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Connecticut Waterfront Dining with Views of the Coast, Lakes, Rivers and Streams
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Abbott's Lobster in the Rough, Noank CTAbbott's Lobster in the Rough (photo by Eric)

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Waterfront restaurants are always on the travel menu in Connecticut. With one of America's most picturesque and popular coastlines, Connecticut offers casual, elegant, romantic and fun venues for the family. Connecticut's waterside restaurants ­ on the coast, lakes, rivers and streams, many with their own docks and accessible by boat ­ represent one of summer's most refreshing and delightful experiences.

Along the Coast On The Waterfront
Locals say that legendary Abbott's Lobster in the Rough overlooking Noank Harbor is "hard to find but impossible to forget." This seaside favorite specializes in giant lobsters so bring an appetite. Check out the memorabilia-filled dining room that captures the heyday of ocean cruising in the 1930's. Sea Swirl in Mystic is ranked at the very top of Connecticut "clam shacks." More than 24 flavors of ice cream and frozen yogurts add to the appeal. At Saybrook Point in Old Saybrook, the aptly-named Dock & Dine (currently under renovations) restaurant is open year-round and has amazing views of the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound. Sage American Grill & Riverside Bar in Chester boasts a waterfall view along the Connecticut River and the Sage American Oyster Bar & Grill in New Haven is one of the most popular dockside restaurants in the area. The double-decker deck offers spectacular views and is the perfect setting for a romantic evening. Built in 1836 with native granite, Guilford Mooring, on the Long Island Sound treats diners to traditional New England ambience and indigenous "nor'eastern" seafood.A hip crowd gathers in the outdoor patio at Stonebridge Restaurant, which overlooks the Wepawaug River waterfall. Outriggers at Brewers Stratford Marina in Stratford is eclectic in more than its menu ­ casual ambience takes on a tropical flair with staff dressed in Hawaiian shirts. Fairfield County is rich in waterside dining experiences. Sophisticated L'Escale at the Delamar Hotel on Greenwich Harbor is located in Connecticut's first independent five-star luxury hotel. Diners enjoy views of the busy harbor filled with luxury yachts and cruisers.

Lakes and Rivers Rushing By

Waterfront dining takes on an entirely different character in the hills and valleys of Connecticut, a more serene and tranquil experience than along the Long Island Sound. In the Litchfield Hills region, picturesque Lake Waramaug is home to a number of restaurants and inns that feature waterview dining. Since 1847, Hopkins Inn in New Preston perched high above the northern shore, has welcomed visitors with accommodations, dining and the Hopkins Inn beach just below. The Farmington River region is one of the most historic and scenic parts of Connecticut. Award-winning Ann Howard's Apricots in Farmington is noted for its sophisticated ambience and its expertly prepared specialties such as rack of lamb. The Old Riverton Inn, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, overlooks the tumbling west branch of the Farmington River ­ popular for tubing, kayaking and white water rafting ­ from its grindstone terrace and Hobby Horse bar. The Farmington River rushes by the windows of the charming Grist Mill Restaurant, which has won awards for its romantic atmosphere and French/Continental cuisine. The magnificent Connecticut River Valley offers several memorable places for waterfront dining, where the mouth of the river meets the Long Island Sound. The Blue Oar in East Haddam is noted for its backyard-grilled fresh seafood specialties and spectacular views of the river. Further north, the romantic Mill on the River Restaurant is located on the shore of the Podunk River in South Windsor. Adjacent to a rushing mill stream, the restaurant offers a promenade deck and garden gazebo.

If a water view is not enough, Connecticut offers a wide range of opportunities to set sail, put to sea (or the river) and eat well at the same time. There are dinner cruises of the Thimble Islands, lobster cruises, themed riverboat excursions on the Connecticut River, glamorous party boats for special occasions and many other choices. For complete information, visit For more details about waterside restaurants as well as the 52 Getaways to Connecticut guide; restaurants, resorts, country inns, B&Bs and other places to stay; please call 888-CTvisit (888-288-4748) or log on at . Connecticut offers visitors a multi-faceted wealth of attractions; historical, cultural and recreational activities; diverse natural landscapes,; parks, beaches and wilderness sure to fulfill any getaway desire.

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