Suggestions for a Connecticut town to stay in for one night?
September 6, 2014 11:39 AM   Subscribe

Hi! I'm trying to choose a town to stay in, possibly not all that far from Hartford. I'd like it to be non-urban, non-strip mall, and not a wasteland like near an airport or industrial area. Beyond that, I don't have too many specifications…

I'd like to stay in a hotel someplace where there is at least one decent restaurant and bar. If it happens to be a small, cute or slightly run-down town with one or two streets of shops, that would be fantastic. Preferably it would be not too far off a major or semi-major road. Does anyone have any suggestions for this slightly odd question? Thanks!
posted by roxie110 to Travel & Transportation around Connecticut (8 answers total)
That would definitely be Middletown, CT. Sixteen miles south of Hartford, college town with a nice little restauranty/shoppy downtown.
posted by dayintoday at 11:43 AM on September 6, 2014

You might consider West Hartford. It isn't urban, but it is suburban. It has a nice downtown area with lots of restaurants and shops. Good for just walking around. You might also try Farmington CT...which is just outside West Hartford (further away from Hartford)....smaller....still a suburb but more of a small town feel. I think it has some decent restaurants.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 11:54 AM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I'll check these out, thanks! I guess I should mention the smaller the town, the better, as long as it has one good place to eat and drink. I'm planning to meet a friend there and probably won't explore the town that much or shop, but would love if it had a memorable or distinctive feel, quaintness, sense of history to it, feeling of people living there a long time. Usually affluent areas have a bit of a fakeness and newness to them.

I guess maybe I have more of a specific idea of what I want than I thought! I just don't know if it exists, because I'm not familiar with this area of the country.
posted by roxie110 at 12:14 PM on September 6, 2014

If "not that far" can mean 45 minutes, you're describing Litchfield or any of its surrounding towns, except for Torrington, which is larger.

I agree with Seymour Zamboni that Farmington is your closest approximation that's west of Hartford. Hopefully someone with east Hartford or Tolland knowledge will chime in?
posted by gnomeloaf at 12:51 PM on September 6, 2014

Hmm.....I wasn't sure how to interpret "not all that far from Hartford". The problem is that once you get to the kind of place you seem to be describing, you will not have a traditional inexpensive hotel around. Have you considered a B&B? If that is a possibility you could meet in New Hartford CT which I think might match your criteria. Here is a link to a B&B there that includes some other info about the area. From the link:

We are located On The Green in the charming New England village of Pine Meadow in New Hartford, Connecticut!
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 1:44 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

As someone that grew up in the Farmington Valley, I'm going to recommend against Farmington itself. That vibe that you mention affluent areas having? That's basically developers trying to recreate the aura that towns like Farmington pioneered. It's a fine place to live, but I can't imagine wanting to visit without some compelling personal reason.

I also don't think West Hartford is what you want; it's more like fairly pleasant but thoroughly gentrified city neighborhood then an old New England town (despite the fact that it is an old New England town).

New Hartford seems like a solid recommendation for the criteria you've described, although Connecticut has a lot of old small towns that would be nice to spend a night in, so if you let us know how you're going to be arriving/departing the area (flying into Bradley vs driving from NYC or Boston, for instance) you'll probably get some more useful suggestions.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 6:33 PM on September 6, 2014

Best answer: Hi! I'm driving down from New Hampshire and my friend is driving up from New York via Danbury.
posted by roxie110 at 8:13 PM on September 7, 2014

With that additional information, I'd take a close look at towns that are easily accessible from I-84. Woodbury might work. On the other side of Hartford, which would cut your drive by an hour or so, perhaps Tolland?

Radius searches from those towns might get you what you're looking for, too. (To be completely Connecticut, you're never more than 15 minutes from a charming little town, nouveau affluence, or a strip mall.)
posted by gnomeloaf at 6:10 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

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