Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Day In Granby

Welcome to the next installment in our series, A Day In, where one of our Nutmeg Collective members takes us on a tour of their hometown and gives us the scoop on the must-see local spots.  Today we're visiting Granby, home of Vanessa Felie of Queenvanna Creations.

In 2009, Connecticut Magazine ranked Granby the #3 overall Connecticut small town (population 10,000-15,000) to live in, and #1 small town in Hartford County. Granby today still maintains much of its rural New England flavor. Many old houses, old families, old roadways, and foundation holes still provide much evidence of a way of life not-so-very-lost. Some of the old houses and families stretch back to the earliest days of settlement when Granby was a little pocket of hardy pioneers on the outskirts of the "Bible Commonwealth." You can spend a day in Granby exploring this small town's history, with its small businesses and huge accessibility to nature.

Cossitt Library
The Frederick H. Cossitt Library is a Queen Anne style building, built in 1890. Construction was funded by a bequest from Granby native Frederick H. Cossitt, a wealthy New York businessman. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Today the Cossitt Library is part of the Granby Library System and is fully modernized with internet access, an online catalog and a full children's department in the lower level. Yet the Cossitt has maintained the grace and beauty of a gentler time, and the Children's Department is warm and inviting with an extensive collection of books, movies and play areas.

Grass Roots Creamery
On the town green, this family run ice cream shop is ice cream made from real food (like strawberries, peaches, berries, nuts, chocolate and coconut). No artificial dyes or colorings, natural and organic toppings. Open seasonally, fresh flavors rotate through in small batches, including Mandarin Orange, Irish Cream, Molasses Oatmeal Cookie and Rosemary Apricot. Grass Roots also works with Granby schools and community organizations during fundraisers and town celebrations.

Lost Acres Vineyard
Discover hand crafted fine wines at Lost Acres Vineyard.  Enjoy a wine tasting, a cheese plate or antipasto plate available from the farm kitchen or bring a picnic. Gorgeous scenery in and around a beautiful building.  They will reopen with a Spring Farmers Market on April 1 and Granby Memorial High School Art Show April 2. Regular Hours start April 3, and events are held throughout the season including comedy shows, concert and other live music, art shows and markets.

Lost Acres Orchard
The kitchen is open year-round, stocked with soups, chili, chicken pot pies, breads and bake-at-home cinnamon buns. They have recently also had fresh Chicken Noodle Soup, fresh quiche, gluten-free coconut macaroons… and more at the whim of the amazing Wutka/Accetura family. They host a lovely outdoor Mother’s Day brunch on their porch and under a tent, complete with tractor rides and flowers for mom. Call early to reserve a table, their events sell out quickly!

McLean Game Refuge
Senator George P. McLean gave to the Simsbury and Granby area an extraordinary legacy through his preservation of 3,200 acres of abandoned farms and wild land. The Refuge is open to the public for free for passive recreation and photography year round. There are many trails and picnic areas, and along with the simple rules standard to most hiking areas, the phrase “Leave only footprints and take only photographs and memories” is present. A sledding hill, waterfalls, and scenic views await!

Hope you enjoyed the Granby highlights. For more information about Granby, please visit the town's website.

See our other A Day In posts here.

Vanessa Felie, aka "Queenvanna" juggles a husband and two blond pixies while running her burgeoning paper arts and crafts business, QueenvannaCreations. Her job and family inspire her to create crafty projects for holidays, vacations, as well as times when there's just not much going on. Perpetual calendars and other home items, scrapbooking album kits and personalized gifts of all kinds - She looks to add a little flair to everything she makes, to put some extra fun in to daily life, as well as special occassions.
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