Start your visit with a trip to the Colchester History Museum, where you can get an in-depth understanding of the land’s history and heritage. Afterwards, choose from activities such as wine tasting at Priam Vineyards, sampling raw farmstead cheese at Cato Corner Farm, or fly fishing in Salmon River State Park in Colchester, Connecticut.
© Priam Vineyards
Priam Vineyards is one of the state’s most renowned wineries and vineyards, having won over thirteen international awards for their delicious wines. It is one of the few fully solar powered facilities in the state, which helps them in creating, bottling, and storing some of the most sustainable wines to ever be produced. Take a guided tour of their vineyard with one of their very own winemakers; you’ll be able to better understand the growing and creating process. Afterwards, head on over to their tasting room to sample selections from their present wine collection in a souvenir signature wine glass you can take back with you.
11 Shailor Hill Road, Colchester, CT 06415, Phone: 860-267-8520
2.Salmon River State Forest
Salmon River State Forest is a 6,905 acre forest in Connecticut which was established in 1934. One of the forest’s most notable features is Comstock’s Bridge, which is the only remaining covered bridge in eastern Connecticut. There are many things you can see and do in the forest but one of the most popular activities there is hiking; the trails include certain passages on the Airline State Park rail trail and the blue-blazed Salmon River Trail. There are also opportunities to go fly picnicking, fly fishing, mountain biking, and hunting. Be on the lookout for some interesting flora and fauna while you’re there.
Route 16, Colchester, CT 06447
3.Cato Corner Farm
Cato Corner Farm is home to around 45 Jersey cows who provide delicious milk, from which the family-owned endeavor makes raw farmstead cheese. The cows are all raised on a grain and pasture-based diet without any antibiotics or hormones, guaranteeing fresh, organic products which are incomparable to others. The cheeses they create are renowned and made using their own unique recipe and traditional cheese making methods which highlight the flavor. Visitors are invited to come explore the beautiful farm and try out many of the fantastic products which are available there. You can also purchase their cheese at the Cheese Room Store, at one of the many farmers’ markets, or online on their website.
178 Cato Corner Road, Colchester, CT 06415, Phone: 860-537-3884
4.Day Pond State Park
Having been established in 1949, Day Pond State Park is a public recreational area which spans over 180 acres. The park’s pond and its foundation stones are the only remnants of the pioneering Day family who built these structures to provide waterpower to operate their sawmill. The park is managed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and is open to the public for an array of fun activities. You can spend a sunny day at the park picnicking, hiking, swimming, and fishing off the shoreline. Their expansive hiking trails connect with the adjoining state forest, giving you ample grounds to explore and discover.
Day Pond Road, Colchester, CT 06415, Phone: 860-424-3000
5.Colchester Mill Fabrics
© Colchester Mill Fabrics
Inspire your creativity and kickstart your imagination by discovering something new at Colchester Mill Fabrics and Quilting. The family-owned business which has been around since 1975 is one of the most popular and most favored fabric stores and quilt shops in the entire state. Sewers, quilters, and crafters come from all over to get top quality supplies for their next project, no matter if its fabrics, yarns, needles, patterns, or other craft supplies. In addition to being a store, Colchester Mill Fabrics also houses a number of workshops and other events throughout the year. These are fun affairs during which you can learn how to create scalloped bags or join other creative people for an interesting open sew session.
120 Lebanon Avenue, Colchester, CT 06415, Phone: 860-537-2004
6.Colchester History Museum
© Colchester History Museum
The Colchester History Museum is managed by the Colchester Historical Society, which was founded in 1963 with the aim of increasing awareness in the community about the region’s unique history and heritage. The museum is housed in the former home of Reverend John Bates Ballard which is a perfect example of mid-18th century architecture and construction. Within the restored building you will be able to see several exhibits which showcase different aspects such as the history of the Bulkeley family and the discovery of the Gershom Bulkeley Tomb. Other exhibits also include A Sense of Place: Postcards from the Past, What the Doctor Ordered: A Century of Bottles from Colchester’s Pharmacies, and pieces dedicated to the Hayward Rubber Company.
24 Linwood Avenue, Colchester, CT 06415, Phone: 860-537-4230
7.Devil's Hopyard State Park
Devil’s Hopyard is a 1,000-acre state park that is open to the public for recreational activities throughout the year. The park was established in 1919 and is extremely popular with visitors who are looking to enjoy picnicking, hiking, bicycling, fishing, camping, and more. One the main features there is Chapman Falls, a waterfall with a drop of over 60 feet and has a series of steps in a Scotland schist stone formation. While there, also be sure to head out to one of the three historic highway bridges housed in the park and Vista Point Cliff, from which you’ll get to see stunning panoramic views of Eightmile River.
