Are you looking for a wedding experience that is unique and special? Look no further than Burlington, Vermont! This beautiful city offers couples the perfect mix of outdoor beauty and urban amenities to make their Vermont wedding unforgettable. With picturesque mountain views, vibrant cityscapes, and the backdrop of Lake Champlain, Burlington is an ideal destination for couples seeking a one-of-a-kind wedding experience all weekend long.
We recently sat down with Sabiha Mujkić , ECHO’s Event & Retail Specialist, to map out the perfect Burlington wedding weekend itinerary. We know these ideas will help you have an unforgettable celebration!
A Unique Burlington Wedding Venue
One of our favorite Burlington wedding venue is ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain. A staple for families throughout the green mountain state, ECHO is a science and nature museum located right on the Burlington waterfront.
This one-of-a-kind venue offers a pristine lakefront location and breathtaking, uninterrupted views of the Adirondacks outside, and sparkling aquariums and elegant spaces for ceremonies, dining, and dancing inside.
“Our team takes care of every detail from start to finish and makes it our priority to support as many local businesses during the process,” says Sabiha. “For example, we work with Sugar Snap catering, who offers delicious and original farm to table catering.” Think: Vermont made cheeses at cocktail hour, signature drinks with maple syrup, and lots of Vermont beer options at the bar.
Plus, you and your guests get exclusive access to the entire museum for your event, which is a truly unique experience!
And, a wedding at ECHO directly supports Vermont communities and education, which is something to feel good about!
A Burlington Wedding Weekend Itinerary
Burlington is Vermont’s most bustling city, with a variety of activities to choose from. In fact, there are so many things to do in the Queen City that it’s almost impossible to list them all, but here are some of our top recommendations!
Burlington Wedding Activities for Nature Lovers
It’s no secret that Vermont is beautiful all four seasons! That also means that there is always something to do outdoors.
Spring & Summer Activities
The crown jewel of Burlington is Lake Champlain, which you can paddle board, kayak, sail or swim in. You can also take a scenic bike ride alongside the lake on the famous Burlington bike path. (North Star Sports offers both regular and electric bikes in case you can’t bring your own.) This is a great idea for guests looking to explore more of Vermont’s natural beauty at their own pace.
In the neighboring town of Colchester, the bike path turns into the Causeway, a path that runs through Lake Champlain with unforgettable views on both sides. If you’re feeling up for it, the path goes all the way up to the Champlain Islands, where orchards, like Hackett’s, and wineries, like Snow Farm Vineyard, are waiting to be explored. (Spoiler alert: It’s worth it!) Just be sure to check the ferry schedule as you’ll need to take a quick ride between the Causeway and the Islands.
A quick car ride will get wedding guests to some incredible hiking options in the area, such as Oakledge Park and Red Rocks, both located in Burlington’s South End. These parks are also great spots for swimming in the summer.
In Burlington’s New North End, the Intervale Center has scenic community gardens and walking paths to explore. The Intervale holds a weekly concert series in the summer, complete with food trucks.
For something truly unique, you can book a private charter boat to take you and your loved ones around the Lake. Sabiha shares that while most couples take advantage of ECHO’s lakefront views for their ceremony, some couples opt to have a private wedding ceremony out on the lake before celebrating their larger reception at ECHO. This can be an amazing beautiful, and intimate experience for a couple looking to do something unique!
If you’re looking for a manageable peak to conquer, Mount Philo, located in Charlotte, Vermont will do the trick. This hike is gorgeous all year round but especially in the fall. On your way to this state park, you’ll also drive through the towns of South Burlington and Shelburne, which are both filled with their own charm! There are also lots of craft fairs that take place throughout the state during this time of year, filled with tons of local makers!
If you’re visiting in the winter, pack your layers and suit up because we don’t hibernate here! There is something truly beautiful about freshly fallen snow. From ice skating to cross country skiing, snowshoeing or skiing and snowboarding – there’s plenty of activity within Burlington, or only a short distance away. Some of Vermont’s best areas and mountains to explore are less than an hour away from Burlington. We suggest checking out Leddy Park, Cochran’s ski area (yes, that famous Olympic family!), Smuggler’s Notch, Stowe or Bolton Valley.
Afterwards, warm up with hot chocolates or maple lattes on Church Street Marketplace! (More on this iconic spot below!)
Burlington Attractions for Food, Beer, and Entertainment
Burlington is a dream destination for foodies, music fans, and beer lovers!
Truly there are too many restaurants to name in a single article. Burlington is foodie paradise, with new locations opening all the time! One resource we recommend for checking out local options (and finding out about new spots) is Love Burlington.
For beer, one of our favorite pockets of Burlington, is Pine Street, which is home to Zero Gravity, Burlington Beer Company, Citizen Cider and Queen City Brewery. Pine street is also home to Burlington’s Farmer’s market, which takes place every Saturday in the spring, summer and early fall. There’s also Truck Stop on summer Fridays, complete complete with rotating food truck vendors and live music.
Foam Brewers and Spot on the Dock are two more can’t miss spots in the summer, offering unparalleled views of the lake and yummy refreshments. For a unique evening, hit up the arcade bar Archives. Or check out Lincoln’s or Deli 126, two speakeasies, each with their own charm!
Looking to catch a show? Burlington has excellent entertainment available year round, from the Vermont Comedy Club, to the The Flynn Theatre, or Higher Ground.
Church Street Marketplace
Of course, no trip to Vermont is complete without a walk on Church Street, Burlington’s pedestrian only street, filled with local boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants. It’s home to the Burlington Jazz Festival and Festival of Fools events in the summer, and decorated oh-so-dazzling for the holidays come winter. It’s truly a must-see for every Burlington visit!
Getting to Burlington
There are a few travel options when it comes to arriving or leaving Burlington, Vermont, making it a great spot for a destination wedding! The Burlington International Airport (BTV) is Vermont’s largest airport, serving northern New England and offering commercial, private and charter flights. (If you’re used to very large and bustling airports, this one may be a breath of fresh air!)
Burlington is also easy to get to by car. Interstate I-89 will help most New Englanders and New Yorkers make their way back home. Lake Champlain even has boat ferries that can transport you across the lake and over to upstate New York, which can cut down on driving times depending on your destination.
Planning Your Dream Burlington Wedding
We hope these ideas get you as excited to explore Burlington as we are! Thank you to Sabiha and the team at ECHO for sharing insights for this article. You can learn more about ECHO in the vendor guide.