Learn more about Old Lyme

Old Lyme, Connecticut – A Connecticut artists’ colony

Although Old Lyme, Connecticut, has a year-round population of about 8,000, that number doubles in the summer and creates an energetic atmosphere.

The town is bordered by Old Saybrook to the west, Lyme to the north, and East Lyme to the east, with those communities being no more than a few minutes away from any of Old Lyme’s neighborhoods.

Old Lyme is known as the home of American Impressionism, and buying a home here means learning what it’s like to live in a functioning artists’ colony.

Neighborhoods in Old Lyme, CT

A few neighborhoods make up the town of Old Lyme, each with a unique identity.

You’ll find Black Hall in the southwest of town, where the Connecticut River empties into Long Island Sound. There are some restaurants and shops along Shore Road in this neighborhood, in addition to residences and farmland. There’s a large residential neighborhood close to the water, as well, along with a public area called White Sand Beach.

Up in the northeast section of town, Laysville is a scenic area with access to Rogers Lake, Town Woods Park, and Hains Park. There is some heavy tree cover throughout this neighborhood, making it a desirable place for full-time residents. Many of the properties are lakefront, as well.

Most of the dining and shopping options are found in Downtown Lyme, which has two distinct sections. The first area is just over the Raymond E. Baldwin Bridge off the Governor John Davis Lodge Turnpike. Here, Halls Road has places to eat and shop, in addition to a marina. There is then another bridge over the Lieutenant River that takes you to Lyme Street. This part of town features Old Lyme Town Hall, the First Congregational Church Of Old Lyme, Old Lyme Green, and the Florence Griswold Museum. There are some houses here, too.

Sound View is a large, mostly residential area that stretches from the ocean to the middle of town. This section of Old Lyme is popular with seasonal residents because much of it is on the water and is provides access to Sound View Beach. There are some snack bars and restaurants near the beach, as well.

South Lyme is the southeast part of town and home to a large residential neighborhood. There’s a beach here, too, but it’s more challenging to access than the others because there isn’t much parking. Rocky Neck Beach is also just across the Fourmile River in East Lyme

The history of Old Lyme

Present-day Old Lyme was established in 1631, occupied in 1635, and settled in 1636. The area was part of the Saybrook Colony until it separated in 1665, and took its new name in 1667.

At that time, Lyme, Old Lyme, and East Lyme were the same town. In 1839, East Lyme left to form its own town, with Old Lyme leaving to become a town of its own in 1855.

In the late 1800s, Old Lyme established itself as an artists’ colony, becoming a flourishing scene for the American Impressionism movement. Much of this movement was made possible by Florence Griswold, a local woman who converted her home into an art school and later allowed boarding. Today, her house is a museum that continues to inspire the art community. The town is also home to the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and the Lyme Art Association.

Activities and events in Old Lyme

One benefit of buying a home in Old Lyme, Connecticut, is that you’ll always be close to the ocean. Sound View Beach a great because it’s the oceanfront area with the most amenities. There is a parking lot across the street from this beach, in addition to a couple of beach bars and an ice cream shack.

White Sand Beach has a parking lot, but since it’s in a residential area, it doesn’t have any dining or nearby amenities. Those looking for a quiet day by the water will appreciate this location.

The Great Island Wildlife Area sits at the mouth of the Connecticut River and is popular with kayakers. There’s a small boat launch off Smith Neck Road here, allowing you to explore some peaceful areas that are populated by osprey. It’s also great for fishing.

Hains Park has basketball courts, change rooms, two docks, a beach, a parking lot, and a boat launch into Rogers Lake. There’s another boat launch on the east side of the lake. This lake has excellent fishing and is also popular with waterskiers.

Much of Lyme Street is part of the Old Lyme Historic District. The region is made up of buildings from the 1700s and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Walking through the downtown core is like stepping back in time, and is a desirable area when looking to buy real estate in Old Lyme.

Live in Coastal Connecticut

The Connecticut Shoreline has something for everyone, and Old Lyme is no different. If you’re looking to buy a home in Old Lyme, CT, Compass New England  can fill you in on everything you need to know.

We know this town inside and out, and will make sure that you’re happy with your new piece of real estate.