1850 St. Joseph’s in Burlington became the first French-Catholic parish in the United States. At the same time, the arrival of the railroad in Burlington portended the decline of water-borne commerce. The railroads brought products that could be sold for less than the small manufacturers in Burlington needed to stay solvent, and the trains made it easier for citizens to leave the city for the West, thus beginning Burlington’s population decline.
Progressive History Greets High-Technology Industry and Future Economic Stability Vermont’s constitution, based on the liberal views of William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, included a then-unique provision prohibiting slavery. During the Civil War of 1861 to 1865 Vermonters proved their dedication to the anti-slavery cause when the state suffered more casualties per capita than any other northern state. Vermont appropriated the then-enormous sum of $8 million to the war effort. The economic effect of that decision was felt for many long, hard years; many more young people moved West.
Burlington’s fortunes took a dramatic turn for the better in 1957 when IBM Corporation chose the city as the site of its new plant for the design and production of computer memory chips. Immediately 4,000 jobs were created, and by 1980 the plant provided over 7,000 jobs. The economic wave continued as new recreational facilities and dozens of light industrial firms were built. The state launched a newspaper campaign urging former Vermonters to return home; many of them did.
As Burlington grew, so did concern over the impact of this growth on the environment. In 1969 Vermont voters passed Act 250, a stringent land-use law to restrict the expansion; billboard and bottle bans followed. Act 250 was invoked by Burlington to block a proposed shopping mall backed by New York State developers.
Burlington entered the 2000s a comparatively small and appealing city with an interest in attracting high-technology, manufacturing, and service industries while preserving control of its future. The city continues to be consistently rated highly for its quality of life: a diverse cultural scene, annual festivals, scenic views, historic neighborhoods, and recreational opportunities. These factors have helped to maintain the city’s population between 1980 and 2000 as well as fuel the dramatic growth of the region during that same time (47 percent). In turn, residents and business leaders enjoy the positive effects that economic growth and a positive business climate bring.
Historical Information: Vermont Historical Society, 60 Washington St., Barre, VT 05641-4209; telephone (802)479-8500; fax (802)479-8510; email vhs@vhs.state.vt.us

Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents
1980: 115,308
1990: 151,506
2000: 169,391
Percent change, 1990-2000 11.8%
U.S. rank in 1980: 224th
U.S. rank in 1990: 218th
U.S. rank in 2000: 183rd
City Residents
1980: 37,712
1990: 39,217
2000: 38,889
2003 estimate: 39,148
Percent change, 1990-2000: – 0.6%
U.S. rank in 1980: 590th
U.S. rank in 1990: 675th
U.S. rank in 2000: Not reported (State rank: 1st)
Density: 3,682 people per square mile (2000)
Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)
White: 35,883
Black or African American: 693
American Indian and Alaska Native: 182
Asian: 1,031
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 8
Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 546
Other: 211
Percent of residents born in state: 45.1% (2000)
Age characteristics (2000)
Population under 5 years old: 1,788
Population 5 to 9 years old: 1,826
Population 10 to 14 years old: 1,690
Population 15 to 19 years old: 3,566
Population 20 to 24 years old: 7,343
Population 25 to 34 years old: 6,822
Population 35 to 44 years old: 5,244
Population 45 to 54 years old: 4,073
Population 55 to 59 years old: 1,387
Population 60 to 64 years old: 1,058
Population 65 to 74 years old: 1,936
Population 75 to 84 years old: 1,451
Population 85 years and older: 705
Median age: 29.2 years
Births (2002, Chittenden County) Total number: 1,600
Deaths (2002, Chittenden County)
Total number: 984 (of which, 2 were infants under the age of 1 year)
Money income (1999)
Per capita income: $19,011
Median household income: $33,070
Total households: 15,869
Number of households with income of…
less than $10,000: 2,016
$10,000 to $14,999: 1,225
$15,000 to $24,999: 2,665
$25,000 to $34,999: 2,389
$35,000 to $49,999: 2,706
$50,000 to $74,999: 2,469
$75,000 to $99,999: 1,316
$100,000 to $149,999: 693
$150,000 to $199,999: 170
$200,000 or more: 220
Percent of families below poverty level: 10.4% (45.4% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 1,871

