Hillside Hotel in New England Countryside
When New Yorkers want to get away from it all, many head to the rolling farmlands of Litchfield Hills. The northwestern Connecticut area's small villages, craggy mountains, and rivers provide a tranquil reprieve. The Heritage Hotel lies on a sprawling stretch of countryside on the region’s southern edge, about 90 minutes from Manhattan. The hotel’s decor—which includes fireplaces in both onsite restaurants, as well as two in the lobby—complements the area’s classic New England atmosphere.
The Heritage Hotel’s guest rooms come simply decorated with dark wood furniture. Most have views of the adjacent golf course. If it’s too cold for a day on the greens, the onsite health club has everything from racquetball courts to ping-pong tables and an indoor pool. Activities near the hotel include snow tubing and skiing in the year-round Woodbury Ski Area or visiting some of the quirky museums. Click here for some of The Heritage Hotel’s activity recommendations.
In the evening, you can unwind in front of the roaring fireplace at Shadrach’s, the onsite restaurant and pub that serves classic New England clam chowder for lunch and dinner. The pub stays open late and has complimentary billiard tables. Alternatively, the hotel’s Eight Mile Brook Restaurant caters to large groups.
Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills: Rural Towns, State Parks, and Rolling Mountainside
Litchfield Hills, located about 30 miles west of Hartford in the foothills of the Berkshires, was originally farmland settled in the 18th century. Today, the area is still largely rural, attracting weekenders from metropolitan New York and Connecticut with its pristine natural scenery. The state’s three largest lakes are here, which, along with a pair of broad rivers, provide opportunities for fishing and canoeing. Visitors also come to hike the region’s acres of mountainous state parks, including a portion of the Appalachian Trail along the ridges of the Southern Berkshires. In the winter, skiing is popular, as is touring the winter wine trail to see the quiet beauty of local vineyards in the off-season.
A steady stream of visitors has brought a certain amount of wealth and style to the towns of Litchfield Hills. You can see this in everything from upscale shops and restaurants to stately manors. Each town offers something different. Kent has a large concentration of art galleries, including some that are nationally renowned. A few miles northeast, Cornwall has several homes owned by celebrities such as Whoopi Goldberg. In the Naugatuck River valley, Waterbury serves as one of the region’s urban centers, complete with an upscale mall.
The town of Litchfield is home to many antique shops and historic homes, including one Georgian house where George Washington slept during the Revolutionary War. Strolling the avenues here, one can imagine what life was like in a typical late 18th-century New England village. To learn more about the area’s history, head to the town green to see several war monuments and visit the Litchfield Historical Society, where exhibits showcase furniture, clothing, and other artifacts from the colonial era.