Eastern Connecticut

Wood Pond Press

When Northeastern Connecticut's tourism boosters were trying to figure out what to call their region, someone suggested "The Quiet Corner." The name stuck. Off the beaten path, this area often is overlooked by tourists and its attractions are decidedly low-key. Therein lies much of its appeal.

Much of the Quiet Corner is officially designated a National Heritage Corridor. The area's 225 hill towns and mill villages are working with the National Park Service to promote regional greenways. A 32-mile stretch of State Route 169 through the area is one of the nation's ten most scenic as designated by Scenic America.


>> Tolland Lodging Suggestions

The Tolland Inn, 63 Tolland Green, P.O. Box 717, Tolland. (860) 872-0800 or (877) 465-0800.

>> Tolland Dining Suggestions

Monet's Table, 167 Tolland Stage Road (Route 74), Tolland. (860) 875-7244. Click here to read capsule review.


The sprawling, rural University of Connecticut campus is the dominant presence in this area. The most visited landmark is the Gampel Pavilion, home of UConn's nationally ranked men's and women's basketball teams. Also of visitor interest are the William Benton Museum of Art and the UConn Dairy ice cream store.

>> Mansfield/Storrs Lodging and Dining Suggestions

The Fitch House, 563 Storrs Road (Route 195), Box 163, Mansfield Center. (860) 456-0922.

Altnaveigh Inn & Restaurant, 957 Storrs Rd., Storrs. (860) 429-4490. Click here to read capsule review.


Pomfret and neighboring Woodstock were once a fashionable summer resort area on par with those in Newport and Lenox. Much of the grace of a century ago is evident on "The Street" in Pomfret, a mile-long stretch of State Route 169 that passes large homes and two private schools, Pomfret and Rectory.

>> Pomfret Lodging Suggestions

Celebrations Inn, 330 Pomfret St., Pomfret.(860) 928-5492 or (877) 928-5492.

Cobbscroft, 349 Pomfret St. (Route 169), Pomfret. (860) 928-5560.

>> Pomfret Dining Suggestions

The Harvest, 37 Putnam Rd., Pomfret. (860) 928-0008. Click here to read capsule review.

Sharpe Hill Vineyard, 108 Wade Rd., Pomfret. (860) 974-3549. Click here to read capsule review.


Roseland Cottage, 556 Route 169, Woodstock.Roses and the Fourth of July were the twin passions of Woodstock native Henry C. Bowen, a New York merchant and publisher who planted a rose garden outside his summer house, upholstered much of its furniture in pink and named it Roseland Cottage. To his wild pink Gothic Revival mansion trimmed in gingerbread for his famous Independence Day celebrations came the day's luminaries, among them Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Harrison, Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley. The house, its furnishings and pink parterre garden remain much as they were in the 19th century. In the rear barn is the oldest extant bowling alley in a private residence.(860) 928-4074. Open June through mid-October, Wednesday-Sunday 11 to 5. Adults $4, children $2.

>> Woodstock Lodging and Dining Suggestions

The Inn at Woodstock Hill, 94 Plaine Hill Road, Box 98, South Woodstock. (860) 928-0528. Click here to read capsule review.


This old mill town proclaims itself "The Antiques Community of the Northeast." A major antiques district, with more than 450 dealers and seventeen shops, emerged quite rapidly in the once-languishing downtown. It started in 1991 when Jere Cohen restored an old department store at Main and Front streets into the Antiques Marketplace, renting space to 250 dealers on three floors and producing the largest group showroom in Connecticut. More than a dozen antiques stores quickly followed. Word spread that here was the antiques capital of New England, stocking an incredible array of goods from tag-sale trinkets to fine furniture. The entire scene draws noted collectors and designers as well as dealers and common folk.

>> Putnam Dining Suggestions

The Vine Bistro, 85 Main St., Putnam. (860) 928-1600. Click here to read capsule review.


>> Brooklyn Lodging Suggestions

Friendship Valley, Route 169, Box 845, Brooklyn. (860) 779-9696.

>> Brooklyn Dining Suggestions

The Golden Lamb Buttery, Hillandale Farm, 499 Wolf Den Rd., Brooklyn. (860) 774-4423. Click here to read capsule review.


Prudence Crandall Museum, Routes 14 and 169, Canterbury.The site of New England's first African American female academy has a fascinating history to reveal. Asked to educate their children, Prudence Crandall ran afoul of townspeople when she admitted a black girl in 1833. They withdrew their children, so she ran a boarding school for "young ladies and misses of color" until she was hounded out of town. Now a museum, the house is interesting for its architecture and exhibits on 19th-century Canterbury, African Americans and Miss Crandall.
(860) 546-9916. Open Wednesday-Sunday 10 to 4:30, February to mid-December. Adults, $2.


>> Franklin Dining Suggestions

Modesto's, 10 Route 32, Franklin. (860) 887-7755. Click here to read capsule review.


The area's largest city is reviving its downtown riverfront and gaining impetus from the new Mohegan Sun Casino nearby. The 1675 Christopher Leffingwell House Museum, a meeting place for patriots during the Revolution, is furnished to the period and displays a collection of Norwich silver. The Slater Memorial Museum and Converse Art Gallery is known for varied collections.

>> Norwich Dining Suggestions

Kensington's, Route 32, Norwich. (860) 886-2401 or (800) 275-4772. Click here to read capsule review.

Bella Fiore Restaurant, 543 West Thames St., Norwich. (860) 887-9030. Click here to read capsule review.

This content is excerpted from New England's Best, by Nancy and Richard Woodworth, copyright 2002, published by Wood Pond Press.

Copyright © 2018, CT Now