Elopement Weddings at
 Harbor Hill on the CT Shoreline

We’ve had many guests tie the knot here at Harbor Hill over the past couple of years, and we pride ourselves in helping couples coordinate the officiants, marriage licenses, flowers and photographers. We even have recommendations for small wedding cake bakeries and hair salons. Whether you choose a simple exchange of vows on a local beach or a sand-ceremony in our gazebo, we are sure that we have what you’re looking for – memories to last a lifetime.

Gazebo Decorated for Wedding

Today, with the stress, often limited time available, balancing schedules and high costs of weddings, more and more couples are choosing to have an ‘elopement style’ wedding. Couples find that by eloping, they can have a beautiful wedding at an affordable price, within their own time frame, without all of the stress. And while anytime of the year is a perfect time of year to elope with that special someone you love, it is especially so during the spring, summer and autumn seasons here on the CT shoreline. Although we have had some lovely winter elopement weddings right here at the inn it seems that milder weather, our beautiful gardens, quiet beaches and spectacular sunsets make for the most popular setting for vows and photos. Actually, ceremonies here at the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina are as we’ve been told, a photographers dream!

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The photos from our extraordinary and beautiful waterfront setting help tell the story of love and commitment. The inn is the perfect choice for stylish New England seaside elopements with our vintage-restored guest rooms or newer rooms with higher end amenities, our home-made breakfasts each morning and advice in arranging all the details for your perfect wedding. Your classic New England elopement was never easier with our casual seaside elegance that captures the relaxing feel of a day long past with wraparound porches, comfortable wicker and Adirondack chairs, beautiful flower gardens and magnificent water views.

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Although the State of Connecticut does not require witnesses to be present for your ceremony you may want to include a couple of friends to join you here. After your nuptials, we can recommend some local restaurants to go to for a simple yet romantic dinner you’ll enjoy as you reflect on your day, the ceremony and most importantly your future together. There are fine dining options, wonderful waterfront restaurants, stylish and intimate bistros all within walking distance or a short drive from the inn.

VinitnSherri 2014 2

The next morning sit down in our Bayview dining room to enjoy the perfect honeymoon breakfast as you enjoy the Inn at Harbor Hill’s classic breakfast buffet with a delightful hot entrée offered each morning while taking in the beautiful harbor view. You’ll be treated to one of many ‘Chef’s Choice” daily offerings to include our signature Pecan Baked French Toast, fluffy egg strata, ricotta or blueberry pancakes to name a few. The daily buffet includes fresh fruit salad, home baked muffins and coffee cake, fresh bagels, toast and English muffins along with juices, yogurts, cereals and our own delicious and highly acclaimed Harbor Hill Granola.

MichellenChris in Gazebo

What more can we say? If you are considering an ‘elopement’ style wedding, please check out our Sea Breeze Elopement Package because every now and then, right in the midst of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy-tale!

MikeFran 39

 

Stoofer Elopement Ceremony

 

Kavedis by InnStyle

Our Top 10 Things To Do in Mystic Country this Summer

The weather has warmed, our inn is looking amazing and we are ready for the busy summer season here in Niantic, CT. If you’re still looking to make summer vacation plans and wondering what there is to do in the area, we put together a list of popular summertime things to do in our Mystic Country region. So, without further ado, our Top 10 Things To Do while visiting the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina are:

# 1 – Visit Mystic Seaport
Mystic Seaport

Mystic Seaport — The Museum of America and the Sea — is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Explore American maritime history first-hand as you climb aboard historic tall ships, stroll through a re-created 19th-century coastal village or watch a working preservation shipyard in action.

Yes, Mystic has so much to see and do and we find that most of our guests who have never visited the area are very interested in visiting Mystic Seaport. And why not, it is truly one of New England’s most cherished treasures.

Click here to read more about Mystic Seaport

# 2 – Take a Day Trip to Block Island
Block Island Southeast Lighthouse

Thousands of years ago, a glacier left rolling hills and ponds behind, forming what is now known as Block Island.
Block Island features 17 miles of pristine beaches, protected by lighthouses and spectacular bluffs, and surrounded by rolling roads and winding paths.

