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With its tide-washed marshlands, thousand-acre forest, two beautiful coves, and wide sandbar at the mouth of the Connecticut River, Old Saybrook is one of the state’s most precious natural environments. It’s also a beautiful place to spend some time, with enough browsing and buying opportunities for suburban landlubbers who like to shop — and all the marinas and other nautical venues sure to delight both sailor and anyone who loves the sea. Book rooms at the Saybrook Point Inn or the Deacon Timothy Pratt B&B. One is swanky — the other homespun, but both offer comforts for body and spirit. For breakfast, count on Mirsina’s. Then stop at the Village Gateway to pick up brochures, hop on the trolley, and tour the town at a leisurely pace. Any morning is well spent hiking the shady trails of Great Cedar Conservation Area, one of the last coastal forests in New England or kayak North and South Coves, where shorebirds, lighthouses, windmills, and picturesque cottages offer a close up look at the true charm of life on the shore. After lunch at Johnny Ad’s quintessential seafood shack, spread out a blanket at Harvey’s Beach and watch the waves come and go ‘til the sun slips into the sea. Or spend some time at Essence Center for Beauty and Wellness on Main Street being indulged. For dinner, think Liv’s Oyster Bar, an experience that should cure anything that ails you — or Nancy’s Rosemary & Sage for its traditional charm, warm service, and savory American cuisine. A round of mini-golf at Saybrook Point Park is the perfect way to end the evening. And as you nod off to sleep, imagine the fun that’s in store tomorrow — especially if you begin it with a river cruise. Take your pick, as there are many.

Expanded tour of Old Saybrook

 

Beaches

  • Harvey’s Beach
    Great Hammock Rd., 860-395-3152

Boats

Nature

  • Great Cedar Conservation Area
    Ingham Hill Rd.

Attractions

  • General William Hart House
    350 Main St., 860-388-2622
  • Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate)
    300 Main St., 877-503-1286
    katharinehepburntheater.org
  • Essence Center for Beauty
    and Wellness
    121 Main St. #1, 860-388-1002
    essencewellness.com
  • Saybrook Point Park & Fort Saybrook Monument Park
    College St., 860-395-3123
  • Fenwick Golf Course (9-hole public course)
    Maple Ave., 860-388-2516

Restaurants

Hotels