Litchfield, CT -- Contact: Janet L. Serra, Director: 860-567-4506 or lhcvbnwct@aol.com to organize your customized press trip to Connecticut's Litchfield Hills.

STORY IDEAS FOR NORTHWEST CONNECTICUT & LITCHFIELD HILLS

NEW OPENINGS IN LITCHFIELD HILLS:

The Mayflower Inn and Spa in Washington CT: Nestled on 58 acres of century old rhododendron and specimen trees, the Inn, offers five-star, Five Diamond, Relais and Chateaux accommodations. New this year is Mayflower's 20,000 square foot Destination Spa that welcomes no more than 28 guests each week.

Spa offerings include: Thermal Sanctuary: a marble aromatic warming experience, 8 Treatment Rooms: including 1 Couples Suite, 2 scented Steam Rooms, Shimmering Domed Whirlpool, Heated Indoor Pool, Private Yoga and Pilates Studio, 2 Fully Equipped Exercise Studios, 1 Fitness Equipment Studio, Yoga garden, Labyrinth, Outdoor Activities, and Thousands of Acres of Hiking, Biking and Adventure Trails.

The five night Sunday through Friday program is tailored to each guest's personal fitness, pampering, and well-being goals; rates from $6,700 per room and $7,200 per suite. Mini Destination Spa Experiences, Weekend Spa Experiences, and Specialty Week Spa Experiences devoted to Iron Women, mothers and daughters, book club groups, couples and more are also offered. http://www.mayflowerinn.com

Winvian in Morris CTis set on 113 acres bordering woods and lakes with 18 individual cottages designed by 15 different architects. No two cottages are the same, reflecting the genius of each architect. Bathrooms are a continuation of the spa designed to transport you from reality to a place of calm. Cottages range from The Helicopter Room featuring a helicopter cockpit as a bar; a suspended double storied Tree house, and a unique beaver lodge that is original and playful as the animal that gave this cottage its name.

On-property amenities at Winvian include a 5,000 square-foot spa highlighting UK specialist Eve Lom and REN products. The Spa's UK-trained clinicians will receive guests in six treatment rooms including the Forty Winks Suite with a circular wood burning fireplace and another suite with an Ayoura Chromatherapy tub for multiple therapies, both ideal for couples.

Rates at Winvian range from $1,450 - $1, 950 per night and include all meals (continental breakfast nook, full breakfast, room service, lunch, picnics, spa snacks, afternoon tea, cocktails, dinner, after dinner petit-fours) and accompanying beverages, carte blanche at all the property's 24-hour bars, open wine cellar and unlimited use of all facilities and activities. The entire property is available from $32,000 per night.

Press visits can be arranged beginning late August. To secure accommodations to the property journalists must have a confirmed assignment. http://www.winvian.com.

Summer 2006 A Trio of House Tours in Northwest Connecticut 59th Annual Litchfield House Tour July 8, 2006 The oldest continuously running house tour on the East Coast and one of the oldest in the U.S. Open House Tour of selected homes and gardens in Litchfield, a quintessential New England village. Newtown Annual House Tour is July 8, 2006. Visit lovely Newtown properties for an insider's peak. Washington Connecticut hosts a House Tour of landmark homes designed by famous architect Ehrick Rossiter in June 2006.

CT's Lime Rock Park's Rolex Vintage Fall Festival September 1-4 2006 Presented by BMW. Lime Rock Park, America's Most Beautiful Race Track turns the clock back to the last century every Labor Day Weekend. Drivers compete in a whirl of 200 vintage and historic cars in nine races. Among them are pre WWII classics, sports and GT models of the 1940's and 1950's, and speedsters of the 1960's and 1970's. The weekend also features a vintage and historic car show, midway displays, vintage car swap meet, BMW exhibit. The Show of Shelbys showcases 1959 Le Mans champion Carroll Shelby's signature car designs, among them Cobra GT 350's and 500s. www.limerock.com.

The Silo and Hunt Hill Farm Trust owned by Ruth and the late Skitch Henderson, creator and conductor of the New York Pops formed the Hunt Hill Farm Trust in association with the Smithsonian Institution this year. The mission of the Hunt Hill Farm Trust is to preserve the farm's land, buildings, and archives, promote public awareness of the unique history, celebrate Americana in music, art, and literature, provide educational opportunities for children and adults, and through the creation of a living museum, share the rich life and legacy of Skitch and Ruth Henderson.

Marion Anderson Studio in Danbury opened to the public in September 2004. Marion Anderson was one of the greatest contraltos of the twentieth century and the woman who broke the color barrier at the Metropolitan Opera. The studio was a rehearsal place as well as a private retreat for the singer. Exhibits tell the extraordinary accomplishments of Anderson born in 1897, who was denied even an audition at a music school because of her color, and who persevered to become a role model for her race and her nation. The Connecticut General Assembly made the farm one of the prime sites on its Freedom Trail commemorating the struggle of African Americans.

Autumn in Litchfield Hills, Northwest Connecticut CT - Foliage, Feasting and Fine Art - One of the Top Ten Best Places for foliage viewing in New England. The Litchfield Hills has been recommended as one of the fifty best places in the United States for a scenic drive by National Geographic Traveler and Rand McNally Atlas.

Round-Up of Old Fashioned Agricultural Fairs Once upon a time country fairs were the most important social events of the year, opportunities for farmers and their families to get together, exchange ideas, sell their produce and livestock, and compete for excellence. In Litchfield Hills, in September and October, the more than a dozen autumn agricultural fairs, some of the largest in the state, still take place and remain a charming continuation of age-old traditions.

Fly Fishing- On The Housatonic River Three knowledgeable Fly Fishing Guide Services operating on the Housatonic River offer full and half day trips as well as weekend fly fishing classes that teach all the fundamentals of this sport in blue ribbon waters.

The Holidays In Northwest Connecticut. Annual Bethlehem Christmas Town Festival, Rte 61 and Rte. 132, Bethlehem, CT. Contact: 203-266-5702. On the first Friday and Saturday every December over 75 art and craft exhibitors display their wares in seven buildings surrounding the Bethlehem Village Green. Hayrides, strolling carolers, mugs of hot spiced apple cider and steaming bowls of soup and chili complete the festivities. Bring holiday cards; to the Bethlehem Post Office where you can choose from 50 or more decorative holiday caches to hand cancel your cards from Bethlehem, Connecticut! At Bethlehem's historic Abbey of Regina Laudis you will find an 18th century Neapolitan Creche consisting of 80 exquisite hand painted Baroque porcelain figures.