Burlington, Vermont

Best Places to Retire in Vermont


Burlington (population 40,000) is located in the northwestern part of the state. It is situated on the shores of beautiful Lake Champlain, which is the sixth largest freshwater lake in the U.S. Burlington is the county seat of Chittenden County, which has a population of about 150,000. That constitutes about 25% of the state’s total population. http://www.ci.burlington.vt.us/  The Burlington area offers an outstanding quality of life. Its benefits include excellent telecommunications and transportation, a highly educated workforce and a business friendly environment. It home to the University of Vermont (7,900 undergraduates) and three other fine colleges, a good school system, and outstanding healthcare services, including a teaching hospital. There are many cultural opportunities and good music, plenty of restaurants, and good shopping both in regional malls and an enclosed downtown mall. There are also festivals, museums and live theater.

For athletic and sports-minded persons, there is golf, tennis, sailing, hiking, biking, and some of the best skiing east of the Rocky Mountains. Spectators can take in a great number of college games in both men’s and women’s competitions.

Burlington and its surrounding area has consistently been cited in national publications as a great place to live. Some of its accolades in recent years include: “The Northeast’s Best Place To Live,” “The perfect small city,” “One of the top 10 cities to have it all,” “Great American Main Street award,” “One of 10 college towns worth a visit,” and “One of America’s Seven Best Retirement Cities.”

Arts & Culture

The Discover Jazz Festival, held annually in June has been acclaimed as “One of the 10 Best Festivals In the Country.” http://www.discoverjazz.com/ 

The “Lane Series” by the University of Vermont features 20 to 25 events each year at Ira Allen Chapel, the Recital Hall and Flynn Center. The series features a wide array of performances from classical music to popular artists, opera and theater. http://www.uvm.edu/~dceweb/lane/ 

Flynn Center for the Performing Arts is a principal venue. Its MainStage is a beautiful Art Deco Theater (1,450 seats) that features world-class music, jazz, theater, dance, and family performances. http://www.flynncenter.org/mainflash.html 

UVM (University of Vermont) Theatre – http://www.uvmtheatre.org/ 

The Vermont State Company (at Champlain College) operates from September until May. http://www.vtstage.org/about.html 

Lyric Theatre Company is a community-based theater that has been operating since 1974. http://www.lyrictheatrevt.org/ 

Adirondack History Center Museum (Elizabethtown, NY) –http://www.adkhistorycenter.org/ 

Clinton County Historical Museum (Plattsburgh, NY) preserves the rich history of the area, which includes military history from the French and Indian war, the American Revolution and the war of 1812 against the British. http://www.clintoncountyhistorical.org/ 

Shelburne Museum (Shelburne, VT) features art, Americana, architecture and many artifacts. Its 39 galleries and exhibition spaces contain over 150,000 objects. It has collections of folk art, tools, toys, and more. There are paintings by a number of the masters and 25 19th century structures including a covered bridge, a round barn, and a restored steamboat. http://www.shelburnemuseum.org/ 

National Museum of the Morgan Horse, Shelburne, VT –http://www.morganmuseum.org/ 


The Burlington Department of Parks and Recreation maintains all of the city’s facilities and offers recreation programs and events. http://www.enjoyburlington.com/ 

Winooski Valley Park District manages large natural areas for outdoor recreation and education. http://www.wvpd.org/ 

“Local Motion” is a greater Burlington non-profit organization that promotes bicycling, walking, running, and in-line skating in the area. http://www.localmotionvt.org/ 

Lake Champlain Bikeways is a non-profit organization that promotes cycling in the lake region. It functions as a public/private partnership. The bicycling network, known as Lake Champlain Bikeways, includes over 1,100 miles of routes. http://www.champlainbikeways.org/ 

Catamount Trail offers 300 miles of cross-country skiing. It starts in Readsboro, at the Massachusetts border, and goes all the way to North Troy on the Canadian Border. It is open for winter use only. The CTA (Catamount Trail Association) is member supported non-profit organization that maintains and conserves the trail. http://www.catamounttrail.org/ 

Vermont Expos are a professional baseball team in the New York-Penn league. The team is a “Class A” affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Home games are played at Centennial Field on the campus of the University of Vermont. http://www.vermontexpos.com/ 

