Burlington is the largest city in the U.S. state of Vermont and is the shire town (county seat) of Chittenden County. With a population of 38,889 at the 2000 census, the city is the core of one of the nation's smaller metropolitan areas, and is also the smallest U.S. city that is the largest city in its state. The urbanized area consists of the cities of Burlington, South Burlington, and Winooski; the towns of Colchester, Essex, and Williston; and the village of Essex Junction.As of 2000, the metropolitan area contained the three northwestern Vermont counties of Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle, with an estimated 2006 population of 206,007, approximately one third of Vermont's total population.
The city is situated on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, north of Shelburne Bay. It was built on a strip of land extending about 6 mi south from the mouth of the Winooski River along the lake shore and rises from the water's edge to a height of 300 ft.