366 Hopyard Road, East Haddam, CT 06423, Phone: 860-424-3200
© Inishmor Pub
The Inishmor Pub, which is named after the city of Inishmor in Ireland, is a wonderful, energy-packed Irish pub that can be found in Colchester. The pub is a casual, family-friendly establishment that served delicious foods which can be paired with an array of craft beers and spirits. All of the items on their menu are made with fresh ingredients, much of which is locally sourced, 100% organic, and hormone free. Have a feast with their large selection of made-from-scratch dishes, hand-cut chips, and other homemade Irish pub specialties. They are famed for serving ‘the best corned beef and cabbage in the state’ so be sure to try that out while you’re there.
20 Main Street, Colchester, CT 06415
9.The Plum Tomato
© The Plum Tomato
The Plum Tomato opened in 2000 by pizza aficionados and owners Brian and Cindy Thomas. Their passion for delicious pizza drove them to open up the restaurant so that the residents and visitors of Colchester could feast on incomparable wood-fired brick oven pizzas. It has long become a staple in the community and is a favored choice by many looking for a great meal accompanied by an even greater atmosphere. In addition to their array of pizzas, there are also calzones, sandwiches, and pastas on the menu. Pair them with a choice of appetizer, soup, side, salad, or dessert for the perfect meal. Patrons love that a separate menu is available solely for kids and diners who choose to eat gluten free.
275 South Main Street, Colchester, CT 06415, Phone: 860-537-3996
10.Family Pizza Restaurant & Grill
© Family Pizza Restaurant & Grill
The Family Pizza Restaurant & Grill has been serving the people of Colchester and surrounding neighborhoods with a delicious, home-style meal since they opened in 1978. From the beginning, they’ve always used the freshest ingredients, leanest meats, and purest vegetable oil in all of their cooking. Their menu has breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, and you’re sure to find something to satisfy your craving no matter how particular your palate may be. Popular choices are The Ultimate Breakfast with eggs, pancakes, French toast, bacon, sausage, and home fries, the bacon cheeseburger that can come with your choice of soup, fries, onions rings, or cole slaw, and the fresh grilled North Atlantic salmon topped with a maple glaze.
296 South Main Street, Colchester, CT 06415, Phone: 860-537-3441
© Harry's Place
Harry’s Place was a family owned and operated endeavor long before the current owners, brother and sister duo John Garet and Suzanne Caruso, came into the picture. The restaurant was originally founded in 1920 by namesake Harry Schmuckler, before it passed on to the Cohens and eventually the Garet family. They have upheld their traditional values in everything they do, from the food they serve to the friendly staff that greets you, which is why Harry’s has remained a staple in the community all of these years. Burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches - you can find an endless variety on the menu. Personalize it to your tastes by adding on extras and sides like clam strips, chili cheese fries, or mac-n-cheese bites.
104 Broadway Street, Colchester, CT 06415, Phone: 860-537-2410
© Cafe Mangia
Experience fine Italian dining in Colchester with a visit to Cafe Mangia, where you will always find a satisfying meal waiting for you. Their cuisine is inspired by Italian warmth and hospitality and uses fresh ingredients and traditional techniques to ensure that you have a memorable and authentic dining experience. Start off with a place of their homemade garlic bread or traditional bruschetta before feasting on one of the entrees or pasta dishes. Some of the choices which are more famed with regular patrons are the baked rigatoni, the fresh grilled salmon, the grilled polenta cakes, and the chicken parmesan.
68 Linwood Avenue, Colchester, CT 06415, Phone: 860-537-7707
12 Best Things to Do in Colchester, Connecticut
- Priam Vineyards, Photo: Priam Vineyards
- Salmon River State Forest, Photo: jaypetersen/stock.adobe.com
- Cato Corner Farm, Photo: sdenness/stock.adobe.com
- Day Pond State Park, Photo: tilialucida/stock.adobe.com
- Colchester Mill Fabrics, Photo: Colchester Mill Fabrics
- Colchester History Museum, Photo: Colchester History Museum
- Devil's Hopyard State Park, Photo: pmstephens/stock.adobe.com
- Inishmor Pub, Photo: Inishmor Pub
- The Plum Tomato, Photo: The Plum Tomato
- Family Pizza Restaurant & Grill, Photo: Family Pizza Restaurant & Grill
- Harry's Place, Photo: Harry's Place
- Cafe Mangia, Photo: Cafe Mangia
- Cover Photo: First Selectman's Office Town of Colchester