summer activities in connecticut

Just over twenty years ago, organizations with the stature of the Nature Conservancy and the Sierra Club described the lower Connecticut River Valley, where Bishopsgate Inn is located as “…one of the ten most beautiful places in the country…”   Most of us know about the brilliance of Fall Colors here in the valley, but the beauty of the rest of the year is easily as captivating and enjoyable. Yes! We live in a beautiful place all four seasons. Please let us introduce you to Winter, Spring and Summer in this most beautiful and captivating of places.

Here in the heart of the Connecticut River Valley most rave about the views, history and lore of the Nutmeg State. Our web site’s section Area Activities highlights “So many worlds, so much to do” at  .

With East Haddam as its hub, you will be surrounded by the intriguing and the beautiful with which to fill your day. Here are some “must do” activities for your stay and always remember that Jane and Lisa welcome the opportunity to help you plan a fabulous visit. They will try to be certain that you find all of the high spots to insure that your trip exceeds your expectations every time.

5 Must-Do Summer Activities in Connecticut


Pay a visit to the Goodspeed Opera House

One of the most well-known attractions here in Connecticut is the Goodspeed Opera House. The six-story Victorian house has sent 20 of its productions to the Broadway stage and has a long history of musical enjoyment and success. This summer, they are featuring ‘Bye-bye Birdie’, a musical directed by the renown Jenn Thompson. The sensational 60’s show will put a smile on your face as you watch Conrad Birdie’s farewell appearance in Sweet Apple, Ohio and all the hijinks that ensue before he goes off to boot camp. Stop by, take a seat, and enjoy the show!


See a show at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center

Known for her independent and spirited personality, Katharine Hepburn established an enormous legacy in American film. The four-time Academy Award Winning Best Actress was named the greatest female star of Classic Hollywood Cinema.

We feel like “Kate” belongs to us, after all she is a Connecticut native. Old Saybrook has honors this heritage and her success at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center.  Stop by and enjoy a presentation of one of the iconic actresses’ films in the 250 seat theater. This would be a perfect spot for any film buff or a great stop for little ones who can enjoy a children’s performance series at the center. You may even feel the spirit of Kate and Spencer Tracy in the theater with you as you enjoy all that the center has to offer.


Browse through treats and produce at the Staehly Farm Winery

The Staehly Farm Winery sits on sprawling acreage close to the Gillette Castle State Park on Route 82. It’s worth a visit just to shop through their summer produce while out and about in East Haddam. Browse their farm-stand treats including, fruit butters, jellies, preserves, and more. This is definitely a great place to stop by when out exploring the area and it may even help you find a great East Haddam treasure to take home.


Gillette Castle State Park

While you’re at it, pay a visit to the Gillette Castle State Park itself. The castle is the largest drawing attraction in Connecticut and is just 3 minutes away from our B&B. Here, you will learn all about William Hooker Gillette, an actor, director, and playwright who built the 18-acre estate. Today, part of his effort still remains in the 24-room mansion that stands atop the southern hill of the estate.

Visitors will be able to see the effort that Gillette put into every facet of the castle. In fact, Gillette was known to check every phase of the castle’s construction, which took 20 men five years to complete. The effort is apparent in the interior where each door is uniquely made and decorated with intricately carved wood latches. It’s a work of architectural genius that will leave you in awe.


River Quest Boat Tour

If you want to see all that our area has to offer, there is no better way than on a boat tour of the Connecticut River. The tour is advertised as always to see what “has been labeled by the Nature Conservancy as ‘One of the Last Great Places.’” The tour embarks directly across from the Goodspeed Opera House at the Eagle Landing State Park.

You will pass by the Gillette Castle and more while learning about the history of our area. The scenery alone will be worth it as you travel under overhead bald eagles and float along the beautiful Connecticut riverbank.

We want to make sure your stay is enjoyable. When you stay with us, you can always ask for more ideas on how to spend your days before returning to our Colonial home away from home. We will be happy to point you in the right direction. Or, be sure to visit our Activities page for more ideas on what to do here in East Haddam!

  • Devil’s Hopyard State Park
  • Chapman Falls (Eight Mile River)
  • The East Haddam Swing Bridge
  • Black Birch Golf Club
  • Fox Hopyard Golf

We are happy to make dining recommendations and reservations for you as you book with us.