Travel and outdoors product reviews and trips


CONNECTICUT

Bridgeport
Greenwich
Lakeville
Litchfield Hills
Mystic & Mystic County
New Cannaan
New London
Norwalk
North Stonington
Old Saybrook
Southbury
Stamford
Uncasville
Waterbury
Westport

NEWS (Cities & Towns Follow the News)

Safe Futures Exhibit Opens at Lyman Allyn Art Museum

By Car, by Train, by Boat, Bike or Segway, New London Is The Place to be in 2017

The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk is offering a recipe you just can't beat------

The National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. Reaches An Important Milestone

Connecticut's Submarine Century Launches #submarineproud

New London Maritime Society Celebrates the 180th Anniversary of New London's US Custom House with new exhibition on the History of the US Custom Service

Philip Johnson’s Legendary Glass House In Connecticut To Offer First Self-Guided Tours

Mattatuck Museum Unveils $2 Million History History Exhibit

BRIDGEPORT

Bridgeport opened the historic Pleasure Beach

Dating back to the late 19th century, Pleasure Beach has played a significant role in the city’s history. It once served as home to the state’s Democratic Club, followed by housing a professional level baseball field owned by hall-of-famer James O’Rourke and an amusement park owned by Coney Island developer George Tilyou. And, in 1932, then New York Governor Roosevelt spoke to a crowd of 20,000 people on the peninsula shortly before he became the Democratic nominee for President, and then President of the United States.

By the mid 20th century, the amusement park closed and outdated structures on the peninsula were plagued by fires. And, after serving as a park for several years, Donald Trump and Steve Wynn in the 1990’s sought the creation of a casino and housing development at Pleasure Beach. But that never came to fruition. And, the bridge to Pleasure Beach – the only way to access the peninsula from Bridgeport – burned down on Father’s Day in 1996.

With the bridge being far too difficult and expensive to repair, the peninsula has been closed for public use for almost two decades. But that’s changed on Saturday, June 28, 2014. Pleasure Beach is back!

Pleasure Beach officially re-opened on Saturday, June 28, 2014. The peninsula is accessible seven days a week via free water taxi, which picks up beach goers up at the fishing pier located on Seaview Avenue near its intersection with Central Avenue. Two water taxis – the 23 passenger Lewis H. Latimer and the 18 passenger Gustave Whitehead – will run frequently from the fishing pier on Seaview Avenue to the T-Pier on Pleasure Beach.

Upon arrival on the T-Pier on Pleasure Beach, it’s about a half-mile walk along a boardwalk to the beach area. While en route, visitors will pass an info depot where beach goers will be able to ask questions and gain more information about the park. After passing the info depot, visitors will come upon a pavilion and relaxation area that includes several bathrooms, showers, picnic tables and a limited concession stand. And, after walking through the pavilion area, beach goers will walk down a boardwalk and onto the beautiful beach.

For more information, please visit www.bridgeportct.gov/pleasurebeach.

Bass Pro Shops Mega Outdoor Store in Bridgeport

Bass Pro Shops, America’s most popular outdoor store, is the anchor tenant for the new 50-acre Steelpointe Harbor development located off Interstate 95 with its grand opening in 2015.

More than just a fishing and hunting store, Bass Pro Shops offers equipment and clothing for hiking, backpacking, wildlife viewing, camping, outdoor cooking and more. A gift and nature center serves up a wide variety of outdoor-related items from lamps and dishes to bird feeders and furniture. The expansive boat showroom features Tracker, Nitro, SunTracker, Tahoe, Grizzly and Mako boats built by Tracker Marine Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of fishing boats.

Regular Hours
Monday-Saturday 9:00AM-9:00PM
Sunday 10:00AM-7:00PM

Holiday Hours
Thanksgiving 9:00AM-6:00PM
Black Friday 5:00AM-9:00PM
Christmas Eve 9:00AM-6:00PM
Christmas Day CLOSED

Customer Service
1.800.227.7776

GREENWICH

Where to Stay

J House and eleven14 Kitchen -- Newest Boutique Hotel and Dining Destination in Greenwich To Prepare For

Brenwood Hospitality Group is in the midst of their preview months at their newly introduced J House and eleven14 Kitchen, a multifaceted contemporary hotel respite and dining destination located in Greenwich, CT.  Since opening its doors in mid-May, the hotel and restaurant have been earning rave reviews already, while more additions to the property are currently being introduced.

In addition to the early enjoyment of the property’s stunning outdoor dining room, bar and lounge areas, as well as the ultra-sleek indoor main dining room and bar, the J House recently introduced their Poolside Cabanas, a resort style oasis for sunning, lounging, and entertaining. Cabana rentals include bottle service, dining, and added amenities. The hotel and restaurant, as well as the poolside property is designed by DashDesign, a New York based architectural firm that has become synonymous with some of the hospitality industry’s most eclectic and contemporary hotel, restaurant and outdoor spaces throughout the country. Plush sofas, chaise lounge chairs, and wicker furnishings by Martin Albert Interiors and Lee Industries in New York fill the space.  Cascading canvas drapes provide privacy within the cabanas and large palms and exotic plants frame the entire scene.

Also on the pre-opening agenda is eleven14 Kitchen Executive Chef Francois Kwaku-Dongo’s Chocolate Lab, a unique chocolate shop and café located just inside the hotel lobby. His pure, rich cocoa creations feature handmade truffles and filled chocolates, all handsomely packaged, as well as pastries, gelato, espresso and coffee drinks, and sandwiches and quick fix foods for hotel guests on the go, as well as locals looking for a fun meeting place. Chef Kwaku-Dongo is importing his cocoa and coffee beans from his native Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa and features the highest grade cocoa products from The Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company, a fair trade importer and chocolate manufacturer. Chef Francois serves as the Director of Culinary Services for Omanhene, overseeing the culinary operations, new product development, and formulating strategic partnerships within the hospitality and multi-media industries.  eleven14 Kitchen Pastry Chef Didier Berlioz, formerly of La Panetière in Rye, NY, brings his signature nous in the art of balancing texture with sweetness and structure in all of his desserts and confections.

The J House and eleven14 Kitchen have fast become the social gathering destination in lower Fairfield County. Contemporary furnishings and eclectic pieces of art are fixtures throughout the property. The bi-level, 86-room hotel combines high-tech with modern, plush comforts and amenities. The hotel also features meeting and event rooms, private dining, and is unlike anything that exists in the region with a design that brings the indoors outside. The open-air dining and bar areas are protected from the weather by a clever system of trellises and heating units that allow the outdoor spaces to be used for much of the year. The property is adorned with lush gardens and an outdoor fireplace and cascading water feature, that all combined, provides the space with a unique energy - day and night.

The J House and eleven14 Kitchen is open. 1114 East Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, CT

LAKEVILLE

Where to Stay

Interlaken Inn Resort at Kent Falls Timeless Romance

Lovers who love country inns can enjoy two nights in a beautifully appointed guest room or suite at The Inn, a luxurious bed and breakfast inn in Kent. The package includes flowers, chocolate dipped strawberries, wine and a champagne brunch. 

From $310. For more information, call 860-927-3197; or check web site www.innatkentfalls.com.The Interlaken Inn Resort

The Interlaken Inn Resort is located in historic Litchfield County, Connecticut, in the foothills of The Berkshires between two picturesque lakes. The property offers 80 first-class guestrooms, banquet & private dining rooms, and award-winning cuisine in Morgan’s restaurant.

Spend a Romantic Interlude in the Litchfield Countryside

Lovers seeking the perfect countryside escape need to look no farther than The Interlaken Inn of Lakeville., Connecticut. Nestled within historic Litchfield County, Lakeville is a charming New England village situated near the Massachusetts border.

Plan a weekend or weekday any time because it's always great. One of the wonderful things about The Interlaken Inn is the rich choice of accommodations. Select from five unique dwellings that make up the country Inn: the historic Victorian named Sunnyside for the vast expanse of sunshine that has beautifully weathered its cedar shake siding; the Tudor-style Countryside; the contemporary and roomy townhouse suites; the charming Woodside which offers maximum privacy and a honeymoon suite (for an additional amount); and the beautifully redecorated main lodge with easy access to the restaurant and bar and other amenities. Original artworks from local fine artists decorate the main lodge, as well as the lovely and expansive grounds & gardens of The Interlaken Inn.

For more information on The Interlaken Inn’s packages, or to make reservations, call 800-222-2909 / 860-435-9878 or check web site www.interlakeninn.com. Packages are subject to availability.

Interlaken Inn Resort

The Interlaken Inn Resort is located in historic Litchfield County, Connecticut, in the foothills of The Berkshires between two picturesque lakes. The property offers 80 first-class guestrooms, banquet & private dining rooms, and award-winning cuisine in Morgan’s restaurant.

The Interlaken Inn features extensive resort, meeting, recreation and fitness facilities. It is located adjacent to Hotchkiss Golf Course, which is recognized as one of Connecticut's most scenic and challenging courses, and near Route 7, Connecticut's renowned antique route. The resort offers a host of leisure activities available on property or nearby, including, tennis, volleyball, basketball, swimming, canoeing and boating, fishing, hiking/biking/walking paths, executive ropes course, golfing, caving, skiing & snowshoeing in season, and much more. Renowned cultural and entertainment opportunities abound. The Berkshires, Litchfield County and the Hudson River Valley are renowned for superb dance, theater, and music festivals.

The Interlaken Inn is 100 miles directly north of New York City on Rt. 112 (Interlaken Road) in Lakeville, Connecticut. Recently the historic property completed an extensive renovation of all its facilities, including its century-old original Victorian building. For more information on The Interlaken Inn Resort, visit www.interlakeninn.com.

LITCHFIELD HILLS

What to See & Do

Magnificent Crèche

Another eighteenth century treasure is the crèche housed in a barn on the 400-acre property of the Abbey of Regina Laudis. The recently restored Neapolitan crèche is similar to the famous crèche in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and came from the same donor, Loretta Hines Howard. It is a remarkable creation containing 68 figures 14 to 16 inches high dressed in their original elaborate costumes. Along with the Holy Family, the figures vividly portray children, women bearing gifts, merchants, peddlers, angels, the Three Kings, and peasants with their farm animals. The Crèche is thought to have belonged to Victor Amadeus the Second, King of Sardinia, and is believed to have been presented to him on the occasion of his coronation in 1720. It is open free to visitors daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information about holiday events in the region and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the Litchfield Hills, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, www.visitwesternct.com.

Where to Stay

Old Riverton Inn Romantic Overnight

The innkeepers love lovers at the Old Riverton Inn, a country classic dating to 1796. Their romance package includes cozy accommodations complete with flowers, candy and a split of champagne, a candlelight dinner for two and full breakfast in the morning. From $195 to $215.

For more information, call 800-EST-1796, or check web site www.rivertoninn.com..

MYSTIC & MYSTIC COUNTY

What to See & Do

Mystic Arts Center

Mystic Arts Center (MAC) is a vibrant venue for the creative arts in Connecticut. MAC is a non-profit organization dedicated to fulfilling its mission to foster the creation of art and to promote the understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of arts for the public. Learn more at www.mysticarts.org.

Please visit www.mysticmuseumofart.org to learn more.

Mystic Arts Center New Gallery

Mystic Arts Center (MAC) hasplans to open 15 Water Street Gallery at the new Mystic Arts Center building fondly known for the past forty years as the Emporium. Mystic Arts Center, a 501 C 3 non-profit organization which recently celebrated its Centennial year, purchased the building adjacent to its riverside property in 2013 to establish a street-level presence and preserve an important historic treasure.

MAC was able to purchase the building with generous help and contributions from the sellers and Chelsea Groton Bank. As can be expected of a 155 year old building, a tremendous amount of renovation is needed. To support the renovation of the building and the new gallery space, MAC has obtained $200,000 in donations and is working to raise an additional $300,000.

MAC’s goal is to complete the renovation of the historic landmark this year. The renaissance of the building will beautify our town and further stimulate the Downtown Mystic economy, as well as further MAC’s mission to cultivate creativity, culture and community. The new first floor gallery will be an extension of MAC’s current exhibition programs, including ancillary exhibits of local art and a retail space to market MAC related items.

The lower level of the building will be the home to a wine bar operated by Stephen Clemente owner of Frizzante Wine Bar in North Stonington and Extra Virgin and Semolina Pasta Shops in Olde Mistick Village. The second and third floors will consist of three residential apartments. In the future, MAC’s plans include possible use of part of the 15 Water Street building for an artist in residency program. To contribute to the project at 15 Water Street, please visit mysticarts.org or contact Andrea Frickman at development@mysticarts.org .

The Mystic Aquarium

Mystic Aquarium is a division of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, and is counted among the nation’s leading aquariums with more than 3,000 species and an extensive collection of marine mammals, including beluga whales. Mystic Aquarium has been a pioneer in offering guests a variety of up close encounters with a wide range of marine animals. The mission of Sea Research is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration.

15 Water Street Gallery

MAC is pleased to announce plans to open a gallery at its new building at 15 Water Street. Due to open later this year, the 15 Water Street Gallery will be an extension of MAC’s current exhibition programs, including small ancillary exhibits of local art and a small retail space to market MAC related items.
Opening TBD

Lots of New Things To Do at Mystic

Guys’ Getaway Hit the casinos for a men’s weekend away, no driving worries.

B&B&B (Bed, Breakfast & Beach)
Winter Escape --Enjoy a cozy B&B on the water.
Seaside SkateExperience New London’s art scene and enjoy time outdoors on the new skating rink before checking out a live skate at the Mystic Aquarium.
Cabin Fever Getaway Easy fun and educational trip gets you out of the house and
the kids learning. (Museum or Aquarium visit plus pool, roller skating, ice skating and bowling activities that really burn off steam.)

New Art Featured in the Mystic Stroll 

Every “First Thursday,” join seven downtown galleries for a free opening to view new artwork.  All galleries are within several blocks of each other and are easily identified by large balloons and maps located at each location.  Wine and hors d’oeuvres are served.

Featured Galleries:

            Finer Line Gallery: Opens an exhibit by artist Janice DiBattista, who is known for her dynamic brushstrokes and vividly colored paintings of flowers and landscapes.  Open daily at 48 W. Main Street. 860-536-8339 www.finerlinegallery.com

            Mystic Arts Center:  Get a sneak peek at the annual children’s exhibition, Young at Art, featuring sculpture, paintings and drawings by over 600 young local artists ages 2 – 18.  Open daily at 9 Water Street.  860-536-7601   www.mysticarts.org

            Emporium Gallery:  Featuring an array of artwork by members of the Ninigret Art Guild of Charlestown, RI.  Open daily at 15 Water Street.    860-536-3891

            The Courtyard Gallery: Hosts Love is in the Art, by the esteemed Courtyard Society of Painters and Sculptors. Open Daily at 12 Water Street in Factory Square. 860-536-5059 www.courtyardgallerymystic.com                                     

            Trade Winds Gallery:  Established in 1974, the gallery showcases original works of art from over a dozen well known local and regional artists and carries a growing selection of original antique maps and prints.  42 West Main St.  860-536-0119  www.tradewindsgallery.net. 

            Courtyard Gallery on Main:  Showcasing Portraits of the Divine Feminine featuring sculptor Renee Rhodes and renowned painter Christopher Zhang Painter.  Open daily at 9 West Main Street.  www.courtyardgallerymystic.com    860-536-5059  

            The Hollow Art and Antique Gallery:  Featuring original artwork, unique antiques and jewelry.  Champagne and chocolates will be served during the stroll. Open daily at 12 Water Street.  860-572-9704.           

