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Arts & Culture

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Arts & Culture

You won't find a more quaint and inviting arts district than Lyme Street in Old Lyme. Spend your day engaged in the American arts as you walk from the museum to our art galleries, wander through a sculpture garden of imagination, and stop by a coffeehouse where someone just might be strumming their guitar. A renowned Jazz Club joins other inspiring music venues and performance series across town, while special events celebrating the arts happen throughout the year.

After your visit to a gallery or performance, you might have time for a self-guided walking tour in town and can find four ideas here. Ready for a bite to eat? Check out our restaurants.

History buffs and naturalists will appreciate the works of our cultural organizations and how our collective reverence for history, nature, and the arts come together to create one magical story.

Art Galleries & Museums

Art Galleries

Florence Griswold Museum

96 Lyme Street

The historic boardinghouse which served as the home of American Impressionism; a modern art gallery with changing exhibitions of American art, extensive gardens and grounds, a gift shop and outdoor cafe makes this a memorable visit.

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Lyme Art Association

90 Lyme Street

Celebrating its centennial anniversary, the Association continues to showcase exceptional member artists from across the region just as it did when the Lyme Art Colonists first opened its doors.

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The Cooley Gallery

25 Lyme Street

With a high level of connoisseurship combined with a friendly, inclusive atmosphere, the Cooley Gallery finds and represents exceptional works of art by renowned or lesser-known artists and make them available to all levels of collectors. 


Lyme Academy of Fine Arts

84 Lyme Street

At various times of the year, the Academy showcases the work of its students, alumni, and faculty of this rigorous fine arts program. The Academy website will list current and upcoming exhibitions, including the Senior show in June.

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Quinn-Munson Studio

16 Lyme Street (Village Shoppes)

This studio/gallery is the space of artist Deborah Quinn-Munson, who composes paintings filled with the reflection, movement, color, depth, light, and atmosphere within the natural elements of the water and sky.

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A collaborative effort across town organizations, the Annual LYSB Art Show takes place at the Lyme Academy’s historic Sill House Gallery. Works on display during this exhibition feature the new and emergent talent of Lyme-Old Lyme School students across all grade levels. Juried by the Art Department of the school system, the show illustrates the commitment to excellence in the arts. Community members look forward to the show every year.


Live Music/Performance

Side Door Jazz Club

85 Lyme Street

This sleek, compact jazz club at the historic Old Lyme Inn brings renowned performers to its great sounding room. As the New York Times has said, the Side Door has secured a spot on many a jazz musician’s itinerary.

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Nightingale's Acoustic Cafe

68 Lyme Street

The coffeehouse vibe is strong at Nightingale's, where Ramblin' Dan Stevens and friends can be found singing the blues when not performing on the road. Pickin' parties, open mics, and more make this homey spot a favorite hangout.

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Musical Masterworks

Performances at 4 Lyme Street

Musical Masterworks has presented over 150 classical and chamber music concerts to more than 15,000 people. The acoustics of the First Congregational Church provides an unparalleled experience for concert goers.


Con Brio Choral Society

Performances at Christ the King Church

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Con Brio is a classical, auditioned chorus known for the variety of its repertoire, sparkling programming, and excellent musicality. Con Brio's Christmas concerts kick off the season for many.

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Old Lyme Town Band

Performances at Various Locations

The Old Lyme Town Band embraces the history and the heritage of the American Community Band. Formed in 1886, Old Lyme members of all ages delight audiences with pieces from its catalogue of over 500 pieces.

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Sound View Concert Series

Hartford Avenue

Four Thursday evenings every summer, families bring their lawn chairs to the end of Hartford Avenue for an evening of music. It might be jazz, or Rockabilly, or disco, but it will always be a fun evening out. (pictured: Souls on Fire)

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Make Music Old Lyme

Lyme Street

A worldwide phenomenon during the Summer Solstice, musicians offer free music for all. Old Lyme participates on June 21 with an evening music stroll featuring talented folk, jazz, Blues, Americana, and soft rock musicians.

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Midsummer Festival Kickoff Concert

Florence Griswold Museum

Held the Friday night before Saturday's Midsummer Festival, this annual free