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Old 09-01-2013, 10:34 PM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
15,796 posts, read 19,873,219 times
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I'm going to vote Guilford. I really think the town really sums up Connecticut character:

- Beautiful, wooded rolling hills in the north with farms
- Rocky, varied coastline with marsh land and dunes
- Housing ranges from huge waterfront estates, to coastal shacks, to colonial farmhouses, McMansions, and everything in-between
- Quintessential New England apple orchard (perhaps the best in the state)
- Gorgeous historic town center and green that's been preserved better than most. The classic New England style even down to the shop signs has been enforced very well. The green is beautiful and traditional.
- Abundance of pre-Revolution New England homes, oldest home in CT is here
- "Independent" feel with shops, restaurants having a local flair. Places like The Place, Guilford Lobster Pound, etc.
- Still has a sophistication to it. There's enough of a modern feel to the town despite all the history

As much as I love the Mystic area, and also Litchfield County - Madison/Guilford and the lower CT River valley area is still my favorite spot in the state. So much natural beauty, history, and still close to New Haven. The only thing that Guilford lacks is sandy beaches (such as in Madison), but then again CT is not really known for its sandy beaches.

What town best defines CT to you?

Last edited by Stylo; 09-01-2013 at 10:53 PM..
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Northern Fairfield Co.
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Guilford is one of those towns that's on my Must Visit Soon List. But since I haven't yet, I'll go with what I'm familiar with: (1) Kent; (2) Litchfield, although I do have to say I'm not really crazy about the new strip centers just south of Litchfield -- It's been awhile since I was there last, but when I went this summer I was unpleasantly surprised how much it has been built up. Still rural, but not quite as so, and that was a little disappointing for me; and (3) Essex. Actually I probably would bump Essex up to number 2, but I'm too lazy to re-write this post. Someone on this forum also told me to check out Chester. Supposedly quintessential N.E., but I haven't seen it yet...
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:01 AM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
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Chester is very nice. Kind of its own thing, very unique look.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:07 AM
 
Location: Northern Fairfield Co.
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I apparently like your posts too much Stlyo! I tried to rate your above comment positively, but city-data says I need to spread my positvie posts out to others before I can positively rate one of yours again. Lol! So just know that I took note of and appreciate your comment ^ : )
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:59 AM
 
Location: Texas
2,394 posts, read 3,518,933 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalalally View Post
Guilford is one of those towns that's on my Must Visit Soon List. But since I haven't yet, I'll go with what I'm familiar with: (1) Kent; (2) Litchfield, although I do have to say I'm not really crazy about the new strip centers just south of Litchfield -- It's been awhile since I was there last, but when I went this summer I was unpleasantly surprised how much it has been built up. Still rural, but not quite as so, and that was a little disappointing for me; and (3) Essex. Actually I probably would bump Essex up to number 2, but I'm too lazy to re-write this post. Someone on this forum also told me to check out Chester. Supposedly quintessential N.E., but I haven't seen it yet...
Kent would be great, except it's full of NYC people. Knocks the score way, way down.

Your comment on Litchfield is interesting. If they didn't have that commerce, they'd either have to be very poor or very rich. The areas you don't like are what generate an economy for the town. I think the center of Litchfield looks very nice, and that's about all you can hope for if it's a functional economy. There have to be car dealers and CVS drugstores, etc., or it's a museum, not a town.
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:15 AM
 
Location: Northern Fairfield Co.
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And I think that's why I like Kent (and Essex) -- they both have that museum quality that's perfect and unspoiled and so nice to vist every now and again when you need to see that sort of thing. BUT I TOTALLY get your point about commerce needed for a town to survive. Youre right, the build up did not affect the Litchfield downtown at all, the lead up to it just seemed less picturesque. That said, I worry less about Litchfield than I do Kent don't get me wrong, it's still perfect (looking) but my god so many of the old and long standing shops have closed. Very sad...
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:39 AM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
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Funny, I like Kent, but think Essex is WAY more picturesque. Maybe it's because I've been to Kent so many times that I don't find it so impressive anymore. I do love the Litchfield center.
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:48 AM
 
Location: Northern Fairfield Co.
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No, I just think a shore-type town suits you better. And for me something with rolling hills in the background, and stone churches in the fore, is my cup of tea. I think that's why my picks were kent and Litchfield. don't get me wrong though,i think Essex is absolutely gorgeous too, and I'm willing to concede second place to it
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:55 AM
 
8,778 posts, read 17,068,576 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadedWest View Post
Your comment on Litchfield is interesting. If they didn't have that commerce, they'd either have to be very poor or very rich. The areas you don't like are what generate an economy for the town. I think the center of Litchfield looks very nice, and that's about all you can hope for if it's a functional economy. There have to be car dealers and CVS drugstores, etc., or it's a museum, not a town.
Easton is wealthier, but it isn't "very rich". They seem to be doing just fine without any real commerce.
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:52 AM
 
Location: Down the rabbit hole
862 posts, read 982,039 times
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When I first read the title of the thread, I immediately thought of Guilford. Not only does Guilford have the biggest town green in CT but it still has that quaint New England feel. It's also got the oldest stone house in New England along with a good handful of historic house museums. If you catch it at the right time of year, there's a garden walk that shows off some of the 16th and 17th houses around the green nicely.

Close second would be Stonington Borough. A picture perfect old New England fishing village but small.....Very small. It can be downright claustrophobic when there's something going on or it's the height of tourist season.

Honorable Mentions - Kent, Putnam and Litchfield. I'll throw in Chester but for a tiny town, it's heavily populated with art galleries and antique stores aimed at taking advantage of the tourist trade

There's a heck of a lot of quaint, picturesque old towns in CT. That's of the biggest reasons I stay in here. After spending over 45 years in the state, I can still drive down a road I've driven down a million times before and think; Damn, this place is really beautiful.
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