Municipal Government

Burlington operates under a weak-mayoral form of government. The mayor is elected to a 3-year term while the 14 members of the city council receive 2-year terms. Burlington is the seat of Chittenden County.
Head Official: Mayor Peter A. Clavelle (NP) (since 1989; current term expires April 2006)
Total Number of City Employees: 654 (2005)
City Information: City of Burlington, City Hall, 149 Church St., Burlington, VT 05401; telephone (802)865-7000


Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Greater Burlington is the industrial, tourist, and financial center of the state. Manufacturing is the largest industry in Burlington, led by the electronics industries that had fueled an industrial boom during the 1990s. This region of Vermont supports nearly one-third of the state’s manufacturing employment. The 20-block downtown shopping and residential district alone accounts for 9,000 workers in positions such as service, government, and retail, making it the second largest employment area in the state. The Greater Burlington region contains hundreds of small manufacturers producing a wide variety of products; many national and international manufacturing businesses have plants there that also support attendant service businesses. Tourism is the area’s second largest industry; several banks are also headquartered there.
Items and goods produced: electronics and computer parts; food products; textiles; apparel; lumber; paper and wood products; furniture and fixtures; chemicals and allied products; petroleum, coal, rubber, plastic, leather, stone, clay, and glass products; toys; jewelry; primary and fabricated metals; machinery and electrical equipment; instruments.

Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies

Local programs—Vermont, under the Regional Economic Development Program, has been organized into development districts to provide in-depth assistance to existing businesses and industries interested in locating in the area. Each of these nonprofit development corporations coordinates economic development efforts in the region. The agency responsible for Burlington is the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation (GBIC). Also assisting local businesses is the Community and Economic Development Office, a department of the city of Burlington, that maintains business guides, offers tax incentives and loans, and advises on general business planning matters.
State programs—The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) consists of nine members appointed by the governor who facilitate several funding programs, while the State of Vermont’s Department of Economic Development fosters business development and overseas trading. In 1998, Vermont passed Act 71, an Act Relating to Education, Taxation and Education Financing that contains a package of financial incentives, the most comprehensive in Vermont’s history, designed to stimulate quality growth throughout the State of Vermont. Unlike incentive programs adopted by many states, Vermont’s program incorporates a strategic framework that emphasizes quality jobs and symbolizes the state’s core values with regard to meaningful employment opportunity. Facilitated by the Vermont Economic Progress Council (VEPC), the statute creates an innovative approval process for awarding tax incentives to both businesses and municipalities for economic development activity. Applications will be approved if they compare favorably to a set of guidelines and show that they will have a net positive fiscal effect. The incentives program is designed to benefit companies that already call Vermont home, with a special focus on small businesses.
Job training programs—The State of Vermont Department of Labor (VDOL) operates Career Resource Centers throughout the state for job-seekers, a free jobs database at Vermont Job Link, and the Workforce Education and Training Fund for both new and active workers while giving employers tax incentives for hiring displaced workers. The Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Learn to Earn program, as part of the Vermont School-to-Work collaborative, strives to enhance economic development and quality of life by focusing on improving the quality of education in the Lake Champlain region through business-education partnerships, School-to-Work transition initiatives, and workforce preparation strategies. It provides Learn to Earn opportunities in a variety of industry-certified programs including building trades, culinary studies, aviation technology, printing trades, dental assisting, childcare, and others. Students entering these programs receive advanced credits and placements when they enroll in college. Graduates of these partnership programs receive education and training that enables smooth transition into high paying jobs in the community.
The Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC), partially funded by the federal Small Business Administration (SBA), is available to assist new and existing small businesses with basic training courses and individual counseling; the Chittenden County branch worked with 170 clients in 2003. A field office of the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC) is in Burlington, and offers workshops and counseling to small- and medium-sized manufacturers. The VMEC collaborates with the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), state colleges, and other state agencies.

