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Yankee Magazine Names Local Connecticut Establishments to 2014 “Editors’ Choice” List

Dublin, NH (April 22, 2014)—The May/June edition of Yankee Magazine’s Special Travel Guide, on newsstands April 29, has named local establishments in Connecticut as “Best of New England — Editors’ Choice” winners for 2014. This designation is awarded by Yankee’s editors and contributors, who name select restaurants, lodgings, and attractions in New England to the exclusive list. This special issue also names 20 top events in Connecticut, and a total of 120 events across New England. For 38 years, Yankee’s Travel Guide has been the most widely distributed and best-selling guide to the six-state region, providing readers with a comprehensive vacation-planning tool and daily reference. Yankee’s May/June issue also guides readers on summertime journeys with maritime-themed articles about our region’s seafaring history from Mystic to Maine, the lure of lobster shacks, and more.

“Reading our annual special Travel Guide section, ‘Best of New England,’ is as close to sitting down with Yankee’s editors and getting us to spill our favorite places as one can get,” says Mel Allen, editor of Yankee Magazine. “New England is where we live, and we all have our own personal ‘best’ places. We’re joined by our Connecticut state expert Barbara Wysocki whose sole task is to surprise us: to tell us about restaurants and attractions and local secrets that will make this issue one to keep on hand whenever you set off to explore New England. Whether your journeys take you inland or to the sea, we hope these pages come along. As always, let us know what you find.”

This year’s Travel Guide features more than 300 “Best of New England — Editors’ Choice” selections. The listing for each establishment includes a description, address, phone number, and Web site, if available. The following “Editors’ Choice” establishments from Connecticut include:

Editors’ Choice
Coastal Fairfield
Captain’s Cove – Black Rock Harbor—Best Boardwalk, Bridgeport
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo—Best Zoo, Bridgeport
Custom House Maritime Museum—Best Lighthouse Tours, Bridgeport
The Inn at Fairfield Beach—Best Beach B&B, Fairfield
J House—Best Greenwich Getaway, Greenwich
Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens—Best Arboretum, Stamford
Town of Stratford—Best Unusual Architecture Park, Stratford
The Schoolhouse at Cannondale—Best Innovative American Cuisine, Wilton
Weir Farm National Historic Site—Best Arty Retreat, Wilton

Great New Haven
G-Zen Restaurant—Best Vegetarian Brunch & Dinner, Branford
Chamard Bistro—Best Vineyard Bistro, Clinton
The Shore Line Trolley Museum—Best Trolley Museum, East Haven
Caseus Fromagerie Bistro—Best Cheese Shop, New Haven
Yale University Art Gallery—Best College Art Gallery, New Haven

Litchfield Hills
The Artists’ Path—Best Small Art Gallery, Bantam
Rock Hall—Best Elegant Hideaway, Colebrook
Action Wildlife Foundation—Best Farm & Forest Game Reserve, Goshen
The Nodine’s Smokehouse—Best Smokehouse, Goshen
Eric Sloane Museum & Kent Iron Furnace—Best Nostalgic Tool Museum, Kent
Litchfield Saltwater Grille—Best Half-Price Happy Hour, Litchfield
Cornucopia At Oldfield—Best Country Retreat, Southbury
Hickory Stick Books—Best Country Bookstore, Washington

Mystic Country
Golden Lamb Buttery—Best Fine Dining, Brooklyn
Daniel Rust House—Best Pet-Friendly B&B, Coventry
Logee’s Greenhouses—Best Tropical Greenhouse, Danielson
Galaxy Roller Rink—Best Roller Rink, Groton
The Farmer’s Cow Calfé—Best Dairy Bar, Mansfield
Mystic Aquarium/ Sea Research Foundation—Best Aquarium Experience, Mystic
S & P Oyster Company—Best Water View Grill, Mystic
Connecticut DOT – Office of Port Operations—Best Historic Ferry, New London
The Past Antiques Market & Museum—Best Antiques Stop, Oakdale
Celebrations—Best Tea Stop, Pomfret
Roseledge Country Inn & Farm Shoppe—Best Garden Lover’s B&B, Preston
Orchard Street Inn—Best View, Stonington
Cakettes Coffee Shop—Best Pastry Shop, Thompson
Town of Woodstock—Best Lakeside Park, Woodstock

