With shorelines bordering Vermont, New York and the northern end of Canada, Lake Champlain stretches up to 12 miles wide. This scenic vacation spot offers fun in the sun, wet and wild water activities, and snow-filled adventures, but not without giving guests a taste of fine dining, cultural attractions, wonderful Lake Champlain vacation rentals, and family time to treasure for a lifetime.
1. Take a Scenic Cruise
Treat your family to an onboard trip on the Spirit of Ethan Allen III when vacationing near Lake Champlain. The Burlington area offers sightseeing cruises with narration outlining the history of the lake and the Revolutionary War. While viewing the flowing waters on board this 140-foot long cruise ship, grab a bite to eat in the dining area or get footloose and fancy-free when choosing one of the dance cruises in the evenings.
2. Browse the Marketplace
Grab a souvenir to remember your Lake Champlain stay when spending a day browsing the shops and specialty stores at the Church Street Marketplace. This cozy shopping area near Lake Champlain offers four blocks of traffic-free paved roads lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops. Do some window shopping, pick up a new swimsuit for the lake and enjoy a leisurely lunch with your crew.
3. Visit Waterfront Park
After a day of shopping or swimming, take a moment to breathe in the fresh air and breathtaking views at the Waterfront Park. Located at the bottom of College Street near the docks, this park is ideal for stretching your legs for an afternoon walk with the family or a day of cycling along the park’s shore that borders the lake.
4. Enjoy a Paddling Adventure
You can’t vacation near Lake Champlain without getting your feet wet. Take the family on a wet and wild adventure by renting paddle boards for the day. Try your luck at stand-up paddling or sit and relax on a paddle board as you float on the lake. Stock up on life jackets for safety.
5. Dive Into Adventure
If you think diving and snorkeling are reserved for oceans and tropical vacation spots, then you have never explored the underwater wonders of Lake Champlain. Rent diving gear for the entire family and explore the nine buoyed shipwrecks preserved below the surface of the lake’s shoreline. Strap on your goggles and gear and begin your explorations.
6. Fish on the Fly
Pack up the tackle box and prepare your fishing rods for a busy day on Lake Champlain. Rent a motorless boat at one of the nearby fish shops or stand along the lakeside to reel in some bass, panfish, sunfish, carp or pike. Make sure to inquire with the local fishing guides about fly fishing tours, too, for the fishing enthusiasts in your family.
7. Hop From One Island to the Next
Launch a sightseeing tour with the family like no other when visiting Lake Champlain islands. “The islands” offer more than 200 miles of lakefront views for your group to explore alongside bike trails. Stop in one of the local shops along the islands for a themed itinerary to learn more about the arts and agricultural communities.
8. Climb the Green Mountains
Get some exercise while basking in the beauty of the Green Mountains, located just a short distance from Lake Champlain. Put on your hiking boots and trek through the treeless trails with the family to spot stunning views that span from the Adirondacks in New York to Canada.
9. Seek a Snow Adventure
Lake Champlain is not just a vacation spot for the summer. This area offers snow-filled adventures, too. Rent snowboarding equipment, sleds, and snowmobiles from one of the many ski shops in the area to hit the slopes and the trails when the weather is brisk and cold.
10. Investigate History
Enrich your family’s knowledge of the history and culture of Lake Champlain while visiting the many museums located near Burlington. See the antique dollhouses, full-size steamboat and a locomotive at the Shelburne Museum or browse the work of Vermont artists at the Robert Hull Fleming Museum of Art to broaden your horizons.