Development Projects

The city’s Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO) creates detailed annual action plans that focus on particular projects and programs throughout the area. Recent developments reported by the CEDO in their 2003-2004 plan include the Innovation Center of Vermont, the Burlington Town Center, and waterfront growth (including a $14 million project involving an inn, theaters, and retail and office space). The vitality of the downtown area can be seen in the planning of 300 new housing units by 2008, and a condominium project. And, according to the proposed 2005 city budget, nearly $1 million in developmental monies have been set aside for improving the ascetics of the downtown area. In transportation, the Burlington International Airport began a $24.8 million expansion in 2003 that included a new parking garage, expansion of a terminal, and the addition of gates; the third phase is still in progress in 2005.
Economic Development Information: Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation, 60 Main St., PO Box 786, Burlington, VT 05402; telephone (802)862-5726; toll-free(800)942-4288; fax (802)860-4288; email gbic@vermont .org. Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, 60 Main St., Ste. 100, Burlington, VT 05401; telephone (802)863-3489; toll-free (877)686-5253; fax (802)863- 1538; email vermont@vermont.org Commercial Shipping
Once perceived as a rural area far removed from transportation networks and cut off from important markets, supplies and services, the Greater Burlington area has solidified its position in telecommunications, road, rail, air, and waterborne transport of goods to all areas of the United States, Canada, and worldwide.
An excellent—and scenic—highway system is used by a number of local and long-distance trucking companies offering overnight service to cities as distant as Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, and Toronto, Canada—roughly 80 million consumers are located within a 500-mile radius of the city. Rail freight service is provided by Vermont Railway, which connects Burlington with three interline carriers including the Canadian Pacific Railway System, and Central Vermont Railway. Modern Burlington International Airport (BTV) offers air freight and expedited air service. Tugboats, barges, and tankers on Lake Champlain and its canals carry cargo to the Port of Montreal, the St. Lawrence Seaway, and south to the Port of New York.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

Workers in the Greater Burlington area have been described as industrious, dependable, ingenious, and self-motivated. Its labor force has witnessed consistent growth in recent years with the total amount in 2002 of 106,500, representing nearly a third of Vermont’s workers. Meanwhile, the city of Burlington’s employment level of over 31,000 in 2002 also accounted for a third of Chittenden County’s workforce. The greatest gains have been in the service industry which have helped to offset some losses in the manufacturing sector.
One of Vermont’s biggest growth industries in the 1990s and 2000s was the ”captive insurance” business, wholly-owned subsidiaries of large corporations that enable them to control insurance costs. Vermont passed its captive insurance law in 1981 and one captive was formed that year; by 1986 there were 69, and in 1990 there were 215; the number ballooned to more than 700 by the end of 2004.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Burlington and South Burlington, Vermont metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages.
Size of nonagricultural labor force: 113,300
Number of workers employed in …
construction and mining: 6,100
manufacturing: 15,300
trade, transportation and utilities: 22,000
information: 3,200
financial activities: 5,400
professional and business services: 10,000
educational and health services: 18,100
leisure and hospitality: 10,700
other services: 3,700
government: 19,100
Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $15.15
Unemployment rate: 3.1% (April 2005)
Largest employers(Burlington metropolitan area)                        Number of employees
IBM Corporation                                                                                            6,000
Fletcher Allen Health Care                                                                            4,086
University of Vermont                                                                                   3,137
Chittenden Corp.                                                                                          1,208
IDX Systems Corporation                                                                                 750
Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc.                                                                         735
Napoli Group                                                                                                    680
City of Burlington                                                                                            654
Verizon                                                                                                           650
Goodrich Corp.                                                                                                645
Cost of Living
The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the Burlington area.
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $339,117
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 117.6 (U.S. average = 100.0)
State income tax rate: 3.6-9.5%
State sales tax rate: 6%
Local income tax rate: None
Local sales tax rate: None
Property tax rate: $2.7162 per $100 of value (2005)
Economic Information: Lake Champlain Valley RMO, The Lake Champlain Regional Marketing Organization, 60 Main St., Ste. 100, Burlington, VT 05401; telephone (802)863-3489; toll-free (877)686-5253; fax (802)863-1538; email vermont @vermont.org. Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation, 60 Main St., PO Box 786, Burlington, VT 05402; telephone (802)862-5726; toll-free (800)942-4288; fax (802)860-4288; email gbic@vermont.org. Vermont Department of Labor, PO Box 488, 5 Green Mountain Dr., Montpelier, VT 05601; telephone (802)828-4000; fax (802)828-4022. Community & Economic Development Office, City Hall, 149 Church St., Rm. 32, Burlington, VT 05401; telephone (802)865-7144; fax (802)865-7024; fd@ci.burlington.vt.us

Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Burlington’s is the largest and most diverse school district in Vermont. The system is overseen by the Board of School Commissioners whose 14 members are elected to two-year terms. Connections with five institutions of higher education, including the University of Vermont and partnerships with a variety of businesses, including IBM, support the high standards for learning in the Burlington schools. On average, teachers in the district hold master’s degrees coupled with 15 years of experience.
The following is a summary of information regarding the Burlington public schools as of the 2004-2005 school year.
Total enrollment: 3,532
Number of facilities
elementary schools: 6
junior high/middle schools: 2
senior high schools: 1
other: 4
Student/teacher ratio: 11.8:1
Teacher salaries average: $50,754
Funding per pupil: $7,264
Chittenden County is also home to a number of parochial elementary and secondary schools along with several dozen private institutions.
Public Schools Information: Superintendent of Schools, Burlington School District, 150 Colchester Ave., Burlington, VT 05401; telephone (802)865-5332; fax (802)864-8501

Colleges and Universities

Burlington is home to the University of Vermont, founded in 1791, which offers more than 90 fields of study in 8 undergraduate divisions and graduate programs, including medicine. The campus resides on 450 acres and educates 8,000 undergraduates, nearly 1,300 graduate students, and about 400 medical students. The College of Medicine received a ninth-place ranking (of 125 medical schools nationwide) in a 2006 survey by U.S. News and World Report for its primary care training. Established in 1878, the private Champlain College provides its 1,700 fulltime students 29 undergraduate-degree programs and two master’s degree programs. Also located in the city is Burlington College, an alternative liberal arts private college; St. Michael’s College, renowned for its theater program; and the Community College of Vermont.

Libraries and Research Centers

Burlington’s Fletcher Free Library contains more than 100,000 topics along with CDs, audio topics, videos, and children’s materials. The Romanesque-style Billings Library, built in 1885 and rededicated in 1962 as the Billings Student Center, houses the 12,000-topic collection assembled by George Perkins Marsh, author of Man and Nature, still regarded as the ecologist’s bible. Four libraries at the University of Vermont boast 1.4 million volumes and 20,000 periodicals along with a variety of other resources, while Champlain College features 60,000 volumes and 6,000 electronic topics. Libraries are also maintained by Trinity College, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and the National Gardening Association.
Research on heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses is conducted by Fletcher Allen Health Care in conjunction with the University of Vermont College of Medicine. The university also conducts research in such areas as international studies, rural studies, art objects, maple trees and other flora, water needs of cold areas, engineering, business, chemistry, and product development.
Public Library Information: Fletcher Free Public Library, 235 College St., Burlington, VT 05401; telephone (802)863-
3403; fax (802)865-7227

