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back to other towns

Essex may not be right on the shoreline, but its location along the beautiful Connecticut River is perfection. Reserve a room at the venerable Griswold Inn (or simply the Gris). Once you’ve unpacked, experience rubbing elbows with yachters and boatwrights who’ve carved out a fine life among the river’s many marinas and shipyards — and a good place to start is with a cruise on the Connecticut River Museum’s Onrust — a re-creation of the vessel Adriaen Block built in 1614, which is weighs anchor from Steamboat Dock for public cruises Thursdays through Sundays all summer and into October. When you return, a superb dinner of roasted oysters and seared trout awaits you at The Gris, after which you can enjoy a sing-along in the Taproom or a sampling of the vintages at the wine bar. Rise early and enjoy a ride on the Essex Steam Train, followed by a cruise on the Becky Thatcher, their riverboat. Grab either lunch or brunch at the Black Seal Seafood Grille — a town landmark featuring classic pub fare. Then it’s on to the Essex Art Association and The Spectrum Gallery, followed by a wander through the village’s many delightful shops. And for those enchanted by the maritime culture of this special town, Essex Books and the shop at the Connecticut River Museum are the places to go. Staying another night? Then be sure to treat yourself to a room and a gourmet dinner at the Copper Beech Inn, along with an evening of theater at the Ivoryton Playhouse or The Goodspeed Opera House. And come morning, don’t rush off. Pick up a map to the Connecticut River Estuary Canoe/Kayak Trail at the town hall, find your way to the river at Town Park, and — assuming you have a boat — explore a marshland listed among the world’s Wetlands of International Importance.

Expanded tour of Essex

  • The Connecticut River Museum's Onrust
    Steamboat Dock
    ctrivermuseum.org
  • Esssex Steam Treain and Riverboat Rid
    1 Railroad Ave., 860-767-0103
    essexsteamtrain.com
  • Riverquest
    Eagle Landing State Park,
    Little Meadow Rd., Haddam 8
    60-662–0577

  • Connecticut River Estuary Canoe/Kayak Trail
    Maps at the town hall,
    put in at Town Park,
    off Middle Cove, Main St.
  • Bushy Hill Nature Center
    253 Bushy Hill Road, Ivoryton,
    860-767-2148, bushyhill.org