Burlington has a thriving local music scene, though it's sometimes a bit hard to determine where the gigs are being played. Check the local weekly Seven Days, as well as bulletin-board postings and local radio, for information on festivals and concerts during your visit or to find out who's playing at the clubs.

Nectar's, at 188 Main St. (tel. 802/658-4771), is an odd amalgam -- part funky cafeteria-style restaurant, part lounge. No wonder this is the place Phish got its start. Live blues, rock, folk, and jam bands play nightly, and there's no cover. On weekends, it's packed with UVM students (and abuzz with a high level of hormonal energy, as a result). Look for the club's distinctive revolving neon sign, said to be 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, including DJs, reggae artists, and singer-songwriters. 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; now-famous acts like the Black Crowes got a toehold here before breaking out nationally. The cover charge is usually from around $3 to $15.

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