Chester Names & Numbers

Getting There:

Chart: NOAA 12377

Chester is located on the western bank of the Connecticut River, approximately 10 miles from Long Island Sound. Buoy “37” marks the entrance to several of the marinas listed below.

When approaching Chester from the south, you can pass on either side of Eustasia Island, whose southeast tip is marked by buoy Fl G “35”. The south/west passage has a MLW depth of 10 feet as you approach Chester Creek, but stay west of the bar extending north of Eustasia Island. If you choose pass east of the island through the officially marked channel, you’ll find deep water (16-25 feet MLW) up past the entrance to Selden Creek and buoy GC “37”. At that point, head west toward the Chester Creek entrance (8-10 feet MLW) or continue north past the Hadlyme ferry to Chrisholm Marina.

Note: there is no public landing in Chester.

Dockage, Moorings & Service:

Note: Chester has no town landing, although you can take a dinghy or kayak well up Chester Creek and beach it at the Carini Nature Preserve, a short walk from downtown. How far up the creek you can travel depends on water height.

  • Chester Point Marina (860-526-1661): Full-service marina with 25 transient slips, a pool and a picnic area. Approx. 2 miles from downtown Chester.
  • Hays Haven Marina (860-526-9366): Offers a gas dock, a launch ramp ($10 to launch/$10 parking) and a ship’s store. 5 transient slips. Approx. 2 miles from downtown Chester.
  • Castle Marina (860-526-2735): Features a pool and gazebo for customers. Approx. 2 miles from downtown Chester. No transient accommodations of fuel. Ship’s store, ice, soda. No transient accommodations.
  • Chrisholm Marina (860-526-5147): Located another mile upriver of Chester Creek, Chrisholm is a full-service marina with a private beach and shuttle service to downtown Chester. Offers fuel, repair and transient slips.
  • Brewer Deep River Marina (860-526-5560): Located a few miles downriver from Chester, Deep River is a full-service marina offering transient service and fuel. Also offers toilets, showers, pool, ice and marine supplies, picnic areas with barbeque grills, playground. Goceries and restaurants nearby.

Anchorages:

  • Depending on your draft, it’s possible to anchor in the designated anchorage (shown on charts) north of Eustasia Island, along Chester Creek Bar in 3 to 6 feet of water, as well as in the deeper area (13-15 feet MLW) west of buoys GC “37” and GC “39”. You can also anchor along the southern shore of Selden Island east of the main channel in 8 to 9 feet of water.

Harbormaster:

Launch Ramps:

  • The nearest launch ramp is located at Hays Haven Marina (860-526-9366). Cost is $10 to launch, plus an additional $10 to park.
  • Just downriver is the Deep River Town Dock (Deep River Landing) and ramp. This is a large municipal access pier suitable for fishing and offers excellent views of the river. Children will especially enjoy watching the Essex Stream Train pass by (seasonally). Nice views of Selden Neck State Park across the river. Parking is limited, and there is a $10 fee per vehicle for nonresidents.

Boat & Kayak Rental:

Getting Around:

  • Essex Taxi (860-767-7433)

Provisions:

  • Simon’s Marketplace (860-526-8984): Good spot to join the locals for coffee, fresh muffins and other breakfast items.
  • Wheatmarket (860-526-9347): Custom picnic lunches and other provisioning needs.

Where to Eat:

  • River Tavern (860-526-9417): Contemporary cuisine.
  • Pattaconk 1850 Bar and Grill (860-526-8143): Specialty beers and pub grub. Best spot in Chester for nightlife.
  • Restaurant L&E/French Bar (860-526-5301): Formerly the Restaurant du Village. Serves contemporary French-inspired menu that changes monthly to reflect the seasons and uses local New England ingredients whenever possible.
  • Simon’s Marketplace (860-526-8984): Good spot to join the locals for coffee, fresh muffins and other breakfast items.
  • Wheatmarket (860-526-9347): Custom picnic lunches and other provisioning needs.
  • Moravela’s Italian Pizza (860-526-3633): On Chester Creek, next to the Rt. 154 bridge. Good spot for kayakers and small-boaters to pull up for lunch.

Things to See & Do:

  • Goodspeed Musicals/Norma Terris Theater (860-873-8668): Goodspeed Musicals was formed in 1959 to restore the 19th century Goodspeed Opera House and reactivated it as a professional theatre in 1963. Dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre and the development of new works to add to its repertoire. At the Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Goodspeed develops new musicals and nurtures emerging artists.
  • Selden Island State Park: Selden Island lies directly across the Connecticut River from Chester, and offers hiking trails and basic campsites for boaters. The campsites are available from May 1 through September 30, at a fee of $5. Length of stay is limited to one night. Reservations for can be made after January 14 for stays between May 1 and September 30 by mailing a written request at least 2 weeks before an intended stay.
  • Chester Historical Society : Learn more about the history of Chester and Connecticut River through exhibits and literature at the Historical Society Museum.

Galleries & Shops

  • Caryn B. Davis Photography: A fine art photography gallery and studio with works by photographer Caryn B. Davis (whose fine photography graces this website). Studio and on-location photographic services available, including architectural, product, editorial, marine, portrait, wedding and event photography. Also photography of 2D and 3D artwork for artists, galleries and portfolios.
  • Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery: Impressionist oils that capture the essence of the Connecticut River Valley.
  • West Main Street Studio (860-767-0445): Artist Helene Johnson renders portrait studies in sculptural relief.
  • Chester Gallery (860-526-9822)
  • Hammered Edge Studios (860-526-1654): Creative exotic jewelry and world artifacts.
  • Mer Girl (860-526-3999): Designer clothing.

Where to Stay:

General Information: