MIDDLESEX COUNTY

Chamber of Commerce
393 Main Street
Middletown 860-347-6924
www.middlesexchamber.com

Central Connecticut Tourism
1 Constitution Plaza
Hartford 860-787-9640
http://centerofct.com/

Major Highways
Interstates 84 and 95, U.S. Route 1 State Route 9

Authentic New England charm, natural beauty, scenic marinas, and the close proximity of world-class cultural and entertainment attractions have combined to make Middlesex County a natural destination for summer vacation guests and tourists. The hospitality industry in this area caters to a steady stream of visitors drawn to Connecticut’s panoramic shoreline and pristine countryside. Most of its communities hug the Connecticut River or border Long Island Sound, opening the door to water-related industry, distribution and trade, and recreation.

Conveniently located in close proximity to major metropolitan centers and connected to major transportation arteries, Middlesex County offers the ideal blend of residential neighborhoods, flourishing businesses, and panoramic vistas. Middletown serves as the hub for the county, located just 15 miles south of Hartford and 20 miles north of New Haven. The smaller towns and villages that dot the county offer quaint town centers, fine restaurants and a variety of attractions.

Services
Middlesex County is strategically located midway between Boston and New York City. Enhancing this prime location is an efficient network of highways, including Interstates 91 and 84 that provide service to Hartford, the Massachusetts Turnpike, and key points in northern New England. Amtrak maintains passenger stations on the main line between New York and Boston, while commuter rail service to New Haven connects to Metro North trains five days a week. Nearby New Haven is a designated port of entry for import and export traffic, and Bradley International Airport is only 60 miles from most county locations.

The commitment to education is evident throughout Middlesex County, where the student/teacher ratios tends to be low and the achievement test scores high. Modern classrooms take advantage of high-tech learning tools, preparing today’s students to assume positions of leadership in a highly competitive environment. Institutions of higher education are abundant and located close to home, from community colleges with a wide range of program offerings to Yale University of “Ivy League” fame, and other respected public and private colleges and universities. Haddam is home to the University of Connecticut’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, with its high-tech classrooms, greenhouses, plant and animal farms, and the UConn Forest.

Middlesex County communities are all surrounded by major hospitals and medical centers, including Yale New Haven Hospital in nearby New Haven. This premiere, 875-bed teaching hospital is affiliated with the renowned Yale School of medicine. Locally, medical professionals that represent every major specialty combine with convenient family practice clinics, same-day surgery centers, and emergency care centers.

 

Lifestyle
Middlesex County is a vibrant area where a strong vacation and tourism industry has fostered the development of outstanding amenities and attractions. Historic treasures reflect New England’s distinctive charm at venues like the Horse Drawn Carriage & Sleigh Museum, the Shoreline Trolley Museum, Museum of Fife & Drum, or the Connecticut River Museum. Many of Connecticut’s most appealing attractions are either in Middlesex County or available within a short drive from home. Among the most popular are the Valley Railroad, Gillette Castle, Chatfield Hollow State Park, Mystic Seaport and Aquarium, Schubert and Palace Theaters, and the vast expanse of scenic Hammonasset State Park.

Cultural attractions are also outstanding, featuring the Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University with its beautiful music hall, theater, cinema, and galleries. Another popular venue, the Davison Art Center in the Alsop House contains one of America’s finest print collections. Ivoryton Playhouse has offered professional summer theatre since 1930. The Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam has given birth to some of Broadway’s greatest musical hits, including Annie and Man of La Mancha.

The region boasts milder weather patterns than many of the other scenic New England locations, encouraging residents to enjoy relaxing walks surrounded by spectacular fall foliage, spend long summer days on the beach, or enjoy snow-clad hillsides in the wintertime. Charming towns create a cozy atmosphere for dining at local yacht clubs, strolling along the scenic waterfront or boardwalk, cruising or canoeing down a lazy river, or enjoying one of many colorful seasonal festivals.

Several freshwater lakes ensure some of the region’s finest fishing and canoeing. Lush natural areas also create a peaceful retreat for picnicking, hiking, biking, horseback riding, jogging, and relaxing. Middlefield invites the public to play on the beautiful Lyman Orchards golf courses designed by Robert Trent Jones. Skiing enthusiasts can enjoy the thrill of winter sports at Power Ridge Ski Resort. East Hampton is home to one of the state’s largest natural lakes, while Chester devotes one-third of its land to Cockaponset State Forest. With a home selection equal to its natural beauty, Middlesex County is an idyllic place to live, work, and play.

 

Clinton, Old Saybrook, Westbrook
Clinton Offices
860-669-9333
http://clintonct.org
Old Saybrook Offices
860-395-3123
www.oldsaybrookct.org
Westbrook Offices
860-399-3040
www.westbrookct.us
Chamber of Commerce
860-669-3889
www.clintonct.com

The Long Island Sound communities of Clinton, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook are well known as summer vacation retreats, doubling their population in the warmer months. Clinton combines yesterday’s working harbor with Kelsey Point to offer many water-oriented recreational facilities. Westbrook is a small, attractive community with restaurants, resorts, marinas, and retail districts. Westbrook extends four miles along the shore at the eastern end of Long Island Sound, with an inland boundary that reaches the towns of Essex and Deep River. Old Saybrook is a picturesque and friendly community, proud of its historic legacy as one of the state’s oldest towns. This beloved vacation retreat enjoys milder temperatures than most of New England, pristine beaches, Fort Saybrook Monument Park, a plethora of antique dealers, and spectacular foliage in the autumn.