Health Care

SELF magazine selected Burlington as the healthiest city in the country in November 2003. In 1995 Fletcher Allen Health Care formed via the integration of former entities Fanny Allen Hospital, Medical Center Hospital of Vermont, and University Health Center. A teaching facility, it includes more than 700 physicians and 1,200 registered nurses and provides a full range of tertiary level inpatient and outpatient services at the Colchester and Burlington campuses. Services offered include cardiology, radiology, kidney dialysis and transplant, rehabilitation, occupational and physical therapy, and a regional laboratory. The Howard Center for Human Services is based in Burlington and offers regional families mental health and crisis support services.
Health Care Information: Fletcher Allen Health Care, Medical Center Campus, 111 Colchester Ave., Burlington, VT; telephone (802)847-0000



The Greater Burlington area offers many architectural landmarks. Examples of distinctive nineteenth-century styles can be seen in the Pearl Street Historic District and the Head of Church Street Historic District. City Hall Park Historic District in downtown Burlington preserves significant buildings from the city’s early history, such as Ethan Allen Fire Station and City Hall. The University Green Historic District at the University of Vermont is surrounded by 29 historic buildings; the land was donated by Ira Allen, brother of Ethan, with the stipulation that it be preserved.
Battery Park, the scene of a battle between British and American troops during the War of 1812, offers scenic vistas and sunsets. Ferry cruises of Lake Champlain depart from Burlington Harbor in the Battery Street-King Street Historic District, the city’s earliest settled area.
At Shelburne Farms, a 1,000-acre landscape designed by Olmsted offers breathtaking lake and mountain vistas. Vermont products are sold at its visitor’s center.

Arts and Culture

A major showcase for the performing arts in Burlington is the 2,600-seat Memorial Auditorium, which holds about 12 major concerts a year, augmented by about 6 to 8 local concerts. Burlington City Arts operates the Firehouse Center for the Visual Arts, displaying a variety of exhibits at the renovated Ethan Allen Firehouse. The Vermont Symphony Orchestra is based in Burlington and performs 50 concerts annually at different venues across the state.
Burlington offers a rich schedule of artistic events throughout the year. The summer music season includes the Vermont Mozart Festival, offering a series of chamber music concerts at varying locales in the region. Banjo and fiddle contests as well as bandshell concerts are also popular. The University of Vermont’s 295-seat Royall Tyler Theatre provides a variety of offerings. Summer professional theatrical performances are presented at St. Michael’s Playhouse, while the Art-Deco style, 1,453-seat Flynn Theatre is the scene of performing arts events of all kinds all year long. The Lyric Theatre of Burlington and the Lane Performing Artist Series at the University of Vermont are also popular.
The university is home to Robert Hull Fleming Museum, a $15-million collection of more than 20,000 paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. The Shelburne Museum in nearby Shelburne, a 100-acre complex housing one of the largest collections of Americana in the country, features 39 early American buildings and an extensive display of 150,000 eighteenth- and nineteenth-century artifacts. The Discovery Museum of Essex specializes in hands-on exhibits oriented toward children, and includes a planetarium. For all ages the ECHO at the Leahy Center provides an educational and enjoyable day at the lake aquarium and science center, highlighted by 100 interactive exhibits and 60 species of animals.
Artisans of all kinds have long been attracted to the natural beauty of Vermont, and their works are on display at several arts and crafts galleries in and around Burlington.
Arts and Culture Information: Burlington City Arts, 149 Church St., Burlington, VT 05401; telephone (802)865-7166
The University of Vermont, considered one of the best undergraduate institutions in the country, was founded in 1791
The University of Vermont, considered one of the best undergraduate institutions in the country, was founded in 1791.

