Dave’s Best Roasted Cranberries Recipe

Ok, for any of you who have every stayed here at our inn and enjoyed our Cranberry Scones, you probably commented on them and then had 2 or 3 more. Well, we’re revealing the “secret” behind our scones and just in time for the upcoming Thanksgiving season. The secret is what we do with the cranberries. This is not just any recipe. It has been passed on friend to friend, borrowed cook to cook far and wide and has been bequeathed from generation to generation. In our family this recipe came to us from Sue’s sister Rosanne. We do not know where she got it – and she’s not saying.

Anyway, a few years back, the “who’s-bringing-what” list was being created for our Thanksgiving family get-together which is our traditional family list of who is going to bring what for the big Turkey Day dinner. Well, one year Sue’s sister Rosanne agreed to bring the cranberries. No, not the pre-formed jellied and canned variety, but the real home-made cranberries we’ve all come to love. Being that we do love them, she always brings a super-batch around the holidays and one year, she made so many cranberries that Dave decided to try them in his scone recipe. This addition was a natural crossover and since that time our Cranberry Scones have become one of the most popular items served here at the inn.

Now, with Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, we’ve decided to share this family recipe (see below) just in time for your family’s holiday dinner. Do enjoy these, make extra to try in one of your favorite recipes, and please shoot us an email if you do try them.

Dave’s “Best-Roasted-Cranberries-Ever” Recipe:

1 (12 oz.) bag of fresh cranberries (we like Ocean Spray brand)
1 and 1/2 Cups of White Sugar
1/2 to 2/3 Cup of Apricot Brandy

Best Cranberry Recipe

                            Three Simple Ingredients


Place cranberries in a 9” x 13” Pyrex type glass baking dish (no need to spray dish)

Spread Cranberries evenly in dish and pick out stems, etc.

Sprinkle the Sugar and Apricot Brandy over the cranberries and mix gingerly
(note: the cranberry, sugar and brandy mixture will seem somewhat pasty, but don’t worry and don’t add more brandy than noted above)

Once complete, cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Important note; when the cranberries are done baking, DO NOT remove the aluminum foil. It is important to let the cranberries cool retaining the steam.

If you try this recipe, please shoot us an email and let us know how they came out.

Cranberry Suace in Bowl


Come visit the Oldest Steam Powered Cider Mill in the US

Clyde's Cider Mill in Mystic CT

   Clyde’s Cider Mill in Mystic CT

Let’s face it, autumn or fall conjure up thoughts of New England highways and byways surrounded with beautiful vistas of trees decked out in spectacular, colorful foliage. Is there a more beautiful place to be in autumn than in New England? Many folks forget about Connecticut (and Rhode Island) when they think about taking a fall getaway to New England. Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and even Massachusetts are most popular when planning those New England leaf-peeping escapes. However, we’re here to tell you that all of the magnificent beauty and charm of autumn can be found right here in southeastern Connecticut.

Clydes Cider Mill 007

The oldest steam-powered Apple Press in the entire US.

For instance, we have B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill in Old Mystic. A visit to Clyde’s Cider Mill is like stepping back in time. If you come you will see the only steam powered cider mill in the U.S. in production with scheduled apple-pressing demonstrations.
Clydes Cider Mill 007a

There are locals that have been going to Clyde’s for so long that they remember getting cider and donuts and the only option for eating them was in the car! This cider mill has grown so much through the years but it hasn’t lost its’ historic New England charm. We think of Fall and we think of all things apple- Delicious pies, tarts, breads and cider served here every day. They start in September with a nice selection of Apple wines and hard ciders, jams, jellies, local honey, maple syrup, fudge, and what many people call “The best sweet cider on Earth!” Also available in the Fall are pumpkin bread, gourds, Indian corn, pumpkins, candy apples, kettle corn and apple cider donuts. A real favorite is the cider slushes, warm melt in your mouth cider donuts and the apple Dumplings. Also, let’s not forget the wonderful non-apple offerings of condiments and preserves. There are other areas at Clyde’s such as The Grist Mill which is a smaller shop with Christmas ornaments, tee-shirts, gifts, etc., a popcorn stand where they make fresh kettle corn, and tasting stations– for hard ciders and for apple cider wine.
Apple Cider Doughnuts

When you visit there are usually some tables from local vendors—perhaps selling cheeses and other products made from goats’ milk, and another selling honey and beeswax candles or offering local wines for tasting. They also have some colorful Adirondack chairs on the porch where you might be lucky enough to snag a seat and enjoy your cider and donuts.
Cinnamon Donuts with Sugar Daddy

This is a great stop for a historical/educational/tasting & shopping tour. You won’t be disappointed even though it can get crowded on weekends – it is worth parking on the road (if necessary) and taking a walk. The air perfumed with freshly pressed apples, and then the knowledgeable and kind staff, are just a bonus! So take a break from the ordinary and come visit a National Historic Landmark and see the 6th generation of the Clyde family making cider just like B.F. Clyde did in 1881.

