If you have ever visited our inn and the southeastern portion of Connecticut known as “Mystic Country” you may have been surprised to discover just how much of this beautiful part of the country has to offer. Well, we’re often asked about autumn getaways, and specifically, what does the area have to offer guests looking for a classic New England getaway here on the Connecticut shoreline.
Let’s face it, autumn or fall conjure up thoughts of scenic drives along New England highways and byways surrounded with beautiful vistas of trees decked out in spectacular, colorful foliage. Is there a more beautiful place to be in autumn than in New England? Many folks forget about Connecticut (and Rhode Island) when they think about taking a fall getaway to New England. While Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and even Massachusetts are most popular when planning New England leaf-peeping escapes, we’re here to tell you that all of the magnificent beauty and charm of autumn can be found right here in southeastern Connecticut as well.
From scenic drives through some of Connecticut’s most rural and rustic small towns to visiting the oldest steam powered cider mill in the United States. Or perhaps a ride aboard the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat, a Connecticut icon for 46 years. Best of all, these wonderful attractions and so much more are all just minutes from our inn. Below are a few of the most popular things to do here on the Connecticut shoreline this fall season.
Essex Steam Train & Riverboat Tour
For 46 years, the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat has been a Connecticut icon, escorting thousands of visitors through the unspoiled lower CT River Valley on their antique steam train and riverboat – the only steam train and riverboat connection in the United States.
The 2 and ½ hour narrated journey begins at the historic 1892 Essex Station, then meanders through the countryside aboard vintage rail cars pulled by an authentic steam locomotive. Following this awesome train ride, you will then board the Becky Thatcher riverboat for a cruise along the Connecticut River – bursting with wildlife, lush autumn foliage and historic sites, such as Gillette Castle and the Goodspeed Opera House. Without a doubt, one of the most unique things you will ever do.
Scenic Country Drives
Few visitors to Connecticut experience the old-fashioned ways of the state’s “Quiet Corner,” a vast patch of sparsely populated towns that seem a world away from the rest of the state. The Quiet Corner has a reclusive allure: people used to leave New York City for the Litchfield Hills; now many leave for northeastern Connecticut, where the stretch of Route 169 from Brooklyn past Woodstock has been named a National Scenic Byway.
Why visit the Quiet Corner? Well, we think it’s as beautiful as any place one could visit during the autumn season, and one of the best places anywhere to view the beauty of autumn’s fall foliage. With its rolling hills, beautiful farmhouses and miles of stonewalls, it’s the quintessential New England autumn setting. The Quiet Corner is also known for its antique shops, unique boutiques and quaint bistros and cafes. Getting there is just one of the highlights as we send our quests up Route 169, a National Scenic Byway which runs north-and-south through the region. One of our most recommended “Day Trips” and especially during the peak autumn foliage timeframe and/or those interested in seeking antique shops.
B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill
Try B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill for fresh cider, apple pies and wonderful apple cider donuts or other seasonal farm stands with fresh vegetables, pumpkins and gourds. Stunning views travelling on CT Rte. 169, an award winning scenic route taking you through lovely country and known for the winding historic trail that it blazes through foliage set with rolling hills and country fields, farm houses and ancient stone walls all set with breathtaking beauty as autumn’s colors surround you. You will also meander your way through scenic country towns for some real New England small town fairs, antiquing, dining and shopping.
In closing, autumn is a brilliant time of year to visit our inn and the Mystic Country region. For us locals, it’s actually our favorite time of the year. The days are still sunny and warm, perfect for walking the local beaches, our mile-long boardwalk or visiting our host of shoreline and Mystic region attractions. At night the crisp, cool ocean air off Niantic Bay provides the perfect excuse to light the fireplace in your guest room while sipping a glass of wine and relaxing after a long day spent exploring the southernmost New England state ~ Connecticut.