Festivals and Holidays

Festivals abound in greater Burlington as the area hosts the Lake Champlain Balloon Festival, the Vermont Mozart Festival, and Ben & Jerry’s One World One Heart Festival. St. Patrick’s Day is marked by the week-long Burlington Irish Heritage Festival. Vermont is the country’s leading producer of maple syrup, and the sugaring season is celebrated in nearby St. Albans at the annual Vermont Maple Festival in early April. A parade, art, and activities make for a fun-filled Kids’ Day festival in early May for some 15,000 attendees.
At the Green Mountain Chew-Chew, held in June, local eateries prepare ethnic specialties in what is billed as northern New England’s largest smorgasbord, attracting about 60,000 people. Also in June is the Discover Jazz Festival with music at various locations throughout the city, and the Art’s Alive Annual Juried Festival of Fine Art which presents workshops and demonstrations. July begins with a Fourth of July celebration; the middle of the month features samplings from 25 breweries at the Vermont Brewers Festival. The summer wraps up with the state’s largest county fair, the 10-day Champlain Valley Fair for 300,000 people.
Autumn in Vermont is an unofficial festival, when spectacular fall foliage draws visitors from all over the world. Winter brings the Vermont Handcrafters Fair in November in South Burlington at the Sheraton Conference Center, and a Christmas celebration at the Shelburne Museum in early December with music, an old-fashioned magic show, and craft-making. The holiday season is also celebrated by a lighting ceremony of 100,000 lights at the Church Street Marketplace, followed by First Night on New Year’s Eve, when downtown Burlington is the scene of a gala featuring parades, fireworks, music, and other family-friendly performances at 32 venues. In February, the Winter Festival offers indoor and outdoor fun highlighted by ice sculpting, sledding, and other events.

Sports for the Spectator

Affiliated with Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Washington Nationals, the Class A Vermont Expos, founded in 1994, play from June through September at Centennial Field, located on the campus of the University of Vermont in the New York-Penn League. The Catamounts of the University of Vermont are part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Division I with men’s and women’s programs in hockey, soccer, basketball, baseball, and track events.

Sports for the Participant

Burlington’s location on the shore of Lake Champlain, the nation’s sixth largest freshwater lake, near the Green Mountains provides a wide spectrum of year-round recreational opportunities. Summer offers boating, golfing, hiking, horse-back riding, swimming, and tennis. An eight-mile bike path curves along the lake, traversing parks and three public beaches. Within the city, 30 parks and natural areas occupy 531 acres and offer residents a variety of options. Fishing is popular winter and summer. Burlington is the hub of downhill skiing in the East; cross-country skiing night and day on miles of scenic trails is also possible, as are sleigh rides and snow boarding. Ice skaters can choose among six different outdoor venues as well as indoors at the Gordon H. Paquette Arena in Leddy Park, which also hosts local hockey leagues.

Shopping and Dining

Constructed in 1981, the centerpiece of downtown Burlington is the Church Street Marketplace, a bustling four-block outdoor pedestrian mall lined with more than 100 shops along with restaurants and cafes; among the wares offered are original works by local artists along with retailers such as Banana Republic, Eddie Bauer, and Old Navy. Adjoining the marketplace is Burlington Square Mall, offering 60 specialty stores on 150,000 square feet of space including Filene’s Department Store, Gap, and Victoria’s Secret. University Mall in South Burlington is the state’s largest indoor mall with more than 70 stores and restaurants and featuring major retailers such as JCPenney, Sears, and the Children’s Place. Several indoor and outdoor malls and factory outlet stores are located within a seven-mile radius, as are the types of stores for which Vermont is most famous—crafts, antiques, and Vermont-made products.
Burlington’s growing sophistication has resulted in a restaurant renaissance, and many establishments, from small chef-owned to classic country inns, offer Vermont-made dairy and other products; fresh lake trout is a local specialty. After dinner visitors may enjoy a stroll to Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Parlor for a sampling of what a national magazine described as ”the best ice cream in the world.” On Saturdays between May and October, the Burlington Farmers’ Market in City Hall Park brings out an abundance of food from local farmers and bakers along with the wares of crafts makers.
Visitor Information: Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, 60 Main St., Ste. 100, Burlington, VT 05401; telephone (802)863-3489; toll-free (877)686-5253; fax (802)863-1538; email vermont@vermont.org

