Kent, Connecticut

So the summer hasn’t gone exactly as you planned. Your hope of spending long weekends out of the city have been derailed by new work projects and never-ending family commitments. But it’s getting to the point that if you don’t go somewhere, you’ll go crazy. So pack a bag, jump in the car, and head to Kent, Connecticut for the weekend.

Photo: TheInnatKentFalls
Photo: TheInnatKentFalls

The Litchfield Hills of northwestern Connecticut are an easy drive from Boston, Providence, and New York. And with green state parks, sparkling lakes, and cute bed and breakfasts, you’ll feel worlds away from the pavement and the humidity you left behind. Your heart rate rapidly decreases by the time you reach Route 7.

Spend the day hiking between the 17 waterfalls of shady Kent Falls State Park. Drive over Bull’s Bridge–a single-lane covered bridge from the 1840s–and then attempt to catch an 18-inch trout in the Housatonic River. Swim in Lake Waramaug. And have a picnic on the beach. Climb Caleb’s Peak–passing old stone walls and barns on the way up–for views of the valley and the nearby mountains. Or ride a bike along the quiet back roads. And then head to Hopkins Vineyard for lake views, local Arethusa Farm cheese, and sangria as the sun starts to set.

Photo: TheInnatKentFalls
Photo: TheInnatKentFalls

Make the Inn at Kent Falls your home for the weekend. Built in 1741, the Federal-style inn has French antiques and a massive weeping cherry tree that attracts hummingbirds. Relax by the fragrant gardens full of hydrangeas, peonies, and black-eyed Susans. Float in the pool. Listen to Cobble Brook as you read on the screened porch. And almost fall asleep in your room’s clawfoot tub. Quiche, pancakes with local maple syrup, and perfectly ripe strawberries–plus the smell of coffee–will lure you downstairs in the morning.

The fresh, local food sends you running into town to stock up for the ride home. Visit the Kent Farmers’ Market to sample goat cheese, buy way too much maple syrup, and select heirloom tomatoes and young asparagus. Stop at the Kent Coffee & Chocolate Company for hazelnut, raspberry brandy, and Irish cream truffles. Browse New England furniture at the Company Store Antiques and estate jewelry at Pauline’s Place. Check out local artwork at the Kent Art Association. And pick your own blueberries at Ellsworth Hill Orchard and Berry Farm.

Your phone vibrates as you’re packing the car. Whoever it is can wait until Monday.

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