|Middletown is a small city on the Connecticut River about 15 miles south of Hartford. It's rather artsy and eclectic with lots of restaurants. (3 Mexican places, 3 Indian places, 2 Thai places, a Tibetan place and uncountable Italian places.) Yet it's a city that gave up its riverfront to the highway. (Why would ANY city do that?!?) |
There is a major college - Wesleyan University - located up the hill from downtown but it's the only college town I've ever seen that doesn't feel much like a college town. Where are the bookstores? The import clothing stores? Well, there may be one or two but they're hiding. To find the heart of Middletown you've got to do a little snooping around.
There are excellent resources here for those with an artistic bent. The Buttonwood Tree is an intimate performance art space on the North End of Main St. Oddfellows Playhouse provides a start in the world of theater for kids of all ages. Then there's Kid City - sort of an Exploratorium - a great place to take your kids on a rainy afternoon. And of course all the cultural offerings of Wesleyan University. A few years ago it was rated one of the 100 best Art towns in America.
Middletown is also the home to Connecticut Valley Hospital, the major psychiatric facility for southern New England. So if you see a few questionable people on the streets, relax, they're outpatients and they're probably properly medicated.
• Coyote Blue Tex Mex Cafe, 1960 Saybrook Rd, (860)345-2403. Casual Mexican fare, great Margaritas served in 16oz mugs. No reservations.
• Klekolo World Coffee, 181 Court St, (860)343-9444. Very cool little independent coffee shop / espresso bar, up a one-way side street across from the police station. Lots of odd college kids mixed with townies provides an interesting atmosphere. Very good international coffees and lots of fancy espresso based drinks. Plenty of teas (black, green or herbal) too! Open until 1 in the morning 7 days a week and all holidays too.
• Eli Cannon's Taproom, 695 Main Street, (860)347-3547. Many beers on tap, good pub food, great atmosphere.
• Harbor Park, 80 Harbor Drive, (860)347-9999. The place to be on a Summer night - on the deck at Harbor Park Restaurant, grooving to live music and watching the river traffic.
Inn at Middletown , 70 Main Street. A 100-room inn converted from the historic National Guard Armory. Visitors no longer need to stay in Cromwell when they come in for Wesleyan Parent's Weekend.
| || |
By car (it's the only way!)
• From Hartford - 91 S to 9 S first or second light on the highway (yes there are lights on the highway) take a right.
• From the Shoreline - Take 9 N - left at the lights.
• From the west (or New Haven) - Take Rt 66 E
• From the east - get thee to Portland and go over the Portland Bridge.
• Kidcity Children's Museum. 119 Washington St., 860 347-0495
• Wadsworth Mansion
• Oddfellow's Playhouse
• The Buttonwood Tree
• Harbor Park
• Indian Hill Cemetery