The best small town in America

Sunday, June 17th, 2007 | All Things, Family, Travel

Returning to the city from our Fathers Day outing that afternoon, we crossed paths with the Essex Steam Train, with its restored Pullman cars, making its way through the Connecticut River Valley.

Connecticut Valley Train

Essex, a picturesque town of about 6,500 residents on the banks of the Connecticut River, bills itself as “The Best Small Town in America.” Situated halfway between New York City and Boston, the town actually consists of three villages: Essex, Centerbrook and Ivoryton.

Essex village originated as a prosperous shipbuilding community; the American warship, “Oliver Cromwell” was built here in 1775, the first of over 500 vessels to be built in Essex between the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. In keeping with the nautical tradition, the town also claims the only working, full-scale model of The American Turtle, the first submarine to be used (and lost) in combat, built by Eli David Bushnell in 1776(!)

Exquisitely preserved colonial, Georgian and Victorian houses still line Main Street, among them the space housing the Connecticut River Museum and the Griswold Inn, one of the oldest continuously operated inns in the country. Today, the leafy streets are lined with art galleries, boutiques, and antique shops.

Essex Books

Essex Savings Bank

Essex Post Office


One day, perhaps a RiverQuest Sunset Cruise?

There are no comments just yet.

Go for it ...