Walking Tour Of Connecticut’s Guilford Neighborhood

Walking Tour Of Connecticut’s Guilford Neighborhood

The town of Guilford is one of the oldest, most historic and most charming in Connecticut. The little shoreline town is packed with things to see and do, and with places to eat and shop. The streets around the town green in particular form a Colonial era neighborhood where visitors can walk about and look at the old homes — or stop in to see those that have been turned into museums. While best toured in the summer and early autumn, Guilford still has a lot to offer late in the season, including some beautiful spots to sit and listen to the waves as the tide comes in from Long Island Sound.

Guilford Free Library
67 Park St.
Guilford, CT 06437
(203) 453-8282

The Guilford Free Library is a nice place to start a walking tour of this historic town. The library is the social, intellectual and informational center of Guilford, and the staff is very knowledgeable about the town and can help point visitors to places of interest. The library is also a quiet haven for tourists and townsfolk alike, and hosts many fun activities, from pumpkin decorating and movie makeup workshops to magic shows and story times.

Henry Whitfield State Museum
248 Old Whitfield St.
Guilford, CT 06347
(203) 453-2457

Henry Whitfield was a minister who led his flock of Puritan adventurers from England to Connecticut in the mid 17th century. The sturdy stone house he built in Guilford on the street that bears his name was not only his family home, but also served as a fort. Today it is a museum and educational center and is open year-round. There are numerous exhibits on Colonial life and the paid and volunteer staff is happy to answer questions about the Old Stone House and the other two buildings on the property. It is suggested to allot an hour to take the self-guided tour, which includes participating in an educational game. Connecticut Public Television lists the Henry Whitfield House in Guilford as among the state’s top cultural resources, and it is a must-see place for anyone taking a walking tour of the town.

Related: Top Haunted Graveyard Tours In Connecticut

Thomas Griswold House
171 Boston St.
Guilford, CT 06437
(203) 453-3176

The Thomas Griswold House on Boston Street was built quite literally on the eve of the American Revolution. The saltbox design home sits on a slight rise that commands the old Post Road, which has since been designated as an historic scenic route. Although members of the Griswold family have lived in Guilford since 1695, their “new” house dates from 1774. It has been restored twice in the last 40 years, and is now a museum in the care of The Guilford Keeping Society. Many of the family’s original furnishings and belongings are on display. While seasonal visiting hours are from June through October, the Society does consider requests for tours by appointment, and visitors can walk around the house and peer in through the windows during the off season.

Medad Stone Tavern
197 Three Mile Course
Guilford, CT 06347
(203) 453-3176

In 1803, Guilford resident Medad Stone built a tavern where he thought the new main road through town was going to be constructed — but he was wrong. The big house, with its 10 fireplaces, became instead the center of a working farm and remained so for 200 years, until it was bequeathed to the Guildford Keeping Society, which restored it and reopened it as a tavern museum. Although the inside is closed in the late autumn and winter, the grounds are open and visitors can see the stately tavern, old barn, corn crib and stone walls.

Guilford Art Center
411 Church St.
Guilford, CT 06347
(203) 453-5947

For those visitors to Guilford who want to see both the modern as well as the historic part of town, the Guilford Art Center on Church Street is the place to go. It is both a gallery and a shop where local artists display and sell their work, as well as a school and workshop where craftsmen forge spears, throw pots, make jewelry and sculpt figures, among other artistic endeavors. The Art Center frequently hosts galas and gatherings, notably the Jewelry and Champagne event of December 4th and 5th, where 85 jewelers will show off their wares while visitors sip a bit of bubbly.

Related: Top Museum Tours In Connecticut

Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at Examiner.com.