Harkness Memorial State Park, Waterford

4.8
Harkness Memorial State Park is a 230acre Connecticut state park and botanical garden located on Long Island Sound in the town of Waterford, Connecticut. The state park comprises Eolia, a 42-room Renaissance Revival mansion with formal gardens and greenhouses.
The park was the former summer home of philanthropists Edward and Mary Harkness, who inherited the fortune created by Edward's father, Stephen V. Harkness, who was a substantial investor in John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil. The mansion was designed by the New York architectural firm of Lord & Hewlett and constructed in 1906-1907. From 1918 to 1929, landscape designer Beatrix Jones Farrand made extensive improvements to the grounds, adding numerous formal gardens. The estate was left to the state by Mary Harkness in 1950 and became part of the state park system in 1952. Eolia—The Harkness Estate was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 as a 220acre historic district with 15 contributing buildings and two other contributing structures.
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Harkness Memorial State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
185 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Would come here as a kid, and finally came back as an adult. Much more beautiful than I remember. Small beach, no swimming. Beautiful scenery of the sound. Manicured lawns and lots of greenery. Highly...  more »
  • Wonderful parkland. Nice beach. Reminiscent of an English County Manor House and gardens. Plenty of bumbles bees, butterflies and we even say a hummingbird in the gardens. Well worth a visit  more »
Google
  • Beautiful large park right on the water. Tons of parking, plenty of picnic tables and grills, shade if you prefer it, open skies for kite flying, and plenty of room to kick a ball around, dog friendly as long as they are leashed and a walking path that brings you to the water. The beach area has clean sand and water that are bare toe friendly. Overall an outstanding area and one we thoroughly enjoy visiting.
  • Harkness Memorial State Park was one of my favorite summer time spot. It is a lovely gem. This place is popular for picnics and wedding. There is a beautiful mansion that has amazing gardens. From the gorgeous mansion, to the incredible pergola for pictures, to the scenic flower gardens/ grounds, the ocean view (and breeze!

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