Home » Postcards – Falling in Love with Madison, CT, USA

Postcards – Falling in Love with Madison, CT, USA

Thimble Island Cruise - photo by Luxury Experience
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The towns surrounding Madison, Connecticut are like a string of pearls, each with its own charm. Heading north from the south, you will pass the towns of Branford, Guilford, Madison, Clinton, and Killingworth, all of which are worth exploring. New England shore towns, the possibilities for discoveries are endless in any season. We thoroughly enjoyed a mini vacation experiencing their charm.

 


View from the Connecticut shoreline

We spent a fabulous weekend in Madison, Connecticut from Friday, July 14 until Sunday, July 16, 2023, and found that there were so many wonderful events and options each day, that we wished we could have stayed for a few more days. Now that we have "discovered" Madison and the surrounding areas we will definitely return, perhaps in the Fall when the leaves will be donning their spectacular colors, or in Winter when New England is covered in pristine white snow, or in Spring when the earth is just awakening and celebrates with its displays of stunning blooms. What we learned during our visit to Madison is that no matter the season, there is always something wonderful happening there.

Where to Stay – The Homestead Madison Bed & Breakfast, Madison, Connecticut

The Homestead Madison Bed & Breakfast, Madison, CT
The Homestead Madison Bed & Breakfast

The Homestead Madison Bed & Breakfast, located in Madison, Connecticut, owned by The Guardino Family for over 30 years by 3 generations, lovingly takes care of their guests in their beautiful and well-maintained 11-guestroom boutique Inn.

We stayed at the Homestead Madison from Friday, July 14 until Sunday, July 16, 2023, and found this attractive and welcoming Inn to be the perfect base for exploring the charming town of Madison and the surrounding areas.

The Homestead Madison Bed & Breakfast, Madison, CT - photo by Luxury Experience

Besides gracious hospitality, each guestroom is unique and elegantly appointed, with luxurious 1,000-thread count linens, and in-room vintage record players with a collection of vinyl albums to match your mood. We started our day off with their sumptuous, complimentary breakfast before venturing out on their complimentary bicycles, including a tandem bicycle, to explore the town of Madison.

The Homestead Madison Bed & Breakfast, Madison, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Selection of musc to enjoy

Another perk of staying there is that they provide their guests with the use of a complimentary day beach parking pass for enjoying one of the 3 nearby beaches. Special amenities and gracious hospitality make The Homestead Madison a standout. For guests who like to travel with their pets, The Homestead Madison has 3 pet-friendly rooms for dogs under 35 pounds making it a lovely getaway with your fur-baby.

The Homestead Madison Bed & Breakfast, Madison, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Dining Room

Also of note is that The Homestead Madison Bed & Breakfast belongs to Select Registry, and guests who join the Select Registry program can earn points from their stay, adding to the long list of plusses that make The Homestead Madison Bed & Breakfast a standout.

Please check their website for additional information: www.homesteadmadison.com

Read about our stay at The Homestead Madison Bed & Breakfast in more detail in our Hotels and Resorts section.

The Homestead Madison Bed & Breakfast - Tandem bikes - photo by Luxury Experience
Tandem bicycle practice

Read about our experience riding their tandem bicycle in the Adventures section.

The Homestead Madison Bed & Breakfast, Madison, CT

The Homestead Madison Bed & Breakfast
391 Boston Post Road
Madison, Connecticut 06443
United States
Telephone: 203-245-0212
Email: info@homesteadmadison.com
Website: www.homesteadmadison.com
Social Media: #1BoutiqueB&B, #madisonct
Instagram: www.Instagram.com/homesteadmadison//he=en
Facebook: www.faceook.com/homesteadmadison
Tripadvisor: The Homestead Bed Breakfast – Madison Connecticut

Exploring Madison – Local Things to Do – Fun in the Sun – The Beaches

A visit to the Connecticut shoreline is a summertime must, although we love walking on beaches at any time of the year as the scenery is always breathtaking.

There are 4 gorgeous beaches in Madison to experience each with its own unique charm: East Wharf Beach, Surf Club Park, and West Wharf Beach (The Homestead Madison offers guests complimentary parking passes for those beaches), and Hammonasset Beach State Park, boasting over 2 miles of beach making it Connecticut’s largest shoreline park (there is free parking for CT residents with CT-registered vehicles, fees apply for out-of-state registered vehicles.)

