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Useful Farmington Valley Sites & Area Attractions

AVON - CANTON - EAST GRANBY - FARMINGTON - GRANBY - HARTFORD - SIMSBURY - WEST HARTFORD - NEW BRITAIN

AVON

Avon Historical Society - 8 East Main St., Rte. 44, 860- 678-7621
Restored 19th century schoolhouse with photos and exhibits about life along the Farmington Canal in the 1830s.

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 - East Main St., Route 44, 860-678-0469
A group of 20 charming Colonial era structures that house a wide variety of specialty stores, good restaurants and seasonal community events.

Farmington Valley Arts Center - 25 Arts Center Ln. in Avon Park North, Route 44, 860-678-1867
An exceptional resource for arts education for all ages. Regular classes and workshops by professional artists. Gallery shop and annual Christmas sale.

The Governor’s Horse Guard - 232 West Avon Rd., Route 176, 860-673-3525
The First Company Governor’s Horse Guard operates from a 139-acre facility off Route 167. 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 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.

Huck Finn Adventures Canoe Trips - 860-693-0385
Huck Finn Adventures has rented canoes and kayaks on the Farmington River since 1985. You can start at the intersection of Waterville Road and Route 44 and peacefully paddle, swim, see fish and fowl or dive for errant golf balls. The complete trip is 9 miles to Tariffville, but there are stops along the way where they’ll pick you up and return you to the start. History lessons about the area usually accompany the rides back in the well-worn VW “adventure” bus. A lot of fun on a hot August afternoon.

The Pickin’ Patch Route - 185 to Nod Rd., south past Tower Ridge Country Club, 860-677-9552
Family-operated since 1666! Acres of pick-your-own products. A brimming farm store.

Riverdale Farms - Route 10 North- ¼ a mile from Route 44 in Avon, 860-677-6437
Riverdale Farms is a faithfully restored 19th century dairy farm. Now its buildings house several excellent restaurants and specialty stores. Its scenic location and beautiful landscaping make shopping here a welcome relief from the malls.

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CANTON

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

Canton Auction Barn - 75 Old Canton Rd., 860-693-0601
A circa 1820s barn with weathered boards and a distinctive cupola that, in winter, is partially heated by an 1845 Glenwood stove, adding old-fashioned charm to the auction — as do the luscious homemade pies.

Collinsville Canoe & Kayak - 41 Bridge St., Collinsville, 860-693-6977
A summer destination for locals for a day or a few hours on the river. Canoe, Kayak, and paddle board rentals available. Lessons available from basic to kayak rescue as well as summer kid’s programs, or just stop in at the shop.

Collinsville Historic District - Route 179 and Main St. at Collinsville Center.
An interesting place to spend an afternoon, exploring an 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, with its interesting 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 - 5 Canton Green Rd., Route 44, 860-693-4102
Connecticut’s longest running artists’ cooperative. The gallery opened in 1960 and is a non-profit organization. The Green features 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-fork onto Gracey, 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. Kids’ programs and folk music concerts are scheduled regularly.

The Shoppes at Farmington Valley - 110 Albany Tpke.
A premier shopping center for high-end shopping at places like J. Crew or to enjoy fine dining from organic pizza to Asian cuisine.

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FARMINGTON

Day-Lewis Museum - 158 Main St. (rear), 860-677-2754
A small but impressive collection of Native American artifacts.

Farmington Village/Freedom Trail - Main St., Route 10, 860-678-1645
Underground Railroad “safe houses,” which hid runaways during the slavery era, are featured along with homes connected to the Amistad case. Call the Farmington Historical Society for a site map or guided tour.

Hill-Stead Museum - 35 Mountain Rd., 860-677-9064
An outstanding example of Colonial Revival domestic architecture, Hill-Stead houses the Pope family’s collection of Impressionist paintings by Monet, Manet, Cassatt, Degas, and Whistler, along with antique furniture, rugs and other decorative arts. The Hill-Stead sponsors regular educational and cultural events, including the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival each summer.

Lewis-Walpole Library - 154 Main St., 860-677-2140
A non-circulating research library for 18th-century English studies 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., 860-677-9222
A National Historic landmark built in 1720 and restored to depict life in 18th century Farmington. Programming for families and children. Its Sampler Gift Shop sells educational materials, toys, and books related to 18th century life.

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GRANBY

Holcomb Farm - 113 Simsbury Rd., West Granby, 860-844-8616
Listed on the State and National Registries of Historic Places, this beautiful 320-acre site was donated to the town of Granby in 1991 by Tudor and Laura Holcomb. It is open to the public for a variety of programs including arts, crafts and nature study.

McLean Game Refuge - Salmon Brook St., 860-653-7869
Containing over 20 miles of well-marked trails with a wide variation of terrain, 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 202/10 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 - Located at 208 Salmon Brook St. (Route 10/202) just south of Granby Center, 860-653-9713
Consisting 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) that houses a variety of exhibits. The Society’s collections present an interesting representation of Granby’s history and genealogy.

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SIMSBURY

Flamig Farm - 7 Shingle Mill Rd., West Simsbury, 860-658-5070
This unique place offers a petting zoo, an Earth Day celebration, kids’ birthday parties and summer environmental camp for kids. An outrageously scary Halloween Hayride happens in October.

