The next time you visit the Opera House, why not spend your day the Goodspeed way in the Connecticut River Valley? All of our members are welcome to bring a picnic lunch and relax by the river on the green located next to the Opera House. Or stroll through the East Haddam village and visit the quaint shops – ice cream from the Hillside Sweet House is a treat on a warm summer day. Here are some sample itineraries and other interesting attractions to enjoy within minutes of the Goodspeed Opera House.
Itinerary #1: Historic East Haddam
Tour Gillette's Castle and explore its many nature paths, visit the Nathan Hale School House, then dine at the Gelston House or La Vita Gustosa before or after taking in a performance at the Goodspeed Opera House.
Itinerary #2: Shop 'Til You Drop
Spend your morning shopping at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets, browse the wonderful shops in downtown Essex, and have lunch at the historic Griswold Inn, before enjoying an afternoon matinee at the Goodspeed Opera House.
Itinerary #3: Riverboat Excursion
Head to The Cooking Company or Country Market in Haddam to pick up a tasty lunch. Enjoy your picnic while aboard the RiverQuest for a tour of the lower Connecticut River (show your ticket for a $5 discount). Round off the day with a matinee or evening performance at the Goodspeed Opera House.
Itinerary #4: Steam Train and Connecticut River Boat Ride
Start your morning at the Connecticut River Museum. Take a leisurely trip on the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat, followed by a stroll through the shops in Chester Village. Visit Brushmill by the Waterfall for lunch, then head to the Goodspeed Opera House for the matinee.
Lady Katharine Cruises, Haddam, CT
Discover the endless possibilities for putting a splash of fun in your life. Whether you’re thinking of a special occasion or going out just for fun, you’ll make it a better experience when you are on the water. Welcome aboard Lady Katharine Cruises, the ultimate Connecticut River experience!
Gillette Castle State Park, East Haddam, CT
It looks like a medieval fortress, but a step inside the stone castle reveals the built-in couches, table trackway, and woodcarvings that all point to the creative genius that was William Gillette.
RiverQuest, Haddam, CT
Come early for your day in the country and enjoy a scenic boat ride on the Connecticut River! Better yet, bring your lunch and beverages to enjoy during the cruise. Learn about local history, birdlife, and wildlife on the river; see beautiful homes and yachts, and even Gillette's Castle while cruising on the friendly RiverQuest. Show your Goodspeed ticket for a $5 discount or use code "Goodspeed" when booking online.
Priam Vineyards, Colchester, CT
Priam Vineyards was founded in 1998 in the historic town of Colchester, CT by Gloria Priam and her husband Gary Crump, with plans to continue a family tradition that was started in Budapest, Hungary in the late 1800's by Andrew Priam, Gloria's grandfather. In 2002, Priam Vineyards became a licensed farm winery, and opened the winery in April of 2003. Priam Vineyards is open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and select holidays, 11 a.m.to 6 p.m., March through December, for tastings and self guided tours of the vineyard.
Sundial Gardens, Higganum, CT
Herbalist, lecturer, and garden designer Ragna Tischler-Goddard has labored for three decades to create this oasis. A shop in the 18th-century barn stocks teas from around the world, tea accoutrements, melt-in-your-mouth Belgian chocolate, and other specialty foods. Ask about the wildly popular afternoon tea tastings and themed talks on tea and gardening. Outside, enjoy a trio of romantic 17th- and 18th-century-style gardens, where the air is perfumed with culinary, medicinal, and decorative herbs. The Persian-style knot garden and shady century-old grape arbor invite quiet reflection.
Essex Steam Train and Riverboat, Essex, CT
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat ride is a fun-filled trip for adults and children of all ages! Two coal-fired locomotives are available to pull our collection of lovingly restored railroad cars. You’ll be swept away by the hiss of steam, the blast of the whistle, and the clickety-clack of the tracks - an authentic journey back to the days of steam.
Connecticut River Museum, Essex, CT
Where the River comes to life. Located on the waterfront in historic Essex, the Connecticut River Museum is the perfect place to explore the heritage and experience the wonders of New England’s Great River.
Find more Connecticut attractions at these web sites: