Connecticut Coast Bed And Breakfast: Top Spots | Stanton House Inn

Front parlor and hallway of Stanton House Inn

Other stretches of coastal New England get all the fame, but the Connecticut coast is a unique place. And if you want to experience the unique New England charm here, there’s no better spot than one of these top Connecticut coast bed and breakfasts. These B&Bs offer everything from the luxury of waterfront suites to the rich history of New England homes. Staying at any of these places guarantees an unforgettable experience. So why not embark on a journey through the best bed and breakfasts on the Connecticut coast? Your dream vacation awaits!

 

Quick hits

  • Are you considering a stay at Connecticut’s coast? We’ve compiled a list of the top 15 bed and breakfasts that will make your trip unforgettable.
  • Explore beyond the coast! Fairfield County, Connecticut River Valley, New Haven, New London, and Hartford have much to offer.
  • If tranquility is your goal, Quiet Corner is the place to be. Its breathtaking landscapes and historic sites will surely captivate you.

What is a bed and breakfast?

Breakfasts offer substinance before exploring the local area

A stay at a typical bed and breakfast is anything but typical. They’re all quite unique places to stay. But some of the standard finds here include a cozy atmosphere, personalized service, and historic or picturesque locations. They provide a sense of community with local advice. At Stanton House Inn, for example, guests can enjoy breakfast in a cozy dining room that doubles as an afternoon tea room. Modern amenities you’ll find at B&Bs include free Wi-Fi, comfortable beds, and bathroom essentials. And guest rooms offer unique amenities like gas fireplaces, wet bars, and private entrances and porches. B&Bs also offer a complementary and delicious breakfast daily featuring local ingredients and snacks. Read more about what to expect at a bed and breakfast inn to get some extra details.

 

A Brief History of Bed and Breakfasts

Historic inn near New London, CT

Bed and breakfasts have a rich history dating back to Europe. The words bring to mind warm beds and hearty breakfasts for travelers. The first in the US opened in 1872 in Saratoga Springs, New York. They have evolved into popular holiday destinations, offering luxury and personalized service. In Connecticut, visitors can choose from historic New England homesteads or charming inns along the Connecticut shoreline.

 

Before the 20th Century

The concept of a bed and breakfast has existed since the dawn of time. Medieval monks offered their monasteries as resting places for weary pilgrims. Before the 20th century, travelers would stay in private homes rather than inns or hotels. Nobility would stay with other nobles, traveling doctors would stay with a local doctor or pharmacist, et cetera. The hospitality industry was still developing, after all.

 

B&Bs are ubiquitous in Europe, particularly in the British Isles, with their signs featuring the words ‘B&B’ in bold letters and a swinging ‘Vacancies’ sign below. That said, the term is not universally used, with global variations including paradors, pensions, gasthaus, minskukus, shukukos, pousados.

 

The American Bed & Breakfast Inn

In America, early settlers sought shelter in homes, inns, and taverns, some of which have now become B&Bs.

 

In the old days, B&Bs popped up shortly after an area was settled, to accommodate later arrivals as they found their footing. Before the 1900s, B&Bs were private residences catering to specific types of people, such as doctors, lawyers, cowboys, miners, and pioneers. That said, they were more typically taverns that happened to have a few guest rooms available. Putnam Cottage in Greenwich, which hosted George Washington, is a local example. As the industry diversified and more inns, lodges, and hotels were built in the 1900s, B&Bs became an affordable option for people traveling through small towns or undeveloped areas.

 

History of Connecticut Bed and Breakfasts

Historic inn in Norwich, CT

Up to the Great Depression, these establishments were known as ‘boarding houses’. And boarding houses in Connecticut attracted all sorts of visitors. Some of the most famous were artists. Two former boarding houses in Connecticut are now art museums celebrating former tenants that stayed and painted here:

 

 

 

But after the Depression, they lost their charm and became associated with low-income travelers or drifters. In the 50s, they were referred to as ‘tourist homes’, but soon fell into oblivion as motels gained popularity as the “modern version of traveling”.

 

Modern Era

As Americans rediscovered B&Bs on trips to Europe, they experienced a resurgence in popularity at the end of the 20th century. But that interest started to decline again, as a perception grew that a stay at a B&B was like staying at grandma’s house, doilies and all.

