Venture a few minutes south of Burlington and find yourself in quaint Shelburne. This small suburb is considered one of the most desirable places to live in Vermont, and for a good reason. Not only is it accessible; it is also just a very pleasant town to stay in — with its amazing natural vistas that include the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain, its pretty downtown area, and year-round local festivals.
Visit Shelburne for some Lake Champlain fishing, and then enjoy the rest of what it has to offer. Wander into some of its great museums, bring your kids to its famous Flying Pig Bookstore or if you’re traveling only with adults, then why not sample some of the local spirits? Then consider booking a day or two at Shelburne Farms where you can stay at a historic inn and enjoy its many walking trails.
While it’s easy to consider Shelburne as a day trip from Burlington, the town itself deserves a week from your Vermont itinerary. So if you’re looking for a New England experience outside of the ordinary, put Shelburne at the top of your bucket list.
Shelburne fishing is synonymous with Lake Champlain fishing. This lake is, after all, the sixth-largest natural lake in the US and is considered a premier ice-fishing destination. The best spot to access Lake Champlain from Shelburne is on Shelburne Bay. Come around early spring or late fall and target lake trout or rainbow trout. If you happen to miss early spring, then you should target white perch, yellow perch, sunfish, and northern pike instead. Targeting bass? April and May are your best months to visit then, as these are the peak months for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.
Looking to cut your teeth fly fishing and baitcasting? Visit the LaPlatte River — don’t be confused by its name, though, as it goes by a number of them, including Quineaska Took, Platt River, and Laplot River. Here you can target northern pike, brook trout, rainbow trout, largemouth bass, and walleye.
Sight fishing can be quite successful here if you do it on the Shelburne Pond. This shallow water is quite clear, so you can both sight fish by the shoreline or on a boat for species such as yellow perch, brown bullhead, black crappie, largemouth bass, and northern pike.
Visit the Shelburne Museum, considered one of the biggest art and history museums in the area, then head on over to The Flying Pig Bookstore, a local institution that’s known for its great children’s author events. Finish up the day at Shelburne Farms where your children will love interacting with animals at the Children’s Farmyard and enjoy farm-to-table cuisine at the in-house restaurant.
Plan a few days around some of Shelburne’s vineyards and breweries. Some of the best to include in your list are the Shelburne Vineyard where you can book a self-guided tasting tour and the Fiddlehead Brewing Company, where you can schedule a sampling at its Tasting Room before buying one of their offerings.