on October 3, 2006
My girlfriend had done some digging and found this large open-air market in Burlington. She is a fan of Fanueil Hall in Boston, so she suggested that we should visit her discovery: the Church Street Marketplace.Located between the UVM campus and Lake Champlain, this mecca of merchants won't leave you hungry, not entertained, or without new couture.Parking is available at a variety of neighborhood lots. We parked in the parking garage adjacent to the mall. NB: If you park here, you HAVE to take your ticket with you, because you must pay BEFORE heading back to your car. While we were waiting to get out, we noticed one driver who didn't know this policy, and had to literally run back into the mall while a line of traffic behind her waited.While the open-air nature of the venue makes it reminiscent of Fanueil Hall, there are some striking differences. Yes, like in Boston, Church Street has its street performers and its handful of mainstream major retailers. However, Church Street has an "attached" 50+ store mall, like you would see in suburban America. Outside, there are more local retailers and eateries, whereas Fanueil has a lot of mainstream retailers.We ate at the Church Street Tavern. Small, intimate dining areas with a bar created the pub environment in northern Vermont. Service was very good with a prompt, courteous greeting from the waitress. The service was outdone by the superb food. Pub basics done really well, and ample portions. The onion rings...phenomenal. Prices were reasonable as well (about $7 for a sandwich).The day we went was wonderful with blue skies, and cool temperatures. People were in great moods, and you couldn't help but get sucked into the window shopping.As long as it is good weather, I would suggest a stop by the Church Street Marketplace.
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