Connecticut is full of charming towns. Yet as cute and authentic as these towns may be, they usually don’t offer much to do. That’s what separates Lakeville, CT, from the rest. Lakeville is famous for — you guessed it — its lake. Lake Wononscopomuc, which everyone refers to as The Lakeville Lake, is the deepest lake in Connecticut and it’s a great place to swim or even just relax.
Growing up, I must have swam in this lake hundreds of times. I was hoping to take a swim when I was there this past Saturday (on a day trip from Ridgefield, CT) but the weather was a bit too chilly for me. Had I been 10 years old, though, you would not have been able to keep me out of the water. Also, the rafts were already taken out of the water for the season — they pull them out when the kids go back to school. I would have been far more tempted if the “big raft” (as the regulars call it) had been beckoning me.
Although I hadn’t been to the lake for a few years, I was happy to see that everything looked pretty much the same. The only surprise was the sticker shock I got when I saw that they charge non-residents $10 per person to use the lake. (Most residents obtain a season pass.) That’s a lot of money, but the public swimming area is very well maintained. They remove the seaweed for the first 30 feet or so with an impressive-looking seaweed sucking machine (that might not be its technical name) and the result is a sandy-bottomed lake that’s great for swimming and wading. There are also lifeguards, changing rooms, a playground and rowboats to rent.
For a long time, Brothers Restaurant and Pizzeria was in walking distance to the lake. It was replaced by a diner, which has in turn been replaced by a new pizzeria called Mizza’s Pizza. I haven’t tried Mizza’s, but even if it’s terrific I am still sad that Brothers isn’t there to serve its Greek-style New England pizza. If you’ve never had that kind of pizza, check out the Four Brothers Pizza Inn mini-chain. I’m not sure what their precise relation was to Brothers Pizza, but it had a similar menu and the distinctive thicker/lighter crust.
On Saturday, I had lunch at an old favorite: The Woodland. The menu was far more eclectic than I remembered. There was even a sushi bar! But it was still excellent and worth a visit if you’re anywhere near the northwest corner of Connecticut.
If you’re looking to spend a night or even the whole weekend in the area, head to the next town to The White Hart Inn. Located right on Salisbury’s town green, this classic New England property oozing with history is the place to stay.