Discover Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain provides a peaceful and picturesque setting for an unforgettable vacation. Located between the Adirondack Mountains and the Green Mountains of Vermont, with numerous charming towns lining its long shoreline, this destination appeals to outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs, and those looking for a relaxing time away. 

Whether you’re seeking a tranquil escape in nature or an action-packed itinerary, Lake Champlain offers something for every type of traveler. Vacation rentals in the area range from cozy cottages to luxurious lakefront properties, catering to various needs and preferences. 

With a welcoming mix of local attractions and activities, from historic sites and wildlife refuges to an interactive science center and lively bars, Lake Champlain is the perfect destination for your next getaway.

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Top 5 Facts About Lake Champlain

01

Home to a Legend

Move over, Loch Ness! Lake Champlain has its resident cryptid – Champ, more generally known as the Lake Champlain monster. It’s not real… we think. But, suspected sightings of this elusive creature have added an air of mystery and excitement to the lake.

02

Island Galore

Lake Champlain is a proud host to over 70 islands, each with unique charm. The largest ones–Grand Isle, Isle La Motte, and North Hero–are like little worlds unto themselves.

03

A Lake Without Borders

Straddling the US-Canada border, Lake Champlain is a testament to nature’s disregard for human-drawn boundaries. It nestles comfortably between New York and Vermont, extending a friendly arm into Quebec.

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Must-See Attractions

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ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain

Science Museum

If you have little ones along, treat them to the joy of scientific exploration at ECHO. This innovative waterfront museum in Vermont has over 100 interactive experiences, including a 3D theater and science exhibits. Engage in daily engineering challenges, explore the processes shaping the Lake Champlain Basin, and learn about the vibrant ecosystem of the lake.

Shelburne Museum

Speciality Museums

Step into the world of American history, art, and design at the Shelburne Museum, a treasure trove of over 150,000 works displayed across 39 unique structures. Located near Lake Champlain, this museum offers a journey through time with its impressive collections of Impressionist paintings, folk art, textiles, and artifacts from the 17th to the 20th century.

Country Dreams Farm

Family-Friendly Farm

Country Dreams Farm offers a delightful introduction to the joys of farm life. Here, you can experience the charm of a working farm with a fall corn maze, pumpkin patch, wagon rides, and a petting zoo featuring an adorable assortment of animals. During winter, enjoy enchanting sleigh rides through the historic John Brown Farm, and don’t miss the farm’s fresh seasonal produce and eggs to bring home to your vacation rental!

Annual Events and Festivals

June, 2024

Burlington Discover Jazz Festival

Jazz lovers shouldn’t miss the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, which features live performances in various indoor and outdoor venues around Burlington. Alongside the music, attendees can enjoy workshops, masterclasses, and food tastings, making it an incredible celebration of jazz culture.

April, 2024

Vermont Maple Festival

The Vermont Maple Festival in St. Albans is a delightful tribute to Vermont’s rich maple syrup heritage, occurring annually over the last weekend in April. This multi-day festival is a feast for the senses, featuring pancake breakfasts, maple syrup exhibits, and a craft show. With its parade, antiques show, and the crowning of the Maple King and Queen, it’s a perfect event for those wanting to indulge in local flavors and traditions.

September, 2024

Adirondack Balloon Festival

The Adirondack Balloon Festival offers a mesmerizing spectacle as colorful hot air balloons soar against the backdrop of the Adirondack Mountains and Lake Champlain. This five-day event in September combines the thrill of balloon rides with live music, creating a festive and picturesque atmosphere. It’s an unforgettable experience for those seeking adventure and stunning natural beauty.

Top Hiking Trails

Niquette Bay State Park

493 Raymond Rd, Colchester, VT

Explore the serene beauty of Niquette Bay State Park, nestled in Colchester, with its family-friendly trails leading to a rare natural sand beach on Lake Champlain. Wander through lakeshore cliffs or traverse the extensive bridge over wetlands teeming with wildlife. Whether dipping your toes in the bay or observing the small darters in the shallow waters, this park offers a peaceful retreat into nature.