For further information, please call 860-536-7601x203 or visit www.artsinmystic.com

Announcing a new opportunity: Open Studios: Mondays, 1 to 4pm

Can't find space at home to do your art? Join the Mystic Arts Center for Open Studios! You bring the medium, the Center provide the space. No reservations necessary - just drop in, set up your materials and enjoy working in two studio spaces. Easels, tables, lighting and chairs are provided. All 2-dimensional media and select sculpting media are welcome (oderless turpentine only, please).

Where to Eat

Haru Aki Café (Japanese), Dog Lane Café

(Euro/American), Geno's Grill (Geno Auriemma of basketball fame) -- all three in Storrs Center close to the UCONN campus; The Engine Room in Mystic (farm to table); Grill 37 in Pomfret (steakhouse/bar); Frizzante in North Stonington (wine bar/speakeasy); and Crossings in Putnam (brew pub).

Oyster Club and Engine Room

About Oyster Club

Located at 13 Water Street in Mystic, Connecticut, Oyster Club, recently named one of Travel + Leisure magazine’s Best Oyster Bars in America, is a casual fine dining restaurant and raw bar specializing in the richness of the New England coast and countryside. The menu, which is written daily, showcases food that travels the shortest distance from ‘farm and sea to table,’ with seasonality and location determining the day’s delicacies. Please visit web site www.OysterClubCT.com.

Oyster Club Named One of the 101 Best Restaurants in America

Oyster Club, an award winning farm-and-sea to table restaurant located in Mystic has announced that they have been named #76 out of the 101 Best Restaurants in America, and the only honoree from the state of Connecticut, by The Daily Meal, one of the preeminent food publications in the nation. “We are honored to be named one of the best restaurants in America, and humbled to be in the company of culinary titans that have excelled in the industry for years,” said Dan Meiser, Oyster Club owner. “This is an exciting time for the restaurant world as we celebrate a growing appreciation for and dedication to locally sourced food, a national and international movement that we are proud to be a part of. We share this award with our loyal guests, talented Oyster Club team, farmers and artisans.”

Oyster Club was included in the Daily Meal’s Best List amongst acclaimed restaurants like Peter Luger #95, Grammercy Tavern #78, Husk #42 and Chez Panisse #27. The Daily Meal’s 101 Best Restaurants in America list is determined by a panel of industry experts of varying tastes and backgrounds, including the publication’s city editors and special contributors.

Source: www.thedailymeal.com/101-best-restaurants-america

Located at 13 Water Street in Mystic, Connecticut, Oyster Club is a casual fine dining restaurant and raw bar specializing in the richness of the New England coast and countryside. The menu, which is written daily, showcases food that travels the shortest distance from ‘farm and sea to table,’ with seasonality and location determining the day’s delicacies. Please visit our website for daily menus and hours of operation at www.OysterClubCT.com.

About Engine Room

Located in the beautifully restored Lathrop Marine Engine building with views of the Mystic River, Engine Room features sixteen craft beers on tap, the area's largest bourbon selection, craft cocktails, a full wine list and a menu of locally sourced, creative American comfort food, with a focus on America's most beloved dish, the burger. Visit web site www.EngineRoomCT.com.

NEW CANAAN

Philip Johnson’s Legendary Glass House In Connecticut To Offer First Self-Guided Tours

For the first time, visitors will be able to linger on self-guided tours of one of America’s most important architectural landmarks, Philip Johnson’s legendary Glass House. The house is located in New Canaan, in Western Connecticut’s Fairfield County.

Visitors can choose between the guided tours offered and the unique new opportunity to tour at their own pace, spending as much time as they wish in the house and several other Johnson-designed buildings on the 49-acre grounds. The sites include the underground Painting Gallery, the Sculpture Gallery, the Library, “Da Monsta”(a collection of sculptures), and the lower landscape's Pond Pavilion and Lincoln Kirstein Tower. Glass House guides will be available to provide background and answer questions.

Visitors this year also will experience a special event, “Veil,” an installation by Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya. A veil of mist that will gradually disappear to reveal the landscape will periodically enclose the house.

Philip Johnson was the founding Director of the Department of Architecture at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, where his 1932 exhibition, The International Style, introduced modern architecture to the American public. An associate of Mies van der Rohe, Johnson worked with the modern master in the 1950s on the design of the Seagram Building and its famed Four Seasons Restaurant. Among his many other important works are the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden at The Museum of Modern Art and New York’s AT&T Building (now Sony Plaza).

The all-glass, one-room house Johnson built as his weekend retreat in 1949 was remarkable as a pioneer in the use of materials such as glass and steel in home design in its use of the landscape as “wallpaper” completely surrounding the house, which is located at the edge of a crest overlooking a pond. Living, dining and sleeping areas are divided by low walnut cabinets so as not to obstruct the views. A brick cylinder containing the bathroom is the only tall structure. The landscaping designed by Johnson and David Whitney, his long-time companion, features manicured areas of gravel or grass and trees grouped in what Johnson called “outdoor vestibules.

The house was named a National Historic Landmark in 1997. Johnson turned the house over to the National Trust before his death in 2005 and it was opened to the public in 2007. Tours will be held Thursday through Monday from May 1 to November 30, 2014. They begin and end at the Visitor Center in downtown New Canaan, where shuttles transport small groups to the site.

In addition to the new self-guided tour, offerings include a one-hour guided tour of the house and two temporary art exhibitions or a two-hour guided tour adding a 3⁄4 mile walking tour of the grounds and visits to the Painting Gallery, Sculpture Gallery and Da Monsta.  More extensive tours are also available. Advance reservations are required for all tours.

For information and reservations, see www.theglasshouse.org or phone 866-811-4111.

For information about lodging and other activities in the area and a free copy of UNWIND, a full-color, 152-page booklet detailing what to do and see, and where to stay, shop and dine in Fairfield County and the Litchfield Hills of Western Connecticut, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, or visit their web site at www.visitwesternct.com

NEW LONDON

What to See & Do 

Safe Futures Exhibit Opens at Lyman Allyn Art Museum

In Their Shoes is the latest exhibition in Lyman Allyn's New contemporary series. Artists, Pamela Pike Gordinier & Julia Pavone, have created an installation using the demographics of 170 women, men and children who received emergency care at Safe Futures shelter within the past year. For each survivor, a new pair of shoes has been collected and used as a metaphor for awareness and change.

As in the Wizard of Oz or the tale of Cinderella, shoes are often a symbol for transformation and hope. In this installation the shoes will be arranged in a labyrinth within the gallery, acting as a vehicle for contemplation of the urgent need to eliminate the sometimes hidden societal menace that Safe Futures has been addressing for decades. Once the exhibit closes, all the shoes will be donated to Safe Futures for distribution in the community.

Featured in the exhibition will be an archway, designed by Gordinier and Pavone, made from the shoeboxes and artifacts left behind at the emergency shelter. Visible from the gallery entrance, it will be a focal point of the exhibit. In addition, two videos will be on view. The first asks the question 'What do you hope for for?, and incorporates survivors‚ responses to this question. There will be an area in the gallery where visitors are encouraged to include their own written responses to the same question. The other short film, created by Connecticut College students and titled 'Out of the Shadows,' explores the hidden world of what happens to a victim of domestic violence through interpretive dance. The idea for this film was conceived by Pam Gordinier and produced with collaborators: Erika Martin, choreographer and dancer; Will Platt, composer and musician; Emily Green, videographer and lighting, Claire Raizen, cello; and Julianna Goldfluss, voice.

The following programs will be held at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in conjunction with the exhibition. For further details about programming for In Their Shoes, please visit www.lymanallyn.org.

About Safe Futures

Founded in 1976 as the Women‚s Center of Southeastern Connecticut, Safe Futures began as an information and referral service for women entering the workforce. Today, Safe Futures operates two 24-hour hotlines, an emergency shelter, and a transitional living program for families working to rebuild lives shattered by domestic violence or sexual assault. Safe Futures also provides counseling and advocacy, case management, court advocacy, support groups, and educational programs for school and community groups. For more information, please visit their website.

