Essex Escape

Find out why the Lower Connecticut River Valley is one of the state’s most popular destinations – with a train ride, river views and much more.

1-2 days

  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall

  • Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
  • Griswold Inn
  • Water's Edge Resort & Spa
  • Connecticut River Museum
  • Connecticut River Tours
Essex Steam Train & Riverboat, Essex

Essex Steam Train and Riverboat

Here’s a train ride with a difference. The Essex Steam Train & Riverboat offers at least a couple of ways of getting up and down the Connecticut River. There’s the train, which you can take from the Essex station, up the river and back again. There’s also a Dinner Train that serves a meal in your fully restored Pullman car. And then there’s the train and boat ride – up the river by train, back down on board the riverboat Becky Thatcher. There are special events, too.

Griswold Inn, Essex

Griswold Inn

Once back in town, head for your overnight accommodation at the historic Griswold Inn, one of the oldest (1776) continuously operated inns in the nation. The Gris is a lively place, full of history and good cheer, with a restaurant, taproom and wine bar — not to mention it's situated in quaint downtown Essex.

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Connecticut River Museum, Essex

Connecticut River Museum

The next morning, stroll to the Connecticut River Museum’s dock for a good look at the big river and, if you’re lucky, some of its wildlife. Inside the museum, you’ll find exhibits highlighting the river’s historic legacy. But probably best of all is an afternoon or evening river cruise on the museum’s Onrust, a replica of Adriaen Block’s vessel, one of the first western style ships built in the New World, and the first ever to sail up the Connecticut River.

Connecticut River Tours, LLC - Adventure, Haddam

Connecticut River Tours

Unwind in style when you join us aboard Adventure for a cruise on the beautiful Connecticut River departing from Deep River.