 

Today, B&Bs are a charming alternative to impersonal hotel or motel rooms. They often offer luxurious, newly-appointed accommodations and luxury amenities that rival those of high-end hotels. A lot of the credit for renewed interest in bed and breakfasts is attributable to the rise of Airbnb and a drive to find more unique places to stay than a chain hotel. A CT bed and breakfast inn makes for a romantic getaway, or simply a unique place to stay on your next trip.

 

At the same time, the industry is changing, again: many inns are closing their doors and reverting back to private homes. Still others are consolidating under independent lodging brands, like Lark Hotels.

 

The Best Bed and Breakfasts on the Connecticut Coast

Victorian decor

Are you on the hunt for the best bed and breakfasts along the Connecticut coast?

 

If so, you’re in for a delightful experience. We’ve curated a list of the top 15 spots, each wonderful inn radiating its own unique charm.

 

You’ll find everything from historic inns to luxurious retreats perched on the water’s edge. And, not to worry, all feature standards of the bed and breakfast industry, like private bathrooms, air conditioning, and WiFi.

 

Now, let’s explore the most unique and delightful bed and breakfasts along the Connecticut coastline:

 

Map of the best Connecticut bed and breakfasts on the Connecticut coast

 

Fairfield County

Charming street in a town in southwestern Connecticut

The first stop on the tour of the Long Island Sound shoreline is Fairfield County in Connecticut. It’s a unique blend of urban and suburban life, full of charming towns waiting for exploration. You could immerse yourself in nature at the Connecticut Audubon Society Birdcraft Museum & Sanctuary. Or marvel at the architectural wonder that is the Philip Johnson Glass House in Greenwich. If aquatic life fascinates you, the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk is a must-visit. From the hustle and bustle of city life to the charm of New England, it’s all here. This destination is perfect for your next getaway.

 

1) Stanton House Inn | Greenwich, CT

Room featuring four poster beds and gas fireplaces

Located right in the center of the town of Greenwich, CT, is the historic Stanton House Inn. Built in 1843 on a historic New England homestead, this place has links to many influential figures. Some notables include Stanford White and Elizabeth Cady Stanton of the American Women’s Suffrage Movement.

 

The Stanton House Inn provides everything you need for a comfortable stay. It offers 21 cozy guest rooms with charming decor, each with its own private bath. Complimentary breakfast is served daily in our afteroon tea room. Exploring the perennial gardens and seasonal outdoor pool is a delight in the summer months. And for local insight, our host team provides concierge services.

 

Just a short walk away is downtown Greenwich, CT. Here, you can indulge in some retail therapy or enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many elegant restaurants along Greenwich Avenue. If you’re seeking tranquility, the Stanton House Inn is an ideal choice.

 

2) The Inn at Longshore | Westport, Connecticut

Harbor and marina in Westport, CT

Waking up to the sound of waves crashing against the shore and the salty sea air filling your lungs can be magical. Built in 1890, this former private residence is now the Inn at Longshore, with twelve guest rooms. It offers creature comforts like pet-friendly rooms, laundry facilities, and a mouth-watering breakfast.

 

The views are breathtaking. Overlooking the Long Island Sound, you can spend your days simply taking in the serene beauty of the sea. When hunger strikes, head over to La Plage. It’s the inn’s very own waterfront restaurant and oyster bar. Feast on the freshest seafood and coastal cuisine while watching the sun set over the water. That said, be sure to explore the best things to do in Westport, Connecticut, while you’re here.

 

New Haven, CT, bed and breakfasts

Cute houses in Guilford, CT, near New Haven

New Haven is the intellectual capitol of Connecticut, for obvious reasons. Here, you can immerse yourself in fascinating museums like the Yale University Art Gallery or the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. As evening falls, the city’s famous culinary scene comes alive. And while you won’t find cute bed and breakfasts within the city itself, you’ll find charming ones along the Long island Sound coast. And after all, New Haven citizens founded most of these towns, so close enough.

 

3) Thimble Islands Bed & Breakfast | Branford, CT

For a refreshing change of scenery, consider Thimble Islands Bed & Breakfast in Branford. This cozy spot offers a stunning view of the Long Island Sound and the Thimble Islands. It’s a perfect blend of comfort and modernity in one of their two guest rooms. Each morning, you can look forward to a locally sourced breakfast featuring fresh pastries and homemade granola. When you’re ready for some exploration, nearby beaches and shops in Branford, CT, await.

 

Madison, Connecticut bed and breakfasts

The historic district in the center of Madison, CT

Madison, Connecticut is a charming coastal town that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Nestled on the Connecticut shoreline, Madison is most famous for being home to one of the most beautiful beaches in Connecticut. It also hosts a vibrant arts scene, and a welcoming community. Madison is home to several historical sites, boutique shops, and a variety of dining options that cater to every palate.

