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Harkness Memorial State Park, Waterford

Categories: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.8/5 based on 120+ reviews on the web
Harkness Memorial State Park is a Connecticut state park and botanical garden located in Waterford, Connecticut, on the Long Island Sound. The park comprises a 42-room Renaissance Revival mansion, designed by the New York architectural firm of Lord & Hewlett, with a surrounding area containing Italian, Oriental, and Cutting gardens and greenhouses.HistoryThe park was formerly Eolia, the estate of Edward Harkness, heir to a fortune initiated by his father Stephen V. Harkness's substantial investments in John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil, who purchased the mansion in 1907. From 1918 to 1929, extensive improvements were made by landscape designer Beatrix Jones Farrand. Eolia was left to Connecticut in 1950 and became part of the State Park system in 1952.As Eolia—Harkness Estate, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. The 220acre district that was listed included 15 contributing buildings and two other contributing structures.
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  • We had an enjoyable time here. We went on a weekday after labor day. There was no fee for parking. We walked around the grounds enjoying the gardens the water views and beach. There were picnic tables...  read more »
  • Beautiful grounds, wide open space. Walked the beach, visited the gardens, enjoyed the architecture. 
  • This is a lovely park that highlights the natural beauty of the area. Wide open lawns with a view of the Long Island Sound. Sandy beach area to sit and enjoy looking at the water (no swimming), picnic...  read more »
  • Usually have a nice time at the beach with my family since my niece holds a pass for her disabilities. But this pass weekend we were harrased by a worker with a racist attitude. We were having a wonderful time for hours and aroud 5pm this lady drives up to us in a white car and starts to come at us rudely and with a disgust look on her fave. As if we were not suppose to be there and even called us free loaders. The confrontation went on for about ten minutes. We had to clean up and leave to avoid problems. So sad. Unprofessional people working in these family parks.
  • Very pretty here. In the past few times I've gone, both on weekdays, no one has been in the ticket booth, meaning they're letting you in for free! But this is as of August 2016, so I don't know if they charge on weekends or if this will change. Walk through the many gardens, take your bike and ride along the paved roads, see a 100 year old tree, go out to the flagpole to watch the ferries come in. Great place to go!
  • Wonderful place year round. Great for photographers, weddings, fishing, dipping in ocean , but no swimming. Picnic areas, also great kite flying!
  • Lots of space. Great views. Enough beach to make do. Cheap during the week to get in as well!
  • Amazing park staffed by an amazing group of people. Have thoroughly enjoyed all of my experiences there.
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