What’s there to do??
Whether you are here for a romantic getaway, a UConn college visit, a stop-over on your way to Maine, or just escaping from the kids, here are just a few ideas–with links–of things to do during your stay in Tolland. –Try the links–
For single night stays, we find our guests most often arrive a little after 4:00 in the afternoon, get settled and see the inn. They help themselves at the tea cart and settle in the sunporch to look over menus for nearby restaurants. Generally, restaurants from very near to ones as far as West Hartford are “local” to us, and offer a wide variety of dining possibilities. Some of our favorites are on our Restaurants page.
Hartford has a few clubs for evening entertainment, Black-eyed Sally’s notably. Also in Hartford, the Hartford Stage Company is our professional theater company. The Bushnell is Hartford’s concert venue. The University of Connecticut is just seven miles from us and has excellent theater and concert events, also. (See links.) For movies, the theater at Buckland Hills, Manchester, is the nearby multi-plex. The Shops at Evergreen Walk provide high-end shopping, (or window shopping,) ice cream parlor and four good restaurants.
Excellent destination-dining experiences can be had. Reservations are a must(!), so plan ahead to fully enjoy this activity. Sharpe Hill Vineyard is a working, picture-perfect winery with tours, tastings, and a beautifully intimate dining room.
A new attraction near us is the intimate music venue, the Stafford Palace Theater in Stafford Springs! See their web site for up-coming artists.
-Two nights (plus) stays-
For stays of two nights or more, besides the ideas above(!) With a whole day to spend in the area, you might think about:
A DAY IN HARTFORD: The Mark Twain House, and the Wadsworth Atheneum our country’s oldest fine art museum, are fascinating, worth-while attractions. Call for seasonal Connecticut River cruises! Experience downtown shopping in West Hartford Center where there are also fine restaurants.
Just a few minutes from the inn is the new ADVENTURE PARK AT STORRS!!
MYSTIC area attractions are about an hour and fifteen minutes from us. Mystic Aquarium, and Mystic Seaport, Nautilus submarine (in Groton,) are the big attractions. Equally appealing might be the town of Mystic and its two neighbors Noank and Stonington Borough which offer a great look at coastal Connecticut with shops, antiquing, art galleries and restaurants.
Make a day of touring the scenic CONNECTICUT RIVER TOWNS of Chester, Essex, and the Haddams. Step aboard the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat rides. Don’t miss Gillette Castle State Park, just across the river!
OLD STURBRIDGE VILLAGE, BIGELOW HOLLOW STATE PARK, and the antique shops in Putnam, Connecticut are just a half hour East of here.
MANCHESTER, CONNECTICUT, just fifteen minutes from the inn, is the home of one of the largest shopping districts in the East. Buckland Hills Mall, and the new Shops at Evergreen Walk are just the start of the retailers located there. For reservations in autumn, be sure to check the Foliage Network web site for information on the fall colors.
BRING YOUR BIKES! The hills of eastern Connecticut can be quite a challenge and there is not lack of scenery here. But we also have two of the very nicest Rails to Trails we know of. The Airline Trail, a section of the famous train route from Boston to New York, and the Vernon/Rockville Hop River State Park Trail offer scenic, railroad-flat riding.
Three times each summer–for one week in May, July, September–the town of Brimfield, MA becomes the largest antiques mart in the country. We happen to be a half-hour drive on back roads to the show, avoiding the highway and the show’s traffic jams! Check their web site here to see the up-coming schedule.
On the way to Maine?
Summer, in particular, brings an annual migration up and down the east coast. Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia… If you start in the mid-Atlantic on a drive up to Maine, we are a great stopping point. Just a half mile north of Exit #68 on I-84, the Tolland Inn provides a convenient New England lodging experience. The big cities are behind you and south coastal Maine is just a little over two hours from here!