Get ready to step back in time and explore the rich history and charm of Wethersfield, Connecticut. Join us as we guide you through the top attractions, shopping, dining, and things to do in Wethersfield, CT. We’ll also introduce you to nearby towns and cities that are worth a visit. Let’s uncover the authentic New England heritage that awaits you in Wethersfield!
- Explore Wethersfield, CT’s rich history with attractions in Historic Wethersfield
- Get outdoors at Mill Woods Park or Wethersfield Cove
- Enjoy local shopping & dining plus nearby towns & attractions
A Brief History of the Wethersfield Town
Wethersfield, Connecticut, was established in 1634, making it one of the oldest towns in Connecticut. This historic Connecticut town in Hartford County boasts an authentic New England heritage.
The town was first known as “Watertown” before being incorporated as a town in 1637. It was named after Wethersfield, a village in Essex. In 1638, it established the Old Wethersfield Village Cemetery on Hungry Hill as its first burying ground. On the Connecticut flag, one of the three grapevines represents the town.
The town saw four witch trials and three executions in the 17th century. They began in 1648, about 50 years before the more famous Salem witch trials.
The Collegiate School was located in Wethersfield from 1716 to 1718. Following that, it relocated to New Haven, Connecticut, and became Yale University.
During the American Revolutionary War, Silas Deane, a French envoy, lived in Wethersfield. His house is now part of the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum. General George Washington and French Lieutenant General Rochambeau planned the Siege of Yorktown here in 1781. That siege resulted in Britain’s surrender and American independence.
The largest historic district in Connecticut is located in historic Wethersfield. This district contains over 1,100 structures, many of which predate the Revolutionary War.
During the late 1700s and early 1800s, Wethersfield, Connecticut, was a major New England onion trading center. The town was famous for the Wethersfield red onion and was home to gardening expert William G. Comstock in the nineteenth century. Comstock established Comstock, Ferre & Company, America’s oldest seed company, in 1820. The company pioneered the commercial sale of sealed seed packets. This agricultural history paved the way for the establishment of other prominent seed companies in and around town.
If you’re particularly curious, visit the Wethersfield Historical Society’s research library. It is located at 150 Main St. in the 1804 Old Academy building. The library is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. It’s rich in local and regional histories of Wethersfield families, which seems appropriate for such an old town.
Top Things to do in Wethersfield, CT
In Wethersfield, you’ll find a wide range of activities and attractions. Fans of history, nature, and family-friendly fun are sure to enjoy a CT day trip. Some of the highlights include:
- Historic Wethersfield
- Webb Deane Stevens Museum
- Wethersfield Heritage Walk
And so much more!
For a more thrilling experience in this peaceful place, you can even try solving puzzles at Lara’s Labyrinth, which offers escape rooms in town. Now, we’ll uncover the top things to do in Wethersfield, CT.
Historic Wethersfield is the town’s central historic district. Old Wethersfield is a popular destination for heritage tourism. Why? The Old Wethersfield Historic District boasts more than 50 structures. Some date back to before the Revolutionary War. As you stroll along the quaint streets, don’t miss the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center. Here, you can get a glimpse into Old Wethersfield’s authentic New England heritage. Another must-visit site is the First Church of Christ, a reminder of the town’s deep-rooted religious history.
The charm of Historic Wethersfield doesn’t end there. As you explore the area, you’ll encounter historic homes ranging from the colonial era to before the Civil War.
Webb Deane Stevens Museum
Experience history up close at the Webb Deane Stevens Museum, home to three historic buildings:
- the Joseph Webb House
- the Silas Deane House
- and the Isaac Stevens House
These remarkable structures, each with their unique stories, offer a glimpse into the past.
Embark on a guided tour and delve into the museum’s exhibits that vividly depict Wethersfield’s history and the life of its early inhabitants.
Wethersfield Heritage Walk
Take a self-guided Wethersfield Heritage Walk to learn about the town’s history. It goes from colonial settlement to its role in the American seed industry. This three-mile walk is packed with attractions. It consists of 22 exhibit kiosks and wayside panels that will guide you through the streets – Main Street, The Cove, Broad Street Green and more. Enjoy the tour!.
Begin your journey by getting a brochure from the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center at 200 Main Street. You can also find brochures at nearby stores and eateries.
Built in 1711, the Buttolph-Williams House stands as one of the oldest timber-framed houses in Connecticut. Named after two of its past owners, Joseph Buttolph and Solomon Williams, this historic house now serves as a museum.
