Summer is the most highly-anticipated season, and for good reason! Colorful sundresses, sexy distressed shorts and effortless sandals make dressing up (or down) a breeze; we hit the gym, try out a fad diet, create summer mood boards on our desks, and make vacation plans… but some popular destinations can cost a small fortune to get to, and yet still be disappointing. This summer, we discovered a real sleeper in the charming Connecticut town of Old Saybrook, one of the best-kept secrets of New England. Most people haven’t heard of it, even though there is so much to see and do. Old Saybrook is one of the oldest and most beautiful towns on the Northeast Coast. This picturesque shoreline destination was established in 1854, and is nestled between the Long Island Sound and Connecticut River.
For those who appreciate an elegant summer getaway with just the right amount of old-school New England charm, Old Saybrook is the place to go. The warm season is from late May through mid-October, with highs in the 80’s and lows in the 60’s. This cozy town offers beautiful vistas of shorelines and marinas, and an eclectic collection of shops and restaurants on Main Street. What really makes this place stand out amongst the many picturesque spots on the New England shoreline is that it’s one of the few places in the United States where you can find two working lighthouses. There’s no denying that lighthouses have a special allure for many, a certain mysterious charm. There are some great stories (whether fact or fiction) that go along with almost every one of these seaside landmarks. Old Saybrook is also home to The Kate, a cultural arts center featuring a 250-seat theatre and small museum honoring Hollywood legend Katharine Hepburn. It is the only theater in the world that is named for the 4-time Academy Award-winning actress. Cozy and intimate, this venue hosts various concerts and art events, adding a sophisticated touch to your visit.
Looking to really shrug off that big-city feeling? The area is a hotspot for migratory birds – a total of 438 species have been recorded in Connecticut. Connecticut’s best-known birding sites are located on the shores of the Long Island Sound, where observers can spot waterfowl, shorebirds, and seabirds, along with migrants of all sorts following the coast. It is also home to a beautiful stretch of Highway 154 that is lined with historic homes and picturesque foliage, perfect for a drive in a convertible (or just rolling down the windows in your hard-top vehicle). Must-visits places include the shores of Harvey’s Beach, where you can find some of the best seafood around (and a local favorite, pulled-pork sandwiches). The historic downtown district is rife with local art galleries, stylish boutiques and more adventurous eateries, if you’re missing the Manhattan foodie scene…
And whether you are looking for waterfront tranquility for your long weekend getaway, or a relaxing day at a superb spa with your girlfriends, discover elegant simplicity and delightful coastal flair by staying at Saybrook Point Inn, Marina & Spa. Saybrook Point Inn has created the perfect balance of Northern extravagance and Southern hospitality. The splendor of this New England mainstay will leave you feeling well-rested and satisfied. Long walks along the beach, luxurious spa treatments, and scrumptious food – it’s the perfect place to unwind! The Lighthouse Suite at Point Inn is the most intimate and unique of all the accommodations on the property. Situated on the main dock, this suite boasts unobstructed views of the Long Island Sound and Connecticut River. With a living room, dining area, and kitchenette available, you have 900 square feet of space to call your own.
If all that isn’t enough (or you’re looking to make a very special memory) you can book The Real Escape at Sunset Cruises, a 56-foot Hatteras motor yacht. Guests will find they can enjoy fishing trips or just luxuriate in the amazing views of the water. Your stay in Old Saybrook will certainly leave you breathing easy and sleeping soundly. In this town, expect a truly charming experience along the Connecticut shore. But shhh, tell only your very best friends, or pretty soon it will no longer be New England’s best-kept secret!
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