Nicole shows off Madison's best-kept secrets - WFSB 3 Connecticut

20 Towns in Twenty Days

Nicole shows off Madison's best-kept secrets

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Nicole Nalepa shows off the best-kept secrets in Madison (WFSB) Nicole Nalepa shows off the best-kept secrets in Madison (WFSB)
MADISON, CT (WFSB) -

Madison may have some of the best-kept secrets in the state.

Where in CT can you catch a train, lounge at the beach with a good book you may have gotten from a local, nationally-acclaimed bookstore, or take a stroll down a charming Main Street.

Catch a first-run independent film, foreign film, or domestic film, or how about relaxing at a resort spa that literally sits right on the beach before heading to one of the many local eating establishments.

You can do this all in Madison.

Sitting pretty along Connecticut’s southeastern shoreline, Madison was founded in 1826.

It was named for James Madison, the 4th president of the United States.

The town was once the center for fishing, shipbuilding, farming, and crayon manufacturing.

Today, it's better known for its beaches.

With over 2-miles of beaches, Hammonasset is the largest shoreline park in our state.

There are three town beaches.

“East wharf, west wharf, surf club,” said Bill Plunkett

That’s what attracted First Selectman, Tom Banisch and his family over 30 years ago.

“We took them down the beach and they started running on the beach in April and we were like, 'ok this is it. This is where we are going to live,” said Banisch.

“It’s a really interesting mix of people who have grown up here and been here for generations, and people like me who are transplants,” said Suzy Frisch of Guilford.

Jim Calhoun and Derek Jeter even called Madison home at one time.

There’s also a place that draws the stars downtown. RJ Julia Booksellers has hosted famous authors.

“Giadda was just here. We've had Kate Hudson. We've had Mariano Rivera,” said Lori Fazio from RJ Julia Booksellers.  

They also hosted every kind of bookworm for over two decades.

“The greatest bookstore ever,” said Frisch.

For a slice of luxury, head on over to the Madison Beach Hotel.

“We’re the only boutique spa resort on the shoreline of CT,” said John Mathers, General Manager of Madison Beach Hotel.

In addition to the downtown shopping experience, there’s a Friday farmer's market on the town green.

Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale has been a staple for years giving back to, not only our taste buds, but the community with their charity carousel.

“We’ve been able to raise over $1 million for local charities over the years,” said Jim Schreck, owner of Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale.

Madison also has moxie.

“Moxie” is a vintage-style bar and restaurant that is in every sense of the word, 'cool'. 

It was the brainchild of longtime Madison developer, Bill Plunkett.

“You come on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night and you'd think you were in Brooklyn or San Francisco,” said Plunkett, owner of Moxie.

The beauty is, you're still in Madison.

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