5 Things To Do In Old Lyme, Connecticut

Located along Connecticut's quaint shoreline, Old Lyme is a perfect base for nearby explorations in Old Saybrook, Essex, New London, Mystic, and more. Old Lyme is a destination to see in and of itself because of its historic, stately looking homes and luxurious hotels.

1) Florence Griswold House and Museum


The Florence Griswold House and Museum displays the former artist colony that was the first of its kind in the U.S. The Florence Griswold House was run as a boarding house by a woman named Florence Griswold. In the early 1900s, one boarder, an artist, convinced Florence Griswold to reserve rooms for other tonalists and impressionists, so they could work among like-minded individuals.

I love historic homes, and the Florence Griswold House is one of the finest I've visited because of the beautiful period rooms and the amazing artwork including panels painted by some of America's most notable artists of the time.

Also on site, you can visit the museum, which displays more artwork from the artists who stayed at the Florence Griswold House as well as special exhibits. If visiting in the spring, summer, or fall, the grounds and garden deserve a visit--perhaps you'll see views similar to those in the paintings.

old lyme1.jpg
old lyme2.jpg
old lyme3.jpg
old lyme4.jpg
old lyme 5.jpg
old lyme6.jpg

2) Eat out

In my opinion, southeastern Connecticut is a vastly underrated part of the state when it comes to eating out. There are some really excellent restaurants both along the shoreline and inland. My suggestion for eating within Old Lyme is the restaurant in the Bee and Thistle Inn*, which although pricey, is SO good for a special meal. The menu changes frequently and is relatively small, but everything that we tasted was amazing. If on the menu, I'd recommend the cheese plate for starters and the cod for the main!

food in old lyme.jpg

3) Indulge in some sweets

If you happen to be in Old Lyme and you have a major sweet tooth, the Chocolate Shell is so packed with candy that you'll probably find your favorite. I'm a big fan of their fruit jellies and rocky road toffee. Yum!

old lyme7.jpg

4) Stay at the Bee and Thistle Inn

If you follow me on social media, you might have seen that J and I took a baby-free overnight to the Bee and Thistle Inn*. It was my first night away from Baby ISO, which was weird, but I loved the hotel. This tiny boutique hotel has 11 cozy rooms (we stayed in room 3) and the breakfast in the morning is superb. I'll do a full review on our stay at the Bee and Thistle Inn* soon!

old lyme8.jpg
old lyme9.jpg

5) Pick up souvenirs at the Bowerbird

My final suggestion for your visit to Old Lyme is to stop by the Bowerbird. Located about a 5 minute drive away from the Bee and Thistle Inn, the Bowerbird is a cute gift store with Connecticut products, books, jewelry, and food. The Bowerbird can be found at 46 Halls Rd, Old Lyme, CT 06371, USA.

old lyme10.jpg

After visiting these sites in Old Lyme, make sure to head over the bridge to Old Saybrook or in the other direction on I-95 to New London and Mystic. There is so much to see and do in the area--and now that I only visit infrequently, I definitely appreciate it that much more.

Do you like historical homes?

old lyme pin.jpg

Pin for later!