 

Cromwell, Portland
Cromwell Offices
860-632-3410
www.cromwellct.com
Portland Offices
860-342-6715
www.portlandct.org
Chamber of Commerce
860-347-6924
www.middlesexchamber.com

Situated along the western bank of the Connecticut River, the town of Cromwell has served as a success center for industry since shipbuilding first boomed on the river in the early 1800s. Trade is enhanced by the presence of Interstate 91 through town, and the Connecticut Expressway or Route 9 forms nearby connections to Interstates 95, 91, and 84. In spite of economic successes, Cromwell is primarily characterized as a residential community. The Connecticut River flows along the neighboring town of Portland’s western and southern borders, contributing significantly to a rich historical heritage and economic development of the community. Once famous for brownstone quarries, shipbuilding and tobacco farming, Portland now balances thriving companies and small businesses with active civic organizations, a modern library, and quality schools for a pleasing community setting.

 

East Hampton
Municipal Offices
860-267-2519
www.easthamptonct.org
Chamber of Commerce
860-347-6924
www.middlesexchamber.com

Home to the first factory in the nation devoted exclusively to bell manufacturing, the town of East Hampton now combines its bell factory with a diverse, light industrial base. Most of the development is focused along routes 16, 66, and 196, particularly in the Old Town Center and lake area. The community has remained very scenic and primarily rural in nature, creating an idyllic backdrop for suburban neighborhoods. Natural beauty abounds with wooded hills that hover over the state’s largest Lake, Lake Pocotopaug. Streams and valleys blend in a landscape etched by the sparkling Salmon and Connecticut Rivers to create a paradise of patched hills and waterfront vistas. Civic pride is strong, and new residents have an opportunity to become involved and play an active role in projects and decisions.

 

Essex, Killingworth, Chester,
Deep River
Essex Offices
860-767-4340
www.essexct.gov
Killingworth Offices
860-663-1765
www.townofkillingworth.com
Chester Offices
860-526-0013
www.chesterct.com
Deep River Offices
860-526-6020
www.deepriverct.com
Chamber of Commerce
860-663-1386
www.killingworthct.com

The town of Essex in southeast Connecticut is situated on the estuary of the Connecticut River. Residents enjoy the environment and scenic wonder of the lower river valley, listed as “one of the last 40 great places left on earth” according to the International Nature Preservancy. Nearby Killingworth stretches 36 square miles in area, although a large portion of the town’s considerable land mass is forested. Three of the town’s rivers flow into Long Island Sound, creating numerous wetlands and ledge outcroppings. Chester achieved fame as a center for inventors and manufacturing innovations. Today, Chester touts itself as “home to a stone mason with the eye of an artist, and artists with the industry of stone masons.” Many multinational businesses complete with New York for clients. The community of Deep River enjoys a central location in the state’s most popular vacation region. Thriving manufacturing operations, small businesses, and entrepreneurs attest to “Yankee ingenuity” in this small town.

 

Haddam, East Haddam, Durham
Haddam Offices
860-345-8531
www.haddam.org
E. Haddam Offices
860-873-5021
www.easthaddam.org
Durham Offices
860-349-3452
www.townofdurhamct.org
Chamber of Commerce
860-347-6924
www.middlesexchamber.com

The Town of Haddam is the only community in the state bisected by the Connecticut River. Once a bustling center of river trading and quarries, modern Haddam is a well-kept residential community that preserves nearly one-quarter of its land in state forest. Quaint and picturesque, the town claims eve n more authentic colonial-era homes than Virginia’s Williamsburg. Five villages with their own unique personalities are located within the town’s boundaries —Higganum, Tylerville, Shailerville, Hidden Lake, and Haddam Neck. East Haddam primarily serves as a destination for tourists. Many structures that are important to the town’s past have been preserved, including the schoolhouse where Nathan Hale taught in 1733 and the 1736 tavern. The Town of Durham provides a serene, pastoral setting with good schools, extensive open space, efficient highway connections, and close proximity to popular facilities like Power Ridge Ski Resort.

 

Middletown, Middlefield
Middletown Offices
860-638-4800
www.cityofmiddletown.com
Middlefield Offices
860-349-7114
www.middlefieldct.org

Chamber of Commerce
860-347-6924
www.middlesexchamber.com

The hub of Middlesex County is the community of Middletown, located on the Connecticut River and offering easy access to major highways, airports, and railroads. The cityscape harmonizes rural, suburban, and urban settings with an historic downtown district, spacious parks, and lush open space. Good schools, fine restaurants, efficient services, and modern retail areas serve the entire region. Middlefield is a rural community that covers 13 square miles and maintains a small-town feeling in close proximity to leading urban centers like Hartford, New Britain, Middletown, and New Haven. This region provides varied recreational activities that include skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and ice skating in the winter; and swimming, hiking, golfing, and biking in the summer. Roadside stands and pick-your-own farms lure motorists from their cars in the warmer months, displaying the sweet fruits of country living.

 

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