Winter Getaways Near Wallingford, Connecticut

Posted by Bob Wiedenmann

Connecticut winters are nothing short of magical; the cold is transformational. Once roaring rivers and waterfalls become sculptures of ice and heavy snowfall makes the familiar landscape almost unrecognizable. 

Connecticut winter park with snow-covered benches and trees

That being said, unless you’re a winter fanatic, you might spend most of the season huddled inside, hiding from the chill. And, if that’s the case, it’s likely you’ll get a bad case of cabin fever. Investing in your home by winterizing, adding a fireplace, or filling it with cozy blankets and candles is one way to help prevent the winter blues. 

Or, escape your home altogether in one of the many romantic inns and winter resorts in Connecticut. Keep reading to learn about some of the state’s best weekend getaways in the winter season, all of which are within an hour-and-a-half drive from the centrally-located, charming town of Wallingford.


The Griswold Inn

griswold inn connecticut winter

Source: Visit CT

A short 40 minutes from Wallingford stands the country’s oldest continuously operating inn: The Griswold. It opened in 1776, the same year America’s 13 original colonies declared independence from Great Britain. 

The Griswold Inn, located in Essex, has a fascinating history that includes connections to the Colony of Connecticut’s first revolutionary warship, the golden era of steamboats, the War of 1812, the Temperance Movement, and much more. Its common rooms are chalked full of historical artifacts including 1840s protest banners, an antique firearm collection, and marine art. The inn has also been featured in several popular movies and television shows like the 1960s “Dark Shadows” and Doris Day’s “It Happened to Jane.” 

Choose from 34 unique rooms furnished with antiques and period replicas, some of which include a fireplace or a beautiful view. Sit for a meal of classic American cuisine in one of the inn’s historic dining rooms, check out the wine bar’s tapas menu, or snag a more casual dinner in the tap room.

  • Address: 36 Main St., Essex, Connecticut 06426
  • Contact: 860-767-1776
  • Website 

Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort

powder ridge resort winter tubing

Source: Powder Ridge Resort

For some mountain fun near Wallingford, visit the Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort. The resort offers skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, and snow biking just a 20-minute drive from town. 

Traversing the park’s 24 trails is the perfect way to savor the Connecticut winter. And, with trails of all different difficulties and ski lessons available, the park appeals to everyone from beginners to avid winter sportspersons. If you want to experience the winter landscape while staying warm, consider driving the Connecticut River Gateway, an approximately 80-mile loop that begins in nearby Middletown, or one of the state’s many other scenic drives

After a day working up an appetite in the cold, fill your belly at the Fire at the Ridge Restaurant and Tavern where live musicians play every Saturday. The restaurant offers regional cuisine crafted by Executive Chef Kevin Cottle, a former contestant on “Hell’s Kitchen.” 

  • Address: 99 Powder Hill Road, Middlefield, Connecticut 06455
  • Contact: 866-860-0208
  • Website

Heritage Hotel by Best Western Premier

Heritage Hotel Best Western Indoor Pool and Spa

Source: Best Western

There’s no better way to escape from the cold than a Connecticut spa retreat! You can spend a full day in the Heritage Hotel’s relaxing spa or pop in for massage therapy, a facial, manicure, pedicure, waxing, or make-up services. Continue to unwind outside the spa at the indoor heated pool, hot tub, or steam room and nourish yourself with local cuisine and regional craft beer at The Tavern, located on-site. 

For those craving some exercise, the hotel offers an exercise room or you can purchase fitness classes for an extra fee. The hotel, located in Southbury, is also just 5 miles from the Kettletown State Park and Southford Falls State Park. 

  • Address: 552 Heritage Road, Southbury, Connecticut 06488
  • Contact: 203-264-8200
  • Website

Grand Pequot Tower at the Foxwood Resort & Casino

Grand Pequot Tower at Foxwoods Resort and Casino

Source: Foxwoods

The Grand Pequot Tower at the Foxwood Resort and Casino has a little something for everyone. Play slot machines, poker, or table games at the Grand Pequot Casino, the heart of the hotel, or unwind with a milk and honey massage or a firming facial at the Norwich Spa. Located just over an hour away in Ledyard, the resort even has a Tanger Outlet with over 70 stores. 

The resort has won the “AAA Four Diamond Award” for 14 consecutive years and boasts stunning views of Connecticut winter scenery from every floor of the tower. You can choose from a myriad of restaurants from the upscale Caputo Trattoria, which serves food inspired by the Italian coast, or sample award-winning American food at Guy Fiere’s Foxwoods Kitchen and Bar.

For accommodations, you can choose from a sophisticatedly decorated room, suite, or villa depending on your needs. 

  • Address: 39 Norwich-Westerly Road, Ledyard, Connecticut 06339
  • Contact: 860-312-3000
  • Website

Whether or not you’re a winter-lover, these Connecticut getaways are bound to help you shake off the cabin fever and soak in all the beauty the season has to offer — just don’t stay outside too long!

Tags: Wallingford, Living in Connecticut

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