Things To Do In Torrington, CT: Top 15 Most Unique Spots | Stanton House Inn

little pond in Torrington, CT, near the various state parks

Roll out the red carpet for Torrington, Connecticut! This darling town in the Northwest of Connecticut is more than just a pretty face; it’s a hub of activity, culture, and scenic beauty that’s just begging to be explored.

 

Torrington is no ordinary town. Its business district is a hive of activity. And the surrounding Litchfield Hills are a backdrop to make your Instagram followers green with envy. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

 

Are you a culture vulture? Torrington’s downtown area is chock-full of theaters, museums, and art galleries. More of an outdoor enthusiast? Fear not! Ttate parks like Burr Pond and John A. Minetto are at your disposal. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to hike, fish, swim, boat, and ski to your heart’s content.

 

But wait, there’s more! Torrington’s culinary scene is a foodie’s paradise, with a mouth-watering array of dining options. And let’s not forget about the shopping – whether you’re looking for a unique gift or a treat for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.

 

So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to fall head over heels for the best things to do in Torrington, CT, this weekend. Or anytime, for that matter. Trust us, it’s love at first sight.

 

Quick hits

  • Explore history-rich Torrington, CT for outdoor activities, museums & galleries!
  • Tee off in luxury at Eastwood Country Club or explore natural splendor of John A. Minetto State Park!
  • Sample delicious fare from Sasso’s Coal Fired Pizza to YiaYia’s Greek Kitchen & find a charming inn or modern hotel for your stay!

 

A Brief History of Torrington, CT

Historic postcard with a birds-eye view of Torrington, Connecticut

Torrington, CT has a rich history dating back some 10,000 years, starting with Native American peoples making their home in the area.

 

Colonial Era

Ebenezer Lyman, Jr. founded Torrington, Connecticut in 1735. Its first name was Wolcottville after the local Wolcott family. On the hills west of the Naugatuck River, early settlers built schools, churches, stores, and taverns. Torringford was later settled for its agricultural land. Torrington gained government permission to incorporate as a town in October 1740. Locals named themselves after Torrington in Devon, England.

Industrial Era

Torrington rail station in an undated postcard

The Naugatuck River was important in early nineteenth-century industries. Frederick Wolcott’s woolen mill opened in 1813. It attracted a large workforce and created local demand for goods, services, and housing. The construction of two brass mills by Israel Coe and Erastus Hodges in Torrington in 1834 sparked the brass industry. Brass production later spread throughout the entire Naugatuck Valley. The completion of the Naugatuck Valley railroad in 1849 boosted industrial growth even further. The production of various metal products exploded here. Between 1880 and 1920, the expanding industrial plants attracted: English, Irish, and German immigrants. In 1923, Torrington was incorporated as a city at the end of that population boom.

 

Historic photograph of the birthplace of John Brown

Torrington is where abolitionist John Brown was born. That said, his birthplace accidentally burned down in 1918. In the year 2000, the Torrington Historical Society merged with the John Brown Association to acquire the property. The society is creating plans to improve visitor services and build interpretive trails on the property.

Modern Torrington, Connecticut

Today, with a population of roughly 35,000, Connecticut’s North Central Torrington is still a bustling town.

 

Top Things to do in Torrington, CT

No visit to Torrington is complete without exploring its top attractions. Torrington is a place where adventure meets history, offering an array of state parks and historic sites. Explore the town’s museums to learn about its past, engage with the arts at local theaters and galleries, or opt for outdoor activities. Enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, and picnicking in the beautiful surroundings of Torrington.

 

Burr Pond State Park

Get ready to be dazzled by the beauty of Burr Pond State Park, home to an 85-acre pond perfect for boating, fishing, and hiking. This 1949-established park is also rich in history as the site of the world’s first condensed milk factory, founded by Gail Borden in 1857.

Burr Pond State Park is a must-visit. That goes for whether you’re fishing for black crappie, largemouth bass, or yellow perch. Or head here to stroll leisurely along the Blue-Blazed John Muir Trail.

