From Poughkeepsie: 4.5 hours
There’s more to Vermont than syrup and sugar snow: Collegiate Burlington is energized by old- and new-school eats, a thriving cultural scene, and enough beer and coffee to keep you buzzing along.
The city is packed with restaurants, many of which are near Church Street Marketplace’s artsy shopping district. Penny Cluse Café has the undisputed best breakfast/brunch around. The menu has all the classics, but order the banana bread: It’s as big as your face and served warm. Don’t skip City Market, a community-owned grocery with a great hot-food-and-salad bar (plus, you can pick up souvenirs), or Scout & Co., for the most sought-after java, even better-enjoyed while strolling the Lake Champlain waterfront nearby.
Sustainable Shelburne Farms, a National Historic Landmark, is a must to visit animals, watch cheesemaking, and take a class, or check out the Shelburne Museum, featuring more than 100,000 works of art and Americana. Time your visit so you can grab a drink at the superb on-site restaurant and watch the sunset on the lawn.
photo By storylanding
Breweries abound throughout Burlington (don’t miss Foam Brewers), and the cider situation is serious, too (hello, Citizen Cider). For something different, however, hole up in Dedalus Wine, a combo bottle-shop/wine bar for mind-blowing pours and charcuterie. It’s on Pine Street, easily the hippest strip in the city and home to The S.P.A.C.E. Gallery, where you’ll discover ample cultural and arts events.
For dinner, Hen of the Wood is touted as number one in town (seriously, eat here.) Menus are local and change almost daily, but the mushroom toast — with seasonal accouterments — is pretty constant and comes highly recommended for good reason.
A clear choice for artists and creatives, this renovated 1881 Victorian home in the heart of the city is laced with modern art and musical instruments you can dabble with at your leisure (there’s also a library, hot tub, and “crows’ nest” lookout up top). Each of the four rooms is distinct, but all are equipped with a record player (and vinyl library), chalkboard wall, and contemporary furnishings, plus a minibar stocked with locally brewed IPAs, and every Vermont-made snack you could crave (all included in your rate). And you’re guaranteed a gourmet breakfast of local foods from innkeeper Linda Wolf — one of the most accommodating people you’ll ever meet. From $249/night; www.madeinnvermont.com