Burlington, Vermont is a colorful city on Lake Champlain, just south of the Canadian border. It’s hard to decide whether it’s better to view the countryside via boat tour or train tour. So what the heck, we did both.

First, we took a cruise on the Spirit Of Ethan Allen, a sightseeing vessel named after a famous Revolutionary War hero who spent some time in these parts (and indeed died here). The 2-hour excursion takes you out onto the lake to view the nearby mountains of Vermont and New York (just across the water) with narration about points of historical interest. There’s even a bit of speculation about a Loch Ness type monster (known as Champ) who’s been sighted in these waters for at least 3 centuries.

The next day, we took a rail excursion on the Green Mountain Railroad, which ran along the lake, then through farms and quaint towns of Vermont. The 3-hour ride in vintage railroad cars included a gourmet meal, featuring the best breadsticks and chocolate mousse cake we’ve ever had. The main course was also excellent, a vegetarian dish made with portabella mushrooms and vegetables.

So now we’ve had tours of Burlington and environs by both rail and sail. And now the problem is trying to figure out which we like better. Hmmm… we may have to do them again to decide.