River Valley
The Republic—Best Gastro Pub, Bloomfield
Collinsville Canoe & Kayak—Best Canoe & Kayak, Collinsville
Gillette Castle State Park—Best State Park, East Haddam
Wadsworth Falls SP c/o Cockaponset St Forest—Best Swimming Pond, Haddam
Connecticut DEEP—Best Forest Flower Hideaway, Hartford
Connecticut Science Center—Best Science Museum, Hartford
City of Meriden—Best Hilltop Park, Meriden
Café 56—Best South-of-The-Border Sampling, Middletown
Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center—Best Small Theatre, Old Saybrook
Saybrook Point Inn & Spa—Best Waterside Escape, Old Saybrook
SWAG—Best Personal Gift Shop, Old Saybrook
Vero Pizza—Best Pizza Outside New Haven, Plainville
Simsbury Farms—Best Bridge Stroll, West Simsbury
Salt Meadow Unit—Best Birdwatching Sanctuaries, Westbrook

Top Events

Call ahead to confirm dates, times, and admission prices. The “Top 20 Events” in Connecticut according to Yankee Magazine, include:

MAY 3: SOMERS, New England Regional Chili Cookoff. The International Chili Society (yes, there is such an organization) sanctions the cookoff at this benefit for the local fire department, held at Pleasant View Golf Center. A hot-pepper and hot-wings eating contest, good music, fine foods, and a few surprises await.
MAY 9–10: FARMINGTON, May Market. The annual plant and craft emporium brings 65-plus exhibitors to the beautifully landscaped grounds of Hill-Stead Museum. Discover hard-to-find perennials, hints from master gardeners, gardening and cooking demonstrations, fine artisanal wares, kids’ activities, and more. 860-677-4787;
MAY 24–JUNE 8: GUILFORD, Robin Hood Spring-time Festival. All the Faire’s a stage at the local fairgrounds, with jousting knights, belly dancers, fire-eaters, acrobats, musicians, and more. Shop the Olde World marketplace for unique artisanal wares ranging from clothing and housewares to toys and collectibles. A fine array of food choices, too. Show up in costume if the mood strikes. 860-478-5954;
MAY 30–JUNE 15: OLD LYME, Florence Griswold Museum GardenFest. Known as the “Home of American Impressionism,” the museum delights families even more than usual on this particular weekend, with activities for all ages, featuring special events, tours of the historic garden, demonstrations, and more. 860-434-5542;
JUNE 6–8: DANBURY, The Greek Experience. Enjoy traditional dancing, games, raffles, and kids’ activities, plus the ever-so-popular fine Greek foods and pastries—souvalaki, gyros, lamb, baklava, and more. Held at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, with parking at the local high school and a free shuttle bus to the festivities. 203-748-2992;
JUNE 7: LITCHFIELD, Gallery on the Green. Visit the town green and support both the Junior Women’s Club of Litchfield Hills in their fundraising efforts and the more than 70 juried artists presenting exceptional works. Tempting food offerings, a silent auction, and kids’ activities, too.
JUNE 7–8: HARWINTON, Antiques & Design Weekend. The fairgounds will be abuzz with some 200 vendors offering 18th- and 19th-century wares and 20th-century design items, all at a variety of price points. Enjoy mingling with design professionals and knowledgeable collectors. 317-601-5285;
JUNE 7–8: WEST HARTFORD, Celebrate! West Hartford. Engage with business and civic leaders, and enjoy local foods, arts, and entertainment. This outdoor event features 170-plus fine artisans exhibiting wares at a juried show on the town hall green, plus carnival rides, gourmet cuisine, festival food favorites, nonprofit and business exhibits, and more. 860-561-7512;
JUNE 12–15: MYSTIC, 35th Sea Music Festival. Mystic Seaport presents performers from around the globe, all carrying on the classic musical traditions of the Golden Age of Sail. Enjoy concerts, special kids’ shows, and instructional workshops, plus experience sea music aboard the museum’s historic vessels. Check the Web site for concert times and ticket information. 860-572-0711;
JUNE 14–15: Monroe, Strawberry Festival. Monroe Congregational Church presents a fun-filled weekend featuring more than 75 juried exhibitors, including local artists, plus kids’ games, love entertainment, and delicious strawberry pie, shortcake, and more.