Tour the house and admire its collection of 17th-century decorative arts and New England Pilgrim furniture. While you experience the charm of a New England village once part of the historic Massachusetts Bay Colony, you may forget what century you’re in.
Wethersfield Historical Society
The Wethersfield Historical Society works to preserve the town’s history and educating visitors. Also known as the Wethersfield Historic Society, it maintains the Wethersfield Museum at the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center. It also maintains three house museums open for tours:
- the Hurlbut-Dunham House Museum
- the Cove Warehouse Maritime Museum
- and the Captain James Francis House
Through these history museums, you can delve into Wethersfield’s past and explore its rich heritage.
Keeney Memorial Cultural Center
Located in Old Wethersfield, the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center houses the Wethersfield Museum. Here, you can explore exhibitions on the town’s history and interactive displays for kids.
It you’re a history buff or simply intrigued by the town, the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center is an attraction you shouldn’t miss.
Wethersfield Cove, a natural harbor on the Connecticut River, offers a glimpse into the town’s history of trade. At one time, Wethersfield was an important navigational point along the Connecticut River. Today, the Cove features a marina for boating opportunities to enjoy the picturesque surroundings.
Discover the beauty of Wethersfield Cove and its significance in the town’s past.
Mill Woods Park
For outdoor enthusiasts, Mill Woods Park offers various activities for all ages. The park features a dog park, skate park, fishing pond, swimming pond, sports facilities, picnic areas, and walking trails.
Regardless of whether you’re in for a tranquil walk or a day brimming with sports and recreation, Mill Woods Park is your ideal spot.
Shopping in Wethersfield, Connecticut
Experience the charm of Wethersfield via its shopping scene. Unique establishments along the main drag offer regional treats, crafts, and unique gifts. And it all showcases the town’s authentic New England heritage.
Be it a special souvenir or a unique keepsake you’re in search of, these unique little shops are full of great Connecticut gift ideas.
Old Wethersfield Country Store
Step inside the Old Wethersfield Country Store and indulge in a variety of regional treats and crafts. This charming store offers a variety of items for its shoppers, including:
- Over 300 different types of fine chocolates and candies
- 70 types of cheese
- Local honey, jelly, and jams
- Handmade scented candles, soaps, beauty products
- Clothing, accessories, and cards
And don’t forget to try some Grass Roots Ice Cream. It’s a luxurious treat with amazing flavors like Honey Lavender, Deep Dark Chocolate Mousse, and Coffee Caramel Cup.
Heirloom Market at Comstock Ferre
The Heirloom Market at Comstock Ferre is a historic market offering:
- Heirloom seeds
- Gardening supplies
- Fresh produce
- Baked goods
- Handmade crafts from local and regional sources.
This unique market provides more than just a shopping experience. It also fosters an appreciation for the history and culture of heirloom plants.
Restaurants in Wethersfield, CT
From quaint breakfast spots to a variety of cuisines, Wethersfield’s dining scene caters to a wide range of tastes.
Sample the town’s culinary delights and experience the flavors of Wethersfield.
Breakfast in Wethersfield, CT
Begin your day in Wethersfield with a hearty breakfast at top spots such as:
- The Wethersfield Diner
- Old Town Cafe
- or Aroma Bistro
These places offer classic morning meals. Regular menu options include omelets, pancakes, waffles, French toast, and breakfast sandwiches.
Enjoy all these in a cozy and welcoming environment.
Lunch in Wethersfield, Connecticut
If you’re here a little later, head to one of Wethersfield, CT’s local hot spots or restaurants for a lunch stop. Village Pizza and the Main Street Creamery are top spots for pizza and ice cream, respectively. Lucky Lou’s is housed in a renovated Colonial, complete with a bar and a large, lovely patio area surrounded by a white picket fence.
Events and Festivals in Wethersfield, CT
Experience the vibrant community of Wethersfield by taking part in numerous events and festivals. Some of the annual events and festivals in Wethersfield include:
- Wethersfield Heritage Weekend
- Farmers Market
- Wethersfield Cornfest
- Memorial Day Parade
These events celebrate the town’s history and culture, and there’s always something happening in town.
Hotels, Inns, and Places to Stay in Wethersfield, CT
Wethersfield is about an hour an 20-minute drive from our Greenwich, CT, bed and breakfast. We visited on a day trip exploring the center of Connecticut. But if you’re not feeling quite so ambitious, there’s a brilliant place to stay right in Historic Wethersfield.
