Heading to the Lake Champlain in Vermont? We’ve got the perfect roundup of what to see, do, and eat while you’re there, plus where to stay when it’s time for bed. Read on to see our picks for the best of Lake Champlain for 2015! BEST ATTRACTIONS AT LAKE CHAMPLAIN Best Place to Learn the […]
By Yankee Magazine
May 18 2015
Best Islands Bistro | Blue Paddle Bistro, South HeroPhoto Credit : Mandy Hotchkiss
Heading to the Lake Champlain in Vermont? We’ve got the perfect roundup of what to see, do, and eat while you’re there, plus where to stay when it’s time for bed. Read on to see our picks for the best of Lake Champlain for 2015!
BEST ATTRACTIONS AT LAKE CHAMPLAIN
Best Place to Learn the Lake
ECHO Lake Aquarium & Science Center, Burlington
America’s “Sixth Great Lake” and environs are the focus of this waterfront resource, where visitors come face to face with Champlain’s denizens. Learn about the area’s ecological history, shipwrecks, and of course the legendary monster, “Champ.” (The name stands for Ecology, Culture, History, and Opportunity.)
1 College St. 802-864-1848; echovermont.org
BTV Flea, Burlington
The city’s burgeoning South End Arts District hosts a bustling flea market on the third Sunday of each month from May through October, featuring antiques, handicrafts, artwork, brewery tours and tastings, and lots of food.
180 Flynn Ave. 802-488-5766; vintageinspired.net
Burlington & Colchester Bike Paths
Cyclists skirt the city shoreline, cross the Winooski River, and connect with suburban Colchester’s own bike trail. The fun really begins as the route heads out onto Lake Champlain along a 3½-mile former railroad causeway. A seasonal bike ferry links with scenic roads threading the Champlain Islands.
802-864- 0123; (Burlington Dept. of Parks & Recreation). 802-861-2700; localmotion.org (ferry information and bike rentals)
BEST PLACES TO STAY AT LAKE CHAMPLAIN
Best Historic Hostelry
Shoreham Inn & Pub, Shoreham
Not all guests arrive by bike, although this 200+-year-old inn draws cyclists enjoying gentle Champlain Valley terrain. Vermont crafts and furnishings fill 10 cozy rooms and suites, and a British-inspired gastropub is provisioned by local suppliers of everything from apples to ale. Rates: from $145.
51 Inn Road. 802-897-5081; shorehaminn.com
Best New B&B
Made Inn Vermont, Burlington
Luxe B&B or micro-hotel? Burlington’s newest inn blends 19th- and 20th-century styles — including for-sale Vermont artworks — in a classic, cupola-topped Victorian mansion. Enjoy gel-topped mattresses, in-room fridges stocked with local delicacies, a sauna, and an outdoor hot tub. Beer and wine are available. Rates: from $225.
204 South Willard St. 802-399-2788; madeinnvermont.com
Historic Highlight – Best Inn on the Islands
North Hero House, North Hero (1891)
No small inn sits closer to Lake Champlain than this serene spot, in business since 1891. Twenty-six rooms and suites feature amenities such as fireplaces and screened-porch hammocks. Fine and casual dining options include a new lakeside “Steamship Pier” bar and grille. Rates: from $125.
3643 Route 2. 802-372-4732; northherohouse.com
BEST PLACES TO EAT AT LAKE CHAMPLAIN
Best Locavore Menu
Starry Night Café, Ferrisburgh
The emphasis on local sourcing here extends even to floral centerpieces and hand-blown glassware—but most important are the local produce, meats, and dairy products that go into one of the region’s most creative menus. Succulent pork loin is brined in Vermont cider before grilling; beef is from Grass Roots Farm in nearby Charlotte. Entrées: from $25.
5371 Route 7. 802-877-6316; starrynightcafe.com
Best Spot at Sunset
Splash at the Boathouse, Burlington
To end the day or start the evening, order a drink and an appetizer and watch the sun set nover Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks at the Queen City’s only floating waterfront restaurant. Order a couple of the house-special “Rock the Docks” cocktails and you might even see the Caribbean-green flash. Entrées: from $10.95.
College St. 802-658-2244; splashattheboathouse.com
Best Islands Bistro
Blue Paddle Bistro, South Hero
Phoebe Bright and Mandy Hotchkiss have made this intimate, casual spot a Champlain Islands destination. Favorites include coffee-crusted pork tenderloin and butternut squash-stuffed ravioli. There’s also a lighter bar menu. Entrées: from $15.
316 Route 2. 802-372-4814; bluepaddlebistro.com