If you have a little time or an abiding interest in America’s industrial heritage, get off I-89 at exit 15, or follow Riverside Avenue (old US-2) north from Burlington to the center of Winooski, an old woolen mill town now focusing on the restored Champlain Mill (20 Winooski Falls Way), downtown. This former woolen mill now houses more than 20 cafés and specialty shops, and the rest of town provides a blue-collar balance to Burlington’s somewhat upscale airs. The town green is marred by a bank and large parking lot, but the surrounding buildings hold some interesting spots, including Sneakers Bistro (28 Main St., 802/655-9081), which serves great breakfasts and lunches every day. Two doors down, the Mule Bar (38 Main St., 802/399-2020) serves more eclectic food and a great range of micro-brewed beers and ciders.
Another reason to visit Winooski is to tour the restored farm of Vermont patriot Ethan Allen, preserved as the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum (802/865-4556, Thurs.-Mon. 10am-4pm May-Oct., $8) along Route 127 two miles northeast of Winooski.