Farmington Travel Guide

  • Farmington
    by msbrandysue
  • Farmington
    by msbrandysue
  • The entrance to my home!
    The entrance to my home!
    by TJS1

Farmington Highlights

  • Pro
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    Bilimari says…

     Small New England town 

  • Con
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    mgtc says…

     Heavy traffic on Route 4 at commuter time 

  • In a nutshell
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    msbrandysue says…

     Little Farmington and their famous Hill-Stead Museum 

Farmington Things to Do

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    by msbrandysue Updated Oct 25, 2010

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    I came to the Hill-Stead Museum as recommended by the book 1000 Places to See Before You Die: USA Edition. I had come here in the early parts of my trip but found the all important sign of the tours not starting after the hour earlier to closing. It's a bit out of the way, at least 20 minutes from anything else but it's a fun place and the views are spectacular. To make things even better it's a National Historic Landmark!!

    My personal experience: Upon parking I paid my admission price and toured the horse carriages. Then I met the lovely tour guide and 4 other people, college students from Yale. The tour guide was an older woman and full of lots of great information about the family. Although I was sad pictures aren't taken, the rooms are historcally preserved to look just like the families lived in those days. While touring I could almost imagine myself in the study playing piano or reading poetry with the other women.

    The bedrooms and bathrooms almost make you feel like you're back in time. It's really interesting to imagine what it must be like to first have indoor plumbing and how lucky you must feel! Again, the tour guide helped explain all sorts of interesting questions and the art work on every wall was very fitting in that Impressionist stage so well-known in Connecticut's Art Trail.

    So, overall, it's a great experience to visit the house. Although Farmington is sorta out of the way, it's worth it if you really like exploring restored houses and/or Impressionist art.

    A bit of history for you: "Hill-Stead has been a hub of activity since the Pope family first occupied their newly built country estate in Farmington, Connecticut. Here, from 1901 to 1946, in succession, Alfred and Ada Pope and their daughter Theodate, with her career-diplomat husband John Wallace Riddle, entertained many illustrious individuals—authors, artists, poets, academics and presidents. The Popes and Riddles also extended their hospitality to town folk and employed dozens of workers, among them Earnest Bohlen, butler to the family for nearly 60 years. Today, Hill-Stead is a 152-acre, 10-building museum and a National Historic Landmark."-website

    Hours
    House Tours & Museum Shop
    Open Tuesday-Sunday 10 am–4 pm. Closed Mondays and major holidays.

    Last tour of the day begins one hour before closing.

    The first Sunday of every month, tour the collection at your own pace from 12 pm until closing, with interpreters in every room to answer questions. At 1 pm, enjoy a gallery talk. June–October, join a guided estate walk at 2 pm.

    Two-hour, behind-the-scenes Platinum Tour available by reservation: 860.677.4787 ext 140 or stotzs@hillstead.org

    Grounds
    Open daily 7:30 am-5:30 pm.
    Plein air painting groups are asked to book with Sharon Stotz: 860.677.4787 ext 140 or stotzs@hillstead.org

    Archives
    By appointment.
    andersonm@hillstead.org

    Admission
    $10 adults, $9 seniors, $8 students, $5 children ages 6-12,
    free to members and children under age six.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Road Trip

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    by Bilimari Written May 8, 2005

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    The Amistad trail is a part of the Connecticut Freedom Trail, a list of over 60 historic locations throughout the state. Each location played an important role in the African-American journey from slavery to freedom in Connecticut. Places in addition to those listed on the Amistad Trail include historic homes, churches, graves, monuments, and sites on the Underground Railroad.

    Though, Farmington was ignored in the movie "Amistad", it's a very important place to Amistad case. After the Africans won, they stayed in Farmington for 8 months while money could be raised for passage back to Africa.
    They went to school, and many learned to speak English, and to some degrees, to read and write.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

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    by Bilimari Written May 8, 2005

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    Hill-Stead Museum, designated a National Historic Landmark in 1991, is an outstanding example of Colonial Revival domestic architecture set on 152 acres of fields and woodlands.

    The Museum houses outstanding works by Monet, Manet, Degas, Cassatt and Whistler, which are shown with the furnishings and decorative arts as they were when the Pope and Riddle families were in residence (1901-1946).

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

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Farmington Hotels

Farmington Transportation

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    by Bilimari Written May 8, 2005

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    Airport: Bradley International
    30-45 min. drive from Farmington
    www.bradleyairport.com

    ----------
    Train: Hartford
    15-20 min. drive from Farmington

    ----------
    Bus: Hartford bus station
    15-20 min. drive from Farmington
    Bus: Farmington bus station
    in Farmington

    Bus goes to cities in CT and Bradley airport, Boston, NYC, JFK.

    Once you are off the plane, train, or bus, you'll need to rent a car. Local buses and taxies are not convenient at all.

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Farmington Shopping

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    by Bilimari Written May 8, 2005

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    Everything from fashion, toys, books, music, crafts, restaurants, galleries, computer shops, furniture, department stores.....

    What to buy: Munson's chocolates are only available in Connecticut.

    What to pay: As much as you care to spend.

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Farmington Warnings and Dangers

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    by Bilimari Written May 8, 2005

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    New England drivers are the worst in the States.

    Always expect for a few cars to go through at the stop signes and the red lights.

    People drive much faster than the speed limit. If you try to keep a distance between you and a car in front of you, someone will cut in front of you as soon as there is enough space.

    And, of course, the teenage drivers.....

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Farmington Sports & Outdoors

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    Ducks ahead!

    by Bilimari Updated Apr 16, 2013

    There are several shops where you can rent canoe and other equipment. When the water level is high, you can do 10 miles course, but when we went, the water was low, and could only do 7 miles of that course, which took about 2.5 hours. (We had to pull canoe in some area where water was too low.)

    Water is relatively calm in most places, you can relax and enjoy the scenery, watching birds, and exchange a quick conversation with other canoe-ers and Kayak-ers.
    You share the river with fly fishermen, too. If you see them up ahead, quietly go around them.

    There are a couple of places where you can pull canoe to the sandy area to have a break (lunch).

    Equipment: You can rent canoe, life jacket, etc. at the shop.
    Bring water, snack, camera, sunscreen, etc.

    In addition to canoe, you can also rent or bring kayak and raft to the river.

    Related to:
    • Water Sports
    • Rafting
    • Kayaking

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