Lake Champlain forms a large part of Vermont’s western boundary with New York State. The huge lake, the sixth-largest in the nation, is about 118 miles long and 12 miles across at its widest point. From the Vermont side, the sunsets visible over New York’s Adirondack Mountains can be spectacular.
The lake is a tremendous resource for sports enthusiasts. Swimming, fishing, boating, kayaking, and sailing are popular in the summer (including canoe and kayak rentals at the Burlington Boathouse, and sailing and boat rentals at the Community Boat House), while ice fishing and sometimes iceboat sailing and skating offer outdoor opportunities in the winter. Summer rentals on the lake are popular, so book early if you can.
While the swimming is generally good during the summer, sandy beaches are the exception on Lake Champlain. Much of the waterfront consists of shale beaches or rocky ledge, though some rentals have docks or swimming rafts. A few parts of the lake sometimes have algae or aquatic weed problems, so ask about swimming conditions if that is important to you. Some rentals offer boat moorings.
VermontProperty.com has probably the largest selection of Lake Champlain vacation rentals available on the web. We have divided the rentals on our regional page into two groups: those rentals located in and north of Burlington, and those vacation rentals located south of Burlington.
The northern section includes rental properties in the Lake Champlain Islands area. Accessible by bridge, the Islands are home to the towns of Alburgh, Grand Isle, Isle La Motte, and North and South Hero, and offer eight state parks. This peaceful area is not far from Montreal, Canada’s bustling cultural center (passport or other authorized photo ID required to cross the border).
In Vermont, concerts ranging from the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival to the Lake Champlain Bluegrass Festival, among others, can be heard along the lake from Ferrisburgh to Burlington to Alburgh.
Many Lake Champlain rental properties in both sections are located within 45 minutes north or south of Burlington, which is Vermont’s largest city and a cultural center in its own right. For more information about Burlington, click here. Our site has a separate section for rentals in Burlington and in other towns and lakes just inland from Lake Champlain.
For bicycle enthusiasts there is a 1,300+ mile network of bicycle routes, known as Lake Champlain Bikeways, in the Lake Champlain Valley of Vermont, New York, and Québec. The network includes a total of 35 loops and tours ranging from 10 to 60 miles in length, in addition to the Champlain Bikeway, a 363-mile principal route around the entire Lake and along the Richelieu River to Chambly, Québec.
Tours of Lake Champlain on board large boats are available in summer from Burlington, and Lake Champlain Transportation ferry company operates several ferries that cross the lake between Vermont and New York. The lake has served as a natural transportation route for thousands of years.
South of Burlington you can find tourist attractions such as the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Ferrisburgh, and Fort Ticonderoga, just over the border in New York state. The deepest spot in the lake is 400 feet deep, just off Split Rock Point, not far from the southern Lake Champlain town of Charlotte.
To search among many more local area attractions and events best suited for families, check out where the locals go to find fun - www.findandgoseek.net.
The Lake Champlain region can be accessed from interstate highways in Vermont and New York, from local state highways and the Burlington International Airport. Other nearby airports can be found in Montreal and Manchester, NH.
The northern Lake Champlain Islands are accessible via causeways and also by the ferry from Plattsburgh NY. Southern Lake Champlain towns can be accessed via the new Lake Champlain bridge at Chimeny Point.