dining
0
0
0
Departments

 

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

Useful CT Shoreline Sites & Area Attractions

BRANFORD - CLINTON - ESSEX - GUILFORD - MADISON - OLD LYME - OLD SAYBROOK - WESTBROOK

BRANFORD

James Blackstone Memorial Library - 758 Main St., Branford, 203-488-1441
One of Connecticut’s finest public buildings, contstructed between 1893 and 1896 by railroad magnate Timothy Beach Blackstone. Oliver D. Grover murals decorate the rotunda. Open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Stony Creek Puppet House - 128 Thimble Islands Rd., Branford, 203-488-5752 or 203-931-6326
Stony Creek’s Puppet House is a quirky site for sporadic performances by puppet master Jim Weil and the Sicilian puppets that reside on the theater’s walls. The ninety-seat playhouse was once the home of Orson Welles’s Mercury Theater.

Thimble Island Cruises

Volsunga IV - 203-488-9978 or 203-481-3345.
Stony Creek native Captain Bob Milne tells great stories of such island visitors as Captain Kidd and Tom Thumb. His 40-foot vessel leaves on the hour daily (except some Mondays) July through the day before Labor Day. Groups of more than twelve need reservations.

Sea Mist II - 203-488-8905
Captain Mike Infantino’s 45-foot Sea Mist II leaves hourly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, June 1 through Labor Day. Cruises in May, September, and October run Friday through Sunday at 12:15, 2:15, and 4:15 p.m. Two-hour evening charters and winter seal-watching cruises are also available.

Islander - 203-397-3921
Captain Dave Kusterer’s 26-foot port launch carries twenty-five passengers on a fifty-minute tour. Cruises leave every hour, at twenty minutes before the hour, from 10:40 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. daily, mid-June to Labor Day.

back to top

CLINTON

Bluefin Charters - Foot of Grove St., Clinton, 203- 421-7981 or 877-259-9920
Sport fishing enthusiasts board the 38’ Phoenix Bluefin at Clinton Harbor. Captain Mike Marro is U.S. Coast Guard-licensed and fully insured, and his boat is equipped for day charters, with bait and tackle provided. Half- and full-day trips offered April through December.
www.bluefincharters.com

Captain Elisha White House - 103 East Main St., Clinton, 860-669-2148
Built in 1750 with bricks used for ballast on Elisha’s White English ship, this is the oldest brick dwelling on the Boston Post Road between New Haven and New London. Filled with 18th- and 19th-century furnishings and artwork, the house is part of a campus that includes historic gardens, a tool museum, and a library. The library and archives are open most Wednesdays year-round from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The Elisha White House is open only by appointment.

Chamard Vineyard - 115 Cow Hill Rd., Clinton, 860-664-0299
This 40-acre property devotes 20 acres to growing fine grapes for premium table wines. Tastings and tours of the underground wine cellar and barrel-aging rooms are held every Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Bistro serves lunch and dinner. Call ahead, especially during winter or holiday weekends.

Bounce Fun Center - 18 Knollwood Drive, Clinton, 860-506-5867
An absolutely great time for the whole family. All kinds of big inflatables and the latest in arcade games will keep kids and adults thrilled — and it’s inside, thus perfect for rainy-day fun, as well.

back to top

ESSEX

Essex Art Association - North Main St., Essex, 860-767-8996
For over 50 years, this association of fine artists has exhibited members’ works in its gallery in an historic building above the village. Four invitational and juried shows are hung each season. Open daily 1 to 5 p.m., April through October, with admission free.

Essex Steam Train and Riverboat Ride - Valley Railroad, 1 Railroad Ave., Essex,
860-767-0103 or 800-ESSEXTRAIN
Vintage steam locomotive and railcars take passengers on a one-hour train ride — or choose a 2½-hour ride by rail and riverboat. Runs May through October, with special Easter and Christmas excursions and an evening dinner train in warmer months. Call for the schedule or check the website at
www.essexsteamtrain.com

Ivoryton Playhouse - 103 Main St., Ivoryton, 860- 767-7318
America’s oldest professional self-supporting theater is open year-round and features comedies, dramas, and holiday and family productions. Current season information at www.IvorytonPlayhouse.org.

