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  • Writer's picturePatrice Gagnon

8 Most Beautiful Places to Take Pictures in Burlington, Vermont

Updated: May 8

Burlington is a beautiful lakeshore city in Vermont. It has amazing views of Lake Champlain, a beautiful city center, and delicious little restaurants scattered across the city.

Anybody who lives on the east coast of the United States or Canada owes it to themselves to do a road trip into Vermont and to Burlington. It is a perfect weekend destination to stay in beautiful hotels, watch the sunset, and enjoy relaxing afternoons sailing on the Lake.

As a travel photographer, Burlington was a very cool destination to visit both for its charming streets but also because of the magnificent views and colors of Lake Champlain. By reading my small guide to travel photography in Burlington, Vermont, you’ll know exactly where the most beautiful and Instagrammable photography spots in the city are. All that’s left is thinking of how soon you can leave for Burlington, Vermont!

Here are the most beautiful places to take pictures in Burlington, Vermont:

1. Waterfront Park

Lake Champlain, Waterfront Park, Burlington, Vermont
A view of Lake Champlain from Waterfront Park.

Waterfront Park is located by the shore of Lake Champlain in downtown Burlington. It has great views of the sailing center as well as an accessible bike path and small seafood restaurants by the water.

This is a great spot to spend an afternoon sitting and strolling alongside the water taking in the beautiful smells and sights of Lake Champlain and watching the boats sail on the water. Make sure to stay for the sunset, as the Waterfront Park boasts some of the prettiest sunsets in Vermont.

2. Church Street Marketplace

Church Street Marketplace, Burlington, Vermont
Beautiful evening view of Church Street Marketplace

Church Street Marketplace is a must go spot in downtown Burlington. Church Street is known for its iconic pedestrian path surrounded by many small old retail stores with a beautiful New England style church in the background.

Stay here for the delicious small New England eateries and shops into the evening for some beautiful colorful shots of the street with building lights lit on for magical pictures.

3. Lake Champlain

Champlain Lake, Burlington Shore, Vermont
View of Lake Champlain from the Burlington Shore

Burlington, Vermont is built next to Lake Champlain. From most places in Burlington, you’ll be able to catch unique glimpses of this beautiful Lake including of the Adirondacks on the opposite shore.

If you can, book a tour of the Lake and enjoy a unique early morning or late evening ride on the lake and capture beautiful travel inspired pictures of this wonderful East Coast destination.

It goes without saying, but I really recommend a sunset shot of the astounding Lake Champlain, whether from Battery Park, Waterfront Park, or even on a sailing boat to get the most out of your next big Instagram shots.

4. Breakwater Lighthouses

Breakwater Lighthouse, Lake Champlain, Burlington, Vermont
One of the Breakwater Lighthouses on Lake Champlain.

Breakwater Lighthouses is an iconic spot in Burlington and especially popular with lighthouse hunters. It is located on Lake Champlain and named after two lighthouses located on separate ends of the breakwater along the Burlington Harbor.

The Breakwater Lighthouse is not accessible to visitors and while they are better viewed from a tour boat on Lake Champlain, you can get some really cool views of the lighthouses from the shore as well, especially with a telephoto lens.

Whether it’s a sunset, rainy, a storm, or even a foggy day, these lighthouses are very picturesque and can help you get some really cool shots during your stay in Burlington.

5. Battery Park

Waterfront Park, Battery Park, Burlington, Vermont
View of Waterfront Park from Battery Park

Battery Park is located right next to Waterfront Park and is home to some nice greenery with views of both Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks.

What sets Battery Park apart from the other Lake Champlain spots in Burlington is its relative elevation that offers better views of the surrounding area include the Waterfront Park. This means instead of having an outward view of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks, you can actually capture a bit of Burlington in your shot as well! It’s also a perfect spot for an afternoon picnic.

Make sure to stay for the beautiful sunset views as Battery Park is well known as a sunset spot in Burlington.

6. Island Line Bike Trail

Island Line Bike Trail Crossing Lake Champlain, Burlington, Vermont
Island Line Bike Trail Crossing Lake Champlain by Fred Murphy (flickr)

Getting out of the Burlington core, we have the Island Line Bike Trail which is a bicycle trail that departs in Burlington on the edge of Lake Champlain and takes you across the lake towards a small island called Grand Isle.

This trail is known for it’s gorgeous views of Lake Champlain and is especially cool because at one point in the path, you’ll be surrounded by water with a 360 degree view of the Lake! This trail is rated as easy and is only 22km long which is not too long on a bicycle. You can even start from the Waterfront Park instead of South Burlington to shorten the trail.

Don’t want to use a bike? Well you’re in luck because you can walk the trail as well although it will take significantly more time to complete.

I recommend checking the sunset times and planning your adventure perfectly to have enough food and time to be finishing up the trail during sunset for beautiful idyllic views of Lake Champlain.

7. Mt. Philo State Park

Mt. Philo State Park close to Burlington, Vermont
Mt. Philo State Park by Joe C (@joec3 via flickr)

The Mount Philo State Park is located approximately 30 minutes away from Burlington. It’s an awesome spot for people looking for a tiny road trip away from the city when visiting Burlington.

I recommend you do the Mount Philo Trail which is a medium difficulty 3.1km trail that takes you all the way up to Mount Philo. Mount Philo offers sweeping views of the surrounding region including Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. Mount Philo is also known for its wildflowers that bloom during Spring and Summer. During the fall, the region turns orange and yellow which is one of the prettiest sights you’ll see.

The views here are absolutely fantastic and if you’re able to, bring a few different types of lenses to get the best possible pictures of both the amazing landscapes and far away mountains and lake.

8. Shelburne Farms

Pristine New England Church at Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, Burlington, Vermont
Pristine New England Church at Shelburne Farms

Shelburne Farms is sort of an old authentic New England settlement village located in Shelburne about 20 minutes away from Burlington. It is a must stop spot when in the area and offers many cool opportunities for awesome pictures.

There are some small little houses, larger richer houses, a church, old barns, a lighthouse, and even a full sized vessel in the village. You can get a ton of cool family pictures and there are also opportunities for unique looking old style shots.

I recommend spending at least an afternoon here, you’re sure to have a ton of fun visiting all these cute little spots.

Hopefully, you enjoyed this article. Vermont is an underrated spot in the United States and it has a ton of cute towns and villages. Burlington is known for being one of the best destinations in Vermont and I wholeheartedly recommend a one or two night stay here during your travels to Vermont.

If you want to see more travel photography guides on the East Coast of North America, click on the articles below:

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