A popular destination for tourists looking for great maple syrup and amazing fall foliage, Vermont's largest city and home to the University of Vermont is Burlington. This free-thinking, liberal bastion is known for its great people watching and scenic pedestrian marketplaces.

WHAT TO DO

Burlington's downtown is home to eclectic mixture of shops and restaurants. The pedestrian mall, Church Street Marketplace, is a great place to hang out, people watch and pick up some great Vermont goodies. Here you can sit and watch Burlington's interesting mixture of flower-child hippies, students, artists, tattooed hipsters and college preps mingling in the center of town. Downtown you will also find great street performances, which range from violinists to hip-hop dancers. The greatest thing about hanging out downtown? It's free.

No trip to Burlington is complete without a visit to the original Ben and Jerry's ice cream shop, located on the corner College St. and Saint Paul St.

Burlington also sits on the shores of Lake Champlain, where you watch dragon boat races, take a cruise tour of the harbor or visit the ECHO lake aquarium and science center. For those looking to get outdoors, there is also a ton of great hiking in the area from a beginner hike like Mount Philo to the more challenging routes of Camel's hump and Mount Mansfield.

GETTING THERE

Burlington International Airport (BTV) is located in town and is serviced by many major U.S. carriers, making finding a flight to Burlington fairly easy. While visitors coming from smaller cities may have trouble finding a direct flight into this relatively small airport, connections make Burlington very accessible. If you are driving to the airport, you can save both time and money by booking your Burlington airport parking in advance.

WHERE TO STAY

As a popular New England destination for tourists, Burlington is home to a wide range of hotels from larger chains to smaller bed and breakfasts. With a wide range of options, it should be easy to find a cheap hotel in Burlington. Backpackers will not only feel at home in this laid-back city, they also shouldn’t have too many problems getting a cheap bed at a hostel in Burlington.