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Never more than a few houses and retailers at the junction of two country roads, the hamlet of New Preston long served primarily as a supplier for locals and, starting in the mid-19th century, the families who summered on nearby Lake Waramaug. More recently, New Preston's small grocery and hardware stores have been converted to antiques emporia of high order, and they find themselves surrounded on weekends by BMWs and Volvos. Note: Cellphones do not work in the area.

Exploring the Lake Waramaug Area -- At the northwest tip of the L-shaped lake, 95-acre Lake Waramaug State Park, Lake Waramaug Road (tel. 860/868-0220; www.ct.gov), gives the public access to a beautiful body of water that is otherwise monopolized by the private homes and inns that border it. Canoes and paddle boats are for rent, and there's a swimming beach as well as picnic tables, food concessions, and a total of almost 80 camping and RV sites.

Shopping -- In no time, the intersecting streets that form the center of the village have gone from sleepy to spiffy. Notable among the shops is J. Seitz & Co., Main Street/East Shore Road (tel. 860/868-0119; www.jseitz.com), featuring bedding, bath products, furniture, and clothing of silk, velvet, cashmere, and suede. Two doors over is New Preston Kitchen Goods, 11 East Shore Rd. (tel. 860/868-1264; www.newprestonkitchengoods.com), selling a wide variety of high-end gadgets.

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.