EleganCE and Sophisticated Cuisine in the Connecticut River Valley
Designated one of the 40 "Last Great Places" by the Nature Conservancy, the Lower Connecticut River Valley is a wonderful region to see and explore. Experience the many scenic wonders and active pursuits detailed below, and be sure to ask our innkeeper for advice or assistance with reservations. We're here to ensure that you thoroughly enjoy your visit to our magnificent corner of New England.
For a complete listing of current and future events and attractions, visit the following websites:
Seasonal Pursuits Winter Wildlife Eagle Cruise Each winter as the temperature dips below freezing, Bald Eagles from as far north as Canada make their way to the open waters of the Connecticut River for easy fishing and nesting. Learn their amazing comeback story while getting a unique on-water view aboard CT River Expedition’s 64 ft RiverQuest, a modern, environmentally friendly vessel with heated cabin and ample deck space. A naturalist provides guided narration while free coffee and use of binoculars is also included. Plus, free admission to all Museum galleries featuring the Eagles of Essex exhibit is also included.
Cultural Pursuits Essex Connecticut River Museum Located at Steamboat Dock at the foot of Main St. Permanent and changing exhibits about the maritime, cultural, and economic history of the Connecticut River Valley dating from the early 17th century.
Hartford Wadsworth Atheneum Founded in 1842 featuring collections of American and European paintings, sculpture and decorative arts.
Connecticut Historical Society Founded in 1825 and having one of the most impressive and extensive collections of 17th and 18th century furniture, textiles and costumes, portraits and paintings, and decorative arts.
Mystic Aquarium Home to over six thousand species with 49 living exhibits and a marine theater.
Gillette Castle and State Park Hilltop Stone Mansion overlooking the Connecticut River. Built by William Gillette in 1919. Gillette was a stage actor most noted for portraying Sherlock Holmes for many years in New York. Located in Hadlyme. A short ride on the Chester Ferry (in season) is an interesting approach and a great view of the mansion from the river.
Essex Village A picturesque riverside town with an eclectic medley of boutiques, clothing shops, gift shops, art galleries, antique shops, eateries, marinas, and an inviting town green on Middle Cove to enjoy the ambience of the town.
Chester Village A whimsical town with a quaint selection of clothing shops, antique shops, art galleries, craft studios, and restaurants.
Old Lyme Village On the eastern bank of the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound. Location of the Florence Griswold Museum, home of American Impressionism. Art galleries, shops, restaurants.
Old Saybrook A shoreline village with multiple beach communities and marinas. Located at the mouth of the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound. Home to the new Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, numerous national and smaller retailers and restaurants.
Active Pursuits Public Golf Courses Fox Hopyard – East Haddam 18 holes with restaurant and bar overlooking the course.