As a few of us on the Snag-A-Slip Team prepare to travel to Hartford, Connecticut for the Hartford Boat Show, we thought it might be pertinent to highlight one of our favorite boating destinations to visit: Old Saybrook, Connecticut.
Founded in 1635 and known as one of the oldest settlements in Connecticut, the quaint seaside town of Old Saybrook sits where the Connecticut River meets the Long Island Sound. Saybrook Point was the site of a prominent fort and an important coastal trade center during the 1800s for vessels from river boats to ocean ships. Present day Old Saybrook is as charming as ever, dotted with clapboard houses, boutiques, antique stores, galleries, and cafes that brim with history.
Old Saybrook is proud to have been the home of legendary film star Katharine Hepburn. In 2009, the town opened “the Kate,” otherwise known as the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Center, which hosts theater productions, screenings and lectures about her life.
The town’s coastal location affords ample opportunity for water activities. To the southwest is Harvey’s Beach, a perfect spot for the entire family to cool off on a hot day. Kayakers will love exploring the North Cove and South Cove, both very protected.
And there’s plenty of non-water fun to be had too. In this bike-friendly town, cycle along the 10-mile loop out to Saybrook Point for breathtaking views, meandering along Long Island Sound as you go. Be sure to make a detour to check out Lynde Point Lighthouse, which sits at the mouth of Connecticut River.
If you are in town during the last weekend of July, be sure to visit the 55th Annual Arts & Crafts Festival, which features more than 150 artists and crafters. And every Wednesday at 7 p.m. throughout the summer, Main Street hosts Concerts on the Green, a series of live music.
Where to Dine
- Fresh Salt (2 Bridge St., 860-395-2000) offers locally inspired dishes and handcrafted cocktails, all while overlooking the picturesque views of the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound.
- Liv’s Oyster Bar (166 Main St., 860-395-5577) Whether you dine in the main room, at the bar, or on the patio, Liv’s is a locals’ favorite for seafood dishes emphasizing local ingredients and incredible craft cocktails.
- The Back Porch (142 Ferry Road 860-510-0282) is a popular seafood restaurant with casual dining, live music, and indoor/outdoor seating.
Where to Dock
- Between the Bridges Marina is a full service marina and boatyard offers top-notch repair services by certified skilled, master technicians. The 280 foot fuel dock is stocked with gasoline and diesel. The kiddos will have a sparkling blue pool to splash around in while Mom and Dad relax on the sundeck. For daily meals, The Back Porch Restaurant is the marinas fantastic onsite restaurant.
- Saybrook Point Inn & Spa is a full-service resort is located at the mouth of the Connecticut River that accommodates boats up to 200 feet. New for the 2016 season is the environmentally-conscious marine fueling system and four new transient floating docks. Other amenities include indoor and outdoor heated pools, the Sanno Spa, a complimentary shuttle, fitness club, high-speed fueling, marine supply store and Fresh Salt, the onsite restaurant.
- Ragged Rock Marina is a relaxed facility nestled away in a protected, deep, virtually enclosed basin minutes off the Connecticut River. The marina is one of few who allows boat owners to work on their own boats, and employ outside contractors to service their vessels, making it a top priority that your boat gets the attention is needs.