Destinations & Day Trips

A Gilmore Girls Getaway in Connecticut

Stars Hallow - a fictional Connecticut town from the hit show Gilmore Girls
Written by Timothy Stobierski

As any fan of Gilmore Girls can tell you, Rory and Lorelai lived in Stars Hollow, Connecticut. The bad news is that no such town actually exists; the good news is that it took its inspiration from the Litchfield Hills area of the state.

That means that, though there’s no Luke’s Diner or Doose’s Market, you can still experience some of the Stars Hollow charm by visiting the locations below, which are said to have inspired favorite locations in the show. And with a new season of the show debuting on Netflix on November 25, now is the perfect time to head to the hills before all of Gilmore Girls fandom rushes in. (There’s a Gilmore Girls Fan Festival scheduled in Washington Depot October 21-23, 2016, so if that’s up your alley you can find more information on that here.)

Visit the real-life counterpart to the Independence Inn

Independence Inn in Washington Depot

Okay, so no one is entirely sure what town or towns inspired Stars Hollow (more on that below) but one thing we do know is that the show’s creator stayed at a hotel in Washington Depot called the Mayflower Grace. It’s believed that this romantic resort and spa served as inspiration for the Independence Inn.

What better place to act as home base during your Gilmore Girls day or weekend? Spend your mornings being pampered before heading out to the other locations on this list, and then get pampered again when you return at night!

Even if you aren’t a Gilmore Girls fan, the hotel suggests a few local itineraries sure to make for a great in-state vacation.

Head to Washington Depot for Stars Hollow charm

Gilmore Girls locations in CT

Marty’s Cafe – the real life Luke’s Diner

The show’s creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino has said in many interviews that Washington Depot was the inspiration for the show’s setting, and there are a lot of clues scattered throughout the series that either support or discredit this claim. Whatever the case may be, the town has a lot to offer to anyone looking for a relaxing day trip filled with attractions that (potentially) inspired locations in the show.

If Washington Depot is in fact Stars Hollow, then that means that Marty’s Café is the real-life Luke’s Diner. It’s a little more upscale than its in-show counterpart, but just take a step inside and you’ll instantly feel like everyone inside knows everyone else’s name. After your coffee, track down the Hickory Stick Bookshop, which may actually be better than Star Hollows Books, and then check out the Washington Food Market, which may as well be called Doose’s Market. Maybe you’ll even see someone who looks like Dean stocking shelves!

Check out the Litchfield Hills area for other candidates

Stars Hallow

Stars Hallow – a fictional Connecticut town from the hit show Gilmore Girls

Though Sherman-Palladino says Washington Depot is the inspiration for Stars Hollow, the truth of the matter is that the town is likely based on all of the towns in the Litchfield Hills area. They’ve all got that small-town charm that makes Stars Hollow seem so magical.

Just take a drive through any of the towns in the area and you’ll instantly believe that you might run into Rory and Lorelai doing errands. The whole area has a distinct rustic scenery to it, especially in the fall, with the leaves changing colors. You might not find any direct correlations to locations in the show like you would in Washington Depot, but you certainly won’t regret it. Towns like Sharon, Cornwall, Kent, Goshen, and Torrington have plenty to offer for someone seeking a Gilmore Girls experience.

What do you think?

If you’re a fan of the show and have been to the Mayflower Grace, Washington Depot, or the general Litchfield Hills area, what’s the verdict? Have you seen anything in particular that has made you think you were in the real Stars Hollow?

About the author

Timothy Stobierski

Tim Stobierski is a Connecticut native and a freelance writer and editor who has worked with a number of publishers including Taunton, Abrams, and Yale University Press. He has written for Grow Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Hartford Courant, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and many other publications. His first book of poetry, Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer was published in 2012 by River Otter Press.

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