The Pratt House Museum - 18 West Ave., Essex, 860-767-1191
This small museum is owned and operated by the Essex Historical Society and features 17th- and 18th- century furnishings, ironwork from the former Pratt smithy, an authentically restored herb garden, and a barn housing an historic loom. Open Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m., June to Labor Day. Admission is free.

Spectrum Gallery - 61 Main Street, Centerbrook, 860-767-0742
A non-profit arts organization and gallery showcasing paintings, sculpture, photography, and mixed media by regional and national artists and artisans. The store offers artisanal jewelry, pottery, home decor and more. spectrumartgallery.org

back to top

GUILFORD

Bishop's Farm Market and Orchards - 7355 Boston Post Rd., Guilford, Farm market, 203-453-2338;
pick-your-own info-line, 203-458-PICK (7425)
Established in 1871, Bishop’s is perhaps Guilford’s best-known farm. Shop in the market or pick your own produce and fruit from the fields and orchards. Open year-round Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 9 a.m. on Sunday. Pick-your-own info line:

Dudley Farm - 2357 Durham Rd. (Route 77), Guilford, 203-457-0770
The Dudley family farmed this land for two centuries. Eight buildings and remnant structures include the 1840s farmhouse, an enormous U-shaped barn, herb and flower gardens, and more. A seasonal market (June through October) offers the farm’s own produce and that of other local farmers and crafters. On the first Saturday of warm-weather months, folk and bluegrass musicians jam under the trees. Open year-round Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Thomas Griswold House - 777 Boston St., at the corner of Lovers Ln., Guilford, 203-453-3176 or 203-453-4666
This 1774 saltbox boasts an original Guilford cupboard and a 10-foot-wide fireplace with two beehive ovens. An annual antiques festival is held here on the last Saturday in July, and there’s a Civil War encampment each year on the grounds. Open Mid-June to October, Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. www.thomasgriswoldhouse.com

Guilford Art Center - 411 Church St., (Route 7), Guilford, 203-453-5947
Founded by local artists, the center has a shop, a gallery, and a school with pottery, weaving, painting, and metal crafting studios that offer classes and workshops for adults and children. The gallery and shop are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. There are extended hours for the holiday exhibition and sale in November and December and a summer Craft Expo on the green.

back to top

MADISON

Allis-Bushnell House - 853 Boston Post Rd., Madison, 203-245-4567
Home to the Madison Historical Society, this 1785 house is notable for its unusual corner fireplaces and cupboards. It is the former home of Cornelius Bushnell, a founder of the Union Pacific Railway and chief financier of the Civil War ironclad, the USS Monitor. Collections include USS Monitor memorabilia. Docent-led tours are offered from Memorial Day to October 1st, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Lenny and Joe’s Flying Menagerie Magical Carousel - 1301 Boston Post Rd., Madison, 203-245-7289
It’s only $1.50 to ride this handmade carousel at Lenny and Joe’s in Madison. $1,007,386.00 has been raised for charity from the proceeds.

Hammonasset State Park and Meigs Point Nature Center - Off the Boston Post Rd. at exit 62 of 1-95, Madison, Park: 203-245-2785
Hammonasset State Park — with its nearly 1,000 acres and two miles of shorefront — is the state’s longest public beach. It also features boardwalks, pavilions and picnic shelters, a campground, playing fields, a nature center, walking trails, and bike paths. Meigs Point Nature Center has fresh and saltwater aquariums, a marine touch tank, and live amphibians and reptiles. The park is open daily year-round from 8 a.m. to sunset. The campground is open from mid-May to September 30. The Nature Center is open from late April to September 30T, Ruesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Alcohol-free.

