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Essex
Travel Guide

Essex featuring a house

The charm of Connecticut is abundantly clear in this historic town with inextricable links to the river and an enticing old-world atmosphere.

Essex has been described as “one town, three villages,” a description that captures the varied charms of this riverside community. Travel between Essex Village, Centerbrook and Ivoryton to enjoy the numerous attractions. Fascinating museums, classically American main streets and atmospheric arts venues characterize a place that has been voted one of the country’s finest small towns.

European settlers first established communities here in the late 17th century. The town was once one of New England’s crucial shipbuilding centers. Wander the banks of the Connecticut River, where over 600 vessels were built between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.

Discover more of Essex’s maritime past and the history of boating in the Connecticut River Museum. Exhibits here include a full-scale, working replica of the first American submarine and displays showing how Native Americans relied on the river. The museum also offers excursions along the water in a historical vessel and a river festival every May.

Browse the stores on Main Street, where traditional timber buildings, hotels and storefronts hark back to a bygone era. Take a break from shopping in one of the restaurants or art galleries along the way.

Stroll along the walking trails of Canfield Woods, a pleasant nature preserve on the edge of town. Paths lead beneath red maples, American chestnuts and spruces, among others. Bring your binoculars to spot deer, foxes and a variety of birds.

Relax for an evening in the Ivoryton Playhouse, a stunning theater that has stood on this site for over 100 years. Professional musicals, dramas and comedies are performed in this storied venue throughout the year.

Essex is about 40 minutes away from New Haven and 20 minutes from Middletown by car. Travel by boat to arrive here in style, docking in one of the marina slips in the center of Essex Village.

Come to Essex in any season of the year. Spring and summer bring warm days by the river, while fall promises New England’s famous colorful foliage.

The Griswold Inn
The Griswold Inn
3 out of 5
36 Main Street, Essex, CT
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Situated in the historical district, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Essex Island Marina and Essex Steam Train. Connecticut River Museum and Pratt House ...
4/5Very Good! (70 reviews)
the beginning of a birthday week :-)
"we ate dinner (excellent!) in the library (fireplace, cozy), danced in the lounge to Shiny Lapel Trio (wicked fun band! that we follow), stayed over night, (comfortable bed and very cute view overlooking main street)."

Reviewed on 30 Nov 2015

The Griswold Inn
Renovated Barn, Sidewalk Stroll Into Essex Village & Marina
Renovated Barn, Sidewalk Stroll Into Essex Village & Marina
87 Saybrook Rd, Essex, CT
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This family-friendly Essex holiday home is located on the riverfront, within 1 mi (2 km) of Pratt House and Essex Steam Train. Connecticut River Museum and Connecticut ...
Renovated Barn, Sidewalk Stroll Into Essex Village & Marina
Private Luxury Jewel on the Hill
Private Luxury Jewel on the Hill
30 Prospect St, Essex, CT
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Situated in Essex, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Pratt House and Essex Steam Train. Essex Library and Essex Island Marina are also within 10 ...
Private Luxury Jewel on the Hill
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Private - Cloud Comfort Double Queen Bed Room
Private - Cloud Comfort Double Queen Bed Room
211 Parkway N, Waterford, CT
The price is £288 per night from 24 May to 24 May
Located in the heart of Waterford, this golf aparthotel is 2.3 mi (3.6 km) from Crystal Mall and 2.6 mi (4.2 km) from Waterford Speedbowl. Cedar Ridge Golf Course ...
Private - Cloud Comfort Double Queen Bed Room
Norwich Inn & Spa Minutes to Mohegan Sun & Foxwood Casino
Norwich Inn & Spa Minutes to Mohegan Sun & Foxwood Casino
2121 Old Pond Lane, Norwich, CT
Situated in a rural location, this historic condo is within 2 mi (3 km) of Norwich Golf Course, Mohegan Sun Casino, and Mohegan Sun Arena. Norwich Arts Center ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (67 reviews)
Great villa very close to Mohegan Sun. Easy to get in and out from rear gate. Would stay again.
"Nice Villa close to Mohegan Sun, Golf Course and restaurants."

Reviewed on 16 May 2021

Norwich Inn & Spa Minutes to Mohegan Sun & Foxwood Casino
Convenient Studio in the Heart of Groton
Convenient Studio in the Heart of Groton
37 Hamilton Ave, Groton, CT
The price is £109 per night from 25 May to 25 May
Situated in Groton, this apartment building is within 2 miles (3 km) of Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park, Hygienic Art Gallery and Richard Douglass House. ...
Convenient Studio in the Heart of Groton
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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