If you have never been to Block Island and enjoy outdoor activities and exploring new places, then Block Island beckons. You’ll find that ‘Block’ is a special destination in so many ways. You’ll take a high speed ferry and find that this little island is a terrific place to explore. Whether you enjoy a laid-back beach day, a vigorous bike ride or a simple day of shopping and lunch, it’s all just a short walk from the Ferry dock. Consider visiting the iconic and beautiful southeast Lighthouse and breathtaking bluffs.

Getting out to ‘Block’ is so easy and affordable! The high speed ferry leaves several times a day from the New London Ferry dock which is just 15 minutes away from the inn!

Click here to read more about Block Island

# 3 – Visit and Picnic at one of our local Wineries
Wineries

If you enjoy unique wines, tranquil settings and an overall relaxing day, we recommend visiting one of the several local wineries on the southeastern CT shoreline. We also recommend that you take a lovely picnic to enjoy at the winery. We can’t begin to tell you just how many of our guests enjoy this recommendation. Most of the local wineries are within a 30 minute drive from our inn, and some of them offer entertainment.

Click here to read our BLOG post about Connecticut Wineries

# 4 – Visit Watch Hill and “The Ocean House”
Ocean House Rhose Island

This charming village is nestled along the shore of Block Island Sound in the southwest corner of Washington County, Rhode Island. Watch Hill is situated on a peninsula that is nearly surrounded by ocean, further adding to its awe inspiring beauty. Outdoor activities in the area include rowing, swimming, ocean sailing, fishing and hiking. Additionally, local shopping and fine restaurants combine to make this a favored resort area. Did you know that this is where Taylor Swift chooses to make her summer getaway?

Click here to read more about Watch Hill

Perched high on the bluffs of Watch Hill, Rhode Island, Ocean House is an iconic New England seaside resort. Ocean House welcomed guests for 135 years, but as with many historic hotels, over time, neglect took its toll. The Ocean House was closed in 2003 when it was deemed beyond feasible repair. In 2004 a new structure replicating the original exterior design was conceived. Today, this much-loved beach hotel has been recreated to convey the romance of its storied past and the rich character of Watch Hill, Rhode Island.

Click here to read more about the Ocean House

# 5 – Take a Sailboat Cruise aboard the 81′ Schooner Argia
Mystic Schooner Argia

We can’t begin to tell you just how special it is to take a sailboat cruise aboard the 81′ Schooner “Argia”. Step aboard the traditional sailing ship ARGIA for a relaxing sightseeing cruise. Enjoy a leisurely cruise down the Mystic River and smooth sailing in Fishers Island Sound. Beautiful views of lighthouses, islands, and historic homes await you as the gentle lapping of the water and the smell of salt air surround you. Day cruises are available for 2 ½ hours at morning, afternoon or sunset and are very reasonably priced.

Click here to read more about the Argia

# 6 – Bike through our local Beach Communities
Bike Riding along the Beach

So, who doesn’t like a bike ride along beautiful coastline and looking at everything from beaches, beautiful birds, boats, waterfront estates, houses and bungalows. Here in Niantic we have some beautiful seaside bike routes as well many others fit for every kind of biker. Whether leisurely or intense we have ideas to share with you here at the inn.

Click here to read more about our ‘Bike-inn’ by the Sea package 

# 7 – Spend a day at our local Beach!!!
CT shoreline beaches

Overlooking Niantic Bay is McCook’s Point Park. The park consists of a beautiful bluff between two white, sandy beaches. On the bluff, there is a green lawn shaded by copper beeches, perfect for picnics, games or quiet contemplation.

From the Point, you can see Fisher’s Island, Plum Island, and Orient Point across Long Island Sound. McCook’s Point beach, on the west side of the bluff, and Hole-in-the-Wall beach, to the east, provide plenty of room for sunbathing and swimming.

