Pick a summer Saturday and start it with lunch at The Place, a much loved roadside spot on the Boston Post Road in Guilford where visitors dine outdoors as a wood fire roasts clams, lobsters, corn and a growing menu of other favorites. Don’t expect to find chairs – tree stumps are set up around bright red tables – but do expect to find a simple charm that dates back to the 1940s.
There is something romantic and true about drinking up summer while it is right in front of you. Here’s a summer Getaway devoted to pleasures that simply aren’t available during the rest of the year. So put on your sunglasses, roll down the car windows and get started!
After lunch, head up the coast to Rocky Neck State Park, on Long Island Sound in Niantic. Technically, this isn’t a summer-only location, but that’s when the beach is at its best. The 710-acre park offers many diversions, including swimming, fishing, hiking, birding and views of tidal marshes. Be sure to check out the historic stone Ellie Mitchell Pavilion, built in the 1930s by federal relief agencies using wood cut from each of the state’s public parks and forests at that time.
Time your dinner so you’ll be able to get up to the Mansfield Drive-In in Mansfield by nightfall. The drive-in theater is a disappearing summer pleasure, and the Mansfield Drive-In is one of Connecticut’s few remaining outposts. There are three screens, each showing a double feature – a great way to summon up memories of summers past.
Next morning, take a meandering path through the fields, forest and farms of eastern Connecticut, but as you head back home be sure to stop at Harry’s Place in Colchester, a summer-only spot that’s been serving its own take on the drive-in burger for decades.
And if you cross back over the Connecticut River, be sure to take the Chester-Hadlyme Ferry, a fun little trip into the past and definitely a seasonal pleasure.