Warner Theatre

Warner Theatre

Step into the world of live performances, concerts, and movies at the beautifully restored Warner Theatre. Designed by Thomas Lamb and built by the legendary Warner Brothers Studios, this historic venue was once a movie palace. Today, the Warner Theatre serves as a performing arts center with a diverse lineup of:

  • concerts
  • dance recitals
  • community theatre performances
  • and more.

 

Secure a seat at this iconic Torrington landmark and witness the magic of the stage unfold.

KidsPlay Museum

Let your kids’ imaginations run wild at the interactive KidsPlay Museum, designed for little ones up to 10 years old. With exhibits like:

  • “Magneato Table”
  • “Literacy Tree”
  • “Light Table”
  • “Bubbler”

 

Children will be immersed in a world of science, art, and exploration.

 

Watch out for special events like Science Day, Technology Day, and Art Adventures. They promise a fun and educational experience for budding scientists, tech wizards, and creatives.

Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum

Step back in time and explore the beautifully preserved 19th-century Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum. The museum, which the Torrington Historical Society manages, offers a glimpse into the grandeur of a bygone era, showcasing:

  • Original furnishings
  • Glass, painting, and ceramic collections
  • Parquet floors
  • Wood panelling
  • Murals
  • Stuccowork ceilings
  • Gas and electric chandeliers

 

History and art lovers alike will find one of the guided tours at the Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum indispensable, as it is one of the must-see history museums in the area.

Wright’s Barn & Flea Market

For treasure hunters and antique aficionados, Wright’s Barn & Flea Market is a dream come true. This unique Connecticut antique shop is inside a historic dairy barn and carriage house. The multi-dealer antiques center offers a unique shopping experience filled with:

  • Collectibles
  • Antiques
  • Specialty items

 

Unearth hidden gems as you spend an afternoon rummaging through past treasures at Wright’s Barn & Flea Market.

John A. Minetto State Park

Discover the picturesque landscapes and variety of outdoor activities at John A. Minetto State Park. This is a 715-acre paradise established in 1965.

Enjoy:

  • Picnicking
  • Hiking trails
  • Pond and stream fishing
  • Cross-country skiing

 

All while surrounded by the beauty of nature.

 

John A. Minetto State Park, with its myriad outdoor fun options, serves as an excellent spot to unwind and commune with nature.

Paugnut State Forest

Experience the enchanting beauty of nature at Paugnut State Forest. This 1,700-acre woodland area perfect for mountain biking, hiking, and walking trails. Paugnut State Forest also offers access to the John Muir Trail. The trail connects Burr Pond and Sunny Brook State Parks for a truly immersive outdoor adventure.

Five Points Gallery

Art enthusiasts, rejoice! Five Points Gallery is a vibrant art space showcasing contemporary works by local and regional artists. With new exhibitions every six weeks, there’s always something fresh to admire and inspire at one of the most exciting art galleries in the area.

Eastwood Country Club

The parks in Torrington are also a great place to enjoy cross country skiing in the winter months

Tee off at Eastwood Country Club, a public 9-hole golf course offering affordable rates and picturesque views. If you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, Eastwood Country Club is the place for you. It has a welcoming atmosphere for all skill levels.

 

Pursue the Clues

Test your problem-solving skills at Pursue the Clues. This exciting escape room adventure challenges your critical thinking and deductive reasoning. It also requires teamwork. Ideal for a team of four to six players, this is a perfect activity for friends and family. It’s a thrilling experience where you’ll be racing against the clock to solve mysteries and escape the room. Collaborate to find clues, decipher codes, and solve puzzles as you strive to escape.

 

Sunnybrook State Park

Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life at Sunnybrook State Park. This serene park features peaceful walking trails, fishing spots, and tranquil landscapes. Wander along the winding pathways, cast a line into the tranquil pond, or simply enjoy a quiet moment of reflection in this idyllic natural haven.