 

When it comes to accommodations, Madison boasts two delightful bed and breakfasts that promise a comfortable and memorable stay:

 

4) Scranton Seahorse Inn | Madison, Connecticut

This Greek Revival home first housed Sereno Scranton in 1833, but this small inn doesn’t lack modern amenities. Scranton Seahorse Inn offers seven guest rooms, each room equipped with a private bath, cable TV, and Wi-Fi. Every morning, a delicious breakfast awaits you. Expect fresh pastries and homemade granola. After eating, you’re free to take a leisurely walk to the nearby spectacular beaches and shops.

 

5) The Homestead | Madison, CT

Next is The Homestead in Madison. A newer addition to the list, this quiet haven was a private home built in 1958. Today, it’s a boutique inn with eleven eclectic rooms, each featuring its own bath. Breakfast is locally sourced, with quiche and pastries from local businesses. The Homestead is conveniently located near the beach and the town center, with complimentary beach cruiser bicycles to help explore town.

 

Connecticut River Valley

Sailboat passing the Old Saybrook lighthouse at the mouth of the river

According to National Geographic, the Connecticut River Valley is one of the last great places in the world.

 

Charming little towns like Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, and Essex line its shores of marsh and forests. You can hike the Chauncey Peak Trail or the Mattabesett Trail. Or hit the trails at Bigelow Hollow State Park.

 

If you want to explore deeper inland along the river, head to the Bevin House Bed and Breakfast in East Hampton, CT.

 

Westbrook, CT, bed and breakfasts

Westbrook Historical Society occupies the old library

Westbrook was once part of Saybrook Colony and first named Pochaug. Its shipbuilding industry thrived on local timber, and the town is famous for the Turtle, the world’s first submarine invented by David Bushnell. By the 1870s, Westbrook became the popular summer resort town that it remains today.

 

6) Westbrook Inn Bed and Breakfast | Westbrook, Connecticut

The Westbrook Inn Bed and Breakfast was originally a gift from a sea captain to his adopted daughter in 1876. The inn has been a boarding house and guest house for over 30 years. The inn offers 10 charming rooms with a mix of vintage charm and casual elegance. Each stay includes a complimentary homemade breakfast, modern amenities, private bathrooms, gardens, and board games. The inn’s location, with the best beaches and Westbrook, CT, attractions within walking distance, makes this historic Connecticut bed and breakfast a perfect destination.

 

7) Captain Stannard House Bed and Breakfast Country Inn | Westbrook, CT

Captain Stannard House Bed and Breakfast Country Inn is a charming and relaxing getaway with sleigh beds and a floor-to-ceiling hearth in the Great Room. The inn offers a hearty breakfast with fresh fruit, muffins, breads, and spreads. A block away from both the beach and town center, it provides easy access to local attractions. The inn, built by Captain Elbert Stannard in 1872, has evolved into various establishments, including the Menunketesuck Inn, St. Charles Inn, Olde English Tavern, and Holly’s Hotel & Seafood Restaurant. In 1931, Holly’s Barn was added for community gatherings and workforce housing.

 

Essex, CT, bed and breakfasts

The front of the Griswold Inn

The center of shipbuilding, then the piano industry, Essex is now a charming, historic town on the river. And it hosts 3 fantastic bed and breakfasts close to the CT shoreline.

 

8) The Griswold Inn | Essex, CT

This historic inn has been standing since 1776, which makes it the oldest bar and inn in Connecticut. You’ll find it on the main street of Essex, CT, a town brimming with charm. Each bedroom in the inn ranges from simple to luxurious, each adorned with antiques and furniture from bygone eras.

 

But The Griswold Inn offers more than just a place to stay. It’s renowned for its cuisine, a delightful blend of American and bistro styles. The inn’s taproom has been voted the best in Connecticut multiple times. So, a stay at The Griswold Inn is living a piece of history, savoring culinary delights, and experiencing the timeless appeal that Essex, CT, has to offer.

