Pedestrian-friendly and with a vibrant street life, Winooski Falls will be a wonderful place to relax. With a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafés, over 100 acres of parkland, and access to an extensive network of walking and cycling paths, Winooski Falls will have something for everyone. Winooski Falls is also close to some of Vermont’s best skiing, hiking, music, theater, golf courses, and universities.
Click on one of the links below for more information about the great recreational opportunities near Winooski Falls, Vermont and in the greater Burlington, Vermont area.
- Winooski, Vermont and Burlington, Vermont Restaurants
- Cultural Life in Winooski and Burlington, Vermont
- Church Street Marketplace and Downtown Burlington, Vermont
- Montreal and Quebec
- Outdoor Activities
- Recreation and Community Gardening in Burlington’s Intervale
Downtown Winooski, Vermont and Burlington, Vermont Restaurants
When you get hungry, downtown Winooski, Vermont has a variety of restaurants to sample, and more will be coming in early 2006.
Waterworks, located in the Champlain Mill and with a spectacular, up-close view of the falls, offers affordable American food in a beautiful setting.
Sneakers Bistro has repeatedly been voted the “best brunch spot in Chittenden County”. The relaxed diner atmosphere and creative, vegetarian-friendly breakfast and lunch specials make it a perennial favorite.
Papa Frank’s, a Winooski institution, has been serving generous, inexpensive portions of real Italian food to locals and visitors for generations.
Peking Duck House, located in an old mill boarding house and with an extensive menu of Chinese specialities, is another Chittenden County favorite.
Souza’s Burritos, a recent addition to the Winooski scene, is already becoming known for its tasty, inexpensive, Brazilan-influenced burritos.Downtown Burlington, Vermont also offers a wide assortment of excellent restaurants to try. NECI Commons, run by the renowned New England Culinary Institute, offers cutting-edge cuisine in a beautiful second-floor dining room overlooking Church Street. You can also enjoy Japanese, Thai, Indian, or Italian food, sip hot mulled cider at the Muddy Waters Café or exotic tea at the Dobra Teahouse, or sample the buffet at Stone Soup, Burlington’s beloved vegetarian hangout.
Winooski is at the center of one of Vermont’s most active cultural communities. The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, housed in a beautifully-restored art-deco theater in downtown Burlington, offers an eclectic program with genres as diverse as opera, bluegrass, traditional African music, ballet, traditional Cape Breton fiddling, and Broadway musicals. Over the years, the Flynn has featured world-renowned performers such as Kathleen Battle, Phillip Glass, and Mikhail Barishnikov. It is also the home of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, and the Vermont Stage Company, a locally-run professional theater ensemble.
If a relaxed venue is more your style, you can check out Nectar’s, also in downtown Burlington and the birthplace of Vermont jam band Phish (you can sample Nectar’s’ famous gravy fries while you’re at it). In nearby South Burlington, Higher Ground has become known as the place to hear up-and-coming musicians or to enjoy intimate shows by established bands.
The Roxy Cinema, one of a small chain of locally-owned movie theaters, is located on College Street in downtown Burlington and features a mix of independent, foreign, and Hollywood films. The greater Burlington, Vermont area also has several multiplex cinemas with stadium seating.
Downtown Burlington, Vermont and the Church Street Marketplace
Only ten minutes away from Winooski by car or bus (or about fifty minutes’ pleasant stroll past the University of Vermont) is the Church Street Marketplace, downtown Burlington, Vermont’s pedestrian-only outdoor shopping area. Church Street is a delightful place to while away a summer’s evening with an ice cream cone from the original Ben and Jerry’s, or to do your holiday shopping amid sparkling lights and ice sculptures. Church Street is also close to the Burlington waterfront area, where you can walk, run, cycle, or simply sit on a bench or a picnic blanket to watch the sunset over Lake Champlain.
The University of Vermont, St. Michael’s College, and Champlain College, all located within ten minutes’ drive of Winooski Falls, are vibrant intellectual and cultural communities and actively encourage local residents to attend campus events. The theater department at each college offers several excellent student performances each year, and St. Michael’s has a thriving summer stock theater as well. In addition, college-sponsored concerts and lectures are almost always open to the public, and local residents are sometimes able to audit classes for free. The University of Vermont libraries are available to all Vermonters free of charge.