SEPT. – OCT. 9AM – 6PM
NOV. – DEC. 9AM – 5PM

Saturdays & Sundays
October – 11am, 1pm, 3pm
November – 11am, 1pm Weather permitting

For additional information about Clyde’s Cider Mill, visit: www.bfclydescidermill.com

It’s Autumn and time to experience the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat

As summer gives way to the beautiful and popular “Autumnal season” here in southern New England, many quests look for that quintessential New England leaf-peeping experience. You know what we’re talking about; places to see beautiful colored trees, visits to apple orchards and harvest festivals, corn-mazes and country drives to witness all of nature’s beauty. However, if you’re looking for a truly unique New England Experience, look no further than our local Essex Steam Train and Riverboat excursions.
Essex Station

The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat is just a short 30 minute ride from our inn, and provides a sightseeing journey through the beautiful Connecticut River Valley. This 2-1/2 hour nature excursion blasting with nature’s colors is guaranteed to reawaken all of your senses. Relax and soak up the colorful sights while gently rolling through the countryside aboard vintage train coaches. From the open decks of the Becky Thatcher Riverboat, you’ll revel in stunning views of the hills breathtaking Fall Foliage reflecting on the river water.
Essex Steam Train

Imagine traveling through one of the “last great places on earth” in Living Color! Now, board the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat for the ultimate Fall Foliage journey through the unspoiled Connecticut River Valley. Your journey begins in Essex station. There you board vintage train coaches and travel north along the banks of the scenic CT River passing by such notable historic icons as Gillette Castle, the Goodspeed Opera House, and the Haddam Swing Bridge. And, the train travels near the tidal wetlands of Pratt Cove and Chester Creek – – bountiful, natural habitats for birds. Among those typically spotted are Cormorants, Ducks, Swans, Greenland Geese, Blue Heron, Egrets, and Red-winged Blackbirds. You might catch a glimpse of an eagle or two as this area is noted for occasional eagle sightings at this time of year. Then, you will depart the steam train to board the triple-deck Mississippi-style Riverboat “Becky Thatcher” taking in breathtaking views of the color-bursting classic New England foliage. Upon Becky’s return to Deep River Landing, the steam train welcomes passengers for the return trip to Essex Station.
Becky Thatcher Riverboat

In closing, autumn here at our inn is one of the best times of the year to visit, and for us locals this is truly a favorite time of the year. The summer vacation crowds have come and gone, and the days are as lazy or as active as you’d like them to be. The days are sunny and warm, still perfect for walking the beaches or visiting the host of shoreline attractions. At night the cool ocean air off Niantic Bay provides the perfect excuse to sip a glass of wine and relax after a long day exploring the southernmost New England state ~ Connecticut.
Essex Steam Train and Riverboat

Want to see more, view our Fall “Inn” Love Getaway Package video

Our Best Clam Shacks, Lobster Rolls and Outdoor Dining

It’s summer again here on the CT shoreline! Two of the most common questions we are asked here at the inn are “who has the best Lobster Roll” and “where is there a great place to eat outside”. If we were visiting the area for the first time we’d be asking the same questions. So, below is our take on some of our favorites and the area’s most popular choices for lobster rolls, clam shacks and outdoor dining.

When it comes to lobster, you’ll find they do things a bit differently in Connecticut. This state’s claim to fame is not a traditional cold lobster-salad sandwich, but a hot lobster roll overflowing with warm lobster meat and oozing with butter. We think it’s finger-lickin’ good!

Right around the corner are two of our favorite outdoor clam shacks and both serve great fried clams, lobster rolls, clam chowder, fresh fish and chips and much, much more.

Right here in our very own Village of Niantic we have:

Skipper’s Restaurant – Niantic, CT
Skippers Restaurant in Niantic
This is one of the busiest places in the area, and rightfully so. Beautiful views, great lightly-battered fried seafood, and in our opinion, one of the best Fried Fish sandwiches in the entire area. Skipper’s is open all year around, serving lunch and dinner daily. They serve a large variety of the freshest seafood including fried whole belly clams, lobster rolls, excellent fish and chips, and award winning clam chowder, as well as chicken, burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches. Skipper’s offers plenty of indoor seating and outdoor dining overlooking the Niantic Bay. Come enjoy the warm, casual atmosphere of Skippers.

Dad’s Restaurant – Niantic, CT
Dads Restaurant in Niantic
Dad’s has been a local favorite serving seasonally since 1963. Located in the charming Village of Niantic, you will be able to take in the amazing views of Long Island Sound at Niantic Bay. It’s the perfect setting for everything from date night to family dinner. You will find a great selection of seafood, burgers, fries and if you’re looking for a foot-long hotdog – this is the place! You can also walk right over for that special treat of gourmet ice cream at Dad’s Restaurant!

