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Clustered charmingly around a large oval green, Litchfield, in north-western Connecticut, has a sense of time having stood still. Its handsome Georgian buildings, dating from when the town was an important stage-coach stop between Hartford and Albany, N.Y., have been beautifully preserved. As has the surrounding bucolic countryside. No wonder the town is such a popular place for weekending city folk, many of whom have summer houses here. Our best places to stay in Litchfield allow you, too, to recharge and revive in this delightful Connecticut spot.
Just to the east of town, Topsmead State Forest was once the estate, and summer retreat, of Edith Morton Chase. Lovely lawns and gardens surround the Tudor-style house, the latter still with its original furnishings. On the other side of town, White Memorial Conservation Center offers some 35 miles of hiking and cycling trails, as well as boating, canoeing and kayaking on Bantam Lake and River.
Arguably, the best swimming in the area is in Mount Tom State Park, one of the state’s oldest parks. After enjoying a swim and picnic, climb the short distance to the top of Mount Tom (1325 feet) with its look-out tower for memorable views.
Litchfield also boasts one of the largest and most diverse waterfowl collections in North America at Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy. Here you will be entertained by whooper swans, eider ducks, blue-winged geese, emperor geese, teal and grey-crowned crane, to name just a few
Livingston’s other great claim to fame is as the site of the English-speaking world’s first law school. In 1775, Tapping Reeve set up a law school at his home and when student numbers caused an overflow, built the meticulously preserved one-room schoolhouse in his side yard.
But the green is the focus of the town; here you’ll find a delightful range of inns, restaurants and ice cream parlours. The perfect place to sit back and watch the world go by. Our selection of the best places to stay in Litchfield allows you to do the same, too.
For a luxury retreat
Surrounded by over 100 acres of countryside, the whitewashed, 18th-century, Winvian Farm is a delightful retreat whether you want to be active or just relax with a book or an art class or in the spa. Cottagey-style rooms have a rustic-chic style, many with fires and private terraces while the chef serves up seasonal farm-to-fork menus.
Best Hotels in Litchfield
Winvian Farm 19 rooms from $500Litchfield (Connecticut)
1775 farmhouse resting in 113 acres of activity filled countryside. The unique, intimate cottages have private sitting rooms, fireplaces, bathtubs and rain showers. Seed to plate restaurant offers a seasonal menu and brilliant bar. Visit the spa or head into the wilderness for family exploring.Cooking classes - Executive Chef Chris Eddy has had classic French training and will share some of his secrets with guests.Kayaking - Canoe or Kayak on the expansive Bantam Lake.Great walks - 113 acres of walking and activities.Hideaway - Dream location.