Day Trip to Salisbury CT; Food, Trails, & Shops

Spend a day in Salisbury, Connecticut!

Salisbury, Connecticut, a centuries old iron mining town formally founded in 1741, is the embodiment of perfectly antiquated New England. Come discover the best things to do in Salisbury and plan an adventurous day or weekend trip!

woman and black dog on top of hike in salisbury ct at sunrise with golden sun in sky and green trees
Sunrise at Lion’s Head on the Appalachian Trail

Salisbury, with its quaint downtown of restaurants and local shops huddled comfortably together along either side of Main Street, is the perfect place for an adventure day in CT.

Living in CT most of my life, Salisbury is one of the towns that comes to mind if I want an all day outing featuring a scenic hike, a peaceful trail, and lunch at a cafe.

To me, this is a recipe for the perfect day! And fortunately Salisbury has tons of hikes and trails to choose from with its trusty food places for before or after along with cute shops dotting Main Street.

downtown salisbury ct in fall

Unfortunately it would seem that gone are the days where a visitor to can walk lazily up and down a town’s sidewalks, accessing all necessities by foot, but not here in Salisbury. 

Welcoming smiles and hollers of “Hey there!” and “Good morning!” greet residents and patrons alike upon entering any number of cafes, restaurants, and artisan shops that make up this country hub.

In this post, we’ll detail an adventure packed day in and around Salisbury, fueling our minds and souls with delicious caffeinated beverages, pushing our bodies with hikes ranging from easy to more difficult (with rewarding New England vista views!), and nourishing our bellies with delectable eats.

Join us as we explore this classic New England mini metropolis.

1st Stop: Breakfast and coffee 🥐☕️

To fuel up before hitting the trails or discovering the town, you’ll do yourself a disservice by not making a stop at Sweet William’s Coffee Shop & Bakery. Park in their small lot or right on Main Street/Route 44 in the center of town. 

ice tea outside at table at sweet williams in salisbury ct

This fine establishment offers up the finest in baked goods, breakfast munchables, and a full bodied cafe, ready to satiate a variety of early morning needs.

2nd Stop: Hike or Walk in Salisbury (4 options)

1. Lion’s Head – Moderate hike with a big view!

Armed with a latte and an egg sandwich, make your way north on Route 44 until you reach a turn off for Route 41. Follow 41 until you reach the secluded parking area for the trailhead to Lion’s Head via the Appalachian Trail.

This is a beautiful 4.4 mile out and back hike that treats trekkers to incredible easterly and southern views from Lion’s Head summit. You’ll gain about 1,170 feet in elevation on this one, so bring plenty of water and snacks!

2. Rand’s View – Another moderate hike with a wide open field view

Also along the Appalachian Trail, Rand’s View is an easement section of the trail that offers stunning wide open vista views to the north and the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.

You’ll begin the climb to Rand’s View from the parking area off of Route 44 just outside of downtown Salisbury. From here you’ll walk for about 3.2 miles until reaching what is obviously the viewing stretch of the AT. Return the same way you came, enjoying a quiet stroll through some dense and magnificent wilderness. 

Check out my post where I outlined multiple trails to get to Rand’s View ranging from 1.5 miles to 6 miles.

3. Railroad Ramble – Easy, mostly paved walk

A wonderful stroll on a once very active section of railway that’s been given new life as a wonderful walking path. From just outside of Salisbury center to neighboring Lakeville you’ll enjoy a nice there and back 4.3 miles walk.

This is a perfect easy walk for all adventurers, and a great way to slow down and take in all the beautiful sites along the way.

Alltrails: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/connecticut/railroad-ramble-trail

4. Salisbury Land Trust – Easy or moderate walks and hikes

A peaceful, quiet and secluded loop hike in a beautiful preserve.

A short and sweet 1.4 miles will have you wandering through a tranquil forest.

Alltrails: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/connecticut/dark-hollow-loop

Not a hiker? Go for a paddle or swim at Twin Lakes!

The Twin Lakes Association is a volunteer non-profit committed to the ongoing health and vitality of the Twin Lakes and surrounding area. The lakes are an important source of fresh water for Connecticut, an oasis for wildlife including many endangered species, and a recreational area for boaters, fishermen, hikers, cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts of all interests.

black dog in blue lake on a summer day in salisbury ct
view of twin lakes in salisbury in summer with blue water and green trees

↪️ After your active afternoon let’s check out the food options in Salisbury! ☕️🥪

Lunch, Dinner, or Snacks

There are several fantastic spots to choose for food in Salisbury, depending what you’re in the mood for and how casual you want to be.

Grab & Go: LaBonne’s Market

Amazing grinders, freshly made to-go meals, a full deli, sushi, and a fantastic assortment of beers. 🙂

Italian/New American: Neo’s Restaurant & Bar

A homey Italian hangout serving up classics across the board. It would be difficult to not find something delicious on this menu. Fantastic for lunch or dinner.

Historic Inn & Rustic Bar: White Hart Inn

A touch upscale but a colonial style pub and outdoor seating allow for all walks of life to come enjoy some delicious dishes. Eat outside, at the bar, or enjoy a fine dining dinner. 

Walk & Wander Downtown

downtown salisbury ct in fall
downtown salisbury ct in fall

The hub of Salisbury and its quaint streets and shops is a blink-and-you-miss-it kind of downtown..

The best thing to do is park on Main Street (Route 41) and walk between Library Street and the White Hart Inn. There is parking along Main Street or I like to park in LaBonne’s Market (22 Academy Street) and walk from there!

🛍Here’s a list of favorite shops in downtown Salisbury:

Honeychurch Home: home decor, 10 Academy Street

Joie Mason LLC: giftshop, 2 Main Street

Johnnycake Books: used bookstore of rare and collectible books, 12 Academy Street

Salisbury General Store & Gifts: lots of unique, fun, and locally made gifts and products here! 20 Main Street

Rosemary Rose Finery: jewelry, perfume, crystals, & more! 19 Main Street

Joie De Livres: A rare book and fine art gallery, 19 Main Street

History Appreciation 

Before leaving, check out the beautifully landscaped, vibrant Civil War Memorial, perfectly situated at the center of town. You’ll find it where Main Street (Rt44) meets Route 41, just before the White Hart Inn.

With the Appalachian Trail all but running through the downtown of Salisbury, this perfect little blip on the map is a storied and well remembered stop off for AT through hikers. 

After combining these suggestions and visiting the charming Connecticut town of Salisbury – I know you will have had an amazing day out!

This is a town I love to visit throughout the year in the different seasons; dressed up for the holidays with some snow, in full bloom of summer, or surrounded by golden leaves, it’s always a memorable day.

Catch a glimpse of old New England in Salisbury, Connecticut, all while enjoying some exercise and rewarding tasty treats.

I hope you enjoy your visit to Salisbury, CT!

Have fun!

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