JUNE 21–29: HARTFORD, Hartford Blooms Garden Tour. For eight days the city’s spectacular gardens and historic architecture are on display. Tours visit both public and private gardens, and conclude at the iconic Butler–McCook House & Garden, where visitors may peruse the plantings and homestead and enjoy refreshments, live music, and “en plein air” artists’ works.
JUNE 27–SEPT. 7: EAST HADDAM, “Fiddler on the Roof.” This international smash hit makes its début at the venerable Goodspeed Opera House, featuring the beloved songs “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Matchmaker,” and more. Enjoy a summer’s evening in the historic theatre. 860-873-8668;
JULY 5–6: NIANTIC, Arts & Craft Show & 36th Annual Lobsterfest. Delicious food and select artworks combine for a wonderful weekend on the grounds of Niantic Town Hall. Enjoy fresh lobster, BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, hot dogs, burgers, curly fries, ice cream, and more, in tandem with the Lions Club’s 54th juried arts and craft show. 860-739-2805;
JULY 11–13: NEW LONDON, Sailfest. Visit scenic Waterfront Park for a supersized celebration that spills into the downtown streets with more than 200 vendors, fantastic fireworks, Tall Ships viewing, amusement rides, and free live entertainment featuring a variety of musical genres.
JULY 12–27: NEW BRITAIN, Nutmeg State Games. The state’s largest amateur multisport event is hosted at various venues, depending on the activity, within the city or nearby. Cheer on the athletes, ages 6 to 18, as they compete in some 25 different sporting events. 860-788-7041;
JULY 19–20: WESTPORT, 41st Fine Arts Festival. 140-plus juried artisans present oils, ceramics, photography, sculpture, jewelry, and more along the picturesque Saugatuck River. Enjoy live music and street performances, while the kids delve into hands-on craft activities. 203-505-8716;
JULY 31–AUGUST 3: NORTH BRANFORD, Potato & Corn Festival. In honor of starchy veggies, the hayfield at the Augur Property turns into a midway, with rides and dozens of food and craft vendors. Bring the kids and enjoy potato-sack races, corn-shucking contests, tractor pulls, live music, a classic-car show, and some mighty fine baked potatoes and roasted corn.
AUGUST 9–10: MYSTIC, Outdoor Art Festival. Some 250 fine artists are selected to participate, exhibiting oils, watercolors, photography, pastels, sculptures, and acrylics, while an additional 60 craftsmen present artisanal works for sale. Enjoy delectable food offerings, kids’ activities, and more in the historic downtown. 860-572-9578;
AUGUST 16–17: HARTFORD, Riverfront Dragon Boat & Asian Festival. The downtown riverfront makes for premier dragon-boat racing. Enjoy viewing the heat of competition from Mortenson Riverfront Plaza as some 70 teams participate.
AUGUST 21–24: AUGUST 21–24: BROOKLYN, Brooklyn Fair. It’s all here at the fairgrounds of the area’s oldest agricultural show: tempting foods, livestock, midway, entertainment, arts and crafts, and contests. Bring the family—there’s something for all ages. 860-779-0012;

For more information about Yankee Magazine’s May/June issue, visit:


About us: Yankee Magazine was founded in 1935 and is based in Dublin, New Hampshire. It is the only magazine devoted to New England through its coverage of travel, home, food, and feature stories. With an average circulation of 330,000 and a total audience of 1.9 million readers, it is published by Yankee Publishing Incorporated (YPI), a family-owned, independent magazine publisher. YPI also owns the nation’s oldest continuously produced periodical, The Old Farmer’s Almanac, and McLean Communications. More information about Yankee: New England’s Magazine is available at:

Heather Atwell


Heather Atwell


Communications manager Heather Atwell manages the magazine’s public relations efforts. She also writes the blog Outdoor Adventures for
Updated Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

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