About the Lyman Allyn Art Museum

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum welcomes visitors from New London, southeastern Connecticut and all over the world. Established in 1926 by a gift from Harriet Allyn in memory of her seafaring father, the Museum opened the doors of its beautiful neo-classical building surrounded by 12 acres of green space in 1932. Today it presents a number of changing exhibitions each year and houses a fascinating collection of over 17,000 objects from ancient times to the present; artworks from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe, with particularly strong collections of American paintings, decorative arts and Victorian toys and doll houses.

The museum is located at 625 Williams Street, New London, Connecticut, exit 83 off I-95. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Sundays 1:00 - 5:00 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. For more information call 860.443.2545, ext. 129 or visit us at web site www.lymanallyn.org.

By Car, by Train, by Boat, Bike or Segway, New London Is The Place to be in 2017

New London's rich cultural scene is highlighted by the many community events and festivals held on the historic waterfront and across the City each spring and summer. In 2017, these events will bring together a diverse group of people to celebrate the City‚s maritime heritage and New London‚s unique place as a vibrant, inclusive community.

Major Spring and Summer events in 2017 include the St. Patrick's Day Parade, the the opening of the new high-tech band shell at Hygienic Arts Park, the 40th Anniversary of Sailfest, and other great festivals and events across the City. New London is also proud to be this year's home for the Creative Communities Exchange, to be co-hosted by the New England Foundation for the Arts and the Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition.

These community celebrations speak to the heart of our City: a glorious waterfront, a sense of history, pride in our many cultures, and an energy focused on a bright future.

New London and its many attractions are part of the Thames River Heritage Park, which draws together the many heritage sites, museums and cultural attractions on both sides of the Thames River. In 2017, the Thames River Heritage Park Water Taxi will provide service Friday through Sunday from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend. The water taxi will stop at City Pier, Fort Trumbull and Fort Griswold. Detailed information and schedules can be found at www.thamesriverheritagepark.org.

Science Saturdays
Lyman Allyn Museum
Once a month on Saturdays from 11:00am to 1:00pm
www.lymanallyn.org

This fun drop-in program, designed for children ages 7-11, encourages participants to explore the intersections between art and science. Each month features a different gallery learning session, mini-experiment and hands-on art project.

Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra
www.ectsymphony.com

The Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra continues its 70th anniversary season, with two more classical concerts this spring. Music Director & Conductor Toshiyuki Shimada has programmed an exciting season showcasing the ECSO's critically acclaimed virtuosity and scope of repertoire.

But as work begins, the shows must go on! Among the spring/summer highlights:

Flock Theatre
www.flocktheatre.org

Flock Theatre is a professional not-for-profit theatre company committed to working with any community into which we are invited and through original collaborative and educational efforts, to find the theatre that best suits the needs of that community. This artistic mission requires a resident ensemble performing for young and old, nationally and internationally, and offering educational services for all ages.

Spring and summer events and shows are still in the works, with the season to be capped off by the ever-popular Burning of Benedict Arnold on the streets of New London in early September!

New London Maritime Society/Customs House Museum
www.nlmaritimesociety .org

The owner/caretaker of three historic lighthouses (Race Rock, Pequot and Ledge Light), the Customs House Museum/New London Maritime Society preserves southeastern Connecticut‚s storied history with the sea. The museum is open year round and is home to permanent exhibits, including, Amistad: a True Story of Freedom, and Vintage Dive Helmets.

New London County Historical Society
www.nlhistory.org

The past surrounds you here in the southeastern corner of Connecticut.
History is the fabric upon which the present is being stitched ˆ attracting visitors and providing the common inheritance of our residents. The New London County Historical Society got an early start in collecting and preserving some of the documents, objects, and treasures that tell the story of our community. Founded in 1870, it is the oldest historical organization in eastern Connecticut and one of the oldest in the country.

The historic site that is our headquarters, the Shaw Mansion, was built by Captain Nathaniel Shaw in 1756 and used as war office for Connecticut‚s navy during the Revolution. In 1907, the family sold the mansion to us, which was a very early example of historic preservation. We invite you to explore the past and learn about how we have become who we are ˆ and how you have become who you are.

New London Landmarks
www.newlondonlandmarks.org

New London Landmarks is a non-profit corporation, a 501 (c) 3, run by a volunteer Board of Directors and three part-time employees. The mission of NLL is to promote the preservation and development of the urban environment of New London, Connecticut, including significant individual structures, streetscapes, neighborhoods, and open spaces.

Ocean Beach Park
www.ocean-beach-park.com

Located at the foot of Ocean Avenue in New London, Ocean Beach Park is a premier recreational facility providing excellent public access to the Atlantic Ocean from a beautiful white, sugar sand beach, complimented by an Olympic-size freshwater pool, lockers, and event staging. The 50-acre Park also boasts a beautifully landscaped 18-hole miniature golf course and various attractions.

Ocean Beach Park opens on Memorial Day weekend, and operates through Labor Day. The Park hosts a variety of family oriented entertainment, festivals, volleyball tournaments, sporting events, the Annual Polka Days from June 21-24, and nightly entertainment throughout the summer.

About Historic New London, Connecticut

Founded in 1646, New London boasts a glorious waterfront, rich cultural scene, fascinating historical sites and fabulous recreational facilities including the Nathan Hale School House, Hempsted Houses, Shaw-Perkins Mansion, U.S Custom House & Museum, Fort Trumbull State Park and Ocean Beach Park.

After more than 350 years of history, this waterfront community continues to thrive with an eclectic mix of unique boutique attractions and restaurants, along with a relaxing maritime atmosphere surrounded by historic streets. The City is also the future home of the National Coast Guard Museum, which is scheduled to open its doors on the city waterfront in 2021.

Flock Theatre

Flock Theatre is a professional not-for-profit theatre company committed to working with any community into which we are invited and through original collaborative and educational efforts, to find the theatre that best suits the needs of that community. This artistic mission requires a resident ensemble performing for young and old, nationally and internationally, and offering educational services in our art.

New London Landmarks

New London Landmarks is a non-profit corporation, a 501 (c) 3, run by a volunteer Board of Directors and three part-time employees. The mission of NLL is to promote the preservation and development of the urban environment of New London, Connecticut, including significant individual structures, streetscapes, neighborhoods, and open spaces.

About Historic New London, Connecticut

Founded in 1646, New London boasts a glorious waterfront, rich cultural scene, fascinating historical sites and fabulous recreational facilities including the Nathan Hale School House, Hempsted Houses, Shaw-Perkins Mansion, U.S Custom House & Museum, Fort Trumbull State Park and Ocean Beach Park.

After more than 350 years of history, this waterfront community continues to thrive with an eclectic mix of unique boutiqueal attractions, along with a relaxing maritime atmosphere surrounded by historic streets lined with 18th and 19th century buildings such as the New London Superior Courthouse (1784), Union Railroad Station (1888) and New London Public Library (1890). In addition, the city boasts two of New England‚s most stories lighthouses including New London Harbor Lighthouse (1760) and New London Ledge Lighthouse (1909).

The City is also the future home of the National Coast Guard Museum and New London Public Schools are transitioning into becoming the first and only all-magnet school district in Connecticut.

The National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. Reaches An Important Milestone

The National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. (NCGMA)  has announced the presentation of conceptual exhibit designs to the U.S. Coast Guard Museum Advisory Council. The design concepts are the product of a year-long review of Coast Guard history conducted by the internationally-recognized museum planning and design firm, Gallagher & Associates. The review included input from an exhibit advisory panel composed of representatives of over 20 non-profit organizations focused on preserving the history and culture of the United State Coast Guard.

'With the advisory panel members, we gained insights and experiences of those who lived this life, 'said Robert Malootian, senior designer at Gallagher & Associates.' That helps us create exhibits that are realistic and depict, in an exciting way, what it means to serve in the Coast Guard.'

The exhibit design organizes the Museum Coast Guard stories around the service‚s missions in three major galleries; Security, Safety, and Stewardship. Thematic wings in the galleries merge the exhibits along the following storylines:

Defenders of our Nation
Enforces on the Seas
Lifesavers around the Globe
Protectors of the Environment
Champions of Commerce

The Museum will also include an introductory wing, an educational and technology center, and waterfront and rooftop exhibits.

