Useful Farmington Valley Sites & Area Attractions



Avon Old Farms School - 500 Old Farms Rd., Avon. Left at Routes 44 and 10, 860-404-4100
A highly regarded all-boys boarding school designed in the English cottage style by Farmington architect Theodate Pope Riddle, who also designed the Hill-Stead Museum.

Avon Village Marketplace - 1-45 East Main St., Route 44, Avon, 860-680-5298
This group of charming Colonial-era structures house a wide variety of specialty stores and terrific restaurants.

Farmington Valley Arts Center - 25 Arts Center Ln. in Avon Park North, Route 44, Avon, 860-678-1867
An exceptional educational resource for established artists, emerging artists, and those who simply appreciate art. Regular classes and workshops are offered for all ages by professional artists, and there is a Gallery Shop and an annual Christmas sale.

The Governor’s Horse Guard - 280 Arch Rd., Avon 860-673-3525
The First Company Governor’s Horse Guard operates from a 139-acre facility off Route 167, and their troop drills, held every Thursday night, are open to the public. The group appears at a wide variety of parades and events and is a prominent part of the State’s inaugural ceremonies every four years. The Horse Guard was founded in 1788 by Hartford veterans of the Revolutionary War and has been called into national service during various wars and conflicts over the years. Today, more than 60 men and women are members of the Horse Guard.

The Pickin’ Patch Route - 279 Nod Rd., Avon, 860-677-9552
Family-operated since 1666, The Pickin’ Patch offers acres of pick-your-own products, as well as a farm store brimming with delights.

Pine Grove School House - 3 Harris Rd., Route 167, Avon, 860-678-7621
Built in 1865 as District #7 School, the Pine Grove School House served the children of West Avon from 1865 to 1949. In its original location, the schoolhouse features original blackboards, period desks and books, girls and boys entrances, and a restored outhouse behind the building.

Riverdale Farms - 100-152 Simsbury Rd., Avon (Route 10 North - ¼ mile from Route 44 in Avon)., 860-677-6437
Riverdale Farms is a faithfully restored 19th-century dairy farm. Today, its buildings house several excellent restaurants and specialty stores in a scenic location with beautiful landscaping that makes shopping here a welcome relief from the malls.



Bridge Street Live - 41 Bridge St., Collinsville Center, Canton, 860-693-9762
Bridge Street Live is 300-seat river-view performance venue that brings in first-rate rock, blues, and jazz acts. Good food and drink, too!

Collinsville Canoe & Kayak - 41 Bridge St., Collinsville, 860-693-6977
A summer destination for locals who enjoy spending time on the river. Canoe, kayak, and paddle board rentals are available, as are lessons from basic to kayak rescue and summer programs for kids. Just stop in at the shop.

Collinsville Historic District - Route 179 and Main St. at Collinsville Center
Spend an interesting afternoon exploring this intact 19th-century mill village that has been sensitively adapted to our era. The old Collins Axe Factory has antiques shops and studios. Up the street a bit, LaSalle Market is known for its legendary sandwiches, hearty breakfasts, and informal dinners. The Canton Historical Museum offers a wonderful collection of local artifacts. And historic buildings like Collinsville Savings and Canton Town Hall line the streets. Bring your bike to enjoy the 6-mile stretch of the Farmington River Greenway that goes through the village.

Gallery on the Green - Corner of Dowd Ave. and Route 44, Canton, 860-693-4102
Gallery on the Green, which opened in 1960 and is a non-profit organization, is Connecticut’s longest running artists’ cooperative, featuring three galleries, a sculpture garden, and a gift shop. Open Friday-Saturday, 1-5pm.

Roaring Brook Nature Center - 70 Gracey Rd. From Route 44 west turn onto Lawton Rd. to left then fork onto Gracey, Canton, 860-693-0263
Affiliated with The Children’s Museum, the nature center features standing exhibits, as well as changing seasonal exhibits. Trails through a wildlife sanctuary allow for excellent bird watching. Programs for kids and folk music concerts are scheduled regularly.