 

For a little solace in nature’s beauty, Sunnybrook State Park, with its convenient parking lot, makes an ideal retreat.

Restaurants in Torrington, CT

Burr Pond State Park

Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with the diverse culinary offerings of Torrington. Torrington offers a gastronomic journey. Dining options range from the fiery flavors of coal-fired pizza to the zest of authentic Mexican cuisine. If you prefer the comforting tastes of traditional Greek dishes, you’re in luck, too. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite or a leisurely meal, Torrington’s restaurants are sure to satisfy your food cravings.

Sasso’s Coal Fired Pizza

Indulge in the artisan pizzas and Italian flavors at Sasso’s Coal Fired Pizza. Each pie is cooked to perfection in their signature coal-fired oven. Sasso’s, with its warm ambience and rustic charm, guarantees a singular dining experience that will make you a regular.

Pizza Marzano

Experience authentic Naples-style pizza at Pizza Marzano. Fresh ingredients and handcrafted dough combine to create a truly memorable meal.

Dos Amigos Restaurant

For a delightful dining experience, head to Dos Amigos Restaurant. Here, you can savor home-style Mexican food and outstanding margaritas. The restaurant offers generous portions of flavorful dishes in a lively atmosphere. Their friendly service makes it an excellent choice for a night out with friends or a special celebration.

YiaYia’s Greek Kitchen

Experience the authentic taste of Greece at YiaYia’s Greek Kitchen. This family-owned restaurant brings the traditional Greek cuisine and hospitality to Torrington. With a diverse menu featuring both traditional and contemporary dishes, YiaYia’s offers a culinary journey to Greece without leaving the Litchfield Hills.

 

Shopping in Torrington, CT

In Torrington, you’ll find a variety of unique shops, boutiques, and markets. These stores offer a range of goods and treasures. It doesn’t matter if you’re hunting for rare finds in antique shops or home décor from charming boutiques. This quaint New England city has a little something for every shopper.

Hotels, Inns, and Places to Stay in Torrington, CT

Burr Pond State Park

Embarking on a journey from Greenwich, CT, to Torrington will take you roughly an hour and 30 minutes. This makes Torrington a fantastic day trip destination from our Connecticut bed and breakfast.

 

If you’d like to stick around for more than a Connecticut day trip, you’ll find all the standard chain hotels in town and nearby.

 

If you’d like something a little more unique, places to stay in Torrington and nearby towns include:

 

The Inn at Mount Pleasant is a charming bed and breakfast in Torrington, CT. Housed in an 18th-century farmhouse, it offers four comfortable guest rooms. Each have a queen bed, en-suite bathroom, and air conditioning. Guests can use a large country kitchen, relax in a cozy sitting area with a fireplace. A major draw are outdoor amenities on-site like hiking trails, a relaxation deck, an outdoor fire pit, and a golf hole for chipping.

 

Immerse yourself in the historical allure of the Torringford area by booking a stay in a Colonial Revival home, constructed in 1900. The guest rooms at Torringford Manor provide a refreshing and sophisticated atmosphere, featuring antique furnishings. Each room comes with air-conditioning and high-speed Wi-Fi, although only a few offer private bathrooms.

 

A 24-minute drive from Torrington will get you to the town of Norfolk, Connecticut. Two inns to settle down for the night there are Manor House Inn and Blackberry River Inn.

 

Directions to Torrington, CT

Getting to Torrington is a breeze, whether you’re planning:

 

  • Road trips from NYC: Take a scenic drive on CT-8 South and exit at 44 for CT-4 towards Torrington/Downtown

 

  • Train trips from NYC: Hop on the Metro-North Railroad from New Haven to Waterbury for a stress-free journey

 

Upon arrival, it will be easy to explore the surrounding areas and uncover the charm of Torrington.

