Local Attractions - East Haddam & Hadlyme
Hadlyme-Chester Ferry - Connecticut Route 148
Connecticut Route 148 crosses the Connecticut River from East to West at the Chester-Hadlyme Ferry crossing. The ferry is open April through November.
One of several remaining ferry crossing along the river, but once one of many, this historical ferry slip gives visitors a stunning view of the castle when traveling from the West Bank to the East Bank of the river. On the east bank, the road travels through Hadlyme Landing and then forks to the left and right. The left road heads up to Gillette Castle and is the same pathway that horse and carriage would travel when Gillette hosted guests at the castle.
Taking the right path with bring travelers along Cove Cemetery and then past Hadlyme Hall and up to the CT-82 Junction.
Hadlyme Country Store - 1 Ferry Road, Hadlyme
The CT-82 Junction is known to locals as Hadlyme Four Corners, and is the site of an old carriage factory (now an antique shop) as well as the old country store and post office.
Hadlyme Country Store was restored in recent years to the glory of its former years and is now a full-service grocer and deli. Delicious sandwiches and other local baked goods make the perfect treat for a day out at the castle. Rocking chairs along the front porch a perfect for an afternoon of watching the colors of the leaves while sipping on hot coffee.
Around the corner is the local post office where Gillette would get his mail and packages. Visit the original lobby to take a step back through time.
Ray of Light Farm - 232 Town Street, E. Haddam
Ray of Light Farm is located on the southern end of Town Street in East Haddam: A right-hand turn taken at the CT-82 and River Road intersection will put you right at the farm.
This rescue farm is the perfect place for families and is free to explore (although a donation is encouraged). Since its establishment in 1993 the farm has helped over 20 different species of animals as well as 120 different horses that would have otherwise been abused, mistreated, and neglected.
Among other events, the farm offers spooky hayrides in the fall and sleigh rides during the winter. There is also a large charity auction and dinner held at the farm annually in mid-September.
Staehly Farm Winery - 278 Town Street, E. Haddam
A perfect stop both before or after your visit to the castle, this family-owned-and-run farm features something for every season.
The farmers market is open May through October during the peak of the Connecticut growing season, and in the corner of the market is a wine tasting bar that features wines made from fruit grown on the property.
The farm is also known for its Christmas trees, sales of which start the day after Thanksgiving.
This can be the perfect backdrop for family photos and memories, especially in the fall when the leaves are changing and there are lots of pumpkins about.
... And So Much More
The area surrounding Gillette Castle is perfect for day tripping.
Local bed and breakfasts can be found in the
East Haddam Village, nearby to Goodspeed Opera House
and many local restaurants.