Day-Lewis Museum - 158 Main St. (rear), Farmington, 860-678-1645
This museum offers a small but impressive collection of Native American artifacts.

Farmington Village/Freedom Trail - Main St., Route 10, Farmington, 860-678-1645
Visit Underground Railroad “safe houses” where runaway slaves hid on their journey to freedom, as well as homes connected to the Amistad case. Call the Farmington Historical Society for a site map or guided tour.

Hill-Stead Museum - 35 Mountain Rd., Farmington, 860-677-4787
Hill-Stead Museum is an outstanding example of Colonial Revival domestic architecture and houses the Pope family’s collection of Impressionist paintings by Monet, Manet, Cassatt, Degas, and Whistler, as well as antique furniture, rugs, and other decorative arts. The Hill-Stead also sponsors regular educational and cultural events, including the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival each summer.

Lewis-Walpole Library - 154 Main St., Farmington, 860-677-2140
This non-circulating research library for 18th-century English studies was bequeathed to Yale University by W.S. Lewis, who spent his life collecting the letters and works of Horace Walpole. It has the most extensive collection of English 18th-century satirical prints in the United States.

Stanley-Whitman Museum - 37 High St., Farmington, 860-677-9222
This National Historic Landmark was built in 1720 and restored to depict life in 18th-century Farmington. There are programs for families and children, and its Sampler Gift Shop sells educational materials, toys, and books related to 18th-century life.



Holcomb Farm - 113 Simsbury Rd., West Granby, 860-653-8616
Holcomb Farm is a nonprofit farm that grows vegetables, fruit, herbs, and flowers, using sustainable farming methods and no chemicals, and sells them to the public through its year-round CSA and seasonal Farm Store. Also located at the Farm are a beautiful banquet facility, an educational Tree Trail, a ten mile woodland trail system, and meeting space. The nonprofit Friends of Holcomb Farm provides more than eight tons of fresh food to neighbors in need annually through its Fresh Access program. Operational since 1756, this bucolic, 312-acre farm is open to all. For information on the CSA & Farm Store, call 860-653-8616. For information on the banquet facility and meeting space, call 860-653-8947. The Farm Store is open June through October. The trail system is open year-round, dawn to dusk.

McLean Game Refuge - 109 Salmon Brook St., Granby, 860-653-7869
Comprising over 20 miles of well-marked trails featuring a wide variety of terrains, there’s a footpath here for everyone. Trails are easily accessible from two main entrances. The Route 10 entrance is located one mile south of Routes 10 & 202 and Route 20 in Granby Center. To reach the west entrance, take Route 20 West to Barndoor Hills Road. A picnic area is available at this entrance.

Salmon Brook Historical Society - 208 Salmon Brook St. (Route 10/202), Granby, 860-653-9713
The Salmon Brook Historical Society consists of two historic homes — the Abijah Rowe House (1732) and the Weed-Enders House (1790), as well as the Cooley School (1870) and the Colton/Hayes tobacco barn (1914), which houses a variety of exhibits. The Society’s collections present an interesting representation of Granby’s history and genealogy.



Flamig Farm - 7 Shingle Mill Rd., West Simsbury, 860-658-5070
This unique farm offers a petting zoo, an Earth Day celebration, children’s birthday parties, pony rides, a summer environmental camp for kids, and an outrageously scary Halloween Hayride every October.

Heublein Tower - Off Route 185 on Talcott Mountain, Simsbury, 860-242-1158
This 165-foot-tall tower atop Talcott Mountain is the Valley’s most visible landmark. Now part of Talcott Mountain State Park, it was built as a summer retreat between 1911 and 1914 by Gilbert Heublein of Heublein, Inc., distillers. The tower has been renovated and is open to the public — the trek up an easy 30-minute hike with gorgeous views of the Valley.

