What’s better than a summertime clambake? Then add in an island with a lighthouse and it’s the perfect summer night! There will be the mysterious and entrancing Gillette Castle to explore, two delicious lunches in two separate historic, scenic inns, a beautiful waterfront hotel to relax and lounge, and sea breezes with picturesque islands. It’s time to go to Connecticut!
Lunch at the Gelston House:
We arrive in East Haddam, Connecticut in time for lunch today at the lovely Gelston House. This historic restaurant and inn looks as buffed and pampered as a big old riverboat steaming up the Connecticut River and is nestled beside the Goodspeed Opera House, with scenic river views.
After our delicious lunch, we’ll visit the spectacular Gillette Castle, a 24-room mansion resembling a medieval fortress built by noted actor, director and playwright, William Hooker Gillette. The interior of this unique fieldstone castle features built in couches, table trackway and hand hewn southern white oak woodwork.
Of the 47 doors within the castle, each with intricately carved locks, there are no two exactly the same. The grounds surrounding this amazing estate are just as unique as the castle itself, with near vertical steps, stone arch bridges and wooden trestles spanning up to 40 feet.
Saybrook Resort & Marina:
Then onto our relaxing, elegant home for the night, the Saybrook Point Resort & Marina, overlooking the sparkling Long Island Sound. We’ll take a break here to enjoy the resort with its landscaped gardens and grounds, throw your shoes aside and walk through the sand to dip your toes in the water.
Sheffield Island Clambake:
This evening is our clam bake island adventure! The Norwalk Seaport Ferry will cruise us out to Sheffield Island where we’ll enjoy a true New England dining experience in a festive tented pavilion on the historic 1868 Sheffield Island lighthouse lawn. After indulging in our feast, there is time to stroll the island and tour the lighthouse before heading back to our comfortable rooms at our resort.
Essex & Griswold Inn Lunch:
Spend the morning at your leisure having a relaxing breakfast and enjoying all that our resort has to offer. This afternoon, we explore the lovely little village of Essex and its historic waterfront district surrounded on three sides by water. There’s time to browse the village shops, galleries and early Federal and Colonial era homes along Main Street. Soon you will see why Essex has been named the “Perfect Small American Town”.
Lunch will be included at the historic Griswold Inn that has been welcoming travelers since 1776. We’ll enjoy delicious American cuisine in the historic dining atmosphere of this famous inn, fondly known as “The Gris”.
Thimble Islands Cruise:
With a salty breeze in our face, we’ll cruise out to explore the Thimble Islands, a chain of 25 small rocky, wooded islands topped with beautiful Victorian era summer cottages complete with gingerbread trimmings. Our narrated tour will guide us through these enchanted islands, teaching us their history and interesting legends.
Now it’s time to return home to New Jersey, filled with wonderful summertime memories of our days in Connecticut.
Pricing & Departures:
Departs the Chatham Middle School at 480 Main Street at 8:15 AM and returns at approximately 5:45 PM
Departs from Ridgewood’s Graydon Pool parking lot (Linwood Avenue and Northern Parkway) at 9:00 AM and returns at approximately 5:00 PM
Price per person is $680 Twin & $860 Single. No reservations accepted without a deposit of $150 per person. Make checks payable to Group Tours & Travel and mail to the included address. Final payment is due June 24, 2021. Deposits are fully refundable if cancellation occurs on or before June 24, 2021. There are no refunds if cancellation occurs after June 24, 2021. Travel protection/cancellation coverage is available and highly recommended (approximately 10% of the total cost of the tour) but not included. One piece of luggage per person and one carry-on are permitted. Group Tours is not responsible for any delays, cancellations, injuries or circumstances beyond its control and reserves the right to change this itinerary. All trip components are subject to change in accordance with Government, State and Local guidelines and/or mandates. This tour will run rain or shine.
Group Tours & Travel
1710 E. Lancaster Ave. #319 Paoli, PA 19301