The University of Vermont “Catamounts” athletic teams complete in 20 sports in NCAA Division I. There are 11 women’s teams and 9 men’s teams. It is a member of the America East Conference. http://www.uvm.edu/~sportspr/ 

Noted Alpine ski areas within one hour of Burlington include:
Bolton Valley – http://www.boltonvalley.com/winter/ 
Cochran’s – http://www.cochranskiarea.com/ 
Mad River Glen – http://www.madriverglen.com/ 
Smugglers Notch – http://www.smuggs.com/ 
Stowe – http://www.stowe.com/ 
Sugarbush – http://www.sugarbush.com/ 


University of Vermont is a four-year public college with 7,900 undergraduates, 1,100 graduate students, 400 medical students. The university offers more than 90 programs of study and four pre-professional options. It also offers 72 master’s and 20 doctoral programs. Its 450-acre hilltop campus overlooks the shores of Lake Champlain. http://www.uvm.edu/ 

Saint Michael’s College (Colchester) is a Roman Catholic liberal arts college. Its 40-acre campus is between the shores or Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains, which overlooks Burlington. It has an enrollment of about 1,900 students. http://www.smcvt.edu/ 

Champlain College is a private institution founded in 1878. It offers 24 undergraduate programs and a Master of Science in Managing Innovation and Information Technology. It has approximately 1,700 full-time students. http://www.champlain.edu/ 

Burlington College, with 275 students, is a liberal arts institution founded in 1972 as Vermont Institute of Community Involvement. It is located on the waterfront of Burlington in a turn-of-the-century building. http://www.burlcol.edu/ 

Community College of Vermont has a student enrollment of 1,700. http://www.ccv.vsc.edu/ 

SUNY Plattsburgh (Plattsburgh State) is a four-year public institution with a student enrollment of 5,400 undergraduate students. http://www.plattsburgh.edu/

Senior Programs

Senior Centers and Clubs in the area include Champlain Senior Center (802) 658-3585; Heineberg Senior Center (802) 863-3982; Congregational Church Vestry, Charlotte, VT (802) 425-3176; Colchester Senior Center, Malletts Bay, Colchester, VT (802) 658-2400; Essex Junction Senior Centert (802) 878-6940; Arrowhead Senior Citizens Center, Milton, VT (802) 893-7964; Hale & Hearty Seniors, Richmond, VT (802) 434-3154; Young at Heart Senior Citizens, Shelburne, VT, (802) 985-3981; Senior Community Center of South Burlington (802) 865-8004; South Burlington Senior Citizens Club, South Burlington (802) 846-4108; Jeri-Hill Seniors, Underhill, VT. (802) 899-4438; Westford Senior Citizens, Westford, VT. (802) 899-4438; Williston Seniors, Williston, VT (802) 878-2790; Winooski Senior Citizens Center, Winooski, VT. (802)655-6425.


Fletcher Allen Healthcare (FAHC) was founded in 1995 through the integration of Fanny Allen Hospital, Medical Center Hospital of Vermont and University Health Center. It has an alliance with the University of Vermont College of Medicine as the state’s only academic medical center. FAHC has 562 beds, a medical staff of over 700 physicians, and provides care at more than 40 patient care sites and 100 outreach clinics in Vermont and Upstate New York. http://www.fahc.org/ 


Burlington International Airport offers scheduled commercial service from a number of the major airlines, with direct flights into major cities, including Boston, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Chicago and others. http://www.vermontairports.com/btv.html 


The average high temperature for January is 26.7 degrees and the low is 18 degrees. The average temperatures for July are a high of 81.1 and low of 70.5. Burlington has an average annual snowfall of 81.6 inches. http://www.wunderground.com/US/VT/Burlington.html 


Burlington Free Press – http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/ 

Property Taxes

City of Burlington Assessor’s Office – http://www.assessor.ci.burlington.vt.us/

State Taxes


Chamber of Commerce


State Aging Agency



Winooski – 2.2 miles
Essex Junction – 6.4 miles
Shelburne – 7 miles
Colchester – 7.3 miles
Williston – 7.9 miles
Bolton – 19 miles
Middlebury – 34 miles
Stowe – 36 miles
Montpelier – 38 miles
Elizabethtown, NY – 64 miles (driving distance; ferry service available)
Plattsburgh, NY – 75 miles (driving distance; ferry service available)
Killington – 91 miles
Manchester – 99 miles
Boston – 215 miles
New York City – 300 miles

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