Updated 05/15/2009 10:58 AM
Closer Nantucket Substitute Found In Conn.
A hidden gem of a beach resort in Connecticut offers a taste of Nantucket much closer to home. NY1's Travel reporter Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
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Nantucket Island is no longer a day of travel away - its salty New England flavor can be found in Madison, Conn.
Depending on traffic, Madison, Connecticut is a couple hours' drive from New York City. This manicured town located on Long Island Sound will delight anyone who is a fan of Nantucket, located a few hours further east.
I found my visit to the Madison Beach Hotel to be a scaled-down version of the quintessential "weathered-shingles" beach experience, without feeling imitative. The fact that Madison is closer and cheaper than Nantucket should make it easier for purists to forgive the comparison.
The Madison Beach Hotel has 35 rooms and suites, most with direct water views and balconies, any one of which you wouldn't think twice about dragging sand into from on your flip flops. Rooms with fridges and microwaves are especially popular with families.
Dining out at the hotel's atmospheric Wharf Restaurant will keep things surprisingly within budget, whether you sit inside the Crow's Nest or outdoors on the porch.
This is one place where you'll be hard-pressed to let summer end, but unfortunately, when the nearly 50-year-old Madison landmark shutters for the season, it will be torn down and rebuilt into a boutique style hotel to debut midsummer or fall 2010. I just hope they won't be trying too hard.
Rates at the Madison Beach Hotel range from $159 to $299 a night weekdays and are $10 more on the weekends.
Visit www.madisonbeachhotel.com or call 203-245-1404 for more information. Shoreline East trains run daily from New Haven.
Now here's a D'Elia's Deal you don't want to miss when booking a room at the Madison Beach Hotel. Every night is Family Night at the Wharf restaurant -- get one kid's meal free per adult entrée through July when you tell them Val sent you.
For more travel information, visit www.travelwithval.com.