We visited West Wharf Beach and Hammonasset Beach State Park and walked along its long boardwalk as well as taking a dip in Long Island.

East Wharf Beach Park
122 Middle Beach Road
Madison, Connecticut

Surf Club Park
87 Surf Club
Madison, Connecticut

West Wharf Beach
99 West Wharf Road
Madison, Connecticut

Hammonasset Beach State Park
1288 Boston Post Road
Madison, Connecticut

Sightseeing from the Water – Thimble Island Cruises Aboard the Sea Mist

Sea Mist - Thimble Island Cruise - photo by Luxury Experience
Sea Mist

There is no better way to "Fall in Love with Madison" and the area than by taking a sightseeing cruise through the Thimble Islands on the Thimble Island Cruises Aboard the Sea Mist. We boarded the Sea Mist, a 44-foot, 49-passenger boat, for the 10:15 am cruise on Saturday, July 15, 2023.

Captain Justin - Sea Mist - Thimble Island Cruise - photo by Luxury Experience
Captain Justin

Proudly wearing its Pirate’s Flag on its upper deck, we set off for an adventure with Captain Justin at the helm and narrating the interesting details of the spectacular homes on these tiny islands that attracted many celebrities throughout the years including President William Taft (1857-1930) who established his Summer White House on Davis Island for 2 years, and Captain William Kidd (1654-1701) that according to legend may have buried his treasures in these islands. Interesting history and gorgeous scenery made for a fabulous morning adventure.

Thimble Island Cruise - photo by Luxury Experience

Cruise Information: Tours run from May until October 15, 2023. Tours depart promptly at 15 minutes after the hour. July and August schedule: Daily with exception of Tuesdays when they are closed. The first cruise of the day departs at 10:15 am, with the last cruise at 4:15 pm. During August on Saturdays and Sundays, there is a Happy Hour Ride at 5:15 pm with light music (no tour). September schedule: (including Labor Day): Fridays at 10:15 am, 12:15 pm, 2:15 pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 10:15 am, 12:15 pm, 2:15 pm, 2:15 pm, and 4:15 pm. October schedule: cruises run on Saturdays and Sundays only at 12:00 pm, and 2:00 pm. October 15th is the last cruise of the 2023 season.

Debra C. Argen - Thimble Island Cruise - photo by Luxury Experience
Debra C. Argen getting ready to cruise

Ticket Information: Adults: $16, Seniors: (65+): $15, Children: (Ages 4 – 12): $10. Happy Hour Boat Ride: $20.

Please check their website for additional information: www.thimbleislandcruise.com.

Read more about our experience on Thimble Island Cruises aboard the Sea Mist in the Adventures section.

Thimble Island Cruise - Branford, CT

Sea Mist, LLC
Thimble Island Cruises
4 Indian Point Road
Branford, CT 06405
Telephone: +1-203-488-8905
Email: seamist@thimbleislandcruise.com
Website: www.thimbleislandcruise.com
Facebook: @sea mist thimble island cruise

Taking "Me Time" – Spa – The Healing Salt Cave and Wellness Spa, Guilford, Connecticut

The Healing Salt Cave & Wellness Spa - photo by Luxury Experience
Welcome to The Healing Salt Cave and Wellness Spa

The Healing Salt Cave and Wellness Spa located in Guilford, Connecticut, is just 10 minutes from The Homestead Madison. When life becomes too busy, it is so important to make time for yourself and relax, and a visit to a Spa should be an essential part of your well-being.

Theresa Cleary - The Healing Salt Cave & Wellness Spa - photo by Luxury Experience
Owner Theresa Cleary

Owned by Theresa Cleary, The Healing Salt Cave and Wellness Spa opened in June 2021 and has all the bells and whistles of excellence including an infrared sauna, a wide variety of facials, massages, cryotherapy, body treatments, yoga and meditation classes, and a salt cave.

Salt Cave - The Healing Salt Cave & Wellness Spa, Guilford, CT
Salt Cave

We spent a lovely and relaxing Saturday afternoon on July 15, 2023, experiencing their infrared sauna, a soothing, nourishing, and relaxing facial, a deep-tissue massage, and their unique salt cave, and left the Spa feeling refreshed and relaxed, and ready to explore again.

