Under $100: Burlington, Vermont
Vermont’s largest city is especially beautiful in fall when the leaves change colors, but visitors will find plenty to do year-round without digging too far into their wallets.
Nestled in the Green Mountains and bordered by Lake Champlain, Burlington is a city for people who don’t normally like cities. The Island Line Trail offers eight miles of paved cycling along the lake. Unless you ride the bike ferry ($8 for a day pass), it’s absolutely free.
Champlain might not be as famous as Loch Ness, but it also has a fabled lake monster. Check out the “Champ” exhibit at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center ($13.50 admission fee) or search the lake up-close in a kayak. Rentals start at $20 for two hours at Umiak Outdoor Outfitters on North Beach.
Weather in the Queen City (as Burlington is nicknamed) can be frigid. If negative temperatures make the outdoors a less than pleasant option, there are plenty of stores and pubs to explore on Church Street. The historic Flynn Theater hosts regular concerts and shows, but a budgeted traveler can also check out the building while attending one of several free events.
Finish your visit on a high note at the Skinny Pancake on Lake Street, where they make a mean crepe using local ingredients like Vermont maple syrup and serve breakfast all day for less than $10.