Cascade Mountain

Cascade Mountain Foot Trail, Lake Placid, NY

For a rewarding hike with stunning vistas, Cascade Mountain in the Adirondacks is an excellent choice. The trail features a well-trodden path with step-like rocks and roots, leading through a forested landscape to an open rock summit. Here, you’ll be greeted with panoramic views of the High Peaks, Lake Placid, and on clear days, Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains.ssda

Burlington Bike Path

20 Lake St, Burlington, VT

While not necessarily a hike, the Burlington Bike Path (Burlington Greenway) is well worth a mention. Spanning eight miles along Lake Champlain, this path connects major parks and residential neighborhoods and offers breathtaking views, especially along the narrow causeway over western Lake Champlain. It’s perfect for a leisurely walk or morning jog. 

Best Golf Courses

Bluff Point Golf Resort

75 Bluff Point Dr, Plattsburgh, NY

Experience the blend of history and natural beauty at the Bluff Point Golf Resort, located directly on the shores of Lake Champlain. Designed by the renowned A.W. Tillinghast, this Parkland-style course features bunkered greens and a picturesque 5th hole running along the lake. To top it off, the resort also offers leisure activities like kayaking and lounging on a private sand beach.

Arrowhead Golf Course

350 Murray Ave, Milton, VT

Arrowhead Golf Course in Milton, Vermont, offers an accessible and well-regarded par 3 course. Just a short drive from Burlington and St. Albans, this course includes a driving range, putting green, and many other amenities. It’s a local favorite, perfect for seasoned players and those new to the game looking for a casual day on the greens in a welcoming environment.

Champlain Country Club

581 St Albans Rd, Swanton, VT 05488, United States

Champlain Country Club boasts a semi-private, 18-hole, 71-par golf course that caters to both members and guests and offers a variety of teeing areas suitable for different skill levels. This course is ideal for golfers who enjoy a challenging yet accessible game, with well-groomed fairways and a friendly clubhouse atmosphere. Plus, the affordable greens fee and cheap eats at the clubhouse restaurant certainly add to its allure!

Water Sports

PaddleSurf Champlain

Kayak and paddleboard rentals

One of the best ways to experience Lake Champlain is to rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore its lovely shorelines. And if you don’t have your own, pay PaddleSurf Champlain a visit. Here, you can book lessons, guided tours, and paddleboard and kayak rentals—ensuring both beginners and experienced paddlers are catered to. 

Lake Champlain Angler Fishing Charters

fishing charter

For avid anglers and those new to fishing, Lake Champlain Angler Fishing Charters offers an unforgettable experience trolling or jigging for various fish, including trout, Atlantic salmon, and walleye. Set sail on their modern, well-equipped vessels for a 4, 6, or 8-hour charter, and see if you’re lucky enough to reel in some of Lake Champlain’s most sought-after fish.

Spirit of Ethan Allen

dinner cruise

While not necessarily a “sport,” you can’t come to Burlington and not board the Spirit of Ethan Allen. This grand floating restaurant offers lunch, brunch, and themed dinner cruises, which are enjoyed with fascinating views of the lake and the Vermont Mountains. Throughout the experience, you can also learn about the lake’s history and wildlife and possibly catch a glimpse of Champ, the elusive lake monster!

Winter Activities

Ice Fishing

Embrace the chilly charm of Lake Champlain and head out for an afternoon of ice fishing. The shallow waters near the Sandbar Causeway are renowned for northern pike, and you can also catch lake trout, northern pike, and smelt. Dress warmly, bring along a thermos of hot chocolate, and you’re guaranteed a fun time, whether or not the fish bite.

Skiing and Snowshoeing

Revel in the winter wonderland of the Lake Champlain Region by strapping on snowshoes or cross-country skis. With an extensive network of trails, you’ll quickly find yourself surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of snow-covered Adirondack and Green mountains. Choose from open terrains in state parks, frozen expanses of Lake Champlain, or groomed cross-country trails at Roger’s Rock in Ticonderoga.

Lake Hockey

Experience the unique thrill of lake hockey on the frozen surface of Lake Champlain, where the serene scenery elevates the game to a whole new level. The ice at the Sandbar offers ideal conditions for pond hockey and figure skating, creating a picturesque setting for winter sports enthusiasts. Or, check out the rink in North Hero’s City Bay for an unforgettable skate on the frozen shores across from Hero’s Welcome.

