The town square in Main Street in Essex, Connecticut (map)
Boasting one of the prettiest Main Streets in the world, a water front, it’s history as one of the only towns in America to be attacked by another country (the Brits, during the war of 1812), and a world-class Inn, Essex, Connecticut has a lot going for it. It’s proximity to some of Connecticut’s most acclaimed theater companies (the Ivoryton Playhouse in Ivoryton, CT, and the Goodspeed Opera in East Haddam, CT), don’t hurt Essex’s claim as a must-stop destination.
The truly great thing about this Connecticut gem, is that it’s truly a town for all seasons: it’s just as charming and visitor-friendly during the winter as it is in the summer. Sarah and I visited on a very cold-but-sunny afternoon and were struck by the combination of coziness and elegance a walk through Essex provides. I’ve suggested an itinerary below, but this is the kind of place I recommend just showing up and seeing where your stroll around town takes you. No maps necessary.
DAY TRIP ITINERARY: Essex, CT
Each day trip itinerary includes the main event, plus suggestions — with names, addresses and maps — of places to eat, shop, or “notable neighbors” to check out while you’re in the area. There is baked-in flexibility to mix and match, or follow the itinerary to the letter. If you have suggestions, lemme know!
The Connecticut River Museum (map)
67 Main Street
Essex, CT 06426
Goods & Curiosities At the Griswold Inn (map)
47 Main Street
Essex, CT 06426
Black Seal Seafood Grille (map)
15 Main St # C
For take out food, snacks and ice cream:2