 

9) Riverwind Inn Bed & Breakfast | Deep River, Connecticut

The Riverwind Inn Bed & Breakfast is located in Deep River, CT, offering seven comfortable and inviting guest rooms with private baths and various amenities. The individually decorated rooms reflect Colonial charm and casual elegance. Each room features a four-poster bed, a gas fireplace, and a soaking tub, making them ideal for romantic getaways in CT. The inn offers coffee, tea, hot chocolate, bottled water, and complimentary sherry upon return. The living room features a fireplace, while the terrace offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The inn is central to the area’s many pleasures, and gas fireplaces in-rooms make it an ideal retreat for a little tranquility. The Riverwind Inn Bed & Breakfast is ready to accommodate you for a peaceful escape in Deep River, CT.

 

10) Copper Beech Inn | Ivoryton, CT

Next on the list is the Copper Beech Inn. It’s snugly tucked away in the quaint village of Ivoryton. This old-world inn is a sight to behold. It boasts a collection of twenty-two rooms and luxury suites. These are spread across the Main House, the Carriage House, and the Comstock House. Each room is equipped with its own bathroom and adorned with period antiques, oriental rugs, and rich fabrics. The inn’s award-winning restaurant serves a blend of contemporary American and bistro cuisine. An extensive wine list is also available. Nestled amidst picturesque landscapes, the Copper Beech Inn is a haven of luxury and tranquility. It’s an ideal spot for both a relaxing retreat and a romantic getaway.

 

New London

Hole in the Wall beach in Niantic, CT

New London is where the sea and urban life intersect, creating a unique blend of history and art. You can visit places like the Custom House Maritime Museum, the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, and the Hygienic Art Gallery, each with their own stories and unique beauty. The outdoor activities are also plentiful. You can visit the beaches of Ocean Beach Park or explore the Thames River. New London has it all: history, art, nature, and coastal charm.

 

11) Inn at Harbor Hill Marina | Niantic, CT

This charming and comfortable spot boasts a breathtaking view of Niantic Harbor, making it one of the most romantic inns in CT. The rooms are well-equipped, ensuring you have everything you need.

 

The food is another highlight. All meals are locally sourced and fresh. As you sit down to breakfast, you’ll enjoy the finest Niantic has to offer. The location of the Inn is perfect for a leisurely stroll to the village where you can explore the shops local eateries, and things to do in Niantic, CT.

 

The Inn at Harbor Hill Marina offers a combination of peace, quiet, and unforgettable views. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic getaway from the daily hustle and bustle.

 

Mystic, Connecticut bed and breakfasts

Charming homes in Mystic, CT

Mystic, Connecticut, is a charming maritime town famous for its picturesque seaport of historic ships, a world-class aquarium, and Mystic Pizza. And, as befits a charming little shoreline town on Long Island Sound, you’ll find several cute inns both in and nearby to Mystic, CT.

 

12) Stonecroft Country Inn | Ledyard, CT

Stonecroft Country Inn has witnessed more than two centuries from its front porch. Originally, it was a sea captain’s historic New England homestead. Today, it serves as a serene retreat from the world, perfect for a romantic getaway. The inn comprises four rooms in the historic 1807 House and an additional six in the Yellow Barn suites. The two master suites are particularly popular among honeymooners and couples celebrating anniversaries. Each room is equipped with modern comforts like fireplaces, jetted tubs, luxury bedding, and private baths. Every day begins with a hearty country breakfast before a day of exploration of the best things to do in Ledyard, CT.

 

13) Steamboat Inn | Mystic, CT

The Steamboat Inn is strategically located in the heart of old Mystic, next to the Mystic Bascule Bridge. This prime location offers a unique stay that stands out from the rest. Each room provides a front-row seat to the river’s activities, complemented by the conveniences of mini-fridges and flat-screen TVs. You’ll find the famed Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic Aquarium, and other local treasures within easy reach. The Steamboat Inn is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the rhythm of this maritime town and truly experience the best things to do in Mystic, CT.

 

14) Whaler’s Inn | Mystic, CT

The Whaler’s Inn is pushing boutique hotel size. But this writer likes them so much, the Whaler’s Inn still make the cut. It offers modern rooms and suites that ensure a peaceful sleep in downtown Mystic. Situated near attractions like the Mystic Seaport Museum and Mystic Aquarium, this boutique property boasts 45 unique guestrooms, spread across five distinct buildings. The Inn overlooks the Mystic River and Bascule Drawbridge, making it an ideal base for exploring Mystic’s hidden gems.

 

15) Inn at Stonington | Stonington, CT

Stonington, Connecticut, is another charming town. Take Nantucket and cram it into a little peninsula to get Stonington, CT. Here, the Inn at Stonington is just the place for you in the heart of Stonington Borough. The Stonington Lighthouse Museum and Captain Nathaniel B. Palmer House are within walking distance.

