If you are looking for a great way to spend a day in Connecticut, take a drive to Essex, Connecticut. This is such a beautiful town with wonderful architecture to be seen all around. Houses date back to the 1700s and most have been fully restored. Stop for lunch, dinner or just drinks at the Griswold Inn and shop at quaint shops like the Christmas Barn and The Griswold Inn’s Goods & Curiosities Shop.
You don’t even have to spend a dime if you are looking for a cheap or affordable day trip in Connecticut. Plan a walking tour of the town of Essex, Connecticut, pack a lunch, eat at the Town Dock, and do some window shopping.
The Griswold Inn has been around since 1776 and embodies the spirit of colonial New England. If you want to have a true New England experience and eat at a traditional tavern, then you must put this on your day trip agenda. If you are planning a longer stay, the Griwold Inn also offer overnight accommodations.
Make sure you end up at the Essex Town Dock with sweeping views of the Long Island Sound. If you visit during the summer months, take in a free concert on the green at the Connecticut River Museum. You can rent kayaks at the museum to take out for an hour, or half or full day.
The Connecticut River Museum is a National Historic Register site which provides education exhibits and programs describing the past uses and conditions of the Connecticut River. The grounds, including a waterfront access pier, are open to the public for free and provide an exceptional location to enjoy the River, or to fish.
We have visited Essex, Connecticut both in the summer and in the Fall. During the Fall season you will be in awe of the splendor that Mother Nature brings. The setting in Essex is just perfect for Autumn. Residents decorate their lawns with pumpkins, bales of hay, and cornstalks but the real treat are the trees and the change colors of the leaves.