As much a museum as it is an authentic Colonial tavern, Connecticut's Griswold Inn famously houses the largest privately-owned collection of paintings by Antonio Jacobsen (1850-1921), America's most prolific marine artist.
Since 1776, travelers have clamored here to dine, sleep, and sing sea shanties. The current owners, the Paul family, have extended the art collection and lately, added a wine bar which has kindled its own audience.
New York magazine toasted the inn's cozy Tap Room, clad in maritime antiques: "It just may be the best drinking room anywhere in America."
Situated in Essex, near the mouth of the Connecticut River, "The Gris" offers locally-inspired cuisine, handsome accomodations, and public rooms strewn with masterpieces depicting famous vessels from the age of steam and sail.
Savory New England fare is served up in the art-filled dining rooms. Recent menu selections inlcluded a lobster pot pie drenched in cream and herbs.
The legendary Hunt Breakfast, a Sunday tradition stemming from British troops who occupied the Inn during the War of 1812, is a veritable smorgasbord.