'The exhibits will tell stories of the Service's rich maritime history and about the courageous and daring men and women who proudly served in the Coast Guard,' said retired Coast Guard Capt. Jon Nickerson, coordinator of the Museum Exhibition Advisory Panel.  'The National Coast Guard Museum will showcase a stunning variety of national maritime artifacts, interactive experiences and educational programs.'

'Presentation of the exhibit design concept is an important milestone in the development of a world-class museum that will honor the Coast Guard's legacy of service to our nation, said Rear Adm. Anthony Vogt, director of Coast Guard Governmental and Public Affairs. ' We will continue to work closely with the Association in developing the proposed designs.'

The Museum Association retained interior design contractor, Gallagher and Associates, to develop a comprehensive interior exhibit design concept to 'Bring Coast Guard History to Life.' This important milestone was reached after productive meetings with the United States Coast Guard Advisory Council at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC.

The National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. -- a 501 (c)(3) Non-Profit Charitable Organization -- was formed to raise funds and apply for and administer federal and state grants for the purpose of acquiring land, designing, constructing, developing exhibits and turning over to the US Coast Guard a national museum in the City of New London, Connecticut. For more information, please visit www.CoastGuardMuseum.org.

The National Coast Guard Museum Association (NCGMA) Hosts Exhibit Advisory Panel (MEAP)

The National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. (NCGMA), in conjunction with the Foundation for Coast Guard History, has taken a major step toward developing the themes, stories and exhibits to be included in the National Coast Guard Museum, which will be built on the downtown waterfront in New London, Connecticut.

NCGMA'S Museum Exhibit Advisory Panel (MEAP) held its summer conference on the grounds of the United States Coast Guard Academy to begin answering the question, 'What makes a great museum?' This is the critical first step toward deciding what the Museum will look like when its doors open,' said Richard J. Grahn, President of the National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. 'It's tremendously exciting to be in the room with so many Coast Guard historians, and museum experts, who will recommend to the NCGMA how best to tell the Coast Guard‚s story in this one-of-a-kind National Museum.'

The MEAP was organized to assist the NCGMA and its design consultants in creating a world-class museum to honor the men and women of the U. S. Coast Guard, past, present and future. Identifying the themes, stories, and artifacts that are best suited to tell and preserve the story of the United States Coast Guard and its predecessor services is critical to the development of exhibits in the National Coast Guard Museum.

'These exhibits need to tell the compelling stories from the Coast Guard's past, convey the missions performed by the Coast Guard and inspire visitors to appreciate the national service and values of Coast Guard men and women,' said CAPT Jon Nickerson, U.S. Coast Guard (Ret.), Coordinator of the Museum Exhibition Advisory Panel. ' We will engage the public with a stunning variety of artifacts, interactive experiences and educational programs, all in tribute to the brave men and women of the United States Coast Guard, past, present and future.'

The Museum Exhibit Advisory Panel, representing over 100,000 members across 30 organizations, is comprised of representatives of nonprofit organizations and Coast Guard service members who aspire to preserve and promote the culture and traditions of the Coast Guard.

Among the MEAP's responsibilities are:

Identifying potential exhibit themes
Responding to requests for architectural input and review of exhibit space design
Cataloging exhibit content including historical artifacts, paintings, official records, audio and video
Serving as active sponsors and advocates for promoting the Museum within each member‚s respective organization

In addition to members from the United States Coast Guard (including USCG History, USCG Curation, USCG Retiree Council, USCG Research and Development Center), participants in this conference represented the following associations:

Association for Rescue at Sea
Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association
Coast Guard Auxiliary Association
Coast Guard Aviation Association
Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association
Coast Guard Combat Veterans Association
Coast Guard Cuttermen Association
Coast Guard Lightship Sailors International Association
Coast Guard Spouses Club
Foundation for Coast Guard History
National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc.
Order of the Ancient Trident Association
United States Navy Memorial Association
United States Lifesaving Service Heritage Association
United States Lighthouse Society
Women's Leadership Initiative

'The National Coast Guard Museum will provide interactive experiences that immerse visitors in the thrill, excitement, and challenges of Coast Guard duties through multi-media visualizations and waterborne exhibits,' said CAPT Wes Pulver, U.S. Coast Guard (Ret.), Executive Director of the National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. 'The Museum Exhibit Advisory Panel has now begun the process of recommending designs, concepts, and themes to be reflected in the Museum‚s exhibits.'

Connecticut's Submarine Century Launches #submarineproud

Connecticut's Submarine Century, the year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first submarines at the United States Naval Submarine Base New London (SUBASE), is launching a social media campaign to collect stories of heroism and honor dedicated to the United States Navy Submarine Force.

#submarineproud is a way to gather stories from current and former submariners, Navy families, historians and civilians from all walks to life who are sharing personal experiences of how the submarine service has impacted their lives.

In declaring Connecticut's Submarine Century, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy, in a letter to Navy Secretary Raymond Mabus, pointed out the historic significance of the Navy‚s relationship with Connecticut:

"The initial Navy installation established along the eastern shore of the Thames River in Connecticut was a result of the generosity and efforts of the State and its citizens, who conveyed some 86 acres to the Navy in 1868. But it was not until 1915 that the installation, then a Navy Yard, took on historic prominence. October 18, 1915, marked the arrival of submarines G-1, G-2, and G-4 under the care of the tender USS OZARK. And on June 21, 1916, the Navy Yard changed forever as Commander Yeates Stirling assumed command of the newly designated Submarine Base, the newly established Submarine School, and the New London Submarine Flotilla."

Follow the Connecticut Submarine Century Facebook page (@CTSubmarineCentury) and  Instagram (@ctsub100) to see the stories.

About Connecticut's Submarine Century:

Connecticut's Submarine Century, designated by Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy, is a year-long celebration of the centennial anniversary of the world‚s first and finest submarine base, Naval Submarine Base New London. The celebration runs through October 2016 and will be highlighted by special commemorations, community events and special displays across Connecticut. For more information, please visit www.ctsubmarinecentury.com.

About the Garde Arts Center and The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut

The Garde Arts Center presents at its restored historic movie palace, the 1450-seat Garde Theatre, and the 130-seat Oasis Room, touring musicals, opera, orchestras, music, dance, special events, and state-of-the art 4K surround sound digital cinema. The Garde hosts performances by regional arts organizations and provides educational programs for more than 12,000 young people. Under the leadership of Steve Sigel, executive director since 1988, the Garde has become a major catalyst for the cultural and economic revitalization of New London.

Established in 1983, The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut has awarded more than $36 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students across its 42-town service area in eastern Connecticut. Charitable individuals, families and organizations have given more than $72 million and have set up 440 individual funds. The Foundation's assets stand over the $60 million mark. For more information about grant cycles and/or the Foundation, contact Jennifer O‚Brien at jennob@cfect.org or by phone at 860.442.3572. Visit at www.cfect.org & connect on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

New London Maritime Society Celebrates the 180th Anniversary of New London's US Custom House with new exhibition on the History of the US Custom Service

New London Maritime Society is pleased to host an exhibition celebration 225 years of the US Custom Service and 180 years of New London's Custom House. Created by the National US Customs Museum Foundation, the exhibition highlights the storied history of the U.S. Customs Service from its inception in 1789 to the present. Using artifacts, images, graphics, and video, the display illustrates the important roles Customs has played in the growth and development of the nation we know today.

New London was the main customs port in Connecticut from colonial days. When President George Washington established the US Custom Service in 1789, he appointed Norwich native and general in the Continental Army, Jedediah Huntington, as the first customs house collector for the coastal area from the Connecticut River to Rhode Island. Customs was central to New London's growth as a whaling city in the early and mid-19th century, when agents retrieved maritime revenue from aboard swift Revenue Cutters. When the ship La Amistad was commandeered in a revolt by its captive Africans, the ship was intercepted by the Customs vessel the USSWashington and brought to New London. 

