A mere four-hour drive from central Connecticut via scenic Highway 91 through the mountains of Vermont, Burlington is a college town with a downtown that has much to offer visitors of all ages. It’s an ideal location for a short get-away and perfect place for bonding with the teenager in your life. Here are five suggestions to get you started on a weekend adventure:
1. Shop on Church Street. For a teen who likes to indulge in a little retail therapy, the stores on Church Street offer a little bit of everything. There is the traditional mall, which conveniently spans a downtown parking garage and a length of Church Street itself, almost appearing as a storefront from the road. But the real fun exists in meandering through the freestanding shops. Find Crow Bookstore, Urban Outfitters,souvenir shops, and Home Port, which is a 4-level Mecca of unusual items for every nook of the home from the office, to the kitchen, to the toy room.
2. Stroll the waterfront of Lake Champlain. This free and visually stunning walk includes a park with modern art sculptures, a paved walkway with benches, and unbeatable view of the lake.
3. Swim in your hotel’s indoor pool. On a day that is less than sunny, or at any point during your stay, really, you and your teen can relax and treat the hotel like a resort, lounging in a chaise or splashing around in the heated, gorgeous pool. The Sheraton has an exceptional pool as does the downtown-located Marriott and Hilton.
4. Eat al fresco at a sidewalk café. A number of restaurants offer outdoor seating and offer a variety of local and world cuisine. Halvorson’s is a Burlington favorite, as well as Church Street Tavern.
5. Watch a street performance. One thing you can count on in downtown Burlington is at least a few head-scratching and intriguing performances along the main strip. Didgeridoos, bag pipes, and tightrope walkers are just a sampling of selections you may encounter.
These options give you a chance to explore, laugh, relax, and reconnect with your teen-aged son or daughter (or step-child) offering plenty of conversation starters and ways for everyone in the family to have fun. The town is just far enough to feel “away” on vacation yet close enough not to take up too much travel time during your trip.