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Written by Emma McDonnell

Roger Sherman Inn

As a result of COVID-19, many are trading in big-city living to relocate to the suburbs for safety and more open space. As Santa Barbara continues to welcome those in this group, I moved from one ocean to the other. This summer, I packed up my things and moved to my new home on the East Coast. While the pandemic wasn’t a factor in the equation, after living in California my entire life, I was excited and ready for a new adventure. My home is now nestled in a charming, lush and incredibly beautiful Connecticut town. With three months under my belt, I’m eager to offer recommendations and share my newfound insight with potential visitors.

Known for its considerably colder temperatures and snow in the winter, along with unpredictable thunderstorms in the summer, Connecticut’s climate contrasts the dry and sunny weather found throughout the year in California. Yet, both CA and CT share a similar love of the ocean. In the warm summer months, Connecticut residents flock to their boats and beaches to cool off from the sticky humidity that fills the air. As the sun sets on the waterfront, bright shades of orange and red take over the sky, making for the perfect backdrop at Westport’s Rive Bistro, a sparkling gem with deliciously fresh seafood and a great atmosphere.

Through my own exploring, I have found a love for the streets of downtown New Canaan. A picture-perfect locale, Elm Street is dotted with boutiques, antique shops and of course the East Coast staple Dunkin’ Donuts. A hotspot for a delightful bite to eat is Elm, the street’s namesake, which offers the perfect spot for seasonal American dishes accompanied by optimum people watching. Or grab a seat on the porch at Roger Sherman Inn for the quintessential New England experience, while enjoying a Watermelon Martini.

In exchange for Los Angeles as my go-to city, I was given New York City. After a quick, 50-minute car ride, my new life in Connecticut (after quarantine) will allow me to wander along the streets of SoHo and shop at West Village boutiques.  

When summer transitions into fall, the rich, visual explosion of color signals autumn. Fall in New England can best be described by one word: charming. I can already feel the crisp air that requires me to bring a cozy sweater when going for a walk at Sherwood Island State Park. In order to have the full New England experience, one must also visit an orchard (many of which are open and taking the necessary precautions to ensure safety). From Massachusetts to New Hampshire to Vermont, this region offers everything from pumpkin patches, to cider donuts, to apple picking.   

Each day holds the potential for a new adventure and beautiful scenery, whether it be the 50-minute drive to New York City, or simply having a coffee along the streets of New Canaan. After only a few months of living in Connecticut, I highly suggest a visit to the East Coast. The fall foliage alone is worth the trip.


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