Things To Do In Farmington, CT: Top 10 Most Unique Spots | Stanton House Inn

The Farmington River from the Main Street bridge

Farmington, Connecticut, is a quaint town in the eponymous valley. It’s located just 10 miles west of Hartford. With a rich history, picturesque landscapes, and diverse activities, Farmington is a must-visit spot. Art enthusiasts can visit the Hill-Stead Museum, which houses a vast collection of:

  • Artifacts
  • French Impressionist masterpieces
  • Japanese woodblock prints

And for outdoor lovers, there are two long-distance trails: the Metacomet Trail and the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail. Connecticut’s largest public golf facility calls to golfers. Shoppers have shopping options at Westfarms Mall and West Hartford Center.

 

Ready to explore our list of the best things to do in Farmington, CT? Let’s get into it:

 

Quick hits:

  • Explore Farmington’s rich history at the Stanley-Whitman House or the Farmington Historical Society
  • Unwind in beautiful nature spots like Winding Trails and Hill-Stead Museum for art & culture
  • Enjoy family fun activities at Miniature Golf & Ice Cream Parlor or Complexity: A Puzzling Adventure

things to do in farmington ct map Things to do in Farmington, CT: Top Picks
Map design by Stanton House Inn

A Brief History of Farmington, Connecticut

Historic drawing of the town of Farmington, Connecticut

Farmington, Connecticut, boasts the title of the oldest inland settlement west of the Connecticut River. Its history stretches back to the 17th century.

 

It was home to the Tunxis tribe until European settlers, drawn by its fertile soil, central location, and the river, arrived. The settlers found the conditions perfect for farming and cottage industries. In 1645, both the town and river got their current names.

 

Over time, Farmington’s boundaries expanded, making it the largest town in the Connecticut Colony. And yet, it earned the moniker “mother of towns” as its vast area was partitioned to form nine other central Connecticut communities:

  • Avon
  • Berlin
  • Bristol
  • Burlington
  • New Britain
  • Plainville
  • And Southington

Revolutionary War

Farmington’s Main Street is a charming reminder of New England history, adorned with colonial estates from the 17th century.

 

When the Boston Port Act came into effect, the townsfolk held a mock trial and set the act ablaze. During the Revolutionary War, George Washington visited Farmington. He described it as a “village of pretty houses.” French troops, led by General Rochambeau, also camped in Farmington. They later provided much-needed support to General Washington’s army.

 

1800s

Photograph of the post office in Farmington, Connecticut. There's a stagecoach in front of the building, from 1906

Farmington was also a sanctuary during the 1841 Amistad trial. When the U.S. government turned their backs on them, Farmington’s residents welcomed 38 Mende Africans. Cinqué, the leader of the Amistad revolt, also settled here with the fervent abolitionist community. They provided education in English and Christianity, and raised funds for their return to Africa.

 

The Farmington Canal, active from 1828 to 1848, linked the city of New Haven, CT, with Northampton, Massachusetts. It sliced through the Farmington River. This canal’s path later served as a railroad line until the 1990s. These old routes are now the scenic Farmington Canal Heritage Trail and the Farmington River Trail.

 

Today, Farmington thrives. The town is the headquarters of several large corporations, including United Technologies. At the same time, the charming downtown and historic Main Street is a reminder of its rich past.

 

Best Things to do in Farmington, CT

The cupola on the roof of Farmington High School

Escape the city’s clutches and find solace in Farmington Valley. Stroll down the scenic Metacomet Trail. Perhaps you fancy a round of golf at the Tunxis Country Club. The air is fresh, the world is peaceful.

 

For the playful souls, mini-golf beckons, followed by the sweet reward of ice cream. From the sacred grounds of the Revolutionary War Campsite near Reservoir #6 to the esteemed halls of Miss Porter’s School, there’s no shortage of discoveries.

 

Each visit unveils a fresh tale. The Farmington Valley can be a sanctuary for adventure-seekers and peace-lovers alike.

 

Hill-Stead Museum

Pope-Riddle House, home of Theodate Pope Riddle and her father, art collector and industrialist Alfred Atmore Pope

If you’re an art and culture enthusiast, make the Hill-Stead Museum your first stop in Farmington. This gem is tucked away in a magnificent Colonial Revival house, constructed in 1901. Inside, you’ll find a rich collection of Impressionist paintings, decorative arts, and other artistic wonders.

 

The museum houses priceless collections. Items here include woodblock prints from renowned Japanese artists like Hokusai, Hiroshige, and Utamaro. It also features engravings from Albrecht Dürer, a master of the German Renaissance. Moreover, you’ll find letters from notable figures such as Henry James and Mary Cassatt.

 

Stanley-Whitman House

And don’t miss the Stanley-Whitman House on your historical tour. This preserved saltbox-style home offers a peek into New England’s colonial life. As a National Historic Landmark, it boasts period decoration and fittings that whisk you back in time.

