Kent, CT is only two hours away from the hustle and bustle of New York City. Its natural beauty and rural character make it a popular destination for people looking to get away. Outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and camping are one of the area's biggest draws, but visitors who would rather stay in town will find some excellent shops, restaurants, and art galleries.
1.Kent Falls State Park
Best known as the home of a beautiful cascading waterfall, Kent Falls State Park in Connecticut is the perfect place to get a dose of natural beauty while you're in Kent. The best way to enjoy the waterfall is to stroll along the quarter-mile-long trail that runs beside it; the path is quite steep, but there are plenty of viewpoints along the way that are perfect for taking short breaks. Swimming in the water is not permitted, but there are restrooms, picnic tables, and grills available for public use. A parking fee is charged on holidays and weekends between Memorial Day and the end of October.
462 Kent Cornwall Rd, Kent, CT 06757, Phone: 860-424-3200
One of only three remaining covered bridges in the state, Bull's Bridge is a historic wooden bridge that runs for 109 feet across the Housatonic River. The current bridge was originally constructed in 1842, with several additions being made in the 19th and 20th centuries, and it has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972. The bridge only permits one lane of traffic at a time, but it has been kept in operation because of its remarkably sound construction and its capability to withstand heavy loads. Nevertheless, pedestrians are advised to use caution when crossing because of the limited space.
248 Bulls Bridge Rd, South Kent, CT 06785
3.Connecticut Antique Machinery Association
© Connecticut Antique Machinery Association
Operated entirely by volunteers, the Connecticut Antique Machinery Association is a non-profit museum that was created to preserve and share the incredible antique machinery that played such a big role in the development of Kent and the surrounding area. The museum is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday between May and October, and admission is entirely by donation. The museum also hosts outdoor festivals in the spring and the fall; food is available, anyone is welcome to come display their own pieces of antique machinery, and machinery is often available for purchase by outside vendors.
31 Kent Cornwall Rd, Kent, CT 06757, Phone: 860-927-0050
4.Macedonia Brook State Park
Encompassing more than 2,300 acres of wilderness, Macedonia Brook State Park was first established in 1918. The most popular activity in the park is hiking the Macedonia Ridge Trail, which runs across several mountain peaks and offers stunning views of the surrounding forests and mountains. However, there are plenty of other things to do here as well, including fishing in the park's streams, picnicking, and cross-country skiing in the winter. Visitors who would like to spend the night in the park can stay at one of the 51 sites in the campground, which is equipped with drinking water, picnic areas, and outhouses.
159 Macedonia Brook Rd, Kent, CT 06757, Phone: 860-927-4100
5.Bicycle Tour Company
Offering state-of-the-art bike rentals and guided excursions, the Bicycle Tour Company was created for everyone who would like to explore Kent by bicycle. Tours are available for people of every age and ability level; a van escort is available for those who would like some support on their journey, but the company also offers self-guided tours for people who would rather go off on their own. Group discounts are available, and customers can arrange to have their rental bikes brought to the Wassaic Train Station. The company operates year-round and tours can be arranged at almost any time of day, but advance reservations are recommended.
9 Bridge St, Kent, CT 06757, Phone: 860-927-1742
6.House of Books
© House of Books
Originally opened in 1976, the House of Books is an upscale bookstore conveniently located right on Main Street. The shop is housed inside a historic building that was originally intended to serve as a public library, and it remains the town's most important literary landmark to this day. In addition to high-quality fiction and non-fiction books, the store offers greeting cards, gifts, and stationary supplies. Visitors will also find information about the area's history as well as trail guides and local maps, making it an excellent stop for anyone who plans to hike the Appalachian Trail.
10 N Main St, Kent, CT 06757, Phone: 860-927-4104
7.Sloane-Stanley Museum & Kent Furnace
© Sloane-Stanley Museum & Kent Furnace
Created to house and display the artwork and hand tool collection of the respected painter Eric Sloane, the Sloane-Stanley Museum & Kent Furnace is a fascinating state-owned museum. The building that contains the museum was formerly Sloane's art studio, and in addition to his antique tool collection, it contains a replica of his workspace and some of his original artwork. The iron furnace found on the property deserves a visit as well; the large stone structure features beautiful Gothic arches, and it was in operation until 1892. Visitors who keep their entrance tickets are eligible for discounted admission to the other state museums in Connecticut.
31 Kent Cornwall Rd, Kent, CT 06757, Phone: 860-927-3849
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8.Kent Falls Brewing
© Kent Falls Brewing
Located on the 50-acre Camps Road Farm, Kent Falls Brewing is a small brewing company that makes its unique beers with hops grown right on the farm. The company's beer can be purchased at various bars, shops, and restaurants around the state, but visitors who come to the farm will have the exciting opportunity to taste the beer right where it's made. The tasting room is open on Thursdays and Fridays between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and on Saturdays between noon and 5 p.m., and special tours of the farm are offered at 2 p.m. on Saturdays in the spring and summer.
33 Camps Rd, Kent, CT 06757, Phone: 860-398-9645
9.Kent Historical Society
© Kent Historical Society
Dedicated to preserving and sharing Kent's history, the Kent Historical Society is a non-profit organization with a strong community involvement. The organization's most important asset (and the only one open to the public) is a historic home known as Seven Hearths, which was originally built in 1751. The building has undergone careful restoration over the years, and it is now open to the public as a house museum with period furnishings and fascinating exhibits that are changed every year. The museum is only open during the summer, but private tours can be arranged by request year-round.