Stepping outside our village of Niantic, we also like the following:

Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock – New London, CT
Captain Scott's Lobster Dock
You’ll find at Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock, a quaint fish market and lobster shack on Shaw’s Cove in New London. Named for Captain Thomas A. Scott, who arrived in New London in 1871 to build the Race Rock Lighthouse, the restaurant’s signature lobster roll comes on a toasted split bun, full of hot, buttery pieces of lobster meat, topped off simply with sliced lemon. Grab a picnic table and a view of the water, and you’ll need little else. Hard to find (we have printed directions), but well worth the trip.

Ford’s Lobster – Groton, CT
Ford's Lobster
While many who visit the area know Abbott’s Lobster in Noank we’re here to tell you about a really awesome lobster spot called Ford’s Lobster. It’s not easy to find. It’s down by the water, just two small seaside shacks covered in lobster buoys and a deck overlooking a beautiful water view. This BYOB ‘shack’ is creative with their full menu plus they have a lobster bisque lobster roll option in addition to the usual hot with butter and cold with mayo. All YUMMY! Ford’s uses large chunks of tail and claw and in addition to the above options, they also make a ‘lobster bomb’ which is a bread bowl filled with lobster. The chowders here are fantastic, the New England chowder (creamy) and the Noank chowder (clear clam broth) are both winners!

The Back Porch – Old Saybrook
The Back Porch Old Saybrook
Dave loves the blackened Salmon over Caesar Salad, but they have a fair share of lobster dishes as well. One dish/sandwich in particular is their “Lobster Grilled Cheese”. Yes, you read right! If you have never had a lobster grilled cheese sandwich, this might be one of the best places to try one – to die for! With outdoor waterfront dining and New England American Cuisine, The Back Porch Restaurant is a favorite summer dining destination overlooking the boats at the mouth of the Connecticut River. Happy Hour six days a week and live entertainment Wednesdays through Sundays.

Dog Watch Café – Stonington, CT
Dog Watch Cafe Stonington, CT
The Dog Watch Cafe is located in beautiful Stonington Borough, on the marina directly overlooking Dodson Boatyard. A casual seaside atmosphere that’s perfect for kicking back with a cocktail or dining while enjoying beautiful harbor sunsets. We recommend the white wine steamed mussels – a favorite! Special events throughout the year guarantee a great time.

S&P Oyster Company – Mystic, CT
SnP Oyster
Looking to have some lunch or dinner while visiting Mystic? S&P is located right on the Mystic River by the historic bascule drawbridge. You can choose to set outside or in and have beautiful views of the boats passing through the bridge. To name a couple of favorites, the stuffing on the Seafood Ambrosia is decadent, and the tuna on the Grilled Sampler is excellent. The consistency of the food and service at S&P is what brings folks back every time. We HIGHLY recommend this restaurant to anyone who wants a water view and some refreshingly tasty good food!!

Sea Swirl of Mystic – Mystic, CT
Sea Swirl
Come to Sea Swirl of Mystic for some of the best dining in the area. Sea Swirl was visited by Rachael Ray for her show ‘$40 A Day’ on the Food Network and received a great review. They serve a menu of expertly fried local seafood, including scallops, shrimp and fish and have perhaps one of the most beautiful sunsets on the horizon. For an alternative to seafood, there are hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken, sandwiches and much more in this casual clam shack atmosphere. Oh, and don’t forget the ice cream!

Sunset Ribs – Waterford, CT
Sunset Ribs Waterfrod, CT
Sunset Ribs is one of those seasonal ‘beach-bars’ frequented by locals, vacationers and Sunday bikers. Sit on the deck and sip a cocktail, have a bite to eat and watch the sunset behind our inn. Situated on a vista overlooking the Long Island Sound and located right across the Niantic River from our inn, Sunset Ribs offers great BBQ and other offerings including steak, pasta and seasonal seafood dishes. On warm evenings dine outdoors on the patio and enjoy beautiful scenery and live entertainment with your meal.

We love sharing all of the places to grab some great seafood whether they are steps away from the inn or in little out of the way places north and south of the inn. What’s more perfect than coming to the Connecticut shoreline and indulging yourself with fresh seafood and beautiful water views!

Our Top 10 Things To Do in Mystic Country this Summer

The weather has warmed, our inn is looking amazing and we are ready for the busy summer season here in Niantic, CT. If you’re still looking to make summer vacation plans and wondering what there is to do in the area, we put together a list of popular summertime things to do in our Mystic Country region. So, without further ado, our Top 10 Things To Do while visiting the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina are:

# 1 – Visit Mystic Seaport
Mystic Seaport

Mystic Seaport — The Museum of America and the Sea — is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Explore American maritime history first-hand as you climb aboard historic tall ships, stroll through a re-created 19th-century coastal village or watch a working preservation shipyard in action.

