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Hadlyme (a jurisdiction of the town of East Haddam), is hardly more than a wide spot in a country road. It wouldn't have attracted much attention at all if a wealthy thespian, William Gillette, hadn't decided to build his hilltop castle here.

To get to the castle and park, take the small Chester-Hadlyme Ferry (tel. 860/594-2551), at the end of Route 148, slightly less than 2 miles from Chester. A ferry has operated here since 1769, and the current version can take about eight cars and walk-ons ($3 for vehicles, $1 for pedestrians and bicyclists). If it's closed, go north on Route 154 to Haddam and take the bridge to cross to the east side of the Connecticut River, where the castle is located.

Nightlife -- The dominant building in East Haddam proper is a restored 1876 Victorian of splendid proportions that is now the Goodspeed Opera House, Goodspeed Landing (tel. 860/873-8668; www.goodspeed.org). It mostly stages musicals on the order of Happy Days: A New Musical and Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but also hosts an annual festival of new artists in January.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.