International Skating Center of Connecticut - 1375 Hopmeadow St. Route 10, north of town center, Simsbury, 860-651-5400
Oksana Baiul, Victor Petrenko, and Ekaterina Gordeeva all trained here, and so do lots of up-and-coming skating stars. Skating lessons, community skating, and hockey are going on all the time, and there are regular shows by the stars, too.

Phelps Tavern Museum and Homestead - Hopmeadow St. (Route 10), middle of town center, Simsbury, 860-658-2500
Known for its imaginative tours and presentations, the Phelps Tavern Museum and Homestead’s special exhibits use period rooms and interactive galleries to recreate the tavern’s role as an inn from 1786 to 1849. There is a museum store, and group tours are available.

The Pinchot Sycamore - Route 185 at Nod Rd., Simsbury
Connecticut’s largest tree grows on the bank of the Farmington River in a spot that’s great for a swim, a picnic, or launching a boat.

Rosedale Farms & Vineyard - 25 East Weatogue St., Simsbury, 860-651-3926
This family farm has been growing good things since 1920. Today, fresh produce, fruit, flowers, and crop-share memberships continue that tradition. Award-winning wines make Vineyard-hosted tastings special events, as do the Chef-to-Farm Dinners prepared by Max’s Oyster Bar in June, July, and August. Don’t miss the fall corn maze, pumpkin patch, and hayrides. And it’s a perfect setting for a party or wedding.

Simsbury Center
This section of Hopmeadow Street is known as Simsbury’s “Main Street.” Over the past few years it’s experienced a burst of tasteful commercial development that has made it the Valley’s most active town center. Restaurants are the prime attraction, with nine good ones — some offering live bands — all within walking distance of each other. Send the kids for a pizza, get sushi for yourself, and enjoy some great music after that. To the east, Simsbury Meadows, a once-idle river site, is now the summer home for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and a growing number of other large musical events.

The Talcott Mountain Summer Music Festival - Simsbury Meadows, 22 Iron Horse Blvd. (in the center of Town), Simsbury, 860-651-4052
Simsbury Meadows is home to the Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s popular summer music series.

Tariffville Gorge - Route 315 to 189 East to 187 North, Simsbury
Cross the river on 187, take your first right on Spoonville, then take a right onto Tunxis at the bottom of hill. Go under the Route 187 bridge and take the foot trail to the beach. The most challenging whitewater on the Farmington River, the Gorge has hosted national canoe and kayak competitions, including Olympic trials.

Tulmeadow Farm - 255 Farms Village Rd., Simsbury, 860-658-1430
his has been an operating dairy farm since 1786 and today produces what may, in fact, be the world’s best ice cream!



The Artists Collective - 1200 Albany Ave., Hartford, 860-527-3205
Founded by renowned jazz saxophonist Jackie McLean and his wife Dolly, this cultural arts center emphasizes the arts and culture of the African Diaspora.

The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts - 166 Capitol Ave., Hartford, Box Office: 860-987-5900, Office: 860-987-6000
The Bushnell is the place to go for Broadway shows, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, international performers, and a popular travel series. 

Bushnell Park - 99 Trinity St., Hartford, 860-232-6710
This 40-acre municipal park adjacent to the State Capitol Building was created in 1854. Here, free concerts of all kinds welcome music lovers, while an antique carousel with 48 colorful horses, which operates mid-April to mid-October, is fun for kids of all ages. The park is available for parties.

Charter Oak Cultural Center - 21 Charter Oak Ave., Hartford, 860-310-2580
Built in 1876 as Connecticut’s first synagogue, the Charter Oak Cultural Center is now a venue dedicated to the exploration of world cultures through the visual and performing arts.

Charter Oak Landing - 50 Reserve Rd., Hartford, 860-713-3131
Head here for daily riverboat cruises on the beautiful Connecticut River.

Connecticut Historical Society - One Elizabeth St., Hartford, 860-236-5621
The Historical Society’s museum galleries feature interactive exhibits and over three million manuscripts on Connecticut history.