Convention Facilities

Meeting and convention business is one of the largest segments of Vermont’s economy. The Burlington area offers more than 3,000 guest rooms in 34 hotels and motels along with a variety of meeting facilities encompassing about 385,000 square feet to accommodate large and small groups.
A principal meeting place is Memorial Auditorium in downtown Burlington, offering two levels of exhibit space totaling nearly 17,000 square feet. The 1,453-seat Flynn Theatre, also located downtown, is available for lectures, award ceremonies, and live performances. Conferences can be held on the 500-passenger Spirit of Ethan Allen III cruise ship and dining yacht from May through October. Other unique function space is provided at Fleming and Shelburne museums and Shelburne Farms.
Convention Information: Vermont Convention Bureau, 60 Main St., Ste. 100, Burlington, VA 05401; telephone
(802)863-3489; toll-free (877)686-5253; fax (802)863- 1538; email meetings@vermont.org


Approaching the City

Burlington is the air hub of Vermont. Burlington International Airport (BTV), three miles east of the city, is served by seven major airlines traveling to major destinations in New England and the Midwest; about one-half million passengers are served yearly. Amtrak and Green Mountain Railroad provide rail service throughout New England and the New York area. Major highway routes are interstates 89 and 91, and U.S. 7 and U.S. 2. Greyhound/Vermont Transit offers bus service; passenger and auto ferries travel across Lake Champlain between Vermont and upstate New York at three locations, provided by the Lake Champlain Transportation Company.

Traveling in the City

Driving tours of Burlington and its environs are a popular way to see the area, but rush-hour bottlenecks and traffic jams do occur and the prudent visitor may wish to carry a map. The downtown area has ample parking for those who do wish to venture about with 4,000 spaces in lots and garages. A fleet of 47 buses carry about 1.6 million passengers annually and connects Burlington to the surrounding areas, courtesy of Chittenden County Transportation Authority (CCTA); all buses are equipped with bike racks and paratransit services are available.


Newspapers and Magazines

Burlington’s daily newspaper, The Burlington Free Press, is published every morning, and the Vermont Times, VOX (an arts newspaper), and Seven Days (politics and culture) appear weekly while The Vermont Catholic Tribune is produced biweekly. Magazines published monthly in Burlington include National Gardening, Vermont Business Magazine, Vermont Outdoors Magazine, and Kids VT, published 10 times per year.


Television viewers in Burlington may choose from two network affiliates, one public station, and cable service. Four FM radio stations, including one owned by the University of Vermont and another featuring National Public Radio (NPR) programming, and three AM stations broadcast from Burlington.
Media Information: The Burlington Free Press, PO Box 10, Burlington, VT 05402; telephone (802)863-3441

Burlington Online

Burlington City Arts (events). Available www.burlington cityarts.com
The Burlington Free Press. Available www.burlington freepress.com
Burlington School District. Available www.bsdvt.org
City of Burlington Home Page. Available at www.ci .burlington.vt.us
Community & Economic Development Office, City of Burlington. Available www.cedoburlington.org
Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation. Available www .vermont.org/gbic
Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. Available www.vermont.org
State of Vermont, Department of Labor. Available www.det .state.vt.us
Vermont Convention Bureau. Available www.vermont.org/ groups
Vermont Department of Economic Development. Available www.thinkvermont.com
Vermont Department of Education School Report (Burlington). Available crs.uvm.edu/schlrpt
Vermont Department of Tourism. Available www.1-800-vermont.com
Vermont Historical Society. Available www.vermonthistory.org
Vermont Life Magazine. Available www.vtlife.com
Vermont Living. Available www.vtliving.com

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