Burlington, Vermont

So Quaint It Will Make You Puke

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What's it like to live in Burlington?

What is it like to live in Burlington, VT?

I’ve “lived” in Burlington, VT for 3 years now and it’s mainly because of college. In my first year, I just lived in a dorm on campus and then went home during breaks and the summer.

Last year, I stayed for the summer and it was so enjoyable. It’s expensive to live on your own but it’s more affordable with a roommate or two. It gets really warm sometimes which I don’t enjoy, but otherwise the weather is really nice.

If you’re college-aged or even a bit older, it’s a town with plenty to do and plenty of cool places to explore. I don’t know how it is if you’re older or not into the same things as other people.

Its a town that really makes walking where you need to go easy. You can just make a quick trip downtown to Church Street which is a sort of outdoor mall with tons of shops and cool eateries. My friends and I will just walk downtown on a nice day to do some light shopping and exploring.

What is it like to live in Burlington, VT?


Talking about the cost of living.. it is expensive.

The apartments in Burlington-the city itself are quite old and dated.. and you’d easily spend about $2000 in rent for a small apartment.

If you move a further out.. like in Winooski or Essex.. rent does go down.. about $500 and the apartments are decent.

Living in Burlington has its own perks though. A lot and I mean a lot of places to eat, the lake is nearby. It depends on where in Burlington you live.. but the lake is mostly accessible from anywhere in Burlington.

Parking can sometimes be an issue but there are multiple parking garages and street parking so it isn’t too terrible.

Public transportation is decent, it’s mostly around UVM (University of Vermont) so if you plan to go further out of Burlington you might have to take multiple buses. Uber/Lyft are pretty good here too.

It is very expensive to own a house here because the property taxes are high.

Vermont also ranks high in the state tax.. you’ll be paying about 8.75% in state taxes and about 7–8% in sales taxes.

Salaries aren’t quite high.

We do have an airport, so you have easy access to a lot of places. But it’s a small airport with 8 gates and flight prices are in the higher range too.

You can always drive out to Montreal(2hrs away) or Boston(3–4hrs away) for a good deal on flights.

Summer is beautiful. Lots of hikes and activities in the lake. Lots of swimming and BBQing. It’s awesome!

Hope that helps!

What are some things I should know before moving to Burlington, VT?

I was born and raised in Burlington, VT. Within the past year I have moved to a different state. Depending on where you are coming from, it can be a shock to move to the Green Mountain State. While majestic and beautiful from late spring to fall, winter can be a tough season, unless you love winter sports or really don't mind the cold. It is a very expensive state to live in (1 bedroom apartments in the city can run from $1000-studio to $1600 no utilities, no parking, decent size place), fuel is expensive, food is outrageous. The are some quirky laws-you cannot tie your giraffe to a telephone pole. You may leave your house naked, but you cannot leave your house dressed and take your clothes off in public (you will see people occasionally walking around naked). Often the bad and the strange are game changers for people…. The flip side, again beautiful, friendly, eclectic place to grow up. Free music in parks and on the pedestrian walk on Church Street fill the summer air. Festivals galore throughout the state (and it's only 4.5 hours from one end of the state to the other.). Most of the people are friendly, community is very big. If you are friendly, you will get to know your neighbors. Don't judge anyone by the way they dress or look, you may see someone with ragged clothes who is a millionaire. People with multicolor hair, tattoos and piercings could be a lawyer or doctor-people are expressive. In the summer you will see a lot of “homeless” people hanging on Church Street and you will learn you cannot help them all.

I hope this helped (I was only there for 46 years, so my opinion may not mean much!)!

What's it like to live in Burlington, VT?

I've lived in Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago, and I live in Burlington now. I love it - I make trips up to Montreal when I want museums and botanical gardens, a wider variety of restaurants, etc. But Burlington is not a big city. There are great things to do, and a fair number of things to try. I moved in July and still haven't tried all the restaurants, visited all of the UVM museums, tried all the hiking trails or discovered all of the secret spots. Someone else mentioned the comedy club, I've been meaning to go but haven't made it and will have to wait until after quarantine.

But it's not comparable to living in a major city - you won't find twenty different events to choose from every night, multiple contemporary art galleries opening up new shows, multiple maker-spaces to choose from, or whatever. Expect the same amenities you'd find in a big city, but fewer.

And that's okay! If you're typical college age (late teens or early twenties), it probably won't matter. You'll likely be so involved in classes and campus things that Burlington will work well. If you're late twenties or older and value having all large city amenities nearby, it may be a difficult transition.

Living in Burlington, Vermont -Ben Krueger