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Burlington's 10-mile Cycle the City loop runs along the waterfront, connecting several city parks and beaches. It also passes the Community Boathouse and runs within several blocks of downtown restaurants and shops.

North Star Sports. In addition to stocking an extensive supply of sports apparel and accessories, this family-owned shop rents bikes and provides maps of cycling routes. 100 Main St., Burlington, VT, 05401. 802/863–3832. northstarsportsvt.com.

Ski Rack. Burlington's one-stop shop for winter sports equipment, the Ski Rack also rents bikes and sells running gear throughout the year. 85 Main St., Burlington, VT, 05401. 802/658–3313 or 800/882–4530. www.skirack.com.

Burlington Community Boathouse. This boathouse houses the city's marina and a summertime watering hole called Splash, one of the best places to watch the sun set over the lake. Burlington Harbor, College St., Burlington, VT, 05401. 802/865–3377. www.enjoyburlington.com/waterfront.cfm.

Lake Champlain Shoreline Cruises. The three-level Spirit of Ethan Allen III, a 363-passenger vessel, offers narrated cruises, themed dinners, and sunset sails with stunning views of the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains. Burlington Boat House, 1 College St., Burlington, VT, 05401. 802/862–8300. www.soea.com. $16. Late May–mid-Oct., daily 10–9.

Waterfront Boat Rentals. Waterfront Boat Rentals rents kayaks, canoes, rowboats, skiffs, and Boston whalers. Affordable sailing lessons are available. Foot of Maple St. on Perkins Pier, Burlington Harbor, Burlington, VT, 05401. 802/864–4858. www.waterfrontboatrentals.com.

Community Sailing Center. In addition to renting dinghies, keelboats, and kayaks, the Community Sailing Center offers classes geared to all levels. 1 Lake St., Burlington, VT, 05401. 802/864–2499. www.communitysailingcenter.org.

Bolton Valley Resort. About 25 miles from Burlington, Bolton Valley Resort is a family favorite. In addition to 71 downhill ski trails (more than half rated for intermediates and beginners), Bolton has 62 miles of cross-country and snowshoe trails, night skiing, and a sports center. 4302 Bolton Valley Access Rd., Bolton, VT, 05465. 802/434–3444 or 877/926–5866. www.boltonvalley.com.

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This is a wonderful place to discover Vermont's outdoor wonders. The center's 255 acres of diverse habitats are a sanctuary for all things wild, and the 5 miles of trails provide an opportunity to explore the workings of differing natural communities. Events include dusk walks, wildflower and birding rambles, nature workshops, and educational activities for children and adults. The center is 18 miles southeast of Burlington.