Here at the inn we provide beach passes and all of the beach gear you could possibly need for a day of fun in the sun.

Click here to read more about Niantic Beaches

# 8 – Visit one of our favorite outdoor dining spots
Lobster in the Rough

Outdoor dining is on everyone’s mind during summer on the CT shoreline when the sun comes out and temperatures warm. Visitors and locals alike scramble to occupy every breezy patio and waterfront restaurant in sight. To help you score the most coveted alfresco tables, we’ve identified some of our guest favorite restaurants with outdoor seating. Below are just some of the favorite outdoor/waterfront dining spots.  Please feel free to call us (860.739.0331) or email us (info@innharborhill.com) with anyquestions about these or other restaurants in the region:

The Back Porch
Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock
Skipper’s Seafood
Ford’s Lobster
S&P Oyster Co.
Main Street Grille
The Black Sheep

# 9 – Explore the areas Antique & Boutique shops
Antique Shops

Is your “inner collector” eager to scout out vintage artifacts?
Antique shops can be a treasure trove of undiscovered delights, whether your passion is industrial art, 19th century glassware, estate silver or nautical kitsch.

Browse Mystic Country’s array of antique dealers, quaint gift shops, general stores, bookstores, art galleries and specialty boutiques, many of which can be found in CT’s Coastline and Countryside village centers.

FYI: Bargain shoppers will love our numerous outlet stores…

Pack comfy shoes to ensure you’ll have fun every step of the way…
so explore, shop… and come away with that perfect find!

Click here to read more about the Mystic Antiques Trail

#10 – Last, but not least, Relax here at our Inn
Relaxing at Bed and Breakfast

With so much to see and do in the area some of our guests forget why they wanted to getaway in the first place. To relax! But we have found that both exploring the area and relaxing here at the inn can be accomplished all in one trip. So come enjoy the beauty and quaintness of our inn and you won’t be disappointed.

Click here to read more about relaxing at the inn

In closing, we hope that our ‘Top 10’ list gives you some idea of the many things there are to see and do while staying with us. And also note, we have much more info and directions for each and everyone one of these adventures right here at the inn, as well as many other suggestions for things to do. We hope you find our Top 10 Things To Do list helpful in considering a getaway to our inn.
Below are some additional helpful links:

Click here to check “Room Availability”

Click here to view our “Specials & Packages”

A Visit and Day Trip
   to Block Island

If you have every stayed at our inn, you know that we are big fans of sending our guests to places throughout the region via our “custom itineraries”. Our custom itineraries provide our guests a brief summary of the place of interest and our personal recommendations on how to get there as well as what to see or do once you are there. Well, one of the places we love to recommend for a summer day trip is Block Island.

Welcome to Block Island

Welcome to Block Island

Why visit Block Island? Well, just like our inn and our village of Niantic, we like the laid back atmosphere and casual mode of life on Block. Block Island is probably unlike anywhere you have ever visited with ferry boats that bring you into Old Harbor where most of the shopping, restaurants and beaches are located. We personally take the relaxing trip each summer to just browse the shops, people watch, have lunch and maybe, just maybe, have an early afternoon libation.

One interesting note about Block Island; you will not come across a single traffic light or a big chain business, but you will be blown away by the natural landscape with stone wall-lined rolling hills, breathtaking bluffs, and pristine beaches. To us, its a place that time seems to have forgotten.

Many of our guests and people who visit Block Island will rent a moped or bicycle to tour some of the island lighthouses, bluffs and beaches. A couple of must-sees, at least in our opinion, are the Southeast Lighthouse and the Mohegan Bluffs.

Scenic view of the cliffside Southeast Lighthouse. Block Island, Rhode Island.

The Southeast Lighthouse

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Block Island Bluffs

Walk down the Bluff steps to the Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, what do we recommend when you get hungry and/or thirsty? Well, Daves most favorite place for lunch is the Mohegan Caf & Brewery or the National Hotel which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Both are located right on Water St. and a short 5 minute walk from the ferry boats. The Mohegan Caf offers a nice variety of craft and bottled beers, a very good Pan Blackened Mahi-Mahi sandwich, burgers, fish & chips, salads, sandwiches and tex-mex favorites.

