Everyone knows that once the end of the year comes around, the world goes bonkers. They’re either trying to get a headstart on buying all of the items on each Christmas list for every family member only to find out that it’s all sold out or they’ve waited until the last minute and realized that every shelf is empty. Either way, no one is happy and everyone is stressed. Although the winter holidays are meant for families to come together and enjoy each other’s company, why not take some time for yourself and get away from all of the last-minute holiday chaos? Connecticut has some wonderful experiences that you can enjoy on your own. Guilford, Connecticut specifically has plenty of places and scenery that’s perfect for a relaxing solo getaway.
Guilford is a small town in New Haven County on Long Island Sound. It’s a really slow-paced environment with relaxing vibes that really allow you to soak everything in at your own pace. Just imagine yourself having the freedom to walk around town doing things when you choose to do so. After sunset is when the town can come to life making it a really fun area to check out and see what the town life is all about. Did you know that in May of 1639, Reverend Henry Whitfieldled the Puritans and established themselves in the plantation of Menuncatuk, which later became known as Guilford? By the beginning of the 20th century, Guilford became a community housing over 22,000 people.
Now that you’ve learned a little more about Guilford’s history, one of the first relaxing solo adventures you should take yourself on is the Henry Whitfield State Museum where you can go on a self-guided tour throughout all three floors of the beautiful stone house where he, his wife, and nine children use to live. You’ll be taken back in time as you set your eyes upon all of the 17th, 18th, and 19th century-old furnishings that have and still fill the walls of this historical home. As you wander around the beautiful landscape that surrounds the museum, you’ll come across a statue of Mr. Whitfield and a surviving ship cannon from the War of 1812. If you are someone who enjoys learning about the history behind small towns and how they came to be, this would be a great place to visit and immerse yourself into.
Although history may not be everyone’s favorite subject, the creative arts sure has a way to make people stop and appreciate its beauty. Visiting the Guilford Art Center will have you doing just that. The Art Center is open to the public seven days a week and is free to walk around in. It originally opened in 1967 and is home to one of the most comprehensive organizations showcasing the works of contemporary American artists. You are more than welcome to purchase a work of art if you’d like. Just be sure you’re able to safely get it back home with you if flying was your way to travel.
As you spend your day immersing yourself in the artwork and rich history of Guilford, you’re bound to get hungry at some point from all of the adventures you’ve been exploring. Stop in at Guilford Bistro & Cafe where you’re able to sit out on the patio and enjoy the cool breeze, a healthy delicious Italian sandwich, and your choice of drink. You are allowed to bring your own beverage. In fact, with the type of establishment that it is, they prefer for you to bring your own beverage. This restaurant opened in 2006 and has your health and well-being in mind with their choice of Italian-styled menu items that will have a modern twist on each selection. You’ll want to come back for lunch or dinner every day after all of the relaxing adventures you’ll find yourself on.
If you’d rather immerse yourself in a sensational salt bath instead of exploring downtown Guilford, then making an appointment at Surrender to the Float will be the best thing you could do for yourself. The longer-than-body-length flotation tank is filled with water that’s meant to provide a zero-gravity environment so your muscles, mind, and bones fully relax allowing you to enter into a full state of rest. A day at the spa is always guaranteed to have you feeling well relaxed by the time you leave.
If spending a day in nature is more your calling, then taking a peaceful walk through Chaffinch Island Park or along Jacob’s Beach might be more your style. Chaffinch Island Park has very little foot traffic allowing you to basically have the park to yourself as you stroll through. Jacob’s Beach does require you to pay a daily fee to explore the sand, water, and all of the amenities that are included, however, there’s a boardwalk and a picnic area for you to enjoy a delicious packed lunch and a good book at. You really don’t have to do anything at all if you’d like to just lay back and enjoy the beach-front view.
by Savannah Haggard