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5 Places to Get Away Without Getting Away This Winter 2021

Photo courtesy of The Essex Resort and Spa on Facebook

Getting out and enjoying the beautiful winter in Burlington does not need to be a monumental task. All you need is the will and a way to get there! Luckily, there's plenty of things to do nearby that is both convenient and safe during this global pandemic.

If you are looking to switch things up in 2021 and explore some different opportunities to get out and entertain yourself, we've got you covered. Below is our list of five editor's picks for places to get away without actually getting away this winter.


Relax and Renew

The Essex Resort and Spa - 70 Essex Way, Essex Junction, VT

Spa at The Essex is the only full-service, freestanding spa in the Burlington area, and we offer products by Hydrafacial, Kevin Murphy, Caudalie, and Comfort Zone for a high-end spa experience.

Enjoy the tranquil essence of Vermont in a setting suffused with warm woods and natural stone. Our extraordinary and friendly staff are here to lead the way, providing professional experience and passionate commitment to ensure you get the experience you desire, again and again.

As we move into the winter season, for safety reasons, please note the Hot tub will be closed and covered when zero degrees or below temperatures are reached.  This includes ambient air temperature, feels like or windchill temperature. If any of these falls to zero or below the hot tub will be covered and closed for safety reasons, and opened again when temperatures rise.

Outdoor Pool will be closed for the season as of Sept. 14.

Please note: Sauna & Steam Room remain closed due to VT State Guidelines until further notice.


A Day Lost in a Local Bookstore

 Phoenix Books - 191 Bank Street, Burlington, VT

Here at Phoenix Books Essex, Burlington, and Rutland, we love our customers—and our communities. We support other local stores, local authors, and local artists. You can find out more about what we do in the community—and what you support every time you shop here at Phoenix Books—by reading on. If you're already a Phoenix customer, thank you! If you're new to Phoenix Books, we hope to see you in person soon. Either way, we'd love to help you find your next great read—or great gifts for even the most challenging folks on your list!

Our Burlington store is located at the corner of Bank and Center Streets in downtown Burlington, directly across from the entrance to the parking garage. As of Dec. 16, Phoenix Books Burlington is open daily for public browsing, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Phone ordering/curbside pickup is available during store hours.


Volunteer Your Time

City of Burlington - 149 Church St, Burlington, VT

There is a host of opportunities to volunteer with the city of Burlington. Of course, any nearby municipality and/or nonprofit has volunteer opportunities, so we encourage you to choose the spot/cause that's important to you.

Local opportunities in Burlington include:
  • Fletcher Free Library
  • Burlington City Arts
  • Burlington Parks, Recreation, & Waterfront
  • Burlington Community Justice Center
  • Neighborhood Planning Association Meetings
  • United Way of Northwest Vermont
  • Green Up Day (annual event)
  • Spring Move Out Project (annual event)
Click here for more information.


Bring Your Dog Out for a Scenic Stroll

Red Rocks Park - 4 Central Ave, South Burlington, VT

This 100-acre park is open for use year-round. The beach is open to the general public. There are several miles of trails for hiking, jogging, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Amenities include:
  • 700 feet of waterfront
  • Designated swimming area
  • Picnic area with small gazebo
  • 2.5 miles of pedestrian trails
  • Scenic overlooks
  • Access to the recreational path
  • Restrooms and changing areas
  • Parking
Under the "Leash Law" enacted by the City Council, all dog owners must have their dog on a leash (6-foot max.) at all times within the boundaries of Red Rocks Park and trails. Dogs are prohibited at the public beach and in the water at Red Rocks. Owners in violation will be subject to a fine as outlined in the ordinance.


Don't Even Leave the Couch! Take an Online Course on Your Favorite Topic

University of Vermont - 85 South Prospect St, Waterman Building, Burlington, VT

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UVM is a community of adult learners who enjoy year-round courses and events that are diverse, interesting, fun, and affordable.

OLLI at UVM seeks to engage the minds, stimulate the senses, and foster learning through a wide range of classes, programs, travel opportunities, and social activities. We invite you to explore our website to learn more about who we are and what we do!

Additionally, OLLI's online distinguished speaker series kicks off Jan. 27, 2021, through April 21, taking place Wednesdays from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Early adopters can save more than 50 percent by signing up early for all seven lectures. Individual lectures are $10 each. Lectures include:
  • The Climate Crisis: Where Do We Stand?
  • The Abenaki World: Animacy, Identity, and Personhood
  • The Happiest People
  • Racial Disparities in VT: From Real Data to Radical Empathy
  • Current Controversies in Public Health & Public Health Policy
  • Two Decades of Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin Rule, 2000-2020
  • Paris 1914: French Women Composers and Their Music
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