This is our closest city (about 15 min max to most places).
- Yale University Art Gallery
- Yale Center for British Art
- Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History
- Tour of Yale University
- Yale Collection of Musical Instruments
- Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- New Haven Museum
- Connecticut Children’s Musueam
- Knights of Columbus Musuem
- Louis Lunch – legend has it that it’s where the first hamburger was created
- Visit the famous original Pepe’s pizza. Legend has it that pizza was created in New Haven too. (as we say… legend)
- Listen to some live music at Toad’s Place. Some really big acts first performed here – U2, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones to name some.
- If cigars are your thing, The Owl is a cigar lounge where you can smoke inside, get a cocktail & a nibble.
- Parks – West Rock State Park, East Rock Park, Carousel at Lighthouse Point Park
Indian Neck is a great place to bike. The small, winding streets in the neighborhood are perfect to explore by bike, and you can easily ride up to Lenny’s or a bit further up to Main St. For road cyclists looking for longer distances, the shoreline is the perfect place to ride. The terrain is flat and you can cycle along the shore for many miles, enjoying great views of the Sound and some of the most scenic small towns in New England including nearby Guilford and Madison.
Boating & Sailing
You can launch a kayak right in the back yard, but be careful about the tides. At low tide the basin out back drains completely. In general, there is water approximately three hours before and after high tide. There are steps leading down to the water through the small fenced in garden. You can also launch your kayak from the public access beach across the street. Head about 50 feet up Summer Island Point Rd (the way you came in) and you will see a blacktop walkway that leads to the beach (see the section on beaches for more directions).
Daren is a sailor and notes that sailing on LI Sound around Branford is among the best places in New England for varied scenery and great places to explore. http://www.sail-works.com/ offers sailing charters in Branford. Bruce and Johnson Marina is about a mile away and provides full service marine facilities. Thimble Island Cruises offers a very popular boat tour of the nearby Thimble Islands.
Although we are not fishermen ourselves, we know that there are a wide array of fishing options on the Sound and several companies that offer fishing charters. If you get around to chatting with the neighbors to the right (light blue house & if it’s not rented to renters like yourselves!), they are fisherman by trade and can certainly guide you in the right direction.
We are not golfers but know that the nearest public course in in North Branford: Twin Lakes Golf Course. See the web link below.
Twin Lakes: http://www.twinlakesgolfct.com/
Golfing near Branford: http://www.thegolfnexus.com/cities/ct/Branford
We do love to hike! There are plenty of larger hiking areas and several shorter trails within a reasonable driving distance from our home. Guilford (neighbor town to the east) offers the Mattabesett Trail while East Haven (neighbor town to the west) offers the Farm River State Park.
The Branford Land trust also offers a list of trails right within the town. http://branfordlandtrust.org/explore/trail-maps/
Some other links for CT hiking are:
Theater & Arts
- Theaters (many more, but these are close, notable and we can speak to them)
- Long Wharf (New Haven)
- Shubert (New Haven)
- Yale Repertory Theater (New Haven)
- Goodspeed Opera House (East Haddam, about 45 min away). On Connecticut River in a storybook area of the town. It’s pretty even just to visit.
- Downtown Cabaret Theater (Bridgeport, about 35 min away). Dinner tables are set up, you can bring your own food & drink while you watch the show.
- Playhouses (there are many, use a search engine to find a show close by you may enjoy).
- Outdoor shows in the local parks (seasonal and mostly in New Haven)
- Jazz on the Green in Branford Thursday evenings (2018 schedule: http://branfordjazz.com/)
- New Haven Symphony Orchestra
- One of the many Art Museums/Galleries in New Haven
If you are visiting during the cold months – Connecticut does have some skiing options in the state. Less than an our away is Mount Southington. Just over an hour away is Ski Sundown and Mohawk Mountain.
Mount Southington: http://mountsouthington.com/
Ski Sundown: http://www.skisundown.com/
New England has some absolutely beautiful ski areas. If you are up for a drive to get to a great mountain, Check out the many options at http://www.newenglandtravelplanner.com/outdoors/ski/ne_ski_map.html
Branford does have a YMCA (Soundview). It is 16 minutes and can be used for free by all Y members.
Other favorite activities in the immediate area are
- Stony Creek is only a few miles away and one of our favorites in CT
- Thimble Island Brewing
- DuVig Brewing
- Thimble Islands tour
- Guilford Market Place (shop, eat in or take out)
- R J Juila Booksellers in Madison (local favorite book store)
- Shore Line Trolley Museum East Haven
- Wineries throughout CT
- Leaf peeping in the autumn months
Larger attractions outside the immediate area – that we enjoy
- Mystic (Seaport & Aquarium) – just under an hour
- Norwalk Aquarium – 50 min
- Essex Steam Train & Riverboat– 35-40 min
- Beardsley Zoo – 35-40 min
- Lake Compounce Amusement Park – 50 min
Connecticut-wide & things we may or may not have explored yet
“Antiquing”/Antiques trail – http://www.ctvisit.com/antiquestrail
Animals & Wildlife – http://www.ctvisit.com/interest/animals-wildlife
Beaches – http://www.ctvisit.com/interest/beaches
Boating & Sailing: – http://www.ctvisit.com/interest/boating-sailing
Quaint & Contemporary cities & towns – http://www.ctvisit.com/interest/cities-towns
Family Fun – http://www.ctvisit.com/interest/family-fun-0
Fishing – http://www.ctvisit.com/interest/fishing
Hiking & Biking – http://www.ctvisit.com/interest/hiking-biking
In the air (skydiving, ziplining, hot air balloons, high wire walks) – http://www.ctvisit.com/interest/in-the-air
Museums & art galleries – http://www.ctvisit.com/interest/museums-art-galleries
Music & Concerts – http://www.ctvisit.com/interest/music-concerts
Nature & Outdoors – http://www.ctvisit.com/interest/nature-outdoors
Nightlife – http://www.ctvisit.com/interest/night-life
Parks & Forests – http://www.ctvisit.com/interest/parks-forests
Pick your own farms – http://www.ctvisit.com/interest/pick-your-own
Shopping – http://www.ctvisit.com/interest/shopping
Pizza Trail – http://www.ctvisit.com/listings/connecticut-pizza-trail
Farmers Market Trail – http://www.ctvisit.com/listings/farmers-market-trail
Connecticut Signature Cocktail Trail – http://www.ctvisit.com/listings/connecticut-signature-cocktail-trail
Wine Trail (in 2014 we completed the whole trail – it was so memorable) – http://www.ctvisit.com/listings/connecticut-wine-trail
Chocolate Trail – http://www.ctvisit.com/listings/connecticut-chocolate-trail
Sporting Events & Activities – http://www.ctvisit.com/interest/sporting-events-activities
Theaters & Performing Arts – http://www.ctvisit.com/interest/theatersperforming-arts
Water Activities – http://www.ctvisit.com/interest/water-activities