One year after US Customs was established, the Revenue Cutter Service was created as the on-sea arm of customs enforcement. The Revenue Cutter Service is the direct precursor to the US Coast Guard, whose 225th anniversary (counting back to this date), was celebrated this year. US Customs also managed the nation's lighthouses -- their construction, staffing, and supplies -- until the mid 19th century (that job eventually also went to the USCG).

The National US Customs Museum Foundation advances knowledge and understanding of the history of the US Customs Service by exhibiting and promoting historical documents, artifacts, and other items that tell the story of our nation's first federal law enforcement agency.

The New London Maritime Society was established in 1983 by an impassioned group of citizens/volunteers who worked to preserve New London's U.S. Custom House. They succeeded! Housed in the 179-year-old Robert Mills building at 150 Bank Street, today we are a nonprofit historic site--the nation's oldest continuously-operating U.S. Custom House, scene to much of the City's maritime history--and an educational organization.

The Custom House Maritime Museum - your local, independent, community museum, open year-round telling the stories of New London's waterfront!

New London celebrates official designation as “A Coast Guard City”

The United States Coast Guard is proud to designate the City of New London, CT as “A Coast Guard City.” This recognition is bestowed upon the city for its long time support of the United States Coast Guard. New London joins a dozen other American communities currently listed as Coast Guard Cities.

The United States Congress enacted a law in 1998 providing cities and counties to be designated “A Coast Guard City” or “A Coast Guard Community” at the discretion of the Coast Guard Commandant. The law requires a 90 day notice of intent from the Commandant to the two authorizing congressional committees. The City of New London’s 2014 application for “Coast Guard City” status was approved earlier this year. The Coast Guard City program recognizes New London’s support of the United States Coast Guard and its special efforts to acknowledge the professional work of Coast Guard men and women assigned the United States Coast Guard Academy and US Coast Guard Station New London.

Parade Plaza Downtown New London, CT (across from Union Station)
New London City Council President Rev. Wade A. Hyslop, Jr.
State Senator Paul Formica Vice Admiral Sandra L. Stosz, United States Coast Guard Performances by Nathan Hale Arts Magnet School students State and local dignitaries

Autumn in Historic New London

The autumn season is about more than just colorful landscapes and picturesque seascapes in historic New London. It‚s also about celebrating the city‚s storied maritime heritage and rich cultural diversity. From a harvest festival at the Old Town Mill to a food stroll in the downtown area to an LGBT-sponsored community spelling bee with celebrity Carson Kressley, this storied seaport community is stepping out this autumn to pay homage to its significant presence in American history, as well as to celebrate the fruitful contributions of its diverse community.

Phyllis: A Shipwreck in Fishers Island Sound

On June 7th 2007, an unknown shipwreck was discovered in Fishers Island Sound. In an effort to discover its true identity a dedicated group of divers and shipwreck enthusiasts undertook five years of research and invested hundreds of hours on the bottom trying to reveal her secret. The solution of the mystery and the uncovering of the true identity of the shipwreck ultimately became a community effort. Research doesn't end after merely identifying a shipwreck. In an effort to broaden this wreck‚s story, genealogical research was undertaken, the granddaughter of the Master and owner, was located and contacted, and the important human element of the story was brought to light. In October 2013, the Custom House Maritime Museum, New London will present a special exhibit called Phyllis: A Shipwreck in Fishers Island Sound in order to reacquaint residents with the shipwreck of the Phyllis (AKA: Three's a Charm). The exhibit includes through video of the shipwreck, recovered artifacts, side scan sonar images and photographs, and period newspaper articles.

New London Field of Greens

Providing quality local food that bridges communities, New London Field of Greens is presenting three certified Connecticut Grown Farmers Markets in New London for 2013 season: L+M Hospital on Montauk Avenue, Wednesdays 12:00-4:00pm; Parade Plaza Downtown, Fridays 10:00am to 2:00m; and Hodges Square/Williams Street, Saturdays 2:00-5:00pm. The public is invited enjoy the pleasure of the 2013 growing season with locally produced produce, fruits and products from local vendors, including health practitioners, authors and musicians for family shows at various times throughout the season.

About Historic New London

Founded in 1646, New London boasts a glorious waterfront, rich cultural scene, fascinating historical sites and fabulous recreational facilities including the Nathan Hale School House, Hempsted Houses, Shaw-Perkins Mansion, Robert Mills US Custom House & Museum, Fort Trumbull State Park and Ocean Beach Park. After more than 350 years of history, this waterfront community continues to thrive with an eclectic mix of unique boutique shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions, along with a relaxing maritime atmosphere surrounded by historic streets lined with 18th and 19th century buildings such as the New London Superior Courthouse (1784), Union Railroad Station (1888) and New London Public Library (1890). In addition, the city boasts two of New England's most stories lighthouses including New London Harbor Lighthouse (1760) and New London Ledge Lighthouse (1909).

In 1646, John Winthrop, Jr. sailed from his home on Fisher's Island across Long Island Sound to find what he believed to be an ideal location for a new settlement. It provided access to the Atlantic Ocean and a huge open-water Sound. The broad, deep river provided a sage harbor. On steep hillsides he found a healthy stream to supply power for grinding corn (The Old Town Mill), coves in which to safely moor boats (Winthrop and Bream Coves) and, on the heights, good positions of defense in case of Indian attack. The first settlement on Meeting House Hill was the Town Green where Winthrop‚s statue now dominates the hilltop.

A Custom Master was appointed in 1659, indicating the importance of commerce from the earliest years. Trade with the West Indies and coastal trade to Boston, New York and Virginia spurred shipbuilding, New London‚s first economic boom.

In 1794 a new ferry wharf was built at the foot of State Street, and this became the primary landing site for ships. Farmers throughout the area brought products and livestock for shipment to the West Indies and their Captains became known as „horse jockeys.‰ New London‚s first economic 'boom,' this trade lasted from the mid-1600 to after the War of 1812. During the course of this profitable trade it is estimated that 230,000 horses were shipped to the West Indies from the New London harbor.

Nathan Hale School House

Connecticut's state hero, Nathan Hale, taught here in 1774 and 1775, several years after graduating from Yale at the age of eighteen. Hale moved here to take over the Union Grammar School after complaining of the "remote life in the wilderness called Moodus" and leaving East Haddam. In 1775, Hale enlisted to fight for America's independence in the American Revolution, soon after being promoted to the rank of Captain. He was the only soldier to volunteer to spy on the British who had taken control of Long Island when George Washington needed valuable information. "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country," Nathan Hale's immortal last words on being hanged as a spy by the British in New York on September 22, 1776.

The Hempsted Houses

Comprising two building, the Joshua Hempsted House (1678) and Nathaniel Hempsted House (1759). The Joshua Hempsted House is a frame building and one of New England's oldest and best-documented homes. The frame house reflects an English medieval style of building with its steeply pitched side gable roof, massive central chimney and diamond pane windows. Joshua Hempsted lived here his whole life, filling many roles, including farmer, judge, gravestone carver, shipwright, and father of nine children left motherless by his wife‚s death in 1716. As a boy, Joshua lived in the house with his parents and seven sisters. As a young husband and father, he shared the house with Abigail and their nine children. Later in life, he was joined by enslaved African-America, Adam Jackson, some of his children, hired helpers, and two grandsons whom he raised. Joshua kept a diary of nearly 50 years prior to his own death in 1759. Adjacent to the Joshua Hempsted House is the stone Nathaniel Hempsted House. The house was constructed for Joshua the diarist‚s grandson, Nathaniel, whom he had raised. Stone was rarely used to construct houses in Connecticut. Evidence suggests that French Canadian refugees, called Acadians (who were Catholic), may have been involved in the construction of the house.

