Colchester, Vermont is located on the shores of Malletts Bay of Lake Champlain, minutes north of major urban hub city Burlington. Colchester is 45 miles south of the United States-Canadian border and 95 miles from Montreal, Quebec. Colchester’s southern neighbor, the City of Burlington, is the central hub of the Burlington-South Burlington metropolitan area, which includes Burlington, South Burlington, Winooski, Colchester, Essex, Williston and Essex Junction. Colchester is highly rated for its new urbanism, smart growth, easy living standards, and mixed-use development, along with one of the lowest crime rates in the country and one of the best air-quality measures nationwide. Colchester is progressive in attitude and forward-thinking in terms of ecological awareness and expansion. The Town of Colchester prides itself on small-town values and cosmopolitan attractions, making it one of the most highly sought-after places to live in the United States. To learn more about life in Colchester, Chittenden County or the state of Vermont, please visit:

Town of Colchester

State of Vermont Tourism

Vermont Find and Go Seek

Colchester History

By the late 1700’s, the 300,000 acres of land that would become the state of Vermont were co-owned by Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen, as part of the New Hampshire land grants. The Town of Colchester was chartered at the same time as Burlington, one of 9 charters granted to communities of the Lake Champlain area in 1763. The state of Vermont was admitted into the Union of States in 1791. Burlington’s position on Lake Champlain helped both the city and the area develop into a center of trade and point of entry. The wharves allowed steamboat access, connecting freight and passengers with the Vermont Central Railroad and the Rutland & Burlington Railroad rail systems, bringing industry, commerce, manufacturing and new residents to Burlington. By 1860, the communities of the Burlington area had already flourished into major northern lumbering ports and manufacturing centers. The historic districts of Burlington and its neighboring towns have been well-preserved, bearing testament to the Victorian prosperity of Vermont’s past. To learn more about the history of the Town of Colchester, its neighboring towns, Chittenden County or Vermont, please visit:

Colchester Historical Society

Vermont Historical Society

Vermont Division for Historic Preservation

Colchester Reef Lighthouse

Vermont History Museum

Ethan Allen Homestead Museum

Vermont in the Civil War

Parks and Recreation

Rudyard Kipling wrote that Lake Champlain was one of the most spectacular places in the world to view a sunset; our residents and visitors could not agree more. Colchester, on the Malletts Bay of Lake Champlain’s shoreline, is equally accessible to the Winooski River, providing guests with all manner of seasonal water sports available for enjoyment. From hiking, biking, and rock climbing to fishing, swimming, sailing, kayaking, and canoeing, there’s an adventure awaiting you by land or by water. Equestrian activities, camping, nature watching, and picnicking are available at most national and parks; no matter what your preference, there’s a place to enjoy it in Chittenden County. The municipal parks of our communities are meticulously maintained and offer a variety of amenities to enjoy year-round: public gardens, bike paths, public ice skating facilities, playgrounds, and community gyms and spaces are just a few of the unique features of our local and community parks. In addition to our wealth of state, national and municipal parks, nature enthusiasts will not want to miss a visit to the waterfront ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, which houses over 70 species of reptiles, amphibians, fish and other invertebrates and is located in Vermont’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified Green Building. To learn more about enjoying the forests, mountains, rivers, and lakes of Vermont’s great outdoors during your time in Colchester, please visit:

Vermont State Parks

Vermont National Parks Service

Vermont Outdoor Guide Association

Appalachian National Scenic Trail

ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center

Colchester Town Parks and Recreation

Attractions and Entertainment

Colchester is a town of duality—on one hand, it is a bedroom community of a college town, on the other, it is a progressive, cosmopolitan New England “micro-city”. The Nearby City of Burlington has, on more than one occasion, been likened to the streets of Paris. The Church Street Marketplace is the Burlington area’s social and commercial center, a thriving shopping and dining district that is home to many community festivals throughout the year for all of the communities of the region, from Colchester and Essex to Winooski and Williston. Art lovers can explore the independent galleries of the Church Street Marketplace, attend one of the annual art festivals put on in downtown Colchester, or catch the rotating exhibits at the nearby Shelburne Museum. Sports fans have much to choose from in the Burlington area—from the University of Vermont’s athletic teams to minor league baseball, basketball, hockey, rugby and roller derby, there’s a team for everyone to cheer for. In terms of leisure, there’s no shortage of things to do and places to explore or relax in—there are multiple highly ranked golf courses, spas, shops, and museums for residents and guests to enjoy during their downtime. For a taste of Vermont, take a tour and tasting of one of the local breweries, wineries, or cideries—or for the sweeter side that Vermont is known for, take a tour of one of the sugarhouses, and learn how maple syrup goes from tree to table. The Colchester-Burlington region is also home to some of the most unique dining in Vermont—everything from authentic ethnic cuisine to local favorites like Handy’s Lunch or local franchise American Flatbread or honor two local Vermont favorites with a Ben & Jerry’s cone of Phish Food. To learn more about the attractions and activities of Chittenden County and the communities of the Burlington area, please visit:

Theatre, Culture and the Arts

Robert Hull Fleming Museum at the University of Vermont

Shelburne Museum

Flynn Center for the Performing Arts

Vermont Art Galleries

Sports and Activities

Vermont Golf Courses

Vermont Lake Monsters Baseball

University of Vermont Athletics Catamounts

Burlington RFC Rugby

Burlington Bombers Roller Derby

Shopping, Dining, Leisure, and Attractions

Church Street Marketplace

Burlington Town Center

Essex Shoppes and Cinemas

University Mall

The Vermont Gift Barn & Gallery

Vermont Sugarhouses

Vermont Breweries, Wineries, and Cideries Guide

Hungry Vermont Diner’s Index

Ben & Jerry’s, Burlington

American Flatbread

Handy’s Lunch


Geologically, culturally, civically, and historically rich, Colchester and the Burlington metropolitan area is a forward-thinking, progressive community that honors its small-town values and idealism while embracing its cosmopolitan outlook. Chittenden County’s Town of Colchester and its neighboring communities have a broad range of activities, parks, events, and attractions to offer residents and visitors. In the Lake Champlain area, calendars are always scheduled to the brim. The annual Burlington City Arts Festival of Fools, the Giant Pumpkin Regatta and Festival, and the Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival are area favorites that are not to be missed. To find out what sporting, historic, cultural, or ecological events are happening during your time in Colchester, please visit these sites:

Vermont Brewers Festival

Giant Pumpkin Regatta and Festival

The Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival

Vermont International Film Festival

RunVermont, Vermont City Marathon

Burlington City Arts Festival of Fools

Church Street Marketplace Events Guide