5 free things to do in Burlington, Vt., area

Associated Press Modified: September 6, 2012 at 10:47 am •  Published: September 6, 2012

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Mountain and lake views along with fall foliage can be had for free in Vermont's largest city of Burlington, which feels more like a big town than a city. The college town, home to the University of Vermont and a number of other schools, sits on the shores of Lake Champlain, a 120-mile (193-kilometer) lake between Vermont and upstate New York, with spectacular views of the Adirondack Mountains. The city offers a waterfront bike and walking path and parks as well as a downtown pedestrian mall, easy access to mountain hikes and foliage viewing, all at no cost.

BIKE PATH: Burlington has a 7.5-mile (12-kilometer) recreational path that runs along Lake Champlain from Oakledge Park in the southern end of the city to the Winooski River, at the northern point. The path runs through three waterfront parks, past city neighborhoods, and offers bikers, walkers and runners spectacular views of the lake and Adirondack Mountains across the water in New York. Details at http://www.enjoyburlington.com/Parks/BikePath1.cfm .

CHURCH STREET MARKETPLACE: The center of downtown is Church Street Marketplace, four city blocks paved with brick that have been closed to traffic so that pedestrians can stroll among shops and restaurants, many of which offer outdoor dining in warm weather. The array of shops and restaurants from Leunig's Bistro to Ben & Jerry's to Frog Hollow Vermont State Craft Center can be viewed at http://www.churchstreetmarketplace.com .

WATERFRONT PARK: Within walking distance of downtown are 900 feet (275 meters) of lakeshore, a boardwalk and benches, and scenic boathouse where visitors can watch ferries come and go, see boats in the marina and enjoy the sunset, http://www.enjoyburlington.com/waterfront.cfm .

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