Kent, Ct: Activities, Events, Festivals, Lodging and Dining
The Weekend Getaway Town of Kent, CT
Are you looking for an affordable weekend getaway that offers a variety of activities as well as plenty of relaxation? Visit Kent, a tiny town in Western Connecticut with big personality. Literally only a few blocks long and a couple of blocks wide, this charming town is a wonderful place to get away from it all. The rural setting is beautiful, with rolling hills, forests, covered bridges, waterfalls, antique shops, and historic architecture. There are also plenty of activities including hiking, the nationally renowned Litchfield Jazz Camp and Festival, winter holiday activities, the pumpkin run, great shopping, dining, and more.
Located in Western Connecticut at the intersection of Routes 7 and 341, near the New York State border, Kent is a bit off the beaten path. It can be accessed from the south via I-84 and Route 7, from New York City via I-684, and from New England via I-90 and I-84. Although it's not easy to get to, it's well worth the trip. Both Routes 7 and 341 are rolling, curving two lane roads that pass through rural areas with the occasional cafe and antique shop, views of ponds, lakes, and creeks, and large, shady trees. It's particularly beautiful in the fall when the leaves turn.
Events, Activities, and Festivals
Hiking: There are several options for hiking near Kent. The Appalachian trail passes near Kent at Bulls Bridge Rd and Route 7 just south of Kent. In fact, the Appalachian trail follows the Bulls Bridge trail for some time and this makes a wonderful hike encompassing a covered bridge and cascading water falls. Five miles north of Kent on Route 7 is Kent Falls State Park, another favorite local hiking destination. This park offers spectacular water falls and although, not long, it is steep.
Litchfield Jazz Camp and Festival: Kent is home to the Litchfield Jazz Camp and Festival which take place each summer at The Kent School, one of several boarding schools in the area. The camp runs for 4 weeks each summer and draws teenagers who want to hone their jazz skills under the instruction of some of the best jazz musicians in the country. The camp culminates with the Festival, again featuring well know jazz musicians. The students even get a chance to play and jam in the Festival. If you enjoy jazz, this is a must see.
Kent Gingerbread Festival: The Gingerbread Festival is relatively new to Kent. During the month of December, merchants display gingerbread houses in their windows and visitors can cast their vote for the best house. In addition to the Gingerbread Walk, visitors can enjoy food, shopping, music and visits with Santa. It's a festive way to enjoy a traditional New England Christmas.
Kent Sidewalk Festival: The Kent Sidewalk Festival takes place at the end of July each year and features great sales on Main St. If you love antiques and handmade items like blown glass, this festival is right up your alley. Merchants display their wares outside, along Route 7. Local restaurants offer special deals, local musicians play for visitors, and there's a classic car show.
Kent Pumpkin Run: In 2011, Kent will hold its 35th annual Pumpkin Run. The five mile course is certified by the USATF, starts at Town Hall and begins at noon on Halloween. If you don't run, it's still fun to watch since many of the runners don Halloween inspired costumes, there's live music, great food, and an after party for all. The entry fee is $22 for early registration or $27 regularly.
Litchfield County Antiques Show: Held in late June at The Kent School, the annual antiques show features forty dealers with various specialties, including period Asian, European and American antiques and mid-century furniture.
There are many great choices for dining in Kent. Options vary from casual family restaurants to more upscale venues.
- Bulls Bridge Inn: Inhabiting a 200 year old building, this Kent restaurant offers quaint ambiance and great food. They offer a salad bar that comes with each dinner entrée. Dinner choices range from Shrimp Scampi to Jumbo Cheese Ravioli to New York Strip Steak. They're open for dinner only.
- Kent Pizza Garden: This is a great family restaurant tucked back off of Main Street behind the Kent Railroad Station. They have indoor and outdoor seating and their menu includes pizza, salads and entrees such as pasta dishes and seafood. Prices are reasonable.
- DOC's Trattoria: A beautiful, upscale restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating located just off Main Street on Route 341, Doc's serves a variety of Italian dishes including pizzas and pasta meals. They also have a full bar.
- Fife 'n Drum Restaurant: The Fife 'n Drum is located on Main St next to the Inn. The restaurant has won several awards and has an impressive wine cellar. They also offer live piano music nightly. Dinner entree's range in price from $19 - $35.
- Villager Restaurant: The Villager is a family restaurant located on Main Street. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily with menu items featuring both Mexican and American cuisine. In fact, they're the only place in Kent to get Mexican food.
The options for lodging in and near Kent are numerous and range from cottages to Inns to Bed & Breakfasts. Your choice will depend on who you're traveling with and your budget. There are several romantic choices that are perfect for couples or families.
- Breadloaf Mountain Lodge & Cottages: Cost is $265 - $470 per night for a luxury cottage that sleeps up to 6 people. This lodge is located on Route 7 in Cornwall Bridge, Ct, which is north of Kent.
- Club Getaway:This resort features rustic cabins, a lake, activities, and meals. According to reviews on Trip Advisor, the cabins are very rustic and the food features mainly fried items and pasta. Some reviewers loved it, saying it's a unique place while others cited it as dirty. It appears to be appropriate for both groups of adults and familiies.
- Cooper Creek B & B:This Bed & Breakfast is located on Route 7 only two and one half miles north of Kent. It has great reviews on Trip Advisor. Previous guests cited the charming antiques and paintings as well as hosts that went beyond the call of duty. Cost is $100-$250 per night.
- Cornwall Inn:Located about 7 miles norht of Kent on Route 7. It's one of the few lodging choices near Kent to have a pool.
- Fife 'n Drum Inn: Located on Route 7 in the town of Kent, this Inn is cited as having a great location and as being a great value for the money. Former guests have said that the rooms are clean but need to be updated. There is also a restaurant associated with the Inn.
- Inn at Kent Falls:This Inn is situated on Route 7 between Kent and the Falls. This 300 year old home is charming and romantic, perfect for a weekend away for a couple.
- Starbuck Inn: This is the top-rated Bed & Breakfast in Kent according to Trip Advisor. The beautiful, colonial style home features antique furnishings, comfortable beds, and a great breakfast, according to reviewers. This is a perfect place for couples.