When it comes to small towns with big heart, you’ll be swept away by Deep River. Located on the banks of the Connecticut River in the Lower Valley, Deep River is best known for its annual Ancient Deep River Muster, the oldest and largest gathering of fife and drum enthusiasts in the world… a Colonial era Woodstock of sorts, held on the third Saturday of July. However, locals (all 4,400 of them) know that more than the Muster, it’s community connectedness that’s the real secret sauce here. A visitor will quickly find an immersive appreciation for Deep River’s location, businesses, and its people.
Insider’s Tip: A beloved nature-scape and historical hub, Deep River Landing, across from Selden Neck State Park and campground, is no ordinary meeting ground. It’s the perfect place to launch your boat or moor your yacht, kayaking, paddling and enjoying the beach at low tide at Eustasia Island. Seeking more Classic Connecticut? get to know the Deep River Historical Society and Deep River Fife & Drum Corp.
Dog friendly can be found in Deep River’s welcome. Fido is always welcome on walking paths and parks. Two dog welcoming establishments are Tailgaters and High 9 Brewery.
TOP SELFIE SPOTS
Two of the town’s mainstream snapshot spots are Deep River Landing & Town Hall; the third locale has become a cult classic for those who love a dark mystery. Grave XYZ is the headstone of an unidentified bank robber shot in 1899 and visited by a woman in black every December for 40 years to follow. Nowadays, people visit and place (with irony noted) coins atop this modest memorial.
Nature seekers will venture by kayak along the Connecticut River or launch at Pratt Cove on River Road; the bird watching and fishing are both excellent. Another option for nature seekers is to go by way of land and hike the River Hike at Canfield Woods. Grab a midday pick-me-up at The Nest Coffee House, a non-profit that supports employment for those with developmental challenges. Next up, explore the Deep River Historical Stone House and learn all about the incredible history of Deep River.
Happy Hour awaits. At High 9 Brewery, BYO snacks to accompany fabulous sours, lagers and IPAs. Families are welcome & High 9’s also joining the pack: This brewery will be dog-friendly in Spring of 2020! Come evening, you’ve probably worked up quite an appetite shopping, paddling and hiking. Enjoy new American cuisine at the easy-going Red House Restaurant or grab dinner to go at Deep River Pizza or Illiano’s and walk it off with a sunset stroll by the river.
TUNE IN TOGETHER
As a town historically pivotal to the nation’s piano industry, it’s fitting that families happily congregate at Deep River’s weekly summer concert series, held outside at the town green or Deep River Landing. Pack a picnic or let local restaurants serve up dinner onsite. Be sure to check for upcoming shows with the Deep River Theater held on the Town Hall stage, where Shoreline Drama is hyper local, ultra welcoming and unpretentious at its core. Shoe-String travelers will not want to miss Deep River Family Day in September – this free family festival has dozens of happenings including a fun run & 5K, car show, live music, carnival, circus arts and massive fireworks show.
REST WITH THE BEST
Deep River is home to a number of super host-status Airbnb’s and the ever-charming Riverwind Inn recently needed to purchase more picture frames for its onslaught of awards & accolades to hang on the walls in 2019, including: Best of the Shoreline, Best of CT and Best of New England Travel.
GET YOUR STEPS IN & YOUR SHOP ON
Visit the shops along Main, all conveniently within walking distance of each other and make time for a jaunt to Deep River Celebrations, a shop with well curated, clever curiosities for every gifting occasion. Moody Rabbit offers fun second hand finds. Compass Rose (women’s clothing) , Anchor and Compass (store for men/clothing). Those looking for vintage or antique treasures will find them at the aptly named shops, Nostalgia and Treasures. Two local arts spaces also welcome visitors for shopping and more: Make time to explore the watercolors at Alan James Studio and acrylics at Alicia Melluzzo Gallery; both fine artists offer classes and special events & exhibitions.
Bonus: While there’s plenty of outdoor recreation to stay active, Deep River gyms also roll out the welcome mat for travelers who want to keep up their workout. Grab a day pass at friendly Anytime Fitness or MPower.
Once you’ve dipped your toes into Deep River, you’ll want to deep dive into this sweet little town by spending more time at future Musters. In July and August, also catch the Thursday night Horseshoes League in action. It’s the oldest in the state and arguably the most entertaining; members are teens to octogenarians, farmers and stock brokers, men and women.
HAPPILY EVER AFTER
Deep River has long proven itself as a special place for those seeking to say “I Do” amid a small town vibe framed within a rural New England landscape. The historic Lace Factory serves as a charming venue situated directly across from Deep River Landing and The Essex Steam Train just adds to the nostalgia and festivities for guests to enjoy.