Heublein Tower - Route 185 on Talcott Mountain, 860-677-0662
The 165-foot-tall structure 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. A nice 30-minute hike up with gorgeous Valley views.

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

Phelps Tavern Museum and Homestead - Hopmeadow St. (Route 10), middle of town center, 860-658-2500
Imaginative tours and presentations. Special exhibit uses period rooms and interactive galleries to re-create the tavern’s use as an inn from 1786 to 1849. Museum store. Group tours available.

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

Rosedale Farms & Vineyard - 25 East Weatogue St., 860-651-3926
This family farm has been growing good things since 1920. Today, fresh produce, fruit, flowers and crop-share memberships continue the tradition. Award winning wines make Vineyard-hosted tastings special events, as are the Chef-to-Farm Dinners prepared by Max’s Oyster Bar in June, July & August. A perfect setting for a party or wedding. Don’t miss the fall corn maze, pumpkin patch and hayrides. Tastings: 860-810-4440

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 music — 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 Meadow, right off Iron Horse Blvd. in the center of town, 860-244-2999
The Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s popular summer music series.

Tariffville Gorge - Route 315 to 189 East to 187 North.
Cross the river on 187, first right on Spoonville, then take a right onto Tunxis at the bottom of hill. Go under the Route 187 bridge to 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 - Farms Village Rd., Route 309, 860-658-1430
This has been an operating dairy farm since 1786, and today produces what may, in fact, be the world’s best ice cream!

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HARTFORD

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

The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts - 166 Capitol Ave., 860-987-5900
Broadway shows, Connecticut Opera, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, international performers. Also Broadway tours and travel series. 



Bushnell Park - 860-585-5411
40-acre Municipal Park created in 1854 adjacent to the State Capitol Building. Free concerts. Antique carousel with 48 colorful horses operates mid-April to mid-October. Available for parties.

Charter Oak Cultural Center - 21 Charter Oak Ave., 860-249-1207
Built in 1876 as Connecticut’s first synagogue, this is now a venue dedicated to the exploration of world cultures through the visual and performing arts.

Charter Oak Landing - 860-526-4954
Daily riverboat cruises.

Xfinity Theatre - North Meadows, off I-91, 860-265-1501
This outdoor music performance venue with a capacity of 30,000 attracts the biggest touring acts.

Connecticut Historical Society - 1 Elizabeth St., 860-236-5621
Museum galleries feature interactive exhibits and over three million manuscripts on Connecticut history.

Connecticut Historical Resource Guide
An online guide for Connecticut attractions, infographics, kids activities, moving tips and top 10 lists on neighborhoods, housing, cities and more.

Connecticut Science Center - 250 Columbus Blvd., 860-SCIENCE (860-724-3623)
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 - Prospect and Asylum Avenues, 860-231-9443
The country’s first municipally owned rose garden, with more than 15,000 bushes representing 900 varieties. Peak bloom is in late June, making it a popular spot for wedding photos. Greenhouses open to the public. Skating pond in winter, and an excellent restaurant.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center - 77 Forest St., 860-522-9258
The home of the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and 30 other books. Carefully restored with period art, memorabilia and beautiful grounds. On the same “Nook Farm” location as the Mark Twain House. Guided tours.

Hartford Stage Company - 50 Church St., 860-527-5151
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., 860-247-0998
The 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., 860-522-6766
Designed by Charles Bulfinch and built in 1796, this is the oldest state house in the nation. Guided tours. Changing exhibits.

Real Art Ways - 56 Arbor St., 860-232-1006
Contemporary art, theater and films.

Theaterworks - 233 Pearl St., 860-527-7838
Cutting-edge theater productions in an intimate setting.

Trinity College - Summit St., 860-297-2000
Summertime Carillon Concerts, film classics at Cinestudio, and exhibits at Austin Arts Center.

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

The XL Center (Hartford Civic Center) - Civic Center Plaza, 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.

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NEW BRITAIN

New Britain Museum of American Art - 56 Lexington St., 860-229-0257
An outstanding collection of early through contemporary American works.

Rock Cats Baseball- New Britain Stadium, 860-224-8383
The AA affiliate of the Minnesota Twins provides a chance to see the future stars and have fun with the family in the stadium.

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WEST HARTFORD

The Children’s Museum - 959 Trout Brook Dr., 860-231-2824
A fabulous hands-on science environment for children. The campus includes a planetarium and nursery school.

Noah Webster House - 227 South Main St., 860-521-5362
The colonial birthplace of the author of the first American dictionary. Tours available.

Park Road - The neighborhood the way you remember it. Long-time family-owned businesses line pedestrian-friendly, brick-paved sidewalks. Visit the Playhouse on Park or enjoy shopping the way it was before malls, chains and outlets.

Sarah Whitman Hooker House - 1237 New Britain Ave., 860-523-5887
Authentically restored to depict three periods of early Connecticut architecture.

The University of Hartford - 200 Bloomfield Ave. , 860-768-4100
Division One basketball and soccer teams, plus the Museum of American Political Life and performances and lectures at Lincoln Theater.

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

Westfarms Mall - 500 Westfarms Mall, Farmington, 860-561-3024
The region’s premier shopping destination. Upscale retail including Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, and 160 other fine shops, restaurants, and department stores.

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