The Healing Salt Cave and Wellness Spa Hours: Tuesday through Thursday from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm, Friday from 10:00 am until 7:00 pm, Saturday from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm, and Sunday from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. The Spa is closed on Mondays.

Please check their website for additional information: www.thehealingsaltcave.com

Read more about our experience at the Healing Salt Cave and Wellness Spa in the Spas section.

The Healing Salt Cave and Wellness Spa - Guilford, CT

The Healing Salt Cave and Wellness Spa
260 River Street
Guilford, Connecticut 06437
Telephone: +1-203-457-5107
Email: info@thehealingsaltcave.com
Website: www.thehealingsaltcave.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/healingsaltcaveandwellness
Instagram: www.Instagram.com/healingsaltcaveguilfordct

Brews and Vines

The neighboring towns of Madison have a plethora of craft breweries and vineyards on the Connecticut Wine Trail to discover. We took time for tasting brews and vines.

Brews – Stony Creek Brewery – Branford, Connecticut

Stony Creek Brewery - Branford, CT
Stony Creek Brewery

We visited Stony Creek Brewery in Branford on Saturday, July 15, 2023, after our Thimble Island Cruise aboard the Sea Mist. The brewery was humming with activity as they prepared for a wedding, and a band was setting up for afternoon music.

Flight tasting - Stony Creek Brewery - Photo by Luxury Experience
Flight Tasting

To get a sense of their craft beer style we did a flight of beers consisting of selections from the menu: Something Light (Dock Time, an Amber Lager with 4.8% alcohol), Something Sour (Basic Batch, Sour Ale, 5.0% alcohol), Something Hazy (Boat Shoes, Hazy Pale Ale, 5.6% alcohol), and Something Dark (Kicker, a Barley Wine brew with 16.3% alcohol.

Edward F. Nesta - Stony Creek Brewery - Photo by Luxury Experience
See you at Stony Creek Brewery for a Flight Tasting!

Through our flight tasting, it was interesting to experience different types of craft beers other than what we usually drink. We were pleasantly surprised by how much we liked their Basic Batch, a Sour Ale, which was the perfect thirst quencher on a warm summer day.

Stony Creek Brewery is open Monday through Thursday from noon until 10:00 pm, Friday and Saturday from 11:00 am until midnight, and Sunday from 11:00 am until 8:00 pm.

Please check their website for additional information: www.stonycreekbeer.com

Read more about Stony Creek Brewery in the Liquor Cabinet section.

Stony Creek Brewery - Branford, CT

Stony Creek Brewery
5 Indian Neck Avenue
Branford, Connecticut 06405
Telephone: +1-203-433-4545
Email:
info@stonycreekbeer.com
Website: www.stonycreekbeer.com
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/StonyCreekBeer
Instagram: www.Instagram.com/StonyCreekBeer

Vines – Chamard Vineyard – Clinton, Connecticut

Charmard Vineyard - Clinton, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Chamard Vineyards

Connecticut has a vibrant Wine Trail, which deserves to be experienced. Chamard Vineyards located in Clinton, is only 6.1 miles from The Homestead Madison, and is perfect to discover the beauty and elegance of Connecticut wines. Established in 1983, they planted their first vines in 1984, and released their first wine in 1989. Today, Chamard has 20 acres of established vines on their 40-acre property, and they also have a Bistro.

Kerry Ann - Charmard Vineyard - Clinton, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Kerry Ann behind the bar

We visited Chamard Vineyards on a rainy Sunday afternoon of July 16, 2023, which was the perfect rainy-day activity. To appreciate the various nuances of their style, we experienced a flight of three wines each. From the White Wine section, we selected the Estate Riesling 2020, and the Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2019. From the Rose, Sparkling, and Dessert Wines section, we selected the Estate Rose 2020, and the Stone Cold Sparkling. From their Red Wines section, we selected the Petite Sirah 2017, and their Cabernet Merlot 70/30 2019, made in the classic Bordeaux style of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 30% Merlot. The flight tasting gave us insight into the vineyard’s style, and one of excellence.

