Willimantic, Connecticut: A Charming Town in the Heart of New England
If you’re looking to experience the beauty and charm of New England, Willimantic, Connecticut should be at the top of your list. This quaint town is located in Windham County and has a population of just over 17,000 people. Known for its historic mills, stunning parks, and locally sourced food scene, Willimantic has something to offer everyone. Here are ten places to visit and five to avoid during your stay in Willimantic.
Places to Visit
1. Willimantic Brewing Company
Willimantic Brewing Company is a beloved local institution. Housed in an old post office building, the brewery offers an array of craft beers and delicious pub fare. The atmosphere is cozy and welcoming, with live music on the weekends.
2. Eastern Connecticut State University Arboretum
The Eastern Connecticut State University Arboretum is a peaceful oasis in the heart of Willimantic. The arboretum covers over 190 acres and features more than 50 species of trees, including a number of rare and endangered species. Visitors can take guided tours, attend educational events, or simply enjoy a stroll through the wooded grounds.
3. Windham Textile and History Museum
The Windham Textile and History Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into Willimantic’s industrial past. The museum is housed in an old textile mill and features exhibits on the town’s history, including its role in the textile industry. Visitors can learn about the machines and processes used to create textiles in the 19th and 20th centuries.
4. Jillson Square
Jillson Square is a beautiful park in the heart of downtown Willimantic. The park features a gazebo, a fountain, and plenty of green space for picnics or outdoor games. Visitors can also enjoy free concerts and movies in the park during the summer months.
5. The Cafemantic
The Cafemantic is a cozy and charming restaurant that serves locally sourced food and craft cocktails. The atmosphere is intimate and perfect for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends. Don’t miss the cheese board!
6. Frog Bridge
The Frog Bridge is a quirky and fun landmark in Willimantic. The bridge features four giant bronze frogs, each of which is six feet tall. The frogs represent the town’s connection to the nearby Willimantic River, which was once known for its large frog population.
7. Mansfield Hollow State Park
Mansfield Hollow State Park is a beautiful natural area located just a short drive from Willimantic. The park covers over 2,000 acres and features hiking trails, fishing spots, and a boat launch. Visitors can also enjoy a picnic lunch or a swim in the park’s freshwater lake.
8. Willimantic Whitewater Park
The Willimantic Whitewater Park is a must-visit spot for adrenaline junkies. The park features a series of rapids that are perfect for kayaking or tubing. Visitors can rent equipment on site or bring their own.
9. Kerri Gallery
The Kerri Gallery is a local art gallery that features the work of both established and emerging artists. The gallery hosts regular exhibitions and events, so be sure to check their website for upcoming shows.
10. Nathan Hale Homestead
The Nathan Hale Homestead is a historic site located just outside of Willimantic. The homestead was once the home of revolutionary war hero Nathan Hale and his family. Visitors can take a guided tour of the house and learn about life in colonial Connecticut.
Places to Avoid
1. Willimantic Motor Inn
The Willimantic Motor Inn is a rundown and seedy motel that has a reputation for being unsafe. Visitors should avoid staying here at all costs.
2. Frog Crossing Deli
The Frog Crossing Deli is a disappointing sandwich shop that is overpriced and underwhelming. Visitors should opt for one of the many other delicious dining options in Willimantic instead.
3. Super 8 Willimantic
The Super 8 Willimantic is another low-quality motel that visitors should avoid. The rooms are unclean and uncomfortable, and the service is subpar.
4. Coco’s Restaurant
Coco’s Restaurant is a greasy spoon diner that is popular with locals, but not worth a visit for tourists. The food is mediocre at best, and the atmosphere is lackluster.
5. Save-A-Lot Grocery Store
The Save-A-Lot grocery store in Willimantic is a budget option that should be avoided if possible. The selection is limited and the quality of the food is subpar.
Overview of Willimantic
|Average Temperature by Season||
|Best Time to Visit||The best time to visit Willimantic is during the summer months, when the weather is mild and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy.|
|City Official Website||http://www.willimantic.org/|