updated 12/26/2006 2:02:08 PM ET 2006-12-26T19:02:08

The Church Street Marketplace is one of the more notable success stories of downtown development. Situated along 4 blocks that extend southward from the elegant 1816 Congregational church, the marketplace buzzes with the sort of downtown energy that makes urban planners everywhere envious. While the marketplace has been discovered by the national chains (Banana Republic, Borders, Pier 1, Eddie Bauer), it still makes room for used-book vendors and homegrown shops. In summer, leave time to be entertained by drummers, pan-flutists, buskers, and knots of young folks just hanging out. Most of the shops listed are either in the marketplace or within walking distance downtown.

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Nightclubs -- Burlington has a thriving local music scene. Check the local weeklies for information on festivals and concerts during your visit, and to find out who's playing at the clubs.

Nectar's, 188 Main St. (tel. 802/658-4771), is an odd amalgam -- part funky cafeteria-style restaurant, part no-frills lounge. No wonder this is the place Phish got its start. Live bands play nightly, and there's never a cover. On weekends, it's packed with UVM students and abuzz with a fairly high level of hormonal energy. Look for the revolving neon sign (the last of its kind in Vermont).

Upstairs from Nectar's is Club Metronome, 188 Main St. (tel. 802/865-4563), a loud and loose nightspot offering a wide array of acts, though Saturday nights often feature recorded music. You can dance or shoot a game of pool (or do both at once, as seems popular). This is a good spot to sample some of the local talent, which is pretty impressive. The cover is usually $3 to $15.

For gay nightlife, head to 135 Pearl (tel. 802/863-2343), located, of course, at 135 Pearl St. Get a bite to eat, dance to the DJ, or give karaoke a go. A cover may apply on weekends and for special events; call for details.

For more on what to see and do in Burlington, VT, visit our complete guide online at www.frommers.com/destinations/burlingtonvt.

Frommer’s is America’s bestselling travel guide series. Visit Frommers.com to find great deals, get information on over 3,500 destinations, and book your trip. © 2006 Wiley Publishing, Inc. Republication or redistribution of Frommer's content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Wiley.


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