More Towns & Cities to Explore Near Torrington, CT

The trail leading from Burr Pond State Park to Sunny Brook State Parks in north central Torrington

Venture beyond Torrington to discover nearby cities and towns, each with their own unique Connecticut attractions and charm. Just a short drive from Torrington, you’ll find a wealth of experiences waiting to be explored. Goshen, CT, with its agricultural roots and picturesque landscapes, is an inviting destination. The historic district and charming shops of Litchfield, CT offer a unique adventure. Dive into the culture and beauty of these neighboring communities for a sojourn through New England charm.

Goshen, CT

A short drive from Torrington, you’ll find the quaint town of Goshen, CT, known for its agricultural roots and stunning landscapes. Explore the charming town and its attractions. A few big draws include Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Action Wildlife Foundation, and Ivy Mountain State Park. It’s a taste of rural paradise and picturesque beauty that’s perfect for a day trip or weekend escape.

 

Relish the countryside’s sights and sounds while basking in the fresh air and tranquil ambiance as you enjoy cross country skiing in the winter.

Litchfield, CT

Topsmeade State Forest, former home of the daughter of the first president of the Chase Brass and Copper Company, in Litchfield, Connecticut

Just 5 miles from Torrington lies the scenic New England town of Litchfield, CT, nestled in the picturesque Litchfield Hills. Steeped in history and natural beauty, Litchfield offers an array of:

  • Charming shops
  • Beautiful parks
  • Historic sites, such as the Litchfield Historical Society and the Litchfield Jazz Festival

 

This writer is a particular fan of White Memorial Conservation Center for CT hiking trails and wildlife areas. Another personal favorite is Topsmeade State Forest. The original owner, Edith Morton Chase, poured her wealth from the Chase Brass and Copper Company into building the most charming summer cottage. This town oozes New England charm and culture, which you’ll easily find exploring its main street and beyond.

Norfolk, CT

Just a quick 5 miles northwest of Torrington will bring you to the charming town of Norfolk, CT. Known for its stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage, Norfolk is a gem nestled in the heart of New England. Steeped in history, the town offers a plethora of attractions for visitors to explore. There are many things to see and do in Norfolk, such as visiting the Norfolk Library and the Norfolk Historical Society. Another spot to visit is the Infinity Music Hall and Bistro, which is a restored 1883 opera house. It’s a must-see if you’re a fan of the Warner Theatre. Outdoor lovers will also like that the town is close to Haystack Mountain State Park.

West Hartford, CT

These little Litchfield Hills towns are adorable, but if you’re looking for a fun night out, head to West Hartford. The trip may take a little less than an hour, but it has even more of a dining scene, and quite the nightlife.

Tl;dr

Torrington, CT is a charming New England town brimming with history, culture, and outdoor adventure. From state parks and museums to delicious restaurants and unique shopping experiences, there’s something for everyone in this picturesque community. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or an extended stay, Torrington is sure to leave a lasting impression on your heart. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and set your sights on this delightful destination.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Torrington CT famous for?

Torrington is a historical New England city that boasts the Warner Theatre, Nutmeg Conservatory and many art galleries. As well, the site of abolitionist John Brown’s birthplace is part of the Connecticut African American Freedom Trail. Experience a little bit of old-fashioned New England charm in Torrington!

What state is near Torrington CT?

Just west of Torrington, Connecticut lies the hilly county of Litchfield, on the border of New York and Massachusetts.

Is Torrington CT a town?

Torrington is in the Litchfield Hills of northwest Connecticut and on the Naugatuck River. First settled in 1735, incorporated in 1740, chartered as a city in 1923, and consolidated with the town of Torrington in the same year. It is also home to a branch of the University of Connecticut and has a population of 36,383. While that’s not a huge population, it is still a city.

Is Torrington CT a suburb?

Yes, Torrington is a suburb of Hartford, CT, located in the Litchfield Hills region of Connecticut. Residents enjoy a suburban feel and majority homeownership.

What is the best time of year to visit Torrington, CT?

With its diverse range of attractions and activities available year-round, Torrington is the perfect destination for a memorable visit anytime! That said, most travel through on Route 8, a popular Connecticut fall foliage driving route, during the fall foliage season.

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