Yes, Mystic has so much to see and do and we find that most of our guests who have never visited the area are very interested in visiting Mystic Seaport. And why not, it is truly one of New England’s most cherished treasures.

Click here to read more about Mystic Seaport

# 2 – Take a Day Trip to Block Island
Block Island Southeast Lighthouse

Thousands of years ago, a glacier left rolling hills and ponds behind, forming what is now known as Block Island.
Block Island features 17 miles of pristine beaches, protected by lighthouses and spectacular bluffs, and surrounded by rolling roads and winding paths.

If you have never been to Block Island and enjoy outdoor activities and exploring new places, then Block Island beckons. You’ll find that ‘Block’ is a special destination in so many ways. You’ll take a high speed ferry and find that this little island is a terrific place to explore. Whether you enjoy a laid-back beach day, a vigorous bike ride or a simple day of shopping and lunch, it’s all just a short walk from the Ferry dock. Consider visiting the iconic and beautiful southeast Lighthouse and breathtaking bluffs.

Getting out to ‘Block’ is so easy and affordable! The high speed ferry leaves several times a day from the New London Ferry dock which is just 15 minutes away from the inn!

Click here to read more about Block Island

# 3 – Visit and Picnic at one of our local Wineries

If you enjoy unique wines, tranquil settings and an overall relaxing day, we recommend visiting one of the several local wineries on the southeastern CT shoreline. We also recommend that you take a lovely picnic to enjoy at the winery. We can’t begin to tell you just how many of our guests enjoy this recommendation. Most of the local wineries are within a 30 minute drive from our inn, and some of them offer entertainment.

Click here to read our BLOG post about Connecticut Wineries

# 4 – Visit Watch Hill and “The Ocean House”
Ocean House Rhose Island

This charming village is nestled along the shore of Block Island Sound in the southwest corner of Washington County, Rhode Island. Watch Hill is situated on a peninsula that is nearly surrounded by ocean, further adding to its awe inspiring beauty. Outdoor activities in the area include rowing, swimming, ocean sailing, fishing and hiking. Additionally, local shopping and fine restaurants combine to make this a favored resort area. Did you know that this is where Taylor Swift chooses to make her summer getaway?

Click here to read more about Watch Hill

Perched high on the bluffs of Watch Hill, Rhode Island, Ocean House is an iconic New England seaside resort. Ocean House welcomed guests for 135 years, but as with many historic hotels, over time, neglect took its toll. The Ocean House was closed in 2003 when it was deemed beyond feasible repair. In 2004 a new structure replicating the original exterior design was conceived. Today, this much-loved beach hotel has been recreated to convey the romance of its storied past and the rich character of Watch Hill, Rhode Island.

Click here to read more about the Ocean House

# 5 – Take a Sailboat Cruise aboard the 81′ Schooner Argia
Mystic Schooner Argia

We can’t begin to tell you just how special it is to take a sailboat cruise aboard the 81′ Schooner “Argia”. Step aboard the traditional sailing ship ARGIA for a relaxing sightseeing cruise. Enjoy a leisurely cruise down the Mystic River and smooth sailing in Fishers Island Sound. Beautiful views of lighthouses, islands, and historic homes await you as the gentle lapping of the water and the smell of salt air surround you. Day cruises are available for 2 ½ hours at morning, afternoon or sunset and are very reasonably priced.

Click here to read more about the Argia

# 6 – Bike through our local Beach Communities
Bike Riding along the Beach

So, who doesn’t like a bike ride along beautiful coastline and looking at everything from beaches, beautiful birds, boats, waterfront estates, houses and bungalows. Here in Niantic we have some beautiful seaside bike routes as well many others fit for every kind of biker. Whether leisurely or intense we have ideas to share with you here at the inn.

Click here to read more about our ‘Bike-inn’ by the Sea package 

# 7 – Spend a day at our local Beach!!!
CT shoreline beaches

Overlooking Niantic Bay is McCook’s Point Park. The park consists of a beautiful bluff between two white, sandy beaches. On the bluff, there is a green lawn shaded by copper beeches, perfect for picnics, games or quiet contemplation.

From the Point, you can see Fisher’s Island, Plum Island, and Orient Point across Long Island Sound. McCook’s Point beach, on the west side of the bluff, and Hole-in-the-Wall beach, to the east, provide plenty of room for sunbathing and swimming.

Here at the inn we provide beach passes and all of the beach gear you could possibly need for a day of fun in the sun.

