Most of you reading this blog already know, and if not, could probably have guessed that I don’t make my living as a travel blogger (if only!). My day job is working at the University of Vermont in the Development and Alumni Relations Office. Last fall, I saw a really cool poster hanging in the kitchen of our building that had been created by the Class Councils (our undergraduate student leaders) called 101 Things To Do Before You Graduate UVM. It looked like this:
I loved the idea–it’s like a riff on the “100 Places to See Before You Die” and “100 Things to Do Before You Die” lists, only without mentioning that horrible “D” word and going that extra mile to 101. (Overachievers.) And it’s mostly about UVM student life. While it contains a lot of good general life advice, such as “Get a reusable drinking bottle” and “Figure out where the Health Center is before you need it,” it also contains a lot of UVM-specific items, such as “Learn the UVM fight song,” “Sit under the Flying Diaper,” and “Get an A in a class”. I got permission from the Class Councils coordinator to share the image of the poster here because there are some items on the list that would be appropriate for visitors to Burlington and Vermont, too. My favorites are:
People-watch on Church Street. As I mentioned in my recent guest post at GotSaga, the Church Street Marketplace is the best place to people-watch in Burlington. Though in the summer, Waterfront Park can be a great place to do that, too.
Spend a day at North Beach. North Beach is one of the most popular places to go swimming in the area and arguably the best beach in Burlington. While it’s not the ocean, it does get some decent waves at times and is just a fun, laid-back place to chill on a warm summer day.
Go apple-picking. This is such a quintessential Vermont experience every fall. If you’re here during that time of year (and are driving home or sticking around long enough to eat them!), you should definitely add it to your list.
Study by the fountain. Okay, maybe not “study”. How about “read a book”? There are a few fountains to choose from, including one on UVM’s Green, one in City Hall Park, one in front of City Hall on Church Street, and one on the top block of Church Street.
Spend a day barefoot. With our 6-month long winters, we don’t get to do this very often in Vermont, so we’ve got to take advantage of the opportunities when they do come along.
Ride the city bus. Chittenden County Transportation Authority (CCTA) has a number of routes covering various areas of Chittenden County, including Burlington, Winooski, South Burlington, Essex Junction, Shelburne–there’s even a Middlebury link bus. Riding the bus is a great way to meet locals while you’re getting around.
And okay, pretty much every mention of food and eating on the list gets a thumbs up from me–eating a cider donut, trying real Vermont maple syrup, getting dumplings and crepes from carts on Church Street, eating free cheese at Cabot and getting free ice cream cones at Ben & Jerry’s on free cone day. Yeah.
Anyway, the students inspired me tocome up with my own, non-student-centric version of 100 Things to Do in Vermont. (You will see some items on my list that are also on theirs because yes, those are things you must do in Vermont!) I created my list for tourists to Vermont, as well as people who live here for a year or more. You can read that list by clicking here.
The bonus for me was realizing that there are things on this list that I haven’t done yet, despite the fact that I’ve lived in Vermont my whole life. I was able to come up with some possible summer road trips for myself. It just goes to show, there’s still a lot to see and do, even in your own backyard. Have you tried this exercise for the region where you live? Give it a try, I bet you’ll come up with some things you haven’t done yet, too.