A Winter Weekend in Burlington, VT

I visit Burlington often [see journal about an autumn weekend] to get away from the concrete jungle that is New York City and to get some fresh air.


A Winter Weekend in Burlington, VT

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by ext212 on January 31, 2004

Coming from New York City, Burlington is your best and closest mountain to ski or to snowboard and actually enjoy the snow and below-zero temperatures. Driving around town and seeing the bare hills covered in snow is a nice change of scenery if you're coming from New York City.${QuickSuggestions} Leave New York City behind for a weekend and breathe the fresh air in Burlington, Vermont.${BestWay} Burlington is a good five hour plus drive from New York City and only a two hour drive from Montreal, Canada. You definitely need your own car to get around. But I usually fly to Burlington from New York's La Guardia airport via US Airways or Jetblue (from NYC's JFK airport) for about $100-$150 roundtrip for an hour flight. Book your flights early to avoid the steep prices of more than $300!

1/2

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by ext212 on January 31, 2004

Smoking is still legal in Burlington bars, but we found a bar simply called 1/2 that was smoke-free. (I'm not sure if it's pronounced "half" or "one-half.") It was a much better place to hang out than the usual small pubs around town full of college kids with football blaring on the TVs. They have a decent selection of wine sold by the glass that you can order to pair with the night's dinner specials. On a recent Friday, we ordered a mediocre plate of empanadas that came with gravy. We also had a choice between a plate of different cheeses or the Cajun shrimp cocktail. (I'll keep coming here to drink and chill, but I probably would go someplace else for dinner.)

The place looks small but you can go downstairs for extra booths. You might appreciate the decor that seems to be inspired by a French chateau: low lights, velvet-covered cushions, beaded lamps -- much better than a deer's head hanging on the wall.
1/2 Lounge
136 1/2 Church St.
Burlington, Vermont, 05401
(802) 865-0012

Joyce's Noodles

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by ext212 on February 2, 2004

When your dining choice is limited to the Olive Garden in Burlington, it's easy to just go to Price Chopper [see review] and buy your own groceries and cook back at your lodge. We usually end up doing that, but one day of our weekend, we discovered Joyce's Noodles out in Essex.

Joyce's Noodles is a Chinese restaurant that's not like any take-out around town -- they actually have edible Chinese food I can recommend. We ordered the Chinese vegetables mixed with three kinds of mushrooms, the eggplant in garlic sauce, and the Hunan beef with young corn. They were all excellent in the brown sauce that came with them and the eggplants were very fresh. Chinese vegetable bok choy surrounded the mushrooms and those were equally refreshing as well.
Joyce's Noodle House
5 Carmichael St.
Burlington, Vermont, 05452
(802) 288-9828

Price Chopper

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by ext212 on January 31, 2004

I have to admit that besides the farmers' market, it is hard to find beautiful produce in New York City's grocery stores. It's the main reason why I hear angels sing when I enter Burlington's Price Chopper. Their fresh produce is always immaculate. I can always find even the most obscure vegetables and the freshest of herbs. I can imagine that because Vermont is made up of a lot of natural land, it's a much healthier place to farm and the surrounding stores benefit from the community's produce. Plus, prices are kept at an average because of their available stock as opposed to, say, $9 a pound for hard-to-find fresh mushrooms in New York City.

I always look forward to pushing my cart along the aisles of Price Chopper when I visit Burlington because I know that there's a bigger chance that dinner will be better to cook and eat at home when I have fresh produce in the trunk of my car.
Price Chopper
595 Shelburne Road
Burlington, Vermont, 05401
(802) 651-9835

Alpine Shop

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by ext212 on January 31, 2004

When snowboarders think of Burlington, the Burton company usually comes to mind when shopping for their boarding gear and insulated jackets and pants. I don't know about you, but I can't afford $400 jackets to keep myself warm when I go up the mountains, so I choose Alpine Shop if I need a new season replacement for my boarding needs.

They have a second floor full of merchandise on sale where I bought a snowboarding jacket for $80 cut from the original price of $250. I also scored when I found a nice pair of snowboarding pants for $95 versus $169.

Sure you have to do some scouring and the clerks are not as pretty as those who work at Burton, but for a good price on snowboarding essentials, who needs all that fluff?
Alpine Shop
1184 Williston Road
Burlington, Vermont, 05403
(802) 862-2714

Cheese Traders

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by ext212 on January 31, 2004

I always like to go to Cheese Traders for a bottle of wine because they have a huge selection of bottles arranged by country and type. If I want a decent bottle of Australian Shiraz for dinner, they have a lot to choose from ranging from those priced at $8 to those that go up to $45. I'm also amused that small cards are taped to the shelves and have quotes from a certain "Steve" reviewing each bottle and suggesting the perfect accompaniment with the bottle of your choice. I don't know who Steve is, but I've followed his advice more than once and he's never failed me. You can also pick up munchies like cheese, chips, and chocolates while at the store.
Cheese Traders and Wine Sellers
1186 Williston Road
Burlington, Vermont, 05403
(802) 863-0143

Roxy Cinemas

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by ext212 on February 2, 2004

Burlington might be a small tow,n but residents are lucky enough to have a small theater like Roxy that shows independent films. Sure, the films are shown a few weeks behind New York City's schedule, but when your selection includes 21 Grams and Gus Van Sant's Elephant, selections that were also shown at the Sunshine and at the Angelika in New York, timing doesn't matter as much.

The difference is that people who work here are happier and more accommodating; when we came in to watch The Cooler with William H. Macy and it wasn't showing at the right time, we were given a voucher for popcorn to make up for the confusion. Tickets in Burlington are not $10, but $7, and if you have a student ID, you're given a discount. It really isn't New York City!

Roxy is a nice break if you've been in the mountains all day skiing or boarding.

Roxy Cinemas
222 College Street
Burlington, Vermont, 05401
(802) 864-3456

Bolton Valley

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by ext212 on February 2, 2004

Bolton Valley is a relatively smaller mountain than nearby Stowe, but it's big enough for snowboarders like us who just want to warm up for the new year and get a little exercise. It's a short drive from Burlington and because it's not Stowe, you won't get hundreds of people on the same slope as you are. There's more than enough room to make wide turns with your board and getting off the lift is not as nerve-wracking as when you have a whole group right behind you.

We started at noon and we were able to buy the afternoon half-day tickets for only $25 with my boyfriend's student ID card. Still, the $49 full day rate is not as expensive as what the other mountains charge.

We went on a beautiful sunny Sunday and the fresh snow was about two inches, enough to have a good ride down and enough to make a clean stop. If you're not planning on spending more than five hours in the snow and you don't want to deal with a crowd, Bolton Valley is the way to go. You'll save a few dollars good for a nice pint back in downtown Burlington.
Bolton Valley
4302 Bolton Access Road
Burlington, Vermont, 05477
(802) 434-3350

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