 

And yet, the appeal of the Stanley-Whitman House isn’t just indoors. Its enchanting garden and the surrounding landscape will hold your senses captive.

 

Farmington Historical Society

Don’t be fooled, the Farmington Historical Society is more than just an historical organization. It’s a time machine. It takes you back to the days of yore, safeguarding the town’s vibrant past. Exhibits and events breathe life into history, showcasing the lives of Farmington’s earliest settlers.

 

Farmington River Trail

Farmington River Trail

Personally, the Farmington River Trail is a main draw. This picturesque path stretches a full 18.2 miles. It’s a masterpiece of forests, farmlands, and meadows. It’s a haven for walkers, joggers, skaters, and cyclists alike.

 

As you journey, don’t miss the historical Farmington Canal Heritage Trail. This trail traces the old New Haven and Northampton Railroad bed. It was originally the Farmington Canal, starting in the 1820s.

 

Rattlesnack Mountain

Rattlesnake Mountain, a rugged beauty, lies south of Farmington. This basalt beauty is part of the grand Metacomet Ridge, an ancient fault line of breathtaking vistas. The mountain is accessible via the Metacomet Trail. From its summit, you can see the vast expanse of western Connecticut. The peak is home to a unique microclimate, fostering the growth of unusual plants. On your journey, you’ll encounter Will Warren’s Den, a cave shrouded in lore. A plaque near the cave tells the legend of a man named Warren. After being flogged by the church, he was hidden in this cave by Indian squaws.

 

Winding Trails

Dunning Lake from the beach

Winding Trails is a private outdoor activity center nestled in Farmington Valley. It’s a trove of outdoor delights, offering boating, skiing, tennis, and swimming. As a non-profit organization, it hosts seasonal events, including a spectacular 4th of July fireworks display. This center is an ideal place for all ages. It provides a perfect setting for family and friends to bond over the great outdoors.

 

Tunxis Country Club

The Tunxis Country Club is New England’s golfing nirvana, open to all.

 

With 45 holes of championship golf, seven bars, a banquet venue for 150, and an outdoor pavilion for 250, it’s a golfer’s paradise.

 

Three courses await:

  • The 9-hole Red Course
  • The White Course with its island greens and river views
  • The Green Course, a links-style layout with monstrous sand traps and bodies of water

 

Farmington Miniature Golf & Ice Cream Parlor

At the Farmington Miniature Golf & Ice Cream Parlor, the joys of golf and ice cream unite. Here, an 18-hole course serves as a battlefield for all skill levels. You can meet Challenges and obstacles with determination and a club in hand. And an ice cream cone in the other.

 

Or wait until post-battle, when hunger ensues. This hunger is quelled by a vast array of ice cream flavors, including vegan options. They also have a full menu for quelling the inevitable sugar crash. Hot dogs, burgers, and fries await to celebrate your golfing triumphs.

 

Complexity: A Puzzling Adventure

First Church of Christ in Farmington, Connecticut

Are you ready for a brain workout? Complexity is your destination. This top-rated escape room attraction is a puzzle-packed wonderland. Each room is themed and filled with challenges that demand teamwork and sharp thinking.

 

Are you visiting with family, on a date, or as part of a team-building event? No matter the occasion, Complexity guarantees an unforgettable experience.

 

Restaurants in Farmington, CT

Farmington, Connecticut, is a food lover’s paradise, with everything from casual bites to gourmet meals. The town’s culinary scene is a melting pot of flavors, catering to all tastes.

 

You can savor Italian cuisine at Naples Restaurant & Pizza, or enjoy contemporary American fare at Fork&Fire.

 

For Asian and Pho lovers, Mama Khang is a must-visit. Butchers & Bakers and Piccolo Arancio are also popular dining spots.

 

In Farmington, the variety is endless and each meal promises a new, delicious discovery.

 

Best Farmington Inns & Hotels

A hotel bed in one of the Farmington hotels

Farmington, CT, is a mere hour and 26-minute drive from our Greenwich, CT, bed and breakfast. We discovered its charm on a day trip exploring Connecticut’s heart. If you want to linger and explore more, Farmington offers delightful accommodation options. Read on for a list of the best Farmington hotels and other places to stay in town.

 

Hotels in Farmington, CT

Seeking a place to rest after a day of Farmington adventures? You’ll find the standard hotel chains:

  • Hampton Inn & Suites Hartford/Farmington
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton Hartford-Farmington
  • The Farmington Inn & Suites
  • Residence Inn by Marriott Hartford Avon
  • IHG hotel
  • And the Sheraton Hartford Hotel

 

Traveling with pets? No problem:

  • The Hampton Inn & Suites
  • Homewood Suites
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Bradley Airport
  • And Extended Stay America – Hartford – Farmington

 

Are all pet-friendly.

