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Connecticut’s Historic Inns,
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These historic inns and museums were featured in HRJ’s special edition 2008 wall calendar—but they’re great to stay or dine in anytime!

The Gwyn Careg Inn, Pomfret Center
Boston heiress Eleanor Clark Murray purchased the original 1760 house and grounds in 1899 and renamed it “Gwyn Careg,” Welsh for “pure stone.” She transformed the property into a 300-acre estate with a Colonial Revival mansion and extensive gardens. In 1942 the Marquess and Marquessa de Tallyrand purchased the estate; they used it as a seasonal retreat until 1964. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the restored mansion (surrounded by 14 acres of grounds and gardens) is now an inn featuring six suites and a special-event venue. It also is the home of the Bove familiy.

68 Wolf Den Road, Pomfret Center, CT 06259
(860) 928-5018

The Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme
Miss Florence opened her 1817 home on the banks of the Lieutenant River in 1899 to artists, planting the seed for what would become the Lyme Art Colony. Now the Florence Griswold Museum, a National Historic Landmark open to the public and completely restored in 2006, the site is considered the home of American Impressionism. One of the area’s leading cultural destinations, the museum features special exhibitions in a modern gallery, an education center, extensive gardens, and a restored artist’s studio on its 11-acre site.

96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT 06371
(860) 434-5542

The Cottage House, Thompson
In 1824, the Marquis de Lafayette stayed at The Cottage House while on his American tour. The Marquis’ arrival in a carriage drawn by two white horses inspired the inn’s current fresh and inviting white décor. Located on the historic Thompson green, The Cottage House now serves as a bed and breakfast, featuring six guest rooms and a luxurious spa. Built in 1814, the inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

351 Route 193, Thompson, CT 06277
(860) 923-3886

Captain Stannard House, Westbrook
After sailing the seven seas in the trans-Pacific trade, Captain Elbert Stannard built his grand home c. 1872 just one block from the beach. He built a cupola so that his bride, Harriet, could watch for his ship’s safe return. Even the newel post resembles a ship’s capstan. Its gathering rooms, nine guestrooms, and gardens radiate New England coastal charm, making this the perfect home base for exploring all that the southeastern Connecticut shoreline has to offer. 

138 South Main Street, Westbrook, CT 06498
(860) 399-4634

The Bee and Thistle Inn, Old Lyme
The Bee and Thistle Inn, built in 1756 as a private residence, became an inn in the late 1930s. Nestled on five glorious acres bordering the Lieutenant River it features 11 gracious guest rooms. Our seasonal menu uses the finest ingredients to create delectable fare. Voted “Most Romantic Dining” in Connecticut Magazine’s Reader’s Poll.

100 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT 06371
(860) 434-1667 or (800) 622-4946

Hopkins Inn, New Preston
More than 150 years ago, the scenic beauty and recreational pleasures of Lake Waramaug and the Litchfield Hills first drew vacationers to the Hopkins Inn, which opened its doors in 1847. Today, visitors still enjoy expansive views of the lake, foothills, and neighboring vineyards from the inn’s 11 guest rooms and 2 apartments, the dining room, large shaded outdoor terrace, and private beach. Fine dining—decidedly Continental to reflect the owner’s Austrian heritage—is offered late March through January 1.

22 Hopkins Road, New Preston, CT 06777
(860) 868-7295

Spencer on Main, Suffield
Located on Suffield’s historic Main Street, Spencer on Main has been in the Spencer family since its construction in 1871. Designed by architect John Mead (who designed houses for such prominent families as the Vanderbilts), the house is considered an exceptionally fine example of the Second Empire Style. Enjoy the inn’s 8-acre grounds, swimming pool, and large screened porch. The inn’s two suites and one bedroom feature marble fireplaces, private baths, and modern amenities like TV/DVD/sound systems, central A/C, and wireless internet. 

264 South Main Street, Suffield, CT 06078
(860) 668-5862

Mountain View Inn, Norfolk
Travel scenic Litchfield Road from Norfolk’s picture-postcard town green to the front door of the Mountain View Inn, located in the beautiful Berkshire foothills. This 1900 Gilded Age Victorian has seven historically decorated guestrooms, each featuring a private bath. Mountain View is the perfect setting in every season for your elegant special event or country respite. Enjoy the Inn’s Old-World courtyard, local cultural offerings such as Yale’s Music Festival, the town’s bell tower, historic homes, and the natural beauty o f the region. .

67 Litchfield Road, Norfolk, CT 06058
(860) 542-6991 or toll free (866) 792-7812

Bush-Holley Historic Site, Greenwich
Beginning in 1890, painters John Henry Twachtman, J. Alden Weir, Childe Hassam, and others gathered in this former boarding house—now a museum open to the public—and formed the Cos Cob art colony, Connecticut’s first art colony. The Bush-Holley House, a National Historic Landmark, was built around 1730 and between 1890 and 1920 was an artistic and intellectual hub for artists and writers. Visitors today see historic interiors and an American Impressionist art collection, along with exhibits about the Cos Cob Art Colony and aspects of Greenwich history. 

39 Strickland Road, Cos Cob, CT 06807
(203) 869-6899, ext. 10

Longwood Country Inn, Woodbury
Built in 1789, this classic Colonial is located in the antiques capital of Connecticut. An 18th-century milestone marker out front was set there by Benjamin Franklin, the first postmaster general of the United States. The Inn features six guest chambers with period furnishings, modern amenities, and several with fireplaces. Longwood’s restaurant was voted both the “Best New Restaurant” and “Best Brunch” in Litchfield County in the 2007 Readers Poll of Connecticut Magazine. The dining room and lounges feature three wood-burning fir eplaces and overlook the elegant grounds and gardens.

1204 Main Street South, Woodbury, CT 06798
(203) 266-0800

The Joseph Webb House, Wethersfield
The 1752 Joseph Webb House, a National Historic Landmark and one of three 18th-century houses that make up the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, can legitimately claim that “George Washington slept here.” Located in Connecticut’s largest historic district, the house served as George Washington’s headquarters during May 1781 when he met with French commander Rochambeau. Their meetings led to the Yorktown campaign that achieved American victory in the Revolutionary War. Later owned by the famous antiquarian Wallace Nutting, the house features the murals that Nutting commissioned to commemora te the Washington-Rochambeau meeting.

211 Main Street, Wethersfield, CT 06109
(860) 529-0612

The Griswold Inn, Essex
As old as the nation, The Griswold Inn has been offering gracious hospitality to travelers since 1776. Located on a quaint village street just steps from the Connecticut River, the “Gris” is a popular gathering place featuring art-filled dining rooms, an award-winning tap room where lively music plays nightly, the richly-appointed wine bar, and 30 charming guest rooms. December at the “Gris” offers the quintessential New England holiday experience. Strolling madrigal singers, costumed wait staff, and a sumptuous Holiday Bill of Fare—including game and traditional offerings—all add to the inn’s perennially festive spirit.

36 Main Street, Essex, CT 06426
(860) 767-1776