Silas W. Robbins House
The Silas W. Robbins House is a beautifully restored Victorian bed and breakfast, offering a lavish stay in Wethersfield. Nestled in the heart of the historic district, this elegant accommodation provides a serene retreat for guests.
Directions to Wethersfield, Connecticut
Wethersfield is conveniently located in Hartford County. It’s about an hour and 20-minute drive from the Stamford, CT, area. And there’s regular service via train or flights from Bradley Airport near Hartford.
Whether you’re traveling from nearby Hartford, Connecticut, or further afield, getting to Wethersfield is a breeze.
More Towns and Cities to Explore Near Wethersfield, CT
If you’re looking to extend your trip, there are several nearby towns and attractions to explore along the Connecticut River Valley.
Each spot offers a unique things to do in Connecticut, to make your day trip or weekend even more memorable.
Rocky Hill, Connecticut
Rocky Hill, Connecticut has a number of attractions for visitors. The nearby Dinosaur State Park & Museum offers interactive exhibits and live animals. Quarry Park, with its scenic setting and views of Hartford and the Connecticut River, provides a glimpse into the area’s history. The Rocky Hill-Glastonbury Ferry is the country’s oldest continuously operating ferry. It crosses the Connecticut River near Wethersfield, providing a scenic journey through time.
The city of Hartford, CT is a popular destination for literary enthusiasts, with the Mark Twain House being a must-visit attraction. This 19-room Victorian Gothic mansion, home to beloved author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, was where he lived from 1874 to 1891. Today, the house is a museum dedicated to preserving Twain’s legacy. It offers guided tours, exhibits, and educational programs. The house offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of America’s greatest literary figures. Cedar Hill Cemetery, established in 1864, is a historic burial ground known for its striking monuments and famous burials. Visitors can find the final resting places of notable figures like:
- Katharine Hepburn
- Samuel Colt
- and John Pierpoint Morgan Sr.
Middletown, Connecticut, is a city known for its rich history, culture, and natural beauty. It is home to Wesleyan University, known for its vibrant arts scene and beautiful campus. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy Hadsworth Falls State Park, which offers trails and a scenic waterfall. The General Mansfield House, housed by the Middlesex County Historical Society, provides a glimpse into the area’s past. Downtown Middletown also offers a variety of dining options. With farm-to-table restaurants, quaint cafes, and international cuisine, you’ll find a little bit of everything there.
New Britain, CT
New Britain, Connecticut, known as the “Hardware City” due to its industrial past, offers a variety of attractions for visitors. The New Britain Museum of American Art houses a collection of American artworks. And Walnut Hill Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, offers beautiful landscapes, walking trails, and a rose garden. Sports enthusiasts can watch the New Britain Bees baseball team play at the New Britain Stadium. The city also has a diverse culinary scene with restaurants serving both traditional American and international cuisine.
Wethersfield, Connecticut, is a trove of authentic New England heritage. The town’s historic district and museums are ripe for exploration. Local shopping and dining offer a taste of the community’s charm. Regular events provide entertainment for all ages. Wethersfield is a journey through time, rich in history and culture.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Wethersfield CT known for?
Wethersfield CT is famous for its rich history, being “Ye Most Ancient Town” in Connecticut. Wethersfield’s historic district has over one hundred fifty beautiful and distinctive Colonial homes. It was also the center of the onion trade in New England during the late 1700s and early to middle 1800s, earning it the nickname “Oniontown”.
Is Wethersfield a good area?
Wethersfield is a great place to live, offering excellent public schools, safe neighborhoods, and plenty of things to do. It’s a suburb of Hartford with a population of 27,162 and an impressive B+ rating for public education.
What are some fun facts about Wethersfield?
Wethersfield is the oldest and largest historic district in Connecticut. First settled in 1634 and famous as ‘Oniontown’ for its famed Wethersfield red onion trade. It was also the setting for the Yale vs. Harvard Football game in 1875, making it one of the oldest collegiate rivalries in the US!
Why go to Old Wethersfield Connecticut in October?
October is the perfect time to visit Old Wethersfield, Connecticut, for the Annual Scarecrows Along Main. This 27-year tradition welcomes visitors to experience the unique cultural district of Wethersfield.
What are the top attractions in Wethersfield, CT?
Wethersfield, CT offers plenty of cultural attractions. Top picks include Old Wethersfield, Webb Deane Stevens Museum, and Wethersfield Heritage Walk.