 

The Inn’s rooms are designed to feel like a second home, complete with views of the water. It’s a place that invites you to relax and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. The Inn at Stonington is your gateway to the good life in the quaint coastal town of Stonington, Connecticut.

 

More Connecticut Regions to Explore beyond the Connecticut Shoreline

Old Riverton Inn, in Barkhamstead, CT

Don’t limit yourself to Connecticut’s coastline. There’s so much more to discover a short drive away from Long Island Sound. Connecticut abounds with unique attractions and activities in every corner. And let’s face it, Connecticut is tiny. So most of these make great CT day trips from the shoreline.

 

Litchfield Hills

West Cornwall bridge in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut

First off is the Litchfield Hills region of Northwest Connecticut. This location is rich with green, beautiful nature and some of the best outdoor activities in CT.

 

Take a walk through the White Memorial Conservation Center, Topsmead State Forest, or Mount Tom State Park. The charming towns in the region, with their unique shops, mouth-watering restaurants, and historical sites, are worth a day trip or two.

 

Quaint towns host charming Connecticut bed and breakfasts like:

 

 

 

 

  • And Litchfield, Connecticut, home of inns like the Litchfield Inn

 

Hartford

A Connecticut bed and breakfast in Wethersfield, CT

Hartford has been Connecticut’s heart for centuries, both politically and culturally. The Mark Twain House & Museum, the Connecticut Science Center, and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art are all monuments to the city’s rich past. When night falls, Hartford’s entertainment scene awakens. The Hartford Stage, the Bushnell Center for Performing Arts, and the Sea Tea Comedy Theater are all eager to entertain you. A few of the best Connecticut bed and breakfasts that are within easy reach of Hartford are:

 

 

 

Quiet Corner

Historic home in Woodstock, CT

Another stop is the Quiet Corner of Northeast Connecticut. Here, the hustle and bustle of city life is a world away. You’ll find towns that resemble scenes from a storybook, surrounded by bucolic scenery.

 

Be sure to visit Roseland Cottage in the town of Woodstock, Connecticut, home of the Inn at Woodstock Hill. Coventry is also worth seeing. For nature lovers, Boyd Woods Audubon Sanctuary and the Big Cathedral Trail offer natural tranquility.

 

Tl;dr

Connecticut offers an experience that transcends a typical trip. Bed and breakfasts dot its coastline that are narratives, and pieces of Connecticut history. You can find centuries-old inns and waterfront retreats for a unique perspective on the world. We hope you enjoy wherever the road takes you here!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Does Connecticut have a shoreline?

Yes, Connecticut does have a shoreline. The shoreline extends over 300 miles from Greenwich in the west to Stonington in the east. It hosts some of the largest cities in Connecticut, like Bridgeport, CT, and New Haven, CT, some of the wealthiest towns, like Greenwich and Darien, as well as small towns like Westbrook.

 

What sets bed and breakfasts apart from hotels?

Bed and breakfasts have a unique charm that sets them apart from hotels. They provide more of a home-like atmosphere, even if your stay is brief. Aside from the comfort of a room, they offer a relaxing environment where you can unwind. The complimentary breakfast is a delightful bonus. Another appealing aspect of B&Bs is the opportunity to interact with other guests. Unlike hotels, these establishments encourage sharing of stories and experiences, leading to new friendships.

 

Can I expect private bathrooms in bed and breakfast accommodations?

Absolutely! Bed and breakfast accommodations provide private bathrooms. Gone are the days of sharing bathrooms with strangers at bed and breakfasts.

 

Are there any unique or historical bed and breakfasts in Connecticut?

If you’re inquiring about unique and historical bed and breakfasts in Connecticut, there are plenty. Take Stanton House Inn, for example. It brims with history and charm. Then there’s the Captain Stannard House Bed and Breakfast Country Inn, Stonecroft Country Inn, and Westbrook Inn Bed & Breakfast, built when Connecticut fortunes were made on the high seas. And of course, don’t forget The Griswold Inn, an inn that has witnessed more history than some countries (including our own).

 

What attractions can I find near Connecticut coast bed and breakfasts?

Staying at a bed and breakfast on the Connecticut coast is a delightful experience. It places culture right at your doorstep, with attractions such as the Mystic Seaport Museum and the Yale University Art Gallery. If you’re a nature enthusiast, there’s plenty for you too. You can explore the Connecticut River Museum, visit local beaches, and traverse various parks and trails.

 

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