ESSEX – Both the Travel Channel and Fodors Travel Guide have recognized Essex as one of Connecticut’s best-kept secrets, highlighting its beautiful architecture and scenic Main Street, according to a release from the first selectman.
“Fodors and the Travel Channel see what Essex residents already know about our town,” said First Selectman and state Sen. Needleman, D-Essex, in the release. “Having lived and worked in Essex for decades, it’s a town I know and love, and it is great that these groups are getting the word out about our beautiful home. This attention will lead to increased tourism, which will benefit Essex shops and restaurants and the local economy.”
Referring to it as a “storybook village,” the Travel Channel called Essex the most charming small town in Connecticut. They recommended Main Street’s restored homes, galleries and boutiques and highlighted its status on the National Register of Historic Places, advertising Essex with a beautiful overhead picture of the town that emphasizes its unique qualities, according to the release.
Fodors Travel Guide recognized Essex as one of the “12 Most Picturesque Towns in New England” and one of the two best in Connecticut, highlighting its “cozy inns and taverns” and recommending visitors travel through on foot. Fodors lauded Essex’s beautiful harbor and historic architectural diversity, saying “Essex has a lot to offer in the way of small town charm.” From the harbor of the Connecticut River to the town’s partial inspiration of Stars Hollow from the famous television show “Gilmore Girls,” Fodors has discovered what longtime residents already know, according to the release.
Essex residents have learned the beauty of the Connecticut River Museum and the town’s many attractions, Needleman said in the release. These recent mentions of the town will help others discover its charms, bringing visitors closer to historic and beautiful attractions like the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat, which has been in operation since 1868 and travels from Essex to Deep River; the Griswold Inn, which has been in operation since 1776, the year that America was founded; and the Ivoryton Playhouse, which produces seven professional shows year-round in a building more than a century old, he said in the release.
“Not only does this recent attention establish Essex as one of the best small towns in Connecticut, but it underscores the natural beauty of the whole thirty-third district,” Needleman said in the release. “Tourists visiting Essex are just minutes away from East Haddam’s Gillette Castle State Park, Old Saybrook’s Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and Chester’s Selden III ferry, to name a few of the fine attractions in the district, allowing them to experience the best Connecticut has to offer.”
Needleman was first elected in 2018 to represent the 33rd Senate District, which consists of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Portland, Westbrook and part of Old Saybrook. He is serving his fourth term as first selectman of Essex and is the founder of Tower Laboratories, an Essex manufacturing company that employs over 250 people.