EleganCE and Sophisticated Cuisine in the Connecticut River Valley
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The Ivoryton Playhouse is located in Ivoryton, a beautiful section of historic Essex, on the banks of the Connecticut River. The Playhouse has been an important part of Connecticut’s cultural landscape for over 100 years. It was one of America’s leading summer showplaces, presenting a parade of stars such as Katharine Hepburn, Marlon Brando, Tallulah Bankhead, Betty Grable, Mae West and many, many more.
The Valley Railroad Company – operating the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat – has been serving the lower Connecticut River Valley since 1971. Their best-known excursion, the iconic Steam Train & Riverboat ride, operates from May through October, with daily operation during the summer months. They're the only Steam Train & Riverboat connection in the country, with two operating steam locomotives and multiple classes of passenger service. The locomotives & the Becky Thatcher riverboat can be chartered for private cruises, dinners and events.
The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is a non-profit performing arts organization located in an historic theatre/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook. Originally opened in 1911, the building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. After state-of-the art renovations, the center includes a 250-seat theatre that presents work in several genres including music, theater, opera, dance, comedy, film, and a variety of children’s programming. The theater lobby encompasses a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook’s most celebrated resident.
Connecticut River Expeditions (CRE) is family owned and operated by Captain Mark and Mindy Yuknat. Since 2002 they have been providing the general public access to the lower Connecticut River, educating passengers on the ecology and beauty of the lower Connecticut River, while they cruise aboard CRE’s eco-tour vessel, RiverQuest.