Susan Powell Fine Art - 679 Boston Post Rd., Madison, 203-318-0616
Voted Best Gallery to Buy Art, Susan Powell Fine Art represents 40 nationally known and emerging artists. The gallery has over 30 years of experience in creating private collections and specializes in art for all budgets. Exhibitions feature award-winning artists of landscapes, marines, still lifes, figurative, New York City, and abstract oils. www.susanpowellfineart.com

back to top

OLD LYME

Florence Griswold Museum - 96 Lyme St., Old Lyme, 860-434-5542
A National Historic Landmark, the restored former home of Miss Florence Griswold was built in 1817 on the Lieutenant River. The museum features an outstanding collection of American Impressionist works and the original artworks her talented boarders painted directly on the dining room wall panels. Guided tours. Open June to December, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.; and January to May, Wednesday through Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The first floor of the main house is wheelchair accessible.

Griswold Point and Great Island Roger Tory Peterson Wildlife Area - Parking off Route 156
This shallow saltwater estuary is perfect for kayaking and canoeing. Hike the beautiful sand spit, a protected nesting site for piping plovers and least terns. Observe Connecticut’s largest colony of osprey from late March through autumn months. Open year-round, dawn to dusk. Great Island is accessible only by boat.

The Carousel at Old Lyme - 75-81 Hartford Ave., 860-434-3908
Grab the brass ring at this 1925 Allan Herschell Carousel at Sound View Beach (Connecticut’s best public beach) in Old Lyme. Open evenings from 7 – 9 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day. Walk next door to the Carousel Shop for 32 flavors of JJ Lawsen’s Gourmet Ice Cream, yogurt, premium soft serve, or sherbet. Check out the gifts, beach items, and casual clothing at the Carousel Shop Too.

The Chocolate Shell - 18 Lyme St., 860-434-9727
Find nostalgic candies, hot chocolate, gourmet Belgian chocolate, gifts, and more. Offering gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and even sugar-free confection collections.

back to top

OLD SAYBROOK

General William Hart House - 350 Main St., Old Saybrook, 860-388-2622
Built in 1767 for his bride, this was the home of affluent trade-ship owner and General William Hart. Now fully restored and home to the Old Saybrook Historical Society, the house and award-winning 18th-century flower and herb gardens are open weekends from 1- 4 p.m. in June - August.

Harvey's Beach and Town Beach - Great Hammock Road, Parks and Recreation: 860-395-3152
Featuring 100 yards of shorefront accessible all year round, Harvey’s Beach offers a bathhouse, rest rooms, and outdoor showers from Memorial Day - Labor Day. Lifeguards are on duty only on weekends from Memorial Day - June, then daily through Labor Day. Non-resident daily fee Memorial Day - Labor Day. The town Beach has lifeguards, restrooms, a concession, and picnic shelter. Parking in-season for residents only.

Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate) - 300 Main Sreet, Old Saybrook, Tickets: 877-503-1286
Located in a historic theatre/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook, the Center has been renovated with public funding from the town of Old Saybrook and donations raised by trustees of the center. Inside is a 250-seat theatre and a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook’s most celebrated resident. The programming is an eclectic mix of professional theater, dance, and music with something for all ages.

back to top

WESTBROOK

Salt Meadow National Wildlife Refuge - Old Clinton Rd., Westbrook, 860-399-2513
The Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, which includes seven other Connecticut shore sanctuaries, is headquartered in this 192-acre habitat of salt marsh, grassland, and forest, home to more than 280 species of resident and migratory neotropical birds. Open year-round, half an hour before dawn to half an hour past dusk.

Westbrook Fife & Drum Muster - Westbrook
When the Ancient Mariners and their cronies march down Boston Post Road in tri-cornered hats and black leather boots, it’s easy to believe that General Washington can’t be far behind — or that the Marquis de Lafayette might appear on horseback. An annual event since 1959, the Westbrook Fife and Drum Muster draws a crowd of thousands on the fourth weekend of August. Fifty or more fife and drum corps encamp here for two days for this truly New England experience.

back to top