Where to Eat

The Great Northern

$ – $$ • Rustic-chic American

The Skinny Pancake Burlington

$ – $$ • Crepes, Panini & More

The Farmhouse Tap & Grill

$$ • Gastropub

Where to Shop

Lake Champlain Chocolates Flagship Store

Chocolate Shop

Champlain Valley Antique Center

Antique Store

Vermont Gift Barn

Gift Shop

Where to Sleep

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1054 Grace River Road
Number of Guests 8
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 3
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Smoke detectors
$0.00 / day
sparkles New

JP Rest House

V262+C5P, Manikganj, Bangladesh
Number of Guests 4
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 4
Sq Footage 2,400
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$300.00 / day
sparkles New

Tips On Renting A Vacation Home On Lake Champlain

Location Preferences

Lake Champlain spans across various regions, each offering a unique experience. The Vermont side is known for its picturesque landscapes and quaint towns, perfect for a peaceful retreat, while the New York side offers a mix of rural charm and historical sites.

Seasonal Activities

The activities around Lake Champlain vary significantly with the seasons. Summer is ideal for boating, fishing, and enjoying lakeside beaches, while winter offers ice fishing and skiing opportunities at nearby resorts. Spring and fall are perfect for hiking and enjoying the changing foliage.

Accommodation Types

Lake Champlain has a wide range of rental options, from cozy cabins and lakeside cottages to modern vacation homes. When choosing your rental, consider your group size, your privacy preferences, and desired amenities like kitchens, lake views, or proximity to outdoor activities.

Prepare for Weather Variability

Lake Champlain’s weather can be variable, with warm, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. Packing layers is essential to adapt to changing conditions, especially if you plan on tackling some outdoor activities. Also, consider if your rental has adequate heating or air conditioning to ensure a comfortable stay.

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Going Deeper On Lake Champlain

This region’s story is deeply intertwined with the dramatic shifts of the earth’s geological forces over millions of years. The precursor to Lake Champlain formed approximately 200 million years ago due to the stretching of continents. This led to a massive piece of bedrock falling between two faults, creating a deep canyon known as a graben valley.

The Pleistocene glaciers, which covered the area until about 12,000 years ago, played a significant role in shaping the landscape, acting like sandpaper as they moved, dragging rocks and boulders beneath them. The retreat of these glaciers formed Lake Vermont, a vast body of water with a surface level 500 feet higher than today’s Lake Champlain.

As the glacier receded northward, the land it once compressed rose above sea level, transforming the saltwater Champlain Sea into the freshwater lake we know today. This transition marked the end of an era where oceanic creatures like the Charlotte whale thrived, giving way to the freshwaters that now define Lake Champlain’s ecosystem.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lake Champlain

Start by exploring the magnificent marinas, wildlife refuges, and island parks. You can also go hiking, cycling, or kayaking on the lake. For those who appreciate history and art, check out the local museums or attend one of the many cultural events in the area.

There are numerous picturesque towns surrounding Lake Champlain that you shouldn’t miss. These charming towns include Burlington, Vermont, with its vibrant downtown and waterfront, plus the tranquil village of Shelburne, home to a beautiful museum. You should also consider visiting charming Plattsburgh in New York and the islands’ quaint communities such as North Hero, South Hero, and Isle La Motte.

The best time to visit Lake Champlain largely depends on your preferred activities. For outdoor enthusiasts, the summer months (June to August) are ideal for swimming, boating, and biking. The fall season (September to October) offers breathtaking foliage and is perfect for hiking or scenic drives. Winter (December to February) brings excellent opportunities for skiing and other snow sports, while blooming flowers, ideal for walks and birdwatching, characterize spring (April to May).

Yes, you can find accommodations with pools near Lake Champlain. Hotels, resorts, and some vacation rentals may offer indoor or outdoor pools, perfect for a refreshing dip after a day of exploring. Remember to check with individual property listings to ensure they offer the facilities you want.

Winter in Lake Champlain offers plenty of fun and memorable activities. You can enjoy various snow sports like skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or ice skating. For a more relaxed experience, drive around the lake and marvel at the snow-covered landscape.

Absolutely! Lake Champlain boasts several sandy beaches where you can swim, sunbathe, or play beach volleyball. Some famous beaches include North Beach in Burlington, Oakledge Park and Beach in Burlington, and Sand Bar State Park in Milton. Be sure to explore the many beaches around the lake, each with its character and charm.

Muskoka is known for its picturesque towns and charming villages. Some popular towns you can visit include Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Huntsville, and Port Carling. Each town offers its unique attractions, shops, and restaurants, making them perfect stopovers during your exploration of the Muskoka region.

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