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One of our favorites ~The Mohegan Cafe

The National Hotel also offers pretty good food and breathtaking views with tables on their big shaded porch overlooking scenic Old Harbor. Its no wonder why this place is so popular with visitors. We also like Aldos for a cup of coffee and pastry if we arrive early in the day or we stop in for a mid-afternoon cup of Gelato.

What many people don’t realize is just how easy it is to get to Block Island from our inn. Only 12 miles off the Rhode Island coast, we personally like taking the ferry out of Point Judith, Rhode Island which is an hour drive from our inn. The reason we like taking the 55 minute ferry ride from Point Judith, is the quintessential look and feel of the classic New England commercial fishing community that also resides in Point Judith.

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4 BI Ferry Boat

We also like that you can sit outside on the Pt. Judith ferry boats and catch the beautiful Rhode Island and Connecticut coastlines as you cruise to Block Island. For those who dont want to take an hour drive to get to Point Judith, you can take a high-speed ferry from New London, Connecticut which is just 15 minutes from our inn. The Block Island Express gets you to Old Harbor in just over an hour on a high-speed catamaran which runs from May thru September.

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The Hi-Speed Ferry from New London

You can relax, renew and refresh at our inn and head out to where we go to do the same – on Block Island. And oh yea, September is one of the best months to visit Block Island. Be sure to ask us about Block Island and other great day trips when visiting with us.

 

Niantic, CT. ~ Connecticuts
    Fan Favorite Town

Niantic Sign3
Welcome to the Village of Niantic

Located along the shores of Long Island Sound sits the quaint seaside village of Niantic, CT. Our small town has made a big impact with residents and tourists alike recently, and thanks to them Niantic was voted Connecticuts Fan-Favorite Town in 2013 in a contest spearheaded by the states Department of Tourism.

What makes Niantic so special, you ask? Well, many things, but lets start with location, location, location. If you were to drive two hours north youd end up in Boston. Head two hours south and youd be entering New York City. Our seaside escape lies halfway between these two major cities. And if you’rea local, you know that Niantic is within 20-30 minutes of almost every attraction in southeastern Connecticut and southern Rhode Island. For a quick insight into Niantic, check out the video the State of CT. created about Niantic here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKmEWbw_Vfc)

CT Fan Favorite

Niantic ~ Connecticut’s Fan Favorite Town of 2013!!!

Its all well and good that being based in Niantic one could cover a lot of ground, but we feel that you really dont have to. Niantic has a lot going on throughout the year. Our towns Events Calendar (http://www.discovereastlyme.com/calendar.php) is filled with events from our annual Winter Light Parade (the oldest and largest in all of New England) to our annual summer bash-on-the-bay festival called Celebrate East Lyme, and tons of things in between. Our Farmers Market draws huge crowds from June to October and in the winter Holiday season you can see our Main Street light up and transform into a classic New England Village.

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Hole-in-the-Wall Beach overlooking McCook’s Park

While we enjoy our annual events, we in Niantic also love the laid back beach lifestyle, which is good because our town features three town beaches AND Rocky Neck State Park. Its not uncommon to spend an entire summer day soaking up the suns rays and swimming in the calm waters of the Long Island Sound. Niantic is also a mecca for boaters and fisherman alike and boast numerous marinas as well as charter fishing boats. And, as a side note, after spending the day at the beach or out on the water be sure to stick around to witness some of the most amazing sunsets right from the lawns of our inn.

Sunrise Oct 2013 sm

The beach may take up a lot of our time in the summer, but we always find time to visit our handful of local restaurants and shops, most of which are open year-round. In future BLOG posts we will be highlighting some of our favorite local places and events just to provide a more detailed look at what our town has to offer. We love Niantic and hope youll have a visit and see for yourself why we are one of Connecticuts best kept secrets.