7 Reasons to Head to Burlington’s Waterfront

Burlington’s waterfront is having a renaissance with the recent addition of a new sailing center, 160-slip marina, a surf club and more.

In May, the new Burlington Harbor Marina opened with 160 slips. The high-end marina has direct access to downtown, a pet area, a food truck, and a host of services including a personal butler to deliver meals to your yacht and a boat detailing and cleaning service. Did we mention that 60 of those slips will be for night-to-night rental?

If you don’t own a yacht, stop in at the new Community Sailing Center (right), which opened last summer next to the iconic Moran building.  The beautiful new space features

The new Community Sailing Center. Photo by Ryan Bent Photography, courtesy the Lake Champlain Sailing Center

classrooms for year-round education programs, yoga and adaptive watersports. Rent a kayak, stand up paddleboard, canoe or take a lesson.  You can also take out one of the Center’s O’pen Bics, Escapes, Hartley 10s, Lasers (pictured right) or 420s, or a keelboat.

And in February, Burlington’s City Council approved a plan to redesign the Moran Plant, the city’s haggard and long-since decommissioned coal-powered power plant. The city plans to strip away the brick, fill in the basement and create an open-air space for vendors and concerts, with new facilities and public art.

This fall, ECHO, the waterfront museum, will bring an outdoor climate change exhibit to the waterfront, with free interactive displays about how climate change is already affecting Lake Champlain. From May 25 to September 15, ECHO also hosts an interactive exhibit “Trivial Pursuit, A 50-State Adventure!” Kids can move through more than 50 hands-on activities, highlighting each state.

Lake Champlain may not have much surf but last summer the Burlington Surf Club (check out the unusual story behind the surf club from our sister publication, Vermont Sports Magazine) opened. Located on a shady beach, the club has Hobie Cats, windsurfers, SUPS to rent and Adirondack chairs to lounge in. There’s also a pavilion where you can take an open-air yoga class. Just 125 steps away (he counted), Surf Club owner Russ Scully is planning the neighboring Hula Campus, a super hip co-working space where you can rent everything from an office for your startup to a hot desk for occasional business travel. Grab food from the cafeteria, catered by Scully’s waterfront restaurant The Spot on the Dock. Showers and workout space are also included.

While you’re checking out the Burlington Surf Club and Hula, be sure to swing by the Soda Plant and check out the new home of Zafa Wines and tasting room for Vergennes-based Shacksbury Cider. For more about Zafa Wines, see our story about vintner-owner Krista Scruggs, here.

At the Burlington Surf Club, anyone can rent a board or get a day pass to hang and enjoy beach chairs, a yoga pavilion and the surf retail shack. Photo by Lisa Lynn

This summer, rock climbers with a Rock Point Property Pass can climb Lone Rock Point, (left) accessed via a wooded trail from the Burlington Bike Path, just north of North Beach. The cliff, which is owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont, opened to climbers in fall 2017. CRAG-VT secured access to the stunning limestone crag through a special use agreement that requires climbers sign in and make a $5 donation for a permit. No more than eight climbers can use the area at a time, so be sure to check cragvt.org for regulations.

A climber finds some deep water bouldering off of Lone Rock Point. Photo by Ben Moffat.

Featured Photo Captions: Photo by M.P. Hogan Photography, courtesy the Community Sailing Center.

Abagael Giles

Abagael Giles is the Assistant Editor at Vermont Ski + Ride Magazine. She loves free-heel skiing and exploring her home state of Vermont–one ridgetop at a time. Find her on Twitter at @AbagaelGiles.