Edward F. Nesta - Charmard Vineyard - Clinton, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Edward F. Nesta enjoying a flight tasting

Chamard Vineyards Hours of Operation: Chamard Vineyards Bistro is open from Wednesday through Saturday from 12:00 pm until 9:00 pm and Sunday from 12:00 pm until 5:00 pm.

Please check their website for additional information: www.Chamard.com

Read more about our experience at Chamard Vineyards in the Wine Cellar section.

Charmard Vineyard and Bistro - Clinton, NY

Chamard Vineyards Bistro
115 Cow Hill Road
Clinton, CT 06413
Telephone: +1-860-664-0299
Website: www.Chamard.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/chamardvineyards
Instagram: www.instagram.com/chamardvineyards

Dining Options – Where to Eat in Madison, Connecticut

The Wharf Restaurant at The Madison Beach Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton

Madison Beach Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, Madison, CT
Madison Beach Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton

We had a luscious lunch with a view at The Wharf Restaurant at the Madison Beach Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, on Friday, July 14, 2023, where Chef Brian Warmington is the talent in the seafood focused kitchen, that also has a diverse and exciting menu to appeal to different palates.

Charred Shishito Peppers - The Wharf Restaurant - Madison Beach Hotel - photo by Luxury Experience
Charred Shishito Peppers

A few of the highlights of our lunch included the Charred Shishito Peppers with gochujang vinaigrette, toasted sesame, and pickled raisins to start, followed by *MBH Tuna Tartare made with sashimi grade tuna, English cucumbers, avocado, soy, ginger, and sesame seeds, and accompanied by housemade wonton chips, and the Hot Lobster Roll which was 5 ounces of succulent butter poached lobster meat served in a grilled New England roll accompanied by housemade bread and butter pickles, and coleslaw.

Lobster Roll - The Wharf Restaurant - Madison Beach Hotel - photo by Luxury Experience
Lobster Roll

The restaurant’s proximity to the water, its gracious ambience, excellent service, and its spectacular cuisine where the presentations are every bit as tasty as the food, make The Wharf Restaurant an excellent dining choice.

The Wharf Restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 am until 9:00 pm, and on Sunday from 11:00 am until 9:00 pm.

Please check their website for additional information: www.thewharfmadison.com

Read more about our dining experience at The Wharf in the Restaurants section.

Read the Chefs’ Recipes section where Chef Brian Warmington takes time out from the kitchen to speak with Luxury Experience an where he provides his very tasty recipe for Charred Shishito Peppers with Gochujang Vinaigrette and Pickled Raisins.

The Madison Beach Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton. Madison, CT

The Wharf Restaurant
Madison Beach Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
94 West Wharf Road
Madison, Connecticut 06443
United States
Telephone: +1-203-350-0014
Website: www.thewharfmadison.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/madisonbeachhotel
#madisonbeachhotel

Café Allegre – Madison, Connecticut

Cafe Allegre - Madison, CT
Café Allegre

Café Allegre is located 1.4 miles from The Homestead Madison in the downtown area of Madison. This delightful Italian restaurant founded by Chef Silvio Suppa, now features his son, Chef Ilario Suppa, as the talent in the kitchen. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the restaurant has a diverse menu to appeal to a variety of palates.

Eggplant Parmigiano - Cafe Allegre - Madison, CT, photo by Luxury Experience
Eggplant Parmigiano

We had an excellent dinner at Café Allegre on Friday, July 14, 2023, when the restaurant hummed with locals including Chef Jacques Pepin, and visiting guests as well. A few of the highlights of our dinner included the appetizers/antipasti of Artichoke Hearts Milanese, which were breaded and fried artichoke hearts drizzled with garlic butter and parmigiano cheese, and the Pane Cotto, which was a delectable mélange of escarole, cannellini beans and frieselle, drizzled with olive oil and baked until golden brown. Also very nice was the Eggplant Parmigiano, which was plentiful and delectable, from the Farinacei-Pasta section of the menu, and the Chateau of Beef Bordelaise, which was a generous portion of Angus beef tenderloin.

Chateau of Beef Bordelaise- Cafe Allegre - Madison, CT, photo by Luxury Experience
Chateau of Beef Bordelaise

Café Allegre Hours of Operation: Tuesdays through Sunday from 4:00 pm until 9:00 pm, Friday and Saturday from 4:00 pm until 10:00 pm. The restaurant is closed on Mondays.

