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Madison, like its neighbor Guilford, is blessed with both the ambiance of historic New England as well as its shoreline location.  But Madison has an especially alluring advantage, and that is Hammonasset State Park, Connecticut's largest shoreline park and beach. The adjacent tidal wetlands created by the Hammonasset River are a particular treat. They border the Griswold Airport, small enough to host the airborne sport of paragliding.  Paragliding, consisting of flight in a kind of motor driven parachute, or motor controlled (and one would assume safer) hang gliding, is particularly appropriate to the shoreline and its natural splendor where one can, 'follow a meandering river for several miles, below treetop level, carving turns around the bends,' or, 'glide above a rocky coast and see fish swimming in the shallows, undisturbed by my shadow passing overhead.' Seems like the ultimate shoreline experience!

       Madison has an active arts community which has created 'The Sculpture Mile', a kind of artistic mall (in its original non-commercial sense) where one can experience a changing series of world class statues in a pristine outdoor setting. Without leaving town you can visit two historic open houses, the Deacon John Grave House and the Allis-Bushnell House and Museum.

        Of course Madison is within easy driving distance of other shoreline attractions such as the Mystic Seaport, Mystic Aquarium, and Olde Mistick Village where you will find numerous craft and gift stores, plus the nearby Foxwoods and Mohegan Casinos. Moving westerly are the theatres and museums of New Haven and further down the coast is the well-known Norwalk Maritime Center and Historic Sono where brick lined streets offer many many restaurants and quaint little shops.  Away from the shore are Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, and the multiple theatres and music venues of Hartford.

        Closer to'home´┐Ż are some spectacular scenic drives, particularly Leetes Island Road (Route 146) from the center of Guilford to Stony Creek harbor in Branford, and the very accurately named Thimble Islands. Cruising along this road, the views of wetland marshes are easily a match for other more famous coastlines around the world really! But before leaving Guilford center, on River Road, there is a tiny park on the placid West River where a sweeping, weeping willow tree faces a seemingly unending cattail marsh. This place is just perfect and you would swear that Toad Hall is just around the bend. In the center itself, visit the three historical houses open to the public that's only three of the four hundred and fifty 17th, 18th, and 19th century homes in this distinctive town. By the way, the adjective distinctive is a good one to describe Guilford's antique, crafts, and clothing stores. But for a feast of quality shopping, there is nothing like Clinton Crossing our the Outlet Mall in Westbrook, upscale outlet malls and it's the right next to Madison itself.

Some Links to CT Attractions:
Scranton Memorial Library
801 Boston Post Road, Madison, CT 06443, 203-245-7365, Local public library in Madison with activities and events for children all year long.

Historic Homes, Museums & Galleries
  • Deacon John Grave House 581 Boston Post Road, Madison, CT 06443, 203-245-4798, Begining as a primitive two-room dwelling that is now a classic New England saltbox. The house has been inhabited for over 300 years by the descendants of Deacon John Grave.
  • Allis-Bushnell House and Museum 853 Boston Post Road, Madison, CT 06443, (Circa 1785) Period rooms with four-corner fireplaces; doctor's office and equipment; exhibits of costumes, china, dolls, toys, kitchenware, working looms, spinning wheels, household implements, farming, fishing and shipbuilding tools; original paneling. (May-October, Wednesday, Friday-Saturday, limited hours; other times by appointment) Guests can also enjoy visiting the colonial herb garden.
  • Sculpture Mile Main Street, Madison, CT 06443, 860-767-2624, Exciting display of outdoor sculptures by American sculptors from across the land. Open year round but there is a guided tour on Saturdays from April to November at 11 am.


Chef Silvios
725 Boston Post Rd.
Madison, CT 06443
Cafe Allegre
725 Boston Post Rd.
Madison, CT 06443
Inn at Lafayette
725 Boston Post Rd.
Madison, CT 06443
The Woodwinds
29 Schoolground Rd.
Branford, CT 06405