Click here to read more about Niantic Beaches

# 8 – Visit one of our favorite outdoor dining spots
Lobster in the Rough

Outdoor dining is on everyone’s mind during summer on the CT shoreline when the sun comes out and temperatures warm. Visitors and locals alike scramble to occupy every breezy patio and waterfront restaurant in sight. To help you score the most coveted alfresco tables, we’ve identified some of our guest favorite restaurants with outdoor seating. Below are just some of the favorite outdoor/waterfront dining spots.  Please feel free to call us (860.739.0331) or email us (info@innharborhill.com) with anyquestions about these or other restaurants in the region:

The Back Porch
Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock
Skipper’s Seafood
Ford’s Lobster
S&P Oyster Co.
Main Street Grille
The Black Sheep

# 9 – Explore the areas Antique & Boutique shops
Antique Shops

Is your “inner collector” eager to scout out vintage artifacts?
Antique shops can be a treasure trove of undiscovered delights, whether your passion is industrial art, 19th century glassware, estate silver or nautical kitsch.

Browse Mystic Country’s array of antique dealers, quaint gift shops, general stores, bookstores, art galleries and specialty boutiques, many of which can be found in CT’s Coastline and Countryside village centers.

FYI: Bargain shoppers will love our numerous outlet stores…

Pack comfy shoes to ensure you’ll have fun every step of the way…
so explore, shop… and come away with that perfect find!

Click here to read more about the Mystic Antiques Trail

#10 – Last, but not least, Relax here at our Inn
Relaxing at Bed and Breakfast

With so much to see and do in the area some of our guests forget why they wanted to getaway in the first place. To relax! But we have found that both exploring the area and relaxing here at the inn can be accomplished all in one trip. So come enjoy the beauty and quaintness of our inn and you won’t be disappointed.

Click here to read more about relaxing at the inn

In closing, we hope that our ‘Top 10′ list gives you some idea of the many things there are to see and do while staying with us. And also note, we have much more info and directions for each and everyone one of these adventures right here at the inn, as well as many other suggestions for things to do. We hope you find our Top 10 Things To Do list helpful in considering a getaway to our inn.
Below are some additional helpful links:

Click here to check “Room Availability”

Click here to view our “Specials & Packages”

Discover Mystic Seaport this Summer

We at the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina love helping our guests figure out fun adventures to go on while they are staying with us. Every summer visitors flock to Mystic Country to enjoy not only our fantastic New England summertime beach experience, but our many interesting activities as well. There are so many different ways to enjoy the Connecticut shoreline such as our scenic beaches, array of restaurants, wineries, shops, hiking paths, museums, and so much more. However, one of our favorite recommendations is to visit Mystic Seaport and Museum of America and the Sea for the nautical history of our beautiful area and America. If you come and see what Mystic Seaport is all about you will find that you can easily spend an interesting afternoon there. Located about 20 minutes from our Inn on the southeastern coast of Connecticut is the jewel in our historic crown – famed Mystic Seaport.
Mystic Connecticut

As the great Age of Sail gave way to steamships and railroads, wooden ships and boats were turned into firewood and the nation’s seafaring traditions began to disappear, three Mystic residents decided to work together to keep the past alive. On December 29, 1929, the papers were signed incorporating the Marine Historical Association, today known as Mystic Seaport. Their dream: create a dynamic, educational institution to preserve America’s maritime culture–and turn the achievements of a past era into an inspirational force for the future.
Post Card Mystic Seaport

Despite the economic conditions of the Great Depression, Mystic Seaport grew rapidly. Donations of log books, photography, ships plans and other maritime artifacts poured into the one-building museum. In 1941, Mystic Seaport acquired the Charles W. Morgan, the country’s last wooden whaleship from the once-great Yankee fleet. Historic buildings from across New England were also moved in to complement the Morgan–and the authentic coastal village area of Mystic Seaport was born.
Mystic Country

Over the next 50 years, Mystic Seaport experienced explosive growth, amassing the world’s largest collections of maritime photography (over 1 million images) and boats (nearly 500), as well as collecting two million other maritime artifacts. And the 1970s saw the creation of the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard, additional exhibition buildings and several new accredited educational programs. The largest recent undertaking was the complete restoration of the Charles W. Morgan which once again sailed the high seas in the summer of 2014. You can visit the ship and see how life was aboard this antique wooden sailing vessel when she was out with a crew searching for whales in her historic past. Currently on display for all to view is the Mayflower II which has been brought down from Plymouth, MA to receive a multi-year restoration. The shipyard is also restoring the oldest steam powered ship the Sabino which is in permanent residence at the Seaport. The shipwrights use many of the traditional historic boat building practices along with current day building applications to ensure the historic nature of the vessel is maintained during their modern day restoration.
Mystic Seaport Entrance

Now, Mystic Seaport is making the history of America’s relationship with the sea even more accessible to all-new audiences. As part of a an extensive expansion plan that includes new exhibit halls and reception areas, the Museum’s state-of-the-art Collections Research Center provides easy and convenient ways for scholars and researchers from around the world to access Mystic Seaport’s renowned archives, via the Internet and integrated databases. It’s just one of many ways this showcase of the past two centuries is preparing for the next one.

