LOCATION: Old Saybrook, Connecticut, is located in Middlesex County, where the Connecticut River meets Long Island Sound. The town is small: 15 square miles and only about 10,000 people live there year round, though many more people live or spend time there in the summer.
CULTURE: In the summer, the town bustles with activity. Families go to the beaches, the restaurants and the shops. There’s entertainment on the Town Green, an annual arts festival, a weekly farmer’s market, mini-golf, a 9-hole public golf course and a popular biking/running route. People in Old Saybrook do the usual summery New England things: they hang at the beach, eat seafood and get ice cream.
GEOGRAPHY: The town is mostly flat, with some hills further north. The eastern edge of the town is bordered by the Connecticut River and the southern edge is along Long Island Sound. It’s a typical New England village, with established neighborhoods full of Colonials and Capes, old churches and a quaint Main Street.
HISTORY: Old Saybrook was founded by Dutch settlers in the 1600s and was its own colony until 1644 when it joined the Connecticut Colony. In 1701, Yale College was established there (though later moved to New Haven), and the town broke from neighboring Essex in 1854 and became its own town.
DEMOGRAPHICS: Old Saybrook is a wealthier town, with strong schools and a low crime rate. The average family income is a little more than $78,000 (according to 2012 data), which was $9,000 more than the state average. For the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the SAT, the average reading, writing and math scores in Old Saybrook are about 50 points higher in each category than the state average.
There’s lots to do if you were to spend a week in Old Saybrook. Here’s a list of the highlights:
Sunday: Settle down at Town Beach, located on Route 154.
Monday: Take a leisurely ride along the Old Saybrook bike loop, which is 10 miles and traverses along the coast, past beautiful neighborhoods and lighthouses, and over a causeway, where people are always fishing, to the Saybrook Point, where there is a restaurant and marina and mini-golf course, and then back through town along Main Street.
Tuesday: Play nine holes at the Fenwick Golf Course.
Wednesday: Buy fresh produce and seafood at the Farmer’s Market, on Main Street, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., every Wednesday in the summer. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch some live music, too.
Thursday: Check out a show on Main Street at the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, or on the adjacent town green.
Friday: Play mini-golf at the Point in the evening – and, when you’re done, grab some ice cream and sit on a bench and watch the boats go up and down the river.
Saturday: Before you leave, spend a few hours at the Saybrook Point Inn Restaurant and Spa. Get a meal and a massage, and return home refreshed and rejuvenated.