“Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get” – W.P. Kinsella
Essex, CT – There’s that old saying that some travelers like so much, and it goes something like, “there are some places in this world that are worth seeing before you die.” Now, that’s probably not an accurate quote, but you get the idea. And some time ago, we stumbled on a place that made us realize how true the aforementioned saying really is. It’s called Essex, CT, and it’s really worth spending some time in.
Essex, CT – Just What The Doctor Ordered
So, we’ve written about New England towns many times before. What’s so special about Essex? Well…quite a lot, actually. Quintessential New England charm might be hard to come by today in its original form, but this town has plenty of it. Located in Middlesex County, Connecticut, Essex has a population of around 7,000. The town itself is comprised of three historic villages: Ivoryton, Centerbrook and Essex Village. Each of these is uniquely different, yet still represents part of the whole.
Essex is basically a short distance from Connecticut’s capital of Hartford, approximately half way between Boston and New York. Settled around Falls River, Essex is famous for its fascinating architecture, majestic trees and beautiful landscapes. Falls River flows eastwardly down to the sparkling Connecticut River, both of which are just what the doctor ordered for relaxation when the summer heat starts doing its thing.
So Much To See And Do That You Might Have To Come Back Soon
Educational, historical and cultural attractions are ample in Essex. They encompass the Connecticut Audubon Ecotravel, the Connecticut River Museum, the Ivoryton Playhouse, the Essex Steam Train, to name a few. But, one mustn’t forget about Sailing Masters of 1812, whose members are dressed in the traditional garb of Navy midshipmen of the time period. How cool is that? Parades, on the other hand, are a way of life in Essex. Two of the most famous ones are Groundhog Day and the Burning of the Ships Parade. The latter celebrates the 1814 British raid, which resulted in 29 ships being burnt in the harbor.
When it comes to interesting spots and stores across Essex, there’s a wide selection waiting for you. For example, Essex Coffee & Tea is great if you’re on the market for cappuccino and pastries. Olive Oly’s is a cool way to get some creative takeout, while the Black Seal is the place you want to be if you’re into seafood. And if you want to combine culinary experiences with fine accommodation, there’s no better place to do it than the famous Griswold Inn, affectionately nicknamed “The Gris,” which has been in business since 1776. It’s iconic Tap Room boasts a trendy wine bar, historical menus, five dining rooms and weeklong live music. Be sure not to miss the legendary Hunt Breakfast on Sunday.
We Can Only Show You The Path – It’s Up To You To Walk It
Shoppers can get their kicks in a number of different ways in Essex. Our suggestions include The Christmas Barn, Toys Ahoy and The French Hen. We also recommend Weekend Kitchen and Truffle Shots on North Main Street, people. Take our word for it – you should take the time specifically for visiting shops in and around Essex. Not only will you get your hands on some cool souvenirs, but the experience of it all could very well be a vacation in itself. At least it was for us.
Lastly, when it comes to accommodation, we’ve already mentioned the Griswold Inn, but there’s another heavyweight contender for the crown of the best inn in Essex. The place we’d also like to mention here is the Copper Beach Inn. This place is a country inn, as well as an award-winning restaurant. Luxurious accommodation and pampering service are things to expect here. It’s ideal for everything from a relaxing vacation and romantic weekend getaway to an anniversary and even honeymoon. But, don’t take our word for it. We’re just here to point you in the right direction. And Essex, CT is THE direction to go.