New England Road Trip 2016: Day 5 (Part 1) – On the Shores of Lake Champlain

(Date: April 25, 2016)

I woke up in the morning realizing that my road trip in New England was almost over and that I had to make the best of it. I had a great night sleep that night, and I felt refreshed! I went down to the breakfast room to get something to eat. After a good breakfast, I checked out of the hotel, and I drove a few miles west to downtown Burlington, Vermont. I found a parking spot near the city hall. As it was a Monday morning, the parking meters were active, so I inputted enough quarters to last me for a couple hours.

The square standing in front of Burlington City Hall was quite beautiful early in the morning. However, it was quite chilly as I had my jacket on. Regardless, the views of the city hall, built in 1928, were simply amazing. I could tell right away that the atmosphere here was perfect for anyone to go out for a morning run. Although I didn’t run around the city or anything, I did continue east Main Street where I saw another historic building even older than City Hall (the current one)! Across the street on Main Street lies the Chittenden County Courthouse. Although the courthouse has only resided in the building since 1972, it was built as a U.S. Post Office and Custom House in 1906. If you look carefully at the top, you can still see the words, “Post Office and Custom House.”

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On the other side of City Hall lies Church Street. If you look up the long road, you will see the Unitarian Church at the very end. The church dates back to 1816 over a century before the current City Hall was built! Standing between the church and me is the Church Street Marketplace, a car-free (for the most part) pedestrian zone hosting many shops and restaurants. I am really glad to see many cities in the United States dedicate more roads as pedestrian zones as they provide a great environment for people to shop and partake in city traditions without having to worry about oncoming traffic. When I went to Germany and the United Kingdom the previous year, I got to see numerous pedestrian zones and how convenient they are. After all, beautiful and historic cities, I feel, are meant to be seen by foot. You can only see so much from an automobile.

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After making the trek up to the end of Church Street, I was able to get a much closer look at the Unitarian Church and its beauty! As I was still on the south side of the road, I had the Richardson Building (1895) and the Masonic Temple (1898) beside me. I continued west over to the corner of Pearl and Park St. On the other side of Park St. lies Battery Park, the site where the United States Army fought against British gunboats back during the War of 1812. Nowadays, you will not see warships along the beautiful Lake Champlain, but you will see many passenger boats and ferries as many ferries cross over the lake to New York. Best of all, you can see the outstanding Adirondacks across the lake!

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Before I left Burlington, I wanted to go down by the waterfront. However, there is no direct path to the bottom of the hill from Battery Park. I walked down the hill on Park St. to College St. From there I could reach the boardwalk which goes along the lake. Along the shore there is one of the three major car ferries going across the lake; ECHO, a museum for kids where you can learn more about Lake Champlain; and the Burlington Boathouse where you can even take boat rides on the lake. Best of all, it is a great place to get a close look at the beauty of Lake Champlain. As I was there in late April, there were hardly any boats at the boathouse. Regardless, the waterfront is one place to check out for sure when visiting Burlington.

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Burlington is the largest city in Vermont, and it is such a beauty with a great downtown and a beautiful coastline along Lake Champlain. After buying a bottled water at a local pharmacy, I made my way south toward the Vermont/New York border. I drove south on US 7 into the Vermont countryside in between the lake and the Green Mountains. Before crossing over the bridge to New York, I managed to drive through a couple of small Vermont towns via Highway 22A and Highway 17: Vergennes and Addison. As I crossed a narrower stretch of Lake Champlain, I waved goodbye to New England as I was getting ready to enter the state of New York. I will definitely return to New England in the future as there is a lot more to see.

In my next blog post, I will talk more about my journey through the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. Thank you for reading, and this is Scott signing out!

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