Burlington Hot Spots – The Vermont Cynic

As summer ends and classes get closer and closer, UVM students from across the country will begin their pilgrimage back to campus.

UVM first graders and transfers may struggle to find the secret (and not-so-secret) places in town that Burlingtonians love to spend their time.

To make it a little easier for those looking to capture last summer, here are the five student hotspots to visit before (and after) the leaves turn.

Skate park

If you are looking for an alternative skate partner or just want to perfect your kickflip, the Andy A_Dog Williams Skatepark is the place for you.

The skate park is located on Burlington’s infamous Waterfront Park right next to the old Moran Plant and has been filled with baggy pants and carabiner key fobs all summer. Scooter riders and rollerbladers are not put off. There is a lot of concrete to share.

For those of us who aren’t as coordinated as our wheely friends, the skate park is still a great place to just hang out and watch the action.

Kru coffee collective

Three people are sitting at Kru Coffee on August 27, working and reading. (Kate Vanni)

After hours of practicing your pop shuvits and heel flips, quench your thirst and take a load off with a cold drink of Kru Coffee.

In a prime location on the corner of Pearl and Church St., Kru attracts all types of students looking for an aesthetically pleasing cafe to buy their iced latte.

If you are looking for a place to do homework on the weekend while looking like the main character, Kru is the place for you. Be warned, however, if you sit inside you may have to fight your teeth and nails to get the perfect window seat.

Kru is also a fantastic place to meet potential new friends or meet on a casual first date. Being close to all the shops on Church Street is a conducive to new relationship.

What if it doesn’t work? Well, Kru will still be there for you to bury your feelings in artisanal roasted coffee and savory baked goods.

Burlington City Arts Center

The Burlington City Arts Market on August 28th. The market takes place weekly on Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Kate Vanni)

For a complete escape to a whole new world, take a short walk from Kru to the Burlington City Arts Center.

The BCA is located at 135 Church St. and always offers a unique experience. Walking through these glass doors is like a portal into a new dimension.

With new exhibitions every few months, BCA wants to promote a sense of community around art. Melinda Johns, BCA’s gallery and education coordinator, said there are many ways to get involved in this community.

“It’s a great place to meet new people, enjoy free contemporary art exhibitions, artist talks, tours, events, and now concerts at City Hall Park,” said Johns. “Our galleries are a safe and inclusive communal space that is offered as a resource for inspiration or to hang out with a friend.”

BCA also hosts a local market on Saturdays from 5-7am.

The currently shown exhibition “Bubblegum Pop” literally takes you into a majestic world. But you only have to visit to understand why.

Leddy beach

Junior Emily Walzm and Junior Maggie Talty stand together on Leddy Beach.
(Kate Vanni)

Do you want to get away from the city without straying too far? This coveted location is a popular student retreat. Located on North Avenue, this can be a bit of a hike for students without a car. But fear not, the trek can easily be turned into an adventure by taking the Island Line Trail to Leddy Beach.

The trail begins on the waterfront, where you will find Greenride Bikeshare luggage racks that can be hired at short notice. Hop on a bike and head north past Burlington High School until you reach Leddy Beach.

As one of the city’s quieter beaches, Leddy is a popular spot for evening picnics and swimming. If you stay long enough, watch the beach slowly light up in the orange glow of Vermont sunsets. Put out your towel and calm down.

Oakledge Park

Groups swim, sunbathe and barbecue in Oakledge Park August 27th. (Kate Vanni)

This next place is perfect for a full day excursion. Either bring your hammock and sway in the trees or pack a picnic to enjoy on the rocks, Oakledge Park is the perfect lakefront bag on the South End.

The green fields, tree house views, beaches, volleyball courts, and hiking trails at Oakledge Park ensure your day is fun outdoors.

The real gem of Oakledge is the view of Lake Champlain and Adirondacks from the cliffs right on the water. On each warm sunny day, the cliffs, accessible via off-trail paths, are filled with sunbathers listening to music from bluetooth speakers.

A few miles from the busy Shelburne Road, Oakledge is the perfect place to escape the city noise of downtown Burlington and the starry sky. If you get there before dark you can watch the sun set over the Adirondacks.

So there you have it. These spots are sure to help you make new connections with your classmates and do so with beautiful views.

About Stephanie McGehee

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