Happy Friday! If only I was escaping back up to Essex, CT this weekend for another Girls’ Getaway like I did last week… at least I get to re-live all the fun with you guys in today’s post! After being home for the majority of the past 5 months, this New England Girls’ Getaway with two of my blogger friends was exactly what I needed! I can’t believe it was only a couple of days ago that Claire from Home with the Wileys, Kristy from Kristy and New England, and I met up in Essex, CT for a quick 30-hour stay in this charming river town! Keep reading for my recap of my Girls’ Getaway to Essex, CT & where we stayed!
Less than 90 minutes from Greenwich, nestled alongside the Connecticut River, sits a quintessential New England town. I doubt I’ll even begin to do Essex, Connecticut justice here, but I’m going to try my best because this town deserves every ounce of praise and then some! It’s actually hard to believe you’re only a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of lower Fairfield County since it feels like you’re a world away!
Our girls’ getaway officially started with checking into the historic Griswold Inn (or “The Gris”)! The Gris is located in the heart of downtown Essex. Outside the inn’s main building you’ll find the center stripe in the road to be neither yellow nor white, but rather red, white, and blue. Follow the red, white, and blue stripe down the road for a minute and you’re greeted by the Connecticut River! (Translation: The Griswold Inn is the perfect base camp to experience Essex!)
I was so amazed to learn that The Griswold Inn is the oldest continuously operated inn in America! How cool is that?! The Gris effortlessly honors its rich history (dating back to 1776) while also providing all the modern luxuries one expects when on vacation. And on top of this all, The Griswold Inn’s staff went above and beyond to make sure our stay was completely safe during these Covid times.
To be completely honest, I was bit hesitant to travel and stay in a hotel, but after speaking with the lovely staff at The Griswold about all of the safety precautions they’re taking, I was completely reassured! Connecticut is also one of the safest states to be in right now, if not the safest, so I found comfort in that as well! Honestly, the entire experience was such a treat and I am already itching to get back!
Because of the current state of affairs, Claire, Kristy, and I each stayed in our own room. I stayed in room #5, located in the inn’s main building, while Claire and Kristy’s rooms were across the street in a separate building. All of the rooms/suites are uniquely designed in keeping with the heritage of the inn.
I still can’t get over my suite! Where to begin… the gorgeous wallpaper, the high ceilings, the spacious sitting room, the inviting fireplace, the cleanliness… the list goes on! It’s also worth noting that my bed and pillows were VERY comfy! I slept so well (also in part because it was my first time sleeping with A/C in over a month!).
The Griswold Inn is the perfect play to stay for a girls’ trip, a romantic getaway, or a family vacation! Whether you’re looking for an cozy, intimate space or a larger accommodations for a group/party, then The Gris is the place for you! After touring the property, I see why so many brides choose to get married at The Griswold Inn, as it can easily house the entire wedding party in large, connected suites, and guests can stay in the main building!
One of my favorite parts of summer is getting to enjoy my breakfast outside. Truth be told, I love sitting outside all day long. There’s just something about those early hours in the day though when the world is quiet and everything seems so still. Both mornings during my stay at The Griswold Inn, I took my bowl of fresh berries and a glass of ice water (I know, I’m one of those weirdos who doesn’t drink coffee) and sat outside in their spacious and newly renovated patio area.
This patio area, tucked behind the inn’s Hayden House, feels like a secret garden, surround by hydrangeas and other greenery in full bloom. The tables are spaced at least 6ft apart from each other, which made me feel 100% comfortable dining there!
In addition to having my breakfast outside, Claire, Kristy, and I came back to the inn for lunch and dinner, both of which were delicious! I had the Gris Grain Bowl for lunch and the salmon for dinner. Both were delicious! Incredibly, The Gris was able to completely accommodate my dietary restrictions. For those of you who are new around here, I’m currently #cleansinginstyle (which means no dairy, no sugar, and no gluten) to achieve clearer skin (read more about that here).
If you come to Essex, I would 10/10 recommend The Griswold Inn’s al fresco dining! If you’re not comfortable eating out, The Gris is offering “Gris To Go,” check out their menu here!
Supporting locally owned businesses is more important now than ever! For the past 25 years, The Griswold Inn has been owned by a local family with deep roots in the community. I got to know Joan, one of the owners of The Gris, during my recent stay and gosh, what an amazing woman! Right away you can tell how much Joan cares for The Griswold Inn, its history, her staff, and each and every guest! Hopefully you’ll have the pleasure of bumping into Joan during your stay at The Griswold Inn!
During the pandemic, The Inn started the “Gris Strong” initiative to continue to support the inn’s staff. For each sale of the Gris Strong t-shirt, $20 goes directly to The Gris staff! Going the extra mile seems to be a theme surrounding every aspect of The Griswold Inn.
Alrighty, and that about wraps up where we stayed during our girls’ getaway to Essex, CT! Stay tuned for more details on my Experiencing Essex trip! Have any questions about my stay? Feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) send me a DM on Instagram (@styleinherited) or drop a comment below!
P.S. Let’s give Julia Dags a huge shoutout here for her amazing photography! The trip wouldn’t have been the same without her!
keywords: New England Travels // New England girls’ getaway griswold inn // Girls’ Getaway // Essex, CT // Connecticut // Safe Travels // Covid Travels // Support Local Businesses // Coastal New England // Kristy New England // Home with the Wileys