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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 the perfect place to spend some time, with enough browsing and buying opportunities for suburban landlubbers who like to shop, as well as the marinas and other nautical businesses that are a sailor’s delight. 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 or brunch, count on Mirsina’s. Then stop at the Village Gateway to pick up brochures, hop on the trolley, and tour the town at a comfortable pace. Any morning is well spent hiking the shady trails of Great Cedar Conservation Area, one of the last coastal forests in New England. Kayak North and South Coves, where shorebirds, lighthouses, windmills, and picturesque cottages offer charming snapshots of life on the shore. After lunch at Johnny Ad’s quintessential seafood shack, spread out a blanket at Harvey’s Beach and hang out watching the waves ‘til the sun slips into the sea. For dinner, try the très chic Liv’s Oyster Bar, an experience that should cure anything that ails you — or Nancy’s Rosemary & Sage. Follow that up with a round of mini-golf at Saybrook Point Park. And as you nod off to sleep, imagine this: tomorrow can only get better — 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

  • Action Sports (kayak rentals)
    1385 Boston Post Rd., 860-388-1291
  • Eden Charters
    sport fishing, 7 Cricket Court, 860-388-5897
  • Captain John’s Sunbeam Fleet
    sport fishing, 15 1st Water St., Waterford, 860-443-7259
  • Captain Peter Wheeler’s Sea Sprite
    sport fishing, 200 College St., 860-669-9613

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
  • Saybrook Point Park & Fort Saybrook Monument Park
    College St., 860-395-3123
  • Fenwick Golf Course (9-hole public course)
    Maple Ave. in Fenwick Borough, 860-388-2516

Restaurants

  • Johnny Ad’s
    910 Boston Post Rd., 860-388-4032
  • Alforno Ristorante & Brick-Oven Pizza
    1654 Boston Post Rd., Old Saybrook, 860-399-4166
  • Rosemary & Sage
    1080 Boston Post Rd., 860-388-1166
  • Liv’s Oyster Bar
    166 Main St., 860-395-5577
  • Fresh Salt (at Saybrook Point Inn)
    2 Bridge St., 860-388-1111
  • Zhang's
    455 Boston Post Rd., 203-388-3999
  • Otter Cove Restaurant
    99 Essex Rd., 860-388-4836
  • Penny Lane Pub
    150 Main St., 860-388-9646
  • Mirsina's
    162 Main St., 860-388-9706

Hotels

  • Saybrook Point Inn and Spa
    2 Bridge St., 800-243-0212
  • Deacon Timothy Pratt B&B
    325 Main St., 860-395-1229