The Shaw-Perkins Mansion

Located on Blinman Street in New London, the Shaw-Perkins Mansion was built beginning in 1756 for the wealthy merchant and shipowner, Captain Nathaniel Shaw. The house was completed in 1758 and constructed by French Canadian builders, who used granite from the ledge behind the property. Nathaniel Shaw, Jr. inherited the house, and served as Naval Agent for Connecticut. The Mansion became a naval war office during the Revolutionary War. Nathan Hale was a visitor to the Mansions around 1775 and George Washington likely spent a night there in 1776. The house survived Benedict Arnold's 1781 burning of New London with only the kitchen being damaged. Shaw‚s wife Lucretia died in 1781, after becoming ill from nursing prisoners and Shaw himself died the following year from a hunting accident. The house then passed to his brother, Thomas Shaw, and then to his sister, Lucretia Shaw Woodbridge and her husband, Judge Elias Perkins. Dr. Nathaniel Shaw Perkins extensively remodeled the house in 1845. His daughter, Jane Richards Perkins (1844-1930), sold the house and its contents to the New London County Historical Society in 1907. The house was restored, and is now open to the public as a museum.

Robert Mills US Custom House & Museum

Located at 150 Bank Street, New London, the Robert Mills US Custom House is a museum of American Maritime History. It is still home to the oldest continuously operating U.S. Custom House in the country. Robert Mills was the first Federal architect of the house. It is a classic Greek Revivial granite building, where the slave ship, Amistad, was first brought and it was here that the first steps were taken to free the slaves who had taken over that ship.

Monte Cristo Cottage

As the boyhood summer home of Eugene O'Neill, America's only Nobel-Prize winning playwright, the Monte Cristo Cottage is named in honor of Eugene O‚Neill‚s father, the actor James O‚Neill and his most popular role as Edmond Dantes in The Count of Monte Cristo. Registered as a National Historic Landmark in 1971, the 1840's cottage is the setting for two of O‚Neill‚s most notable works, Long Days Journey Into Night and Ah, Wilderness!. Located at 325 Pequot Avenue, New London, the Cottage currently operates as a museum featuring a permanent exhibition on the life and works of Eugene O‚Neill and an extensive collection of artifacts and memorabilia. Curators Sally Pavetti and Lois McDonald began coordinating the restoration and furnishing of the Cottage in 1972, based on research and careful reading of O'Neill's works, and it first opened to the public in 1982. The Cottage was expanded in the spring of 2005, and now reflects the setting of Eugene O'Neill's autobiographical masterpiece Long Day's Journey Into Night as described by the dramatist in his set directions and depicted in his sketch for the play. Very few other literary landmarks are as evocative of a writer and his inner world.

Fort Trumbull State Park

Built from 1839 - 1852, Fort Trumbull is one of a group of 42 forts, which were constructed for defense of the coast of the United States. This group of forts became known as the Third System of Fortifications. Fort Trumbull is unique in the "Third System" because of the Egyptian Revival features incorporated in the architectural design. The Fort is a wonderful example of its era, a masterpiece in stonework and masonry. It contains informative markers and displays, a touchable cannon and artillery crew display, and gun emplacements. The Fort‚s interior features 19th Century restored living quarters, a mock laboratory, and a 1950's era office furnished to resemble a research and development lab at the facility. The public also has access to the ramparts for a spectacular view of the New London Harbor.

Fort Trumbull also features a Visitor Center with state-of-the-art multimedia theaters, computer touch screen interactive exhibits, 3-D models, and extensive graphics and text panels. This one-of-a-kind center depicts over 225 years of military history and technological advances from the Revolutionary War to the Cold War. Some of the main themes are the September 6, 1781 attack by the British under the command of Benedict Arnold, the U-boat menace during World War II, and the anti-submarine efforts during the Cold War. Fort Trumbull is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

NORTH STONINGTON

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NORWALK

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OLD SAYBROOK

Where to Stay

Saybrook Point Inn & Spa Announces Opening of Three Stories

Saybrook Point Inn & Spa has announced the opening of its new Three Stories guesthouse adjacent to the main Inn in historic Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Guests will be able to unwind and enjoy the peacefulness and tranquility of a completely renovated Italianate home overlooking the Long Island Sound.

Originally built in 1892 as a single-family home for the prominent engineer William Vars, this landmark property has been fully refurbished and revitalized as an eight-room guesthouse. East Wharf Architects of Madison, Connecticut, and Silver Contract Interiors of Stamford thoroughly researched and replicated the architecture and interior design of the period. Wrap around porches, private gardens, and common rooms with billiards and books offer guests plac°©es to relax and rejuvenate. The property’s unique architectural features include eight individually designed rooms each with a pri°©vate balcony, fireplace, European bedding, fine linens, heated bathroom floors, multiple showerheads, extensive water views and original artwork by local artists. And as a testament to its rich history, each room tells the profound story of a famed local resident who made sure that the history of the community was well preserved.

With rates starting at $349, reservations for the Three Stories guesthouse at Saybrook Point Inn & Spa are now being accepted by phone at 860.395.2000 or by visiting www.saybrook.com.

In 1998, the old Vars house, an ornate Victorian Italianate home overlooking the mouth of the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound, looked as if it might blow down in the next big Nor’easter. Tagliatela, who walked by the house every day on his way to work, decided to give the old home a different future, and still preserving its historic charm and character. As a result, Three Stories was refreshed and rejuvenated to pay tribute to the community’s rich history, while honoring some of the area’s most prominent individuals including Katherine Hep°©burn’s mother, who was a co-founder of Planned Parenthood and leading suffragette, and Anna Louise James, who had the distinction of being one of the first women and African American pharmacists in America and ran the James Pharmacy locally. Other remarkable individuals include Mary Tagliatela (Stephen’s mother), Margaret Buckridge, Fitz Dibble, Steffie Walters, Frank Ingham, and Joeseph Woods.

Saybrook Point Inn & Spa is not the only hotel Tagliatela and his family have owned. His grandparents operated the local Castle Inn in the 1950s hosting such famous guests as Charlie Chaplin, Howard Hughes and Jimmy Durante. Later, his father and mother bought the infamous Terra Mar Hotel in 1980, (Terra Mar had a reputation as a place with underworld ties, a reputation that was rekindled every time Frank Sinatra and his pals showed up.) The Tagliatela family replaced Terra Mar, which had closed, with the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, an expansive hotel with a spa, marina, and restaurant.

Three Stories features eight creatively designed guestrooms, including a luxurious suite and two specially designated meeting spaces all with a pri°©vate balcony, complimentary wifi, European bedding, fine linens, and original artwork by local artists. This exclusive guesthouse is just across the street from the Saybrook Point Inn, providing travelers with the luxury and comfort of fine dining and spa amenities. Additional offerings include a first floor living room with fireplace, and stylishly furnished rooms on all three floors with flat-screen televisions, refrigerators with snacks, as well as coffee, espresso and cappuccino machines, and an outdoor living room setting with a fire pit on the third floor.

Three Stories is also available as a vacation rental or business retreat. The fully renovated home has private baths in each room and features three tiers of porches overlooking Long Island Sound. In addition, the bedding and housekeeping services make it convenient and accommodating as a wonderful vacation home and family retreat.

People have flocked to Saybrook Point for more than 180 years. In 1870, when the Pease House opened on the present site of the Saybrook Point Inn there was finally a place guests could spend the night. The Pease House was a small country hotel built by William Pease. It welcomed guests until 1956, and was known that the bartender had to collect his tabs from women by using a long paddle to reach across the four-foot wide bar. The property was later purchased by a group that built the Terra Mar Hotel and Yacht Basin on the site.

In 1979, the Terra Mar property was foreclosed, and in 1980, Louis and Mary Tagliatela bought the then unoccupied and dilapidated property at auction. Nine years later, they opened the Saybrook Point Inn, tipping their hat to legendary Terra Mar by naming the restaurant at the Inn for the old hotel. Louis and Mary’s son Stephen, along with daughter Tricia Tagliatela who oversees the Inn’s decor and ambiance, and son Louis Jr., who also helps to oversee the daily operations with Stephen, now runs the Saybrook Point Inn. 

