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Getaway Guide: One-Tank Trip to Thimble Islands, Stony Creek

August 11, 2012 6:00 AM

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(credit: thimbleislandcruise.com)

(credit: thimbleislandcruise.com)

Connecticut’s shoreline always has been the most treasured of all of the state’s naturally beautiful areas, and the crown jewel of this precious resource is the Stony Creek, Thimble Island area of Branford. This stunningly gorgeous coastal region is excellent for hiking, biking or boating. More relaxing bird-watching and picnicking options make this the perfect one-tank trip for any adventurer. The fact that it’s perfectly situated midway between the New York and Rhode Island borders makes this location even better, as most people in the state can reach there in less than an hour.Getting There

At only 50 miles away from Hartford, most travelers can reach here on only a few gallons of gas. The easiest way to travel there is I-91 south to I-95 north to exit 56. Travel down Leetes Island Road. to reach the village of Stony Creek and the archipelago known as the Thimble Islands. Another popular method of travel to these parts is via boat. From Hartford, head south down the Connecticut River to the mouth and head west along the coastline to reach the more than 100 small islands off Branford’s shore.

thimbleisland Getaway Guide: One Tank Trip to Thimble Islands, Stony Creek

(credit: thimbleislandcruise.com)

Thimble Islands Cruise
The Town Dock
Stony Creek, CT 06405
(203) 488-8905
www.thimbleislandcruise.com

Price: $12

The most popular way to view the islands up close is by tour boat. The Sea Mist offers narrated 45-minute voyages daily from the town dock. The 44-foot vessel sells soft drinks, water and alcoholic beverages for weary travelers. Reservations are not necessary for smaller groups, and the boat is in operation every day except Tuesday. Charters are also available, so invest a bit to celebrate that special occasion right, on the upper deck overlooking the Long Island Sound.

Related: Best Day Trips For Families Around Hartford

Stony Creek Beach/Madera Park
Thimble Island Road
Stony Creek, CT 06405

Those who prefer to gaze upon the Thimbles from land will love this area. The charming beach is open to the public and promises the perfect place to soak up some rays while enjoying the view. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months. Also on the half-acre parcel is Madera Park, perfect for picnicking and relaxing in the shade. Head out in a kayak from the boat launch here or just sit and watch the boats come and go all day.

Where To Eat

Stony Creek Market
178 Thimble Island Road
Stony Creek, CT 06405
(203) 488-0145

Whether preparing for a hike, embarking on a cruise, or planning to lounge in the park all day, this market is a must visit. Located across the street from Stony Creek beach, the store offers all of the supplies necessary for a memorable, enjoyable picnic. The market is also known for its delicious sandwiches and pizza. A destination in its own right, many patrons spend their day enjoying the sights from the outdoor dining area.

lennys Getaway Guide: One Tank Trip to Thimble Islands, Stony Creek

(credit: lennysnow.com)

Lenny’s Indian Head Inn
205 S. Montowese St.
Branford, CT 06405
(203) 488-1500
www.lennysnow.com

Something about the view or the salt in the air puts visitors in the mood for good, local seafood. Look no further than Lenny’s. Known throughout the area for the best lobsters in town, the restaurant is also a great place to listen to live music with a cold beer and some steamed clams.

Related: How Would You Prefer To Spend The Day In Connecticut?

Where To Stay

thimbleislandsbb Getaway Guide: One Tank Trip to Thimble Islands, Stony Creek

(credit: thimbleislandsbb.com)

Thimble Islands Bed & Breakfast
28 West Point Road
Stony Creek
Branford, CT 06405
(203) 488-3693
www.thimbleislandsbb.com

Price: $250 per night

While most people are content to visit for the day and then head home, some do want to extend their stay. There is no better place than this luxurious inn. The Thimble Islands Bed and Breakfast offers exquisite panoramic views in addition to a delectable homemade breakfast in the morning. Situated in the heart of Stony Creek village, it is an ideal base location for any local activity.

Charles Daniels grew up in Connecticut and after several years working and traveling around the country and world he has returned home for good. He lives in Hebron with his wife and daughter. While he wears many hats, he considers “part-time stay-at-home dad” his primary and favorite job title. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

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