Burlington is Vermont’s most populous city and the capital of Chittenden County. It is located
45 miles south of the Canadian border along the eastern shore of Lake Champlain. The city
occupies about 15 square miles, one-third of which is water. It is home to 42,452 people (2015
Burlington traces its origin to a land grant awarded to a group of 64 people in 1763. Settlers appeared in 1775, but permanent settlement did not take root until after the Revolutionary War, and 1785 marks the official organization of the community as a town. With the construction of several canals in the first half of the nineteenth century, the town developed as a port city active in commerce.
Burlington’s climate is classified as humid continental, meaning you’ll experience cold winters while summers are generally warm and humid. The average high temperature for the year is 55°F, and the average annual low is 37°F. The city sees annual rainfall of 37 inches and a whopping 81 inches of snow. January is the coldest month, with average highs of 27°F.
Burlington’s bus service is provided by Chittenden County Transportation Authority. The community is pedestrian and cyclist friendly with sidewalks and designated bike lanes in much of the city. Vehicular traffic in and around Burlington relies on I-89/189, U.S. Highways 7 and 2, and State Roads 127 and 116. Burlington International Airport is a major hub for air travel. Green Mountain Railroad provides passenger rail service with access to its Burlington Station.
Burlington Cost of Living
You’ll pay about 20 to 25 percent more to live in Burlington versus the typical U.S. city. Housing will take the biggest chunk of the budget and carries a 50 percent premium. Utilities will cost you about 30 percent more than national averages. You’ll pay seven percent in local and state sales taxes. If you own real estate, you’ll also pay 2.5 percent of the assessed value in annual property tax. For a median-priced home ($266K), that equates to $6,650 a year. How far can your earnings go in Burlington? Use the links below to see.
The Burlington School District operates fourteen schools and educational programs, including four elementary schools, two middle schools, a high school, a Technical Center, and an Integrated Arts Academy. Among the private schools in Burlington are Rock Point High School and Rice Memorial High (Catholic). For higher education, Burlington is home to Burlington College, Champlain College, and the University of Vermont (research university), three of 22 accredited colleges and universities across Vermont.
There are five hospitals within 30 miles of Burlington. The University of Vermont Medical Center (formerly Fletcher Allen Health Care) is located in Burlington. It is a 426-bed facility and is rated by US News and World Report as a high-performing institution for COPD and Heart Failure. The U of V Health Network also operates Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital Medical Center, a 300+ bed facility 20 miles away in Plattsburgh, NY.
Burlington Real Estate
The latest figures for Burlington (2010) showed 16,702 available housing units and an owner-occupied rate of 40.3 percent. The median value of owner-occupied housing units from 2010 to 2014 was $265,800. Homeowners with a mortgage typically paid $1726 selected monthly costs of ownership. The median gross rent during this same period was $1,050.
Expect to pay $100 or more for overnight lodging in Burlington, although a handful of properties offer rates from $80. If your budget allows an upscale stay, consider the four-star Hotel Vermont downtown, a short walk from the Echo Lake Aquarium and Science Center. If you would like to do a little shopping, you might like the Double Tree by Hilton in South Burlington. It’s located next to the Dorset Square Mall Shopping Center and just a five-minute drive from the airport.
Allow yourself a little extra time for dining in Burlington because with so many good choices, you’ll likely have difficulty deciding. For the “panache of Paris,” with the value of locally sourced Vermont foods, get a table at Leunig’s Bistro and Cafe. If your appetite isn’t completely in sync with normal dining hours, you’ll like the choice of early-bird and night-owl dinner specials. Or, get the scoop on fresh and delicious with a plate of Ahi Sushi Tacos at the Daily Planet Restaurant, where the menu features ingredients from local farms and producers.
Burlington Things To Do
If you’re looking for a fun family outing, the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain is high on our list. Located downtown right on Lake Champlain and features a host of hands-on activities and exhibits for learning about the ecology, culture, and history of the Lake Champlain Basin. A trip to Shelburne Museum will fill more than a day with about three dozen buildings on 45 acres, housing unique collections of art and antiquities. If you’d like to take in the area’s natural beauty, plan an excursion to the Green Mountain Audubon Center. The five miles of nature trails are open year round from dawn to dusk.