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Please select an itemTOWN


The epicenter of this charming little village is the Guilford Green. Beautifully framed by three churches, it is fringed by Colonial, Federal and Victorian buildings that house its retail and commercial enterprises, including Page Hardware, which has been in business there since 1939 and stocks everything from two-penny nails to high-end appliances, and Guilford Food Center, where both the front sidewalk and the wooden floor within are swept like clockwork every morning — and where you can still pick up hot chowder any day of the week, as well as great cuts of meats to put on the grill. Plus newer retail shops, including one of the best gift stores on the Shoreline with something for everyone — M!X Design Store. Placed on the National Register as a Historic Town Center in 1976, the neighborhood surrounding the green has nearly 500 protected historic buildings. Fact is, the green is where nearly all explorations of Guilford begin, and the development of the Village Walk plan makes these byways even easier to navigate.

At the southern end of the green, Whitfield Street continues seaward toward Guilford Harbor and Jacob’s Beach. Along the way, you’ll find the Henry Whitfield State Museum, one of the most famous stone houses on the shoreline, the oldest stone house in New England, and the oldest house of any kind in Connecticut.

Water Street — or Route 146 — heads west from the green for a 12-mile run through Guilford and Branford through the scenic neighborhoods at the edge of the Sound. A designated scenic highway, it officially begins at the eastern end of Boston Street, but visitors to the green will spot signs for the drive near its intersection with Whitfield Street.

The secluded public park at Chaffinch Island is ideal for a leisurely picnic lunch. And be sure to take a wander through the warren of lanes that dip and twist through Sachem’s Head, or seach for Lost Lake in the forest in Westwoods, also off 146. Not far from that parcel is Medad Stone Tavern. If you pick the right day, you might get a hearth-cooked meal there.

Not far off the green on River Street is West River Park, a slice of solitude for the daydreamers among us at the stream bank. Go north to the Boston Post Road, then head west to Bishop’s Farm Market for fresh produce and their own wines, or do some pick-your-own harvesting in their berry fields or orchards.
Scenic highway 77 also begins at the green. Near its south end, not far from the green, is the Guilford Art Center, home to a gallery and shop as well as multiple artist studios and classrooms. Heading northward 11.5 miles to the Durham town line, it takes you past farmsteads and nurseries, with stonewalls and pastures enclosing horses, cows, and even llamas. A few miles north lies Dudley Farm, a historic spot that welcomes the public to its seasonal Saturday-morning farmers’ market and to bluegrass jams beneath its maples.


Al Ferreira Photo