 

A few more unique options to the local chain hotels include:

 

Delamar West Hartford, a 7-minute jaunt from Farmington, sits at the center of West Hartford, Connecticut. And the Goodwin Hotel, a boutique hotel, is tucked within Hartford, CT’s downtown, about a 13-minute drive.

 

Bed and breakfasts in Farmington, Connecticut

For an intimate, homespun lodging experience in Farmington, consider the local bed and breakfasts. The Farmington Inn beckons with a warm embrace. They offer home comforts such as a hearty morning meal and free Wi-Fi. And there’s a spot for your motorcar.

 

Avon Old Farms Hotel in the town of Avon, CT, to the north, is another option. With plush rooms, fine dining, and stunning grounds, it’s a haven of relaxation after a day of town exploration.

 

Drive east to the town of Wethersfield, CT, for the Silas W Robbins House.

 

Or take a detour to Simsbury, CT. The Simsbury 1820 House, a charming inn, offers a blend of old-world charm and modern comforts.

 

Directions to Farmington, Connecticut

Former Unionville Depot along the bike trail

Looking to venture to Farmington, Connecticut? Set off from our cozy Greenwich, Connecticut bed and breakfast. The journey is a straightforward one, taking approximately an hour and a half. Begin on Route 8, heading north. At Waterbury, switch to I-84. Your final stretch is on Route 10, leading you straight into Farmington, CT. This route is particularly stunning during the CT fall foliage season.

 

If trains are more your speed, head to the nearby train station in Hartford, Connecticut.

 

It’s also a 30-minute drive or cab ride from Bradley International Airport, the closest airport to Hartford.

 

More Towns and Cities to Explore Near Farmington, CT

The Farmington Valley geography from the top of the Heublein Tower at Talcott Mountain State Park

Extend your day trip or make it a weekend getaway by exploring more towns near Farmington, each offering uniquely Connecticut experiences.

 

Avon, CT

Avon, Connecticut, a gem in Farmington Valley, brims with activities and scenic allure. Home to the Farmington Valley Arts Center and Blue Fox Run Golf Course, it’s a hotspot for creativity and sport. Natural wonders abound at Horse Guard State Park and Fisher Meadows, while Hopmeadow Brewing Company and Max A Mia Avon cater to culinary delights. You could ride the historic Farmington Canal Heritage Trail up from Farmington to experience Avon’s charm.

 

West Hartford, Connecticut

West Hartford, Connecticut, is a buzzing hub for the area. Its center around Blue Back Square hums with trendy restaurants, chic boutiques, and cultural allure. And some fantastic parks, to boot. If you’ve got a hunger for a prime mix of urban and suburban, West Hartford is your destination.

 

New Britain, CT

New Britain, Connecticut, the industrious “Hardware City”, is a treasure chest of attractions. From the American art collections at the New Britain Museum to the scenic beauty of Walnut Hill Park, it’s a visual feast. Catch a baseball game at the New Britain Stadium or indulge in the city’s diverse culinary scene.

 

Newington, Connecticut

Newington, Connecticut, a 375-year-old town, grew from a humble borough to a thriving town, thanks to its strategic location. Today, Newington offers attractions like scenic parks, historical sites, and recreational activities.

 

Tl;dr

A tapestry of history, culture, and nature calls out to wanderers of all ages. In Farmington, Connecticut, you can meander through a labyrinth of rich history. Feast upon culinary delights. Immerse yourself in its quaint charm. A myriad of experiences await in this New England town. So, adventurer, chart your course to Farmington.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Is Farmington CT a good place to live?

Meet Farmington, CT, a beacon of charm in bustling Hartford County. History whispers here, and nature performs a lively dance. It’s a haven for both the industrious and the leisure-seekers. The town exudes a suburban allure, a rich tapestry of homes, each narrating its unique tale. Many have planted roots here, flourishing in its fertile ground. Undeniably, Farmington, CT, is a top contender for the crown of Connecticut’s finest.

 

What is the median income in Farmington CT?

In Farmington, CT, the yearly take-home averages a neat $106,773.

 

What is Farmington Connecticut known for?

Farmington, Connecticut, wears many hats. It’s celebrated for its pivotal role in the Underground Railroad movement. It’s a nurturing ‘mother of towns’, having sprouted nine other communities from its rich soil. And let’s not forget its industrious past, with factories that cleverly tapped into the power of the Farmington River.

 

What are the race demographics in Farmington CT?

In the colorful tapestry of Farmington, CT, the majority thread is white, accounting for 70.7% of the population. Asian heritage weaves through at 16.4%, while a vibrant thread of Hispanic origin adds 6.9%. The remaining strands? A diverse blend of African American, Native American, people of other races, and those from two or more races.

 

What are some must-visit historical sites in Farmington?

Should you find yourself in Farmington with a yearning for yesteryears, pay a visit to the Stanley-Whitman House. Don’t stop there – the Farmington Historical Society awaits. These two are the gatekeepers of the town’s rich past.

 

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