855 E Smith St, Kent, WA 98030, Phone: 253-854-4330
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10.East Kent Hamlet Land Trust
© Lars Johansson/stock.adobe.com
As you might guess from the name, the Kent Land Trust is a local organization whose mission is to protect the land of Kent and its natural resources. One of the trust's biggest contributions to the community is its wonderful system of trails that span nine of its publicly-accessibly properties; hikers, cyclists, photographers, bird watching enthusiasts, and anyone who simply wants to enjoy the beauty of nature are welcome. The organization is proud to sponsor several public hikes every year, and it also runs a community garden just outside the town center, where local residents come together to grow and share food.
39 Upper Kent Hollow Rd, Kent, CT 06757
11.Chestnut Woodworking & Antique Flooring Co.
© Chestnut Woodworking & Antique Flooring Co.
Established in 1985, Chestnut Woodworking & Antique Flooring Co. is a local company that specializes in making floors with antique lumber wood. Most of the wood used is a century or two old, and it has been carefully handpicked for its unique look and its high quality. Private appointments are available for anyone who would like to discuss the vision they have for their floor. The business also hosts several special events throughout the year, including a "Shop and Sip" evening in December at which all guests are given a complimentary glass of wine to enjoy while they admire the gorgeous products for sale.
5 Fulling Ln, Kent, CT 06757, Phone: 860-672-4300
12.Fife 'n Drum Restaurant
© Fife 'n Drum Restaurant
Known for its welcoming atmosphere and friendly hospitality, the Fife 'n Drum Restaurant has been proudly family owned and operated since 1973. The food is prepared with locally-sourced ingredients as much as possible, and the menu is constantly changing according to what is in season. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free menu items are available; people with other special dietary needs are asked to notify the restaurant in advance to ensure their needs can be met. The restaurant is open every day of the week except Tuesdays, and live music is offered four days a week, with special performances held on Fridays.
53 N Main St, Kent, CT 06757, Phone: 860-927-3509
13.Kent Coffee & Chocolate Company
© Kent Coffee & Chocolate Company
The Kent Coffee & Chocolate Company was started in 1991 by a professional chef before being passed on to another experienced professional chef in 2013, and it's the perfect place to stop for a treat during your time in Kent. The shop specializes in gourmet chocolates and handmade truffles that can be enjoyed on-site or purchased to go, but it also offers a wonderful selection of coffees, teas, and delicious baked goods, including special selections for people with food allergies and intolerances. The shop is open every day of the year, but hours vary according to the season.
45 N Main St, Kent, CT 06757, Phone: 860-927-1445
14.Villager Restaurant & Catering
© Villager Restaurant & Catering
The only restaurant in town that is open for breakfast, Villager Restaurant & Catering is a cozy, family-friendly restaurant with an affordable, diverse menu of traditional Mexican dishes and classic American favorites. Many of the breakfast items come with complimentary tea or coffee, and the lunch specials and soups are changed daily. The restaurant is open for breakfast, brunch, and lunch every day of the week, and special dinners are offered on Tuesdays during the summer and fall. Catering services are available for weddings, parties, and other events taking place in Kent or the surrounding area.
28 N Main St, Kent, CT 06757, Phone: 860-927-1555
15.Annie Bananie Ice Cream
© Annie Bananie Ice Cream
Tucked away inside Backcountry Outfitters, Annie Bananie Ice Cream is a great place to bring the family for a mid-day snack. Children and adults alike will enjoy the selection of locally-made ice cream, but the shop also sells specialty coffee drinks and hot dogs for when you're not in the mood for ice cream. All hot dogs come with complimentary popcorn. There's always a movie playing to keep children entertained, and the shop is also happy to host children's birthday parties with advance notice. Plenty of parking is available outside the shop, and guests are welcome to use the complimentary Wi-Fi.
5 Bridge St, Kent, CT 06757, Phone: 860-927-3377
16.109 Cheese Market
© 109 Cheese Market
Boasting an incredible selection of gourmet food, the 109 Cheese Market can be found inside the Marketplace at Ridgefield. The highlight of the shop is its cheese, all of which has been carefully selected by owners Monica and Todd Brown, but customers will also find plenty of other delicious items for sale, including charcuterie, olive oil, crackers and flatbreads, and specialty salts. The couple also owns a wine and beer shop that's conveniently located right next to the cheese shop, and they often host special tastings, dinners, and classes that combine flavors from both businesses. Take-out picnic baskets are available by advance order.
14 N Main St, Kent, CT 06757, Phone: 860-592-0366
16 Best Things to Do in Kent, Connecticut
- Kent Falls State Park, Photo: ondreicka/stock.adobe.com
- Bull's Bridge, Photo: Cliff/stock.adobe.com
- Connecticut Antique Machinery Association, Photo: Connecticut Antique Machinery Association
- Macedonia Brook State Park, Photo: alpegor/stock.adobe.com
- Bicycle Tour Company, Photo: stockphoto-graf/stock.adobe.com
- House of Books, Photo: House of Books
- Sloane-Stanley Museum & Kent Furnace, Photo: Sloane-Stanley Museum & Kent Furnace
- Kent Falls Brewing, Photo: Kent Falls Brewing
- Kent Historical Society, Photo: Kent Historical Society
- East Kent Hamlet Land Trust, Photo: Lars Johansson/stock.adobe.com
- Chestnut Woodworking & Antique Flooring Co., Photo: Chestnut Woodworking & Antique Flooring Co.
- Fife 'n Drum Restaurant, Photo: Fife 'n Drum Restaurant
- Kent Coffee & Chocolate Company, Photo: Kent Coffee & Chocolate Company
- Villager Restaurant & Catering, Photo: Villager Restaurant & Catering
- Annie Bananie Ice Cream, Photo: Annie Bananie Ice Cream
- 109 Cheese Market, Photo: 109 Cheese Market
- Cover Photo: alpegor/stock.adobe.com