Visiting and strolling through Mystic Seaport takes you back in time as you wander through this reconstructed authentic coastal village with appropriate character actors giving enlightening demonstrations of a life past. The Museum’s exhibition halls are brimming with permanent and changing exhibits that offer rare glimpses into other eras and cultures, including restored vessels, figureheads, ship carvings, and vintage photography. Each exhibit and art gallery at Mystic Seaport offers a unique perspective of our nation’s history with the sea and voyages on the water.

There are many rare and historic boats you can climb aboard at Mystic Seaport. Even better, they also have several you can ride aboard or self-pilot. Take a waterfront tour aboard one of their launches, charter a sail aboard one of the historic sailboats or spend the day relaxing underneath a historic catboat’s billowing sail. Rent a classic wooden rowboat or sailboat and explore the river firsthand. Before you leave Mystic Seaport be sure to see the Museum from this entirely different vantage point!
Mystic Seaport at Night

If you can plan ahead you may want to coordinate your visit with one of the Mystic festivals like the chowder or lobster fest or the holiday Lantern Light tours at Mystic Seaport. It’s the great events and places like these that make coming to Mystic Country during the summer or any time of year such an excellent choice for a vacation getaway. While there are so many places in our Mystic Country region to choose from, consider staying with us at the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina. Our beautiful waterfront B&B is like a home away from home. Each morning join us for a delicious breakfast and end your days relaxing with other guests and exchanging stories of what you have done that day. Summers in Mystic Country are a very popular choice so please call us and speak to one of our fantastic team members and we will be happy to help you plan a wonderful vacation trip.

Hawaiian Banana Bread Recipe

For those of you who have stayed with us before here at the inn know, we take great pride in offering a wide-array of breakfast offerings to hopefully please anyone visiting with us.  Morning starts with many guests being enticed by the heavenly aroma of our fresh brewed New England coffee and then, there might be the mouth-watering smells of brown-sugar-cinnamon topping on a baked entrée, or that get you every time smell of sizzling bacon or sausage.  Any given morning you can count on something being prepared with aromas wafting through the air suitable to make any palate happy.  Perhaps you will be met in the dining room with a beautiful baked Challah French Toast bursting with cinnamon-brown-sugar and pecans or a beautifully puffed egg strata bursting with fresh veggies, bacon and cheese.

No matter what the preference, we’re sure that there will always be something on our buffet that will appeal to the early morning diner.  One of the all-time favorites for that first-bite-nibble in the morning is our Hawaiian Banana Bread.  Breakfast for many starts with that first cup of coffee with ‘something sweet’ albeit a scone, a slice of coffee cake or fresh-baked muffin.  However, one baked goodie we make that gets many positive comments is our Hawaiian Banana Bread.  This recipe is extremely moist because it calls for a can of crushed pineapple and even if you add the optional nuts or chocolate chips it still remains as moist.  Are you getting the picture?  A steaming cup of our aromatic New England coffee and a bite of heaven – and the day just keeps getting better.

The beauty of this banana bread recipe is you don’t need a fancy mixer! A fork to whisk the eggs and a sturdy spoon to mix the batter with is all you’ll need. The sugar amount is flexible so adjust to your own personal liking. You can toss in a cup of chopped nuts, raisins, or chocolate chips if you want, or put the batter into muffin tins and make muffins instead. Here at the inn, we like making mini muffins or small loaves in mini-loaf pans.

Hawaiian Banana Bread
An unusual combination ~ so moist & delicious!
Not just for breakfast…

Hawaiian Banana Bread Ingredients

Dry Ingredients:
3 Cups all-purpose Flour
2 Cups Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoon Salt
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Cup Nuts or Chocolate Chips (optional)

Wet Ingredients:
3 Eggs (beaten)
1½ Cups Canola Oil
2 Very Ripe Bananas (mashed)
1 8-oz can Crushed Pineapple, well drained
2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl combine the remaining wet ingredients.
Add the liquid mixture (wet ingredients) to the dry ingredients and
mix using a spoon (not an electric mixer) until just blended.
Pour batter into 5 greased mini-loaf pans (or mini-muffin pans).

Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick
inserted in the center comes out clean.
Adjust bake time for mini-muffins (approx 16-18 minutes)
Cool on a rack and loosen sides of loaves to remove from pans.

note: if you try this recipe and/or have questions about it, we would love to hear from you so please contact us at info@innharborhill.com with your feedback.

Hawaiian Banana Bread Baked Marti



Come Getaway and visit our local Connecticut Wineries

Let’s face it, when you think of good wine and beautiful wineries, Connecticut wouldn’t necessarily be at the top of your list.  However, you just may be surprised to learn that CT does have beautiful wineries that produce very good wines.  While there are nearly 30 wineries here in Connecticut, we are particularly fond of several local wineries located just minutes from our inn.

The award-winning wine industry of southeastern CT is relatively new considering the history of many California wineries; however, they should not be overlooked for that reason. Located in a unique micro-climate these vineyards benefit from close proximity to Long Island Sound. This maritime climate influences longer, milder growing seasons creating benefits like those of a European vineyard. All of these vineyards mix new technology with time honored brewing secrets to create fine wines and open for tastings and some for tours. Bring a picnic and enjoy dining by the vines – there is nothing quite like sitting out on the land that grew the grapes and enjoying a relaxing glass of wine.

CT Wine Trail

In Ledyard CT (just 20 minutes from our inn) is Maugle Sierra Vineyards (est. 2002). This vineyard is primarily known for their St. Croix grapes, producing intensely fruit forward red and dessert wines. Watch the seasonal changes at the winery in the harvesting of the grapes and the production of the vineyards many fine selections. Visitors can enjoy a bottle or glass of wine when they come for a wine tasting and are welcome to bring a picnic to the wine patio, sit back, take a deep breath and relax amidst the vines. We especially like that Maugle Sierra Vineyards offers live entertainment on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons. We often recommend that our guests shop at our local market and pick-up a brick of cheese, a baguette of bread and maybe some olives, deli meats, etc., and enjoy everything with your wine.
Maugle Sierra Winery

The Jonathan Edwards Winery (just 30 minutes from our inn) is a beautiful vineyard set on a hill with panoramic views in North Stonington, CT (est. 2001). This winery is a historic dairy barn that has been completely renovated to accommodate the wine making, barrel aging and final bottling and distribution process. The winery handcrafts Estate Connecticut wines as well as premium Napa Valley managing to capture the flavors of both the east and the west winemaking industry. Enjoy a tour of the winemaking and taste all of the special blends offered in the tasting room and relax out on the patio with a picnic and your chosen favorite wine. Watch for summer entertainment under the stars – there’s nothing quite like it. Aside from their great red wines (Merlot and Zinfandel are our favorites) we especially like the summer concerts that Jonathan Edwards offers. Generally on Thursday nights, and only in July and August, these inexpensive, low key concerts are no more than a blanket on the lawn, and picnic dinner and sunset watching all while listening to great local bands. We don’t let a summer go by without catching at least one or two of these wonderful concerts.
Jonathan Edwards Winery

In Stonington CT, a trip to Stonington Vineyards (est. 1987) (just 30 minutes from our inn) will find the vineyard well known for many of their award- winning blends and a commitment “to create wines both pleasing to the soul and palette.” Winery tours can be booked in advance and tastings of their quality, European-style wines is encouraged. Perhaps picnic on the vineyard and enjoy any one of its barrel fermented Chardonnays or proprietary blends… their Seaport White named for Mystic Seaport is a good choice if you enjoy a nice glass of white wine.
Stonington VineyardsLastly, In Clinton CT, Chamard Vineyards (est. 1983) (just 30 minutes from our inn, and immediately next door to the Clinton Crossing Outlet Shops) has a winery building crafted in an old New England design which includes old field-stone and wooden beams taken from the land of the vineyard. The winery has an underground wine cellar, production and barrel aging rooms enjoy a cool stable environment perfect for making their many fine Cabernet’s and Pinot Noir’s. Stay for wine tasting and enjoy your pick of their wines while sitting out on the deck or at the custom built tasting bar while viewing the vineyards or perhaps watching a spectacular sunset.
Chamard Vineyards

So, if you have never visited our inn or the southeastern corner of Connecticut and would like to experience a local CT winery and have everything planned for you, you may want to consider our very popular Wine & Dine Package.  For details on this and other packages we offer, visit our Specials and Packages page.  So as you can see, there are several options for you wine lovers, and best of all, these wineries are open year-round.
Wine is better at the Beach


Spring Getaway and Lobster?

Needless to say, we’ve all had more than our fill of winter this year. . .
SNOW, ICE and bitterly COLD . . . in amounts large enough to wear down even the most die-hard winter loving enthusiast. And it’s been so cold of late; even the local lobsters have taken on a different color. Blue Lobster

Can we get you to agree, it’s now time for a change!

