HipHunt: Burlington, VT

Your day in Burlington begins at Penny Cluse, a kitschy cafe located on Cherry Street. Pick a seat by the window to watch the city wake up as you dive into a bottomless cup of the cafe’s strong coffee. Check out the daily specials, but know that what you want is something slathered in the cafe’s famous herb gravy. We suggest sticking with the cafe’s namesake dish, the Penny Cluse, a dish with eggs, home fries, biscuits and, of course, a bowl of gravy. Snap a pic of your fuel and tag #hipmunk on Instagram!

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When you finish, head out and take a left on Cherry. Walk a block until you hit Church Street. Turn left or right, it doesn’t matter. You’ll want to explore every nook and cranny of Burlington’s famous walking street, which includes farm-to-table restaurants, candle shops, jewelry stores, and art galleries. Enjoy one of the many buskers you’re bound to run into, so find your favorite and film a video for us. Don’t forget to tag @thehipmunk on Instagram!

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Wander down Church Street until you reach Burlington City Arts at the corner of Church and Main. BCA offers a plethora of great arts exhibitions and concerts that feature everything from historic photography of Vermont to abstract painting. Duck inside to see which artists are being featured that month. Take a photo of yourself by the piece of art you’re most drawn to, and tell us why you love it in a tweet @thehipmunk.

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After taking in the exhibits at BCA, turn right onto Main Street and walk until you reach the waterfront. Choose a bench along the boardwalk and take in Lake Champlain. Be on the look out for Champ, the monster who, according to local myth, dwells at the bottom of the lake. (Better make sure your phone is ready, because if you spot the mythical beast, we need to see it @thehipmunk!) Spend a few peaceful moments this way and then head to the ECHO Lake Aquarium, where you can learn about the flora and fauna of the lake. If you’re hungry, head to the Skinny Pancake at the corner of College and Main Street. You’re safe ordering any of the delectable crepes available there, but we suggest the Sass-Squash, which is a wholly Vermont-y dish made with local squash, apples, and Vermont cheddar.

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After crepes, head up College Street, away from the waterfront until you reach Vermont Pub and Brewery, Vermont’s oldest brewery. The guy who owns this place, Greg Noonan, really knows his stuff, so take his lead on beer suggestions. Grab a seat at the bar and try one of their experimental brews, which could be as fanciful as a Strawberry Rhubarb Ale or as traditional as an Irish Red. Gab with some local Vermonters and tweet us the name of your favorite beer.

Groggy on your happy hour pint, make your way to City Hall Park, just down the street from the brewery. Sit for a moment and take in the quaint hustle of the city. Watch as the sun begins to sink below the mountains and the lake. Come in the Fall when the foliage makes the mountains glow with reds, oranges, and golds.

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When it’s time to eat, head to American Flatbread, which borders the park at Paul St. American Flatbread is a favorite amongst Burlingtoners, who gather around the large brick hearth in the center of the restaurant to feast on delicious flatbreads and salads. You really can’t go wrong here, but we suggest trying out the Punctuated Equilibrium flatbread, which is loaded with kalamata olives, sweet red peppers, Vermont goat cheese, and fresh rosemary. Many of the ingredients are locally sourced, so ask your waiter where the veggies on your dish came from. When you find out, tweet us!

As the day reaches its close, check out Merrill’s Roxy, an independently owned movie theater on College St. that plays popular and indie films. Or, take in a concert at Higher Ground, a great place to catch local and national talent. Or, if you’re beat from the day, take a meandering walk back to your hotel. Remember that the users with the best tweets and posts get a chance to win a #hipmunk tee!


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