The beauty of Chester is distinctive, no matter the time of year or day.
Downtown offers a medley of shops and eateries, providing delights for all the senses.
19th century shops huddle Main Street’s curve like a collection of gingerbread houses, their muted earth tones reminiscent of an age when life was simpler.
Subdued creativity abounds, with the talents and energy of friendly artists, artisans and neighbors drawing everything together, making downtown Chester a place to remember.
Pattaconk and Cedar Lakes provide summer activities for boating and swimming, along with Camp Hazen, located at Cedar Lake.
The Chester/Hadlyme Ferry is one of the last remaining ferries in Connecticut. It leads from Chester to Hadlyme, and provides a wonderful approach to Gillette’s Castle, which overlooks the river as you approach.
Attractions from the surrounding towns
While all of the Connecticut shoreline offers special attractions and ambiance, the lower Middlesex Valley offers an inviting cluster all its own, including Chester, Essex, Deep River, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. Across the bridge you find Haddam and Old Lyme. We urge you to explore them all. Just remember to complete your day by stopping by in Chester!
Life in Chester
Chester has a unique vibrancy, enjoyed by residents and visitors alike — out of the ordinary, yet down to earth. Like the 4th of July 4 on the 4th Road Race and the Lobster Fest, both sponsored by Chester Rotary. And First Fridays, on the first Friday of each month when the village shops and restaurants stay open and surprise us with new attractions. On Sundays from early spring through early fall, the village is filled and fresh fruits and veggies during the Chester Sunday Market. The Memorial Day Parade carries the intimate authenticity of a small New England village and when the Volunteer Fire Department holds their annual Chili Contest, you can be sure the event will be packed with people. Learn more at the Visit Chester website.
But none of this describes what it’s like to live here. Chester streets are neatly contoured to their natural landscape – reflecting yesteryear’s economy, when mills thrived on the many streams and dams.
Almost everywhere you go you hear a mellow stream flowing by, even on Main Street, where the Pattaconk passes beneath the road, circling behind shops. The fresh air permeates everything with scents from herb gardens, wildflower landscapings, to our State Park, lakes and the Connecticut River. You may see children passing by with their fishing poles, trying their luck from roadside bridges.