If you're looking for a flourishing artist community, beach town and historical neighborhoods all rolled in one - then look no further than Old Lyme, Connecticut.
Located where the Connecticut River meets the Long Island Sound, Old Lyme is a popular bedroom community for people who work in New London, Groton, New Haven, and Hartford. It's also very driveable from New York City, Boston, and Providence. While 8,000 people call Old Lyme home year-round, the town grows by thousands more when summer residents converge on the charming coastal community.
"Old Lyme has everything you'd want in a New England seaside town," said Kazantzis Real Estate Owner and Agent Andrea Kazantzis. "It's a small town with a big sense of community. I love going to the beach here or strolling along historic Lyme Street."
For Art Lovers
Old Lyme is a true artist community and home to several museums, most notably the Florence Griswold Museum.
Located in the center of the village's historic district on 12 sprawling acres, the museum features the restored Florence Griswold House, a gallery for changing art exhibitions, education, and landscape centers, a restored artist’s studio, gardens, and a half-mile nature trail.
The museum is currently open but requires 24-hour advance online ticketing. The grounds are free and open to the public, but the museum asks visitors to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
Old Lyme is also home to the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts - a place where artists of all ages can refine their craft. The Academy said it's "continuously redefining what it means to be an art school."
For History Buffs
Historic Lyme Street is lined with American Colonial architecture, grand homes, antique shops, and an ice cream parlor.
If you want to stay in Old Lyme while house hunting, you may want to consider the Old Lyme Inn. Built in 1856, the Inn was once a working farm and even housed a riding academy where Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis took lessons. It was transformed into an inn in the 1950s when construction on the Connecticut Turnpike began and now features 13 guest rooms, indoor and outdoor dining, and live music in its world-class jazz club The Side Door. While both the restaurant and club are temporarily closed due to the pandemic, the Inn's guest rooms are available.
For Beach and Nature Lovers
If the beach or outdoor living is your thing, Old Lyme has amazing beaches, wildlife areas, and hiking trails.
Sound View is the town's most famous public beach. Situated right on Long Island Sound, the beach has beautiful views and rustic shops and restaurants nearby.
"This beach is small but very nice. Shallow water no big waves. The kids were able to have fun throwing the ball in the water. No lifeguard and you can bring water floats," one reviewer said on Yelp.
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While at the beach, head over to The Carousel of Old Lyme and try to grab a brass ring while riding the 1925 Allan Hershell Carousel. Next door, you'll find the Carousel Shop, which has beach items, unique gifts, candy, and 32 flavors of JJ Lawsen's Gourmet Ice Cream, yogurt, premium soft serve, or sherbet.
Doughnut lovers will want to visit on Saturday or Sunday. That's when Shoreline Community Center, located just two blocks from the beach, sells homemade "beach doughnuts" for $1. They're sold from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. or until they sell out.
If the lake is more your speed, check out Rogers Lake at Hains Park - a popular picnicking and boating spot. You may also want to check out some of the lakeside homes currently on the market.
For those who love paddle sports, head to the Black Hall River at the Great Island Salt Water Estuary - which is considered one of the top destinations in the Northeast for paddle sports, fishing, and outdoor marine recreation. If you don't have paddleboard or kayak - not to worry. Black Hall Outfitters has everything you'll need - for rent or purchase - to help you get out on the water and explore.
If wildlife is what you seek, check out The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center - which is dedicated to the conservation and preservation of the Connecticut River Estuary ecosystem and watershed.
The center offers all kinds of programs and even summer camp for the kiddos.
If you think Old Lyme is a place you'd like to call home, our agents would be glad to show you around town. Check out the many listings.