Connecticut Science Center - 250 Columbus Blvd., Hartford, 860-SCIENCE (860-724-3623)
The Science Center is perfect for kids, with highly interactive educational science exhibits on a wide range of topics, from physics and health to geology. See a 3D movie, try inventing something at the hands-on Idea Generator, or leave the kids at home and enjoy a night of food and music at the Liquid Lounge.

Elizabeth Park - 1561 Asylum Ave., Hartford, 860-231-9443, 860-231-8823 www.pondhousecafe.com
The country’s first municipally owned rose garden, Elizabeth Park features more than 15,000 bushes representing 900 varieties and reaches peak bloom in late June, making it a popular spot for wedding photos. The greenhouses are open to public. The skating pond is a local favorite in winter. And there’s an excellent restaurant on site called The Pond House Café.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center - 77 Forest St., Hartford, 860-522-9258
Home of the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and 30 other books, this carefully restored historic residence features period art, memorabilia, and beautiful grounds — and its on the same Nook Farm location as the Mark Twain House. Guided tours are available.

Hartford Stage Company - 50 Church St., Hartford, Box Office: 860-527-5151, Office: 860-525-5601
Offering live professional theater in downtown Hartford, this Tony Award-winning company produces original works, as well as adaptations of the classics.

Mark Twain House - 351 Farmington Ave., Hartford, 860-247-0998
This Victorian mansion — once home to Hartford’s most famous citizen — has an impressive collection of Twain memorabilia, as well as award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns’ biography of the author.

Old State House - 800 Main St., Hartford, 860-522-6766
Designed by Charles Bulfinch and built in 1796, this is the oldest state house in the nation. Exhibits change regularly and guided tours are offered.

Theaterworks - 233 Pearl St., Hartford, 860-527-7838
TheaterWorks presents cutting-edge theater productions in an intimate setting.

The Wadsworth Atheneum - 600 Main St., Hartford, 860-278-2670
The Wadsworth is the nation’s oldest public museum, and within this grand, historic building are significant collections of American and international art, as well as major touring exhibitions.

Xfinity Theatre 61 Savitt Way, Hartford, 203-265-1501
This outdoor musical performance venue has a capacity of 30,000 and attracts the biggest touring acts.

The XL Center Hartford Civic Center/Civic Center Plaza, Hartford, 860-249-6333
This 16,000-seat sports and performance venue features the Connecticut Whale (AHL) hockey, UConn Basketball (men and women), skating shows, and big-time touring concerts.



New Britain Museum of American Art - 56 Lexington St., New Britain, 860-229-0257
This museum is home to an outstanding collection of early-through-contemporary American works.



The Children’s Museum - 950 Trout Brook Dr., West Hartford, 860-231-2824
The Children’s Museum provides a fabulous hands-on science environment where children can really explore. The campus includes a planetarium and nursery school.

Noah Webster House - 227 South Main St., West Hartford, 860-521-5362
This is the colonial birthplace of the author of the first American dictionary. Tours are available.

Park Road - Park Road is a vintage neighborhood, where long-time family-owned businesses line pedestrian-friendly, brick-paved sidewalks. Visit the Playhouse on Park. Enjoy shopping the way it used to be before malls, chains, and outlets. And grab a burger at A.C. Petersen’s — one of West Hartford’s oldest family restaurants.

Sarah Whitman Hooker House - 1237 New Britain Ave., West Hartford, 860-785-9549
This historic home has been authentically restored to depict three periods of early Connecticut architecture.

The University of Hartford - 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford, 860-768-4100
Here, Division One basketball and soccer teams, the Museum of American Political Life, and performances and lectures at the Lincoln Theater draw audiences from near and far.

West Hartford Center and Blue Back Square - Farmington Ave., Raymond Rd., South Main St. and LaSalle Rd., West Hartford
Enjoy top-notch restaurants and one-of-a-kind boutiques and specialty shops in this pedestrian-friendly town center.

Westfarms Mall - 1500 New Britain Ave., Farmington, 860-561-3024
The region’s premier shopping destination, this upscale retail mall includes Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, and 160 other fine shops, restaurants, and department stores.