We’d like to think that spring is just around the corner – and if history teaches us anything, we will begin to see and feel spring right here in southern New England before we know it. As a matter of fact, spring officially begins in just a few short weeks (4 to be exact) on March 20th. We can hardly contain our excitement as the days are already getting longer and March 8th which marks the beginning of Daylight Savings Time, is always a good sign that spring can’t be far behind. Even though we’ve been averaging a snow storm a week of late, we can take comfort in knowing that this cold, brutal winter can’t and won’t last forever!

Spring Lobster Lovers Getaway Package

Lobster – you know you want it.

Okay, so here at the inn our thoughts are turning from freezing cold winter weather to warmer and brighter spring days, and from staying indoors snuggled by the fireplaces to getting out and walking our local Boardwalk taking in spring’s rays of sunshine. So, let’s shift our thoughts from soups, chowders and hearty beef stews to something so many people seek in the early days of spring … LOBSTER ! ! !

Before we know it the chill of winter will begin to diminish, the grass will begin to green, the crocus will begin to pop, the birds will begin to sing and we all will begin to thaw! Warmer weather is a time when so many people are drawn out to the seashore to shake off some of the winter blues by walking on the beach, skipping a few stones across the waves, scavenging the shores for a few treasures and dining out on seafood. Any kind of seafood works, but we think Lobster is particularly attractive because of the many ways it can be served. Here along the shoreline we have as many great places to get and eat lobster as we do lobster dishes to eat. We eat it baked stuffed, broiled, hot or cold on a roll, mixed in eggs or added to mac & cheese, Alfredo, in grilled cheese sandwiches, bisque and chowder, just to name a few. YUM! In keeping with these thoughts of spring and lobster, we offer our Sail, Sale into Spring Lobster Lovers Getaway Package or what we sometimes refer to as “the perfect crustacean vacation”!!!

y Baked Stuffed Lobster Dinner

Baked Stuffed Lobster dinner!!!

Our Lobster Lover’s Spring Getaway Package includes all you may want and need for that perfect springtime getaway, and after the winter we had, we are sure it’s bound to be a great and busy spring here on the CT shoreline.

We’d love to have you visit and hope to see you, and spring, very, very soon!!!

Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day will soon be upon us, and all of the romance we can possibly devote a day to, is the order of the day. Have you ever wondered what started this yearly declaration of devotion to the one(s) we love —interesting and surprising…

Truly, there are as many stories about St. Valentine as there are chocolates out there dipped and all ready for delivery. Most of these include stories of martyrdom and Christian saints named Valentinus. The one that strikes a chord with us is that of Saint Valentine of Rome who was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to these persecuted under the Roman Empire. What a guy our St. Valentine… in order to be sure that true love prevailed he performed these marriages and was persecuted, jailed and eventually executed all in the name of love. However, it is believed that this day did not truly take on the importance of celebrating romantic love until Chaucer associated it in the Middle Ages and the tradition of courtly love flourished. So then in the 1300’s the idea of love and romance on this day is established. From here the Europeans began exchanging cards in the 1600’s and in 1840 the first mass produced Valentine cards were distributed in the United States. Through the years many symbols for love have emerged to include hearts, cherubs, flowers, chocolates and sugary confections, ribbon and lace greetings, love songs and poetry, romantic dinners and getaways, jewelry and champagne, these often lavish gifts are given by both sexes to the ones that they love the most.

Valentines at Inn at Harbor Hill Marina

          How will you celebrate Valentine’s this year?
                                Looking for Ideas?
Check out our Love is “Inn” the Air Valentine’s Package

Here are a couple of interesting pieces of Valentine trivia … 62% of all adults celebrate Valentine’s Day spending approximately $448 million on 58 million pounds of chocolate, 36 million of which are delivered in heart shaped gift boxes. But, the biggest seller at Valentine’s Day is sweethearts! Yes those little heart-shaped colored candy confections that all contain a sentiment appropriate to the day. “Be Mine”, “I Love You”, “Sweetest”, etc. are all written on the approximately 8 billion candies that are sold and could stretch from Rome Italy to Valentine, Arizona by way of Niantic, CT – 20 times over!

Valentine Chocolates

Here at the inn, we like to celebrate this special day throughout February… actually, throughout the entire year! Anytime and all the time is Valentine’s Day and perfect to celebrate with the one you love! There’s a lot of love going on here at the inn. We see guests arrive and fall in love with the sea, the views, the area, the beaches and the inn. We are so lucky to have the opportunity to share some very special memories with the folks that make them right here at the inn. We’re proud to say that more than one couple has chosen to become engaged here at the inn, most recently on New Year’s Eve. Guests come to us for so many reasons be it visiting family or romantic getaways for couples sharing a celebration of life, an anniversary, a special holiday or occasion and those that need to find a place to rest, relax and recharge their minds. Whatever the reason, we are always happy that you are here.

We love our guests – Happy Valentine’s Day!