Montreal and Quebec
Whenever you want to enjoy an international atmosphere and practice your French, cosmopolitan Montreal is only an hour and fifteen minutes away. Home to superb museums and the famous Montreal Jazz Festival Montreal makes a perfect day or weekend getaway – and the favorable exchange rate makes dinner in one of Montreal’s world-class restaurants an affordable indulgence.
If you simply want to treat yourself to a day or weekend of pampering and relaxation, the Euro-Spa, located just south of Montreal, offers complete residential spa packages for every budget. A favorite of many Vermonters during the winter months, the Euro-Spa is a touch of European luxury only an hour from Winooski.
Vermont has fantastic outdoor recreation opportunities for every season and every level of skill and fitness. Winooski Falls is close to much of the best that Vermont has to offer.
In the spring, summer, and fall, Winooski has easy access to beautiful paths for walking, running, and cycling. You can stay close to home on the Winooski Riverwalk, or you can connect to an extensive network of paths that leads along the Winooski River to downtown Burlington and to the Lake Champlain Islandline Trail. The Islandline Trail, named for the old Rutland railroad, is a 12-mile bikepath along the shore of Lake Champlain. In a few more years, the a bicycle ferry will connect the Burlington-Winooski area with a cycle path that leads through the scenic Champlain Islands all the way to Montreal.
The Winooski River is a mecca for kayakers, canoeing enthusiasts, and anglers. Springtime rapids provide an adrenalin rush for the adventurous paddler; later in the season, the river subsides and forms deep, calm pools that are an angler’s paradise. The Winooski River has a diversity of fish including Small and Large Mouth Bass, Northern Pike, Chain Pickerel, Walleye, Bullhead, Landlocked Salmon, and Pan Fish. True to its name, Salmon Hole, five minutes’ walk from Winooski Falls, is one of the river’s best fishing spots.
The Winooski area boasts several golf courses, including the Vermont National Country Club’s Nicklaus-designed USGA course, the 18-hole, 72-par courses at the Kwiniaska Golf Club and the Essex Country Club, and the executive style course at the Links at Lang Farm, part of the Inn at Essex resort hotel.
Nearby mountains, such as Mount Mansfield and Camel’s Hump, have short, well-groomed trails for families and occasional hikers, but offer plenty of challenge and beautiful views for serious sports enthusiasts and rock climbers.
In the wintertime, Vermont is the northeast’s destination of choice for skiers and snowboarders. Smuggler's Notch, Bolton Valley, Stowe, Jay Peak, and Sugarbush are all located within an hour’s drive from Winooski. Superb cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are even closer. In addition to the trails at Stowe, the Catamount Outdoor Center in Essex offers a network of groomed trails suitable for all skill levels. The bike path through Burlington’s Intervale, a protected farmland area only five minutes from Winooski Falls, is transformed into a sparkling ski trail during the winter months.
Recreation and Community Gardening in Burlington’s Intervale
The Intervale, an old-fashioned word meaning “the land between”, consists of more than 700 acres of preserved river land along the Winooski River. Located within the city limits of Burlington, the Intervale is a haven for wildlife and a beautiful place for walking, running, cross-country skiing, cycling, and paddling in the Winooski River. Within walking distance of Winooski, the trails in the Intervale are part of the Burlington “Cycle the City” path and connect to the Lake Champlain Islandline Trail.
Once farmed by the Abenaki tribe and later the homestead of Ethan Allen, the Intervale is still used for agriculture today. A sustained 15-year effort by a group of concerned citizens has made the Intervale into a center for community agriculture. Local residents can sign up for small gardening plots, or can purchase shares in one of several community farms. Once a week from June until late October, farm shareholders come to the Intervale to pick up their shares of organic fruits and vegetables and to harvest cherry tomatoes, snap peas, flowers, and herbs from pick-your-own gardens.