A 400-passenger cruise ship may not be your speed. How about a sail on the FRIENDSHIP SLOOP? The gaff-rigged boat accommodates up to 17 people and makes three trips a day. A two-hour tour costs $275 for up to six people, and $35 for each additional passenger. If you want a longer sail, you can customize the cruise to fit your fantasy: half day, full day, early morning, sunset. Bring your own wine and cheese — and IDs if anyone in the group on the boat is under 21. They provide the cooler.
Going bareboat? Winds of Ireland at the Burlington Boathouse rents out seven sailing sloops to experienced skippers. If you need someone else to take the tiller, they’ve got captains for hire.
Perkins Pier’s Waterfront Boat Rentals lets out rowboats, kayaks, canoes, double kayaks, aluminum skiffs and Boston Whalers by the hour — or eight. With more than 130 square miles of lake before you, the only limitation is how long you’ve got. And, of course, your vessel’s horsepower. An easy paddle north will take you to the Rock Point promontory via North Beach, where Burlingtonians go to swim and out-of-towners camp out. Go south to survey Red Rocks — a popular swimming and sunset spot — and Oakledge Park. Got a few hours?
The Burlington waterfront used to be a busy shipping center with all the accompanying industrial detritus. Thankfully, the urban shoreline has been beautified over the years. Take a stroll along the boardwalk or the bike path, step about the Spirit of Ethan Allen for a lake cruise, have lunch at Splash! at the Boathouse or toss a frisbee on the grass. If it's raining, take refuge at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center.
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