Old Saybrook, like Cape Cod but without the traffic jams

Who knew? I’ve lived in Connecticut for nearly 20 years and am just now discovering more of what The Nutmeg State has to offer. Take Old Saybrook, a pretty, historic town at the mouth of the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound, equidistant (about 100 miles) from Boston and New York, just short drive from outlet malls, the glitz, concerts and gambling at Mohegan Sun and about 45 minutes from Mystic with its famous aquarium and living history museum. The U.S. Coast Guard Academy isn’t far either. Not only is it one of the oldest towns in the state, but its history goes back to 1635 when it was first settled by a company of English puritans.  Yale University was founded here in 1700 before moving to New Haven 18 years later; Katharine Hepburn summered across the cove in Fenwick as a child and had a home here until she died. For more than 150 years, this has been a  popular spot for boaters, bikers, beach goers,  and fishermen.  Another journalist likened it to Cape Cod without the hassle of getting there and I see what he meant.  We went out with Captain Graham Nicholson for a cruise on his motor yacht Real Escape; he points across the Sound to Long Island. We drove up to check out the brand new Three Stories annex at the 82-room Saybrook Point Inn & Spa   overlooking the marina. The upscale hotel (rooms typically start at over $300 a night), condos across the street and now the new Three Stories has been owned by the Tagliatela family since 1980 when they bought the run-down property and began to renovate what originally had been an inn at the end of the 19th Century and then a large hotel and entertainment spot complete with helipad attracting movie stars like Frank Sinatra and politicians like Edward Kennedy before it closed. It took years for the family, prominent in the construction business in New Haven, to get the permits and to rebuild the property. “My mother wanted a beach cottage,” Stephen Tagliatela said.  “My father bought this instead.” The couple did have their beach cottage, though, in what is called The Lighthouse Suite on the pier. Today it is coveted by vacation goers and brides and grooms who marry here because it is so unique, looking like a small lighthouse with its water views. Three Stories, with eight rooms, two public spaces, porches and gardens is designed to be used by those looking for a quiet getaway as well as groups and multigenerational families who are booking the entire space, Stephen Tagliatela said over breakfast. Read full article here
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