Since it opened, the Saybrook Point Inn has adapted and changed. It has taken a decidedly green direction, win°©ning numerous awards for its often best-in-class green practices, including the first Connecticut inn to be named a Certified Energy Hotel in 2007. The Inn now includes SANNO, the property’s full-service spa that opened in 2012, as well as Fresh Salt, a restaurant designed by Peter Niemitz, which replaced the Terra Mar Grille. Fresh Salt opened to strong reviews in 2011.

Lisa Silver of Silver Contract Interiors of Stamford designed the interiors of Three Stories and much of the main Inn, and the lead architect was East Wharf Architects of Madison. Jonathan Turley from Franklin Construction of New Haven, Connecticut was the lead builder on the project.

About Saybrook Point Inn & Spa

Situated along the picturesque coastal community of historic Old Saybrook, Connecticut in the hamlet of Saybrook Point, Saybrook Point Inn & Spa features 82 elegantly appointed guestrooms, a rejuvenating full-service spa called SANNO, and a casual fine dining restaurant named Fresh Salt. Luxurious spa amenities include 11 treatment rooms, a Swiss shower and diverse menu of services including massages, facials, body wraps, manicures and pedicures. SANNO is a latin word meaning to make sound or to heal. The goal at SANNO is to help guests be well, look well, feel well, and eat well. Fresh Salt diners savor fresh, seasonal and local cuisine served in Old Saybrook’s most spectacular setting – the spot where the fresh waters of the Connecticut River meet the salt of Long Island Sound. It's a treasured and historic place, rich in life, and the restaurant reflects that lively diversity. The Saybrook Point Inn & Spa also features the historic Saybrook Point Marina, a landmark yachting dock conveniently located at the mouth of the Connecticut River with easy access to Long Island Sound. The marina is Connecticut’s first designated Clean Marina, featuring friendly concierge service, award-winning onsite cuisine, AAA Four Diamond accommodations, an indulgent spa, and a community-based member-driven health club. It can accommodate vessels from 12 to 200 feet and has received numerous premier Connecticut marina awards. More information is available at www.saybrook.com.

SOUTHBURY

Where to Stay

Heritage Resort/Spa Getaway

Everyone deserves a little pampering after battling winter winds.  At  the Heritage Resort in Southbury couples can enjoy a deluxe room and full breakfast, as well as an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room, and a choice of two treatments at the Tres Jolie Day Spa, a massage, facial, manicure or pedicure, from $329. Not into spas? Chose a Rendezvous for two package with a deluxe room, dinner in the resort’s Eight Mile Brook, restaurant, a buffet breakfast and use of the resort health club starting at $219.

For more information, call 203-264-8200; or check web site www.heritagesouthbury.com

STAMFORD

Revolutionary New Fitness Method & Centers Helping Those Looking to Work Smarter, not Harder

With “The Ultimate Training Center” in NYC and Brand New “Solarium” Opened June 11th in Stamford, CT...Pure Conditioning’s Total Wellness Program is designed for modern life’s high performance of mind & body

Are you looking to become the best version of yourself possible, but don’t have enough time in your day to commit to lengthy stays at the gym? Then Pure Conditioning is your answer to strengthening body and mind through their unique new training program that allows you to become your best self in under 30 minutes!

Offering private personal training that utilizes their proprietary, safe and time efficient exercise methodology, custom re-engineered equipment, professional instruction and a serene environment, Pure Conditioning’s two locations in NYC and Connecticut (Grand Opening of Pure Solarium in Connecticut is June 11th from 11am-4pm!) are the perfect places for those looking to get their body and mind back on track! Each PC workout takes only 30 minutes, 1-3 times/week and produces better results than programs requiring hours longer.

“Pure Conditioning's Nutrition program combines science with practical applications. It is structured yet flexible to allow for eating enjoyment and the actualization of long term goals. It has pioneered the nutritional advice now being recognized in the major media” - Daniel Pachter, Founder

For more information contact Pure Conditioning Inc @ The Ultimate Training Center, 532 Madison Ave 6th & 7th Floor, New York, NY 10022. Entrance just west of NW corner of Madison Ave on 54th Street

Pure Conditioning @ The Solarium, 129 Shelter Rock Road, Stamford, CT 06903

For More Information contact Pure Conditioning atpureconditioning.com/

UNCASVILLE

More soon

WATERBURY

What to See & Do

Mattatuck Museum Unveils $2 Million History Exhibit

From Colonial times to the age of technology, past and present come alive in the new $2 million exhibit Coming Home: Building Community in a Changing World, opened at the Mattatuck Museum Arts and History Center in Waterbury, Connecticut.

The exhibit tells the story of all the people of Waterbury, the original settlers, those who built the city into an industrial giant, and the residents who continue to shape the town today. 

Interactive experiences challenge visitors to get involved in learning about the region’s history. Build Your Own Village is a chance to relive the experience of early pioneers. The story of African Americans in early Connecticut is made personal by following the fortunes of one slave named Fortune. The city’s glory years in the Industrial era when Waterbury was known as “Brass Capital of the World” are vividly recalled and a button industry exhibit shows what it took to turn out a button in 30 seconds. More Waterbury products from the museum’s collections are shown than ever before.

The years from 1960 to 2010 focus on new immigrants to the region and the growing service economy, showing how current businesses evolved from the old industrial economy. The actual stories of recent immigrants also are told. The final section, a Community Conversations Table, invites visitors to take a stand on current issues facing the region today. They can run for election by building a platform based on materials in the exhibits, and find out whether they win based on the votes of other visitors.

The Mattatuck Museum, located at 144 West Main Street in Waterbury, is the only museum in Connecticut dedicated to the art and history of the state. Along with the comprehensive new history exhibit, the museum features a permanent gallery of work by Connecticut artists including early artists like John Trumbull and Frederic Church and later masters including Yves Tanguy, Alexander Calder and Arshile Gorky. Another permanent feature is a button room displaying some ten thousand buttons, a donation of the Waterbury Companies, successor to a company that has been making buttons in Waterbury since 1812.

Museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. For information, phone 203-753-0381 or web site, www.mattatuckmuseum.org.
For further information on the museum and other area activities and a free copy
of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the Litchfield Hills of Northwest Connecticut, contact the Northwest Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, or visit www.litchfieldhills.com.

WESTPORT

About Westport

Westport is a city of many charms. For outdoor fun, guests ride the hotel's complimentary bicycles to the beach at Sherwood Island State Park. Minutes from the inn, they can take in great performances at the award-winning Westport Country Playhouse and the waterfront Levitt Pavilion. Also nearby are golf courses, fishing, and kayak and boat rentals. Families in particular enjoy the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Beardsley Zoo and the Rolnick Observatory for spectacular views of starry skies above the Long Island Sound.

Where to Stay

Westport Inn

The boutique hotel just joined the Ascend Collection membership program from Choice Hotels International as the portfolio's first property in Connecticut. As part of this elite network, Westport Inn remains independently owned, while also gaining a global reservations system and a guests rewards program with more than 13 million members worldwide.

December 2011 marked the completion of a 3.5-million-dollar renovation. As part of the redesign, the hotel now boasts striking new meeting and event space, lobby, guestrooms, restaurant and bar, indoor pool and fitness center.

Less than three miles from the beach, Westport inn is close to the lively boutiques, restaurants and nightlife of downtown Westport. The contemporary New England hotel houses 117 guestrooms and suites featuring plush beds with pillow-top mattresses and crisp white linens, Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and luxurious UK-based Aromatherapy Associates bath products. Off the lobby is the casual Eramosa restaurant and bar, serving breakfast, dinner and weekend brunch. Dishes here are bold and flavorful, featuring the fresh seafood, meats and produce of Eastern Connecticut. Westport Inn also houses 6,000 square feet of dramatic meeting and banquet space, including a ballroom with towering window walls overlooking a nature preserve.

Ascend Collection appeals to a growing number of travelers who like to discover independent, upscale hotels with local flair when visiting new places. For more information, visit www.ascendcollection.com.


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