Explore Connecticut With A Day Trip To Essex

For most of us, the stunning views and relaxing atmosphere of the Point never get old. Still, for those occasional days when you’re itching to explore Connecticut, it’s nice to have a day trip or two at the ready. Take your curious spirit seven miles up the Connecticut River to Essex, CT, one of the best nearby spots to explore. With its small village charms and world class museums, Essex’s attractions will feed your sense of adventure until you’re ready to return to the Point.

Visit the Connecticut River Museum

Connecticut River Museum Exterior
Flickr/Joe Mabel/(CC BY 2.0)
No journey through the Connecticut River Valley would be complete without a visit to the Connecticut River Museum. Located along the mighty Connecticut and just minutes from downtown Essex, this museum offers day trippers the opportunity to hear stories about the river and its people through rotating exhibits and special programming. Once you’ve had your fill of the river’s culture, walk outside the museum’s doors, and witness firsthand wildlife like bald eagles and migratory birds.

Board the Essex Steam Train

After a trip to the Connecticut River Museum, it’s time to move your day trip to Essex aboard the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat. Serving the Connecticut River Valley since 1971, they invite you to discover the rich mechanical heritage of Connecticut through their ongoing use of vintage steam and diesel locomotives. Get the full Essex Steam Train experience by taking the Steam Train & River Boat Ride Expedition, which includes a 12-mile round trip on a steam locomotive and an hour-long cruise aboard the Becky Thatcher riverboat.

Dine During Your Day Trip To Essex

Nestled within the Colonial and Federal-style buildings of Essex’s main village, you’ll uncover dining options ranging from trout to truffles. Satisfy your salt air and seafood cravings at the Black Seal, a New England pub with a nautical spirit. When the weather is simply too beautiful to sit inside, pick up a creative boxed lunch from Olive Oyl’s to eat by the Town Dock. Finish off your food tour of Essex with a truffle shot, a nonalcoholic, chocolate creation by a mother-daughter duo. Believe us — these sweet creations will perfectly punctuate your day trip to Essex.

Hit The Theater

Located in Ivoryton, a beautiful section of the town of Essex, the Ivoryton Playhouse is a humble, brick structure located near the Connecticut River. Don’t let its modest appearance fool you — as America’s oldest self-supporting summer theatre, the playhouse once hosted a parade of stars including Katharine Hepburn, Marlon Brando, Mae West and many, many more. Today, this 280 seat theater produces seven professional shows annually, drawing audiences from New York and Boston as well as day trip crowds from Old Saybrook. With a day trip to Essex on the agenda, your vacation to Connecticut is sure to be even more memorable. After a long day of museum hopping, sightseeing, and dining, retreat to the coastal comfort of Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, just a few miles down the river.