Please check their website for additional information: www.cafeallegre.com

Read more about our dining experience at Café Allegre in the Restaurants section.

Cafe Allegre - Madison, CT

Café Allegre
725 Boston Post Road
Madison, Connecticut 06443
Telephone: +1-203-245-7773
Email: info@cafeallegre.com
Website: www.cafeallegre.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/people/Cafe-Allegre/100063745340926/
Instagram: www.Instagram.com/cafeallegre

Dining Options – Where to Eat in Killingworth, La Foresta Restaurant & Wine Bar

Wine Cellar - La Foresta Restaurant & Wine Bar - Killingworth, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
La Foresta – Wine Cellar

Bring on the romance at La Foresta Restaurant & Wine Bar in Killingworth. Owner Francesco Lulaj opened this stunning fine dining Italian restaurant in July 2014 and has been attracting attention ever since. This is a gourmand’s and oenophile’s dream of a restaurant with an exceptional wine list of over 1,600 selections and more than 16,000 bottles. Located 7 miles from The Homestead Madison, this restaurant is well worth the drive.

Stuffed Lobster - La Foresta Restaurant & Wine Bar - Killingworth, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Stuffed Lobster

We had a spectacular dinner at La Foresta on Saturday, July 15, 2023, where one of the many highlights of our dinner included an appetizer of Fried Oysters under the Seasonal Favorites section of the menu. Presented as a dozen delicately golden battered fried oysters drizzled with siracha aioli, they were sheer perfection that melted in our mouths. While the entrees on the menu looked very appealing, we selected two of the specials, the Stuffed Lobster, and the Filet Oscar topped with a crab cake and Hollandaise sauce. Both of these oh so delicious entrees were beautifully presented with creamy mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus.

Filet Oscar - La Foresta Restaurant & Wine Bar - Killingworth, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Filet Oscar

La Foresta Restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 12:00 pm until 9:30 pm, Friday and Saturday from 12:00 pm until 11:00 pm, and on Sunday from 12:00 pm until 9:00 pm.

La Foresta Restaurant & Wine Bar - Killingworth, CT
La Foresta Restaurant

Please check their website for additional information: https://laforestarestaurant.com/

Read more about our dining experience at La Foresta in the Restaurants section.

La Foresta Restaurant & Wine Bar - Killingworth, CT

La Foresta Restaurant
163 CT-81
Killingworth, Connecticut 06419
United States
Telephone: +1860-663-1155
Website: https://laforestarestaurant.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/laflorestact
Instagram: www.Instagram.com/laflorestakillingworth

There is so much to discover in Madison and its neighboring towns that once discovered, you, too, will "Fall in Love with Madison, Connecticut."

Until next time, keep enjoying travel with Luxury Experience!

Location, Location, Location:

Driving Distance from Neighboring Connecticut Towns to Madison:

Westbrook: 6.5 miles, Guilford: 7 miles, Killingworth: 7 miles, Essex: 12 miles, Old Saybrook: 12 miles, Old Lyme: 14 miles, Branford: 15 miles

Driving Distances from Other Areas to Madison, CT:

New Haven, CT: 21 miles, East Haddam, CT: 25 miles, New London, CT: 28 miles, Hartford, CT: 38 miles, Springfield, MA: 63 miles, Greenwich, CT: 65 miles, Newport and Providence, RI: 83 miles, Westchester County, NY: 86 miles, Manhattan, NY: 97 miles, Newark, NJ: 110 miles, Boston, MA: 136 miles, Salem, NH: 152 miles

Read more about our visit to Madison, Connecticut in Luxury Experience in the following sections:Destinations, Hotels and Resorts – The Homestead Madison, Restaurants – Café Allegre, Restaurants -La Foresta, Restaurants – The Wharf Restaurant, Chefs’ Recipes – Chef Brian Warmingham – The Wharf Restaurant, Spas – The Healing Salt Cave and Wellness Spa, Adventures – Riding a Bicycle Built for Two, Madison, CT, Adventures – Thimble Island Cruises aboard the Sea Mist, Liquor Cabinet – Stony Creek Brewery, and Wine Cellar – Visting Chamard Vineyards and Bistro.

For more information on visiting Madison, Connecticut, please visit the websites: www.madisonct.com and www.ctvisit.com.

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