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For more than a century, Branford has enjoyed the distinction of being an ideal summer escape. And while the trolleys and steamboats that originally brought travelers to the shore of Long Island Sound are now just a memory, it is still the largest of The Shoreline towns — and one of the most vibrant. If you’re overnighting, check into one of Branford’s original hotels — the Owenego Inn, where a traditional shore dinner and the ebb and flow of the waves along 500 feet of direct oceanfront will ensure a “sound” night’s sleep. In the morning, head for Stony Creek and a leisurely boating tour around the Thimble Islands. After lunch, relax at Stony Creek Public Beach or bird watch on the Branford Trolley Trail. Walk the trails at the Supply Pond Park, explore Short Beach and Branford Point. Take a trolley ride to the Shore Line Trolley Museum in nearby East Haven. Or wander Branford’s Green, where boutiques, markets, and historic sites abound. P.S. Fine Stationers on Main offers some great shopping. And if a little self-pampering is called for, stop in at Paul & Company Hair Color & Design on Montowese Street — then choose a restaurant nearby and make a reservation to show yourself off while enjoying a great meal. Feeling weary after all that activity? Head to Willoughby’s Coffee for a cup of that second wind we sometimes need. And after dinner, be sure to stop at Ashley’s Ice Cream for a scoop or two or three of their homemade ice cream. Their motto? Moderation is for wimps.

Expanded tour of Branford

  • Stony Creek Public Beach
    Thimble Islands Rd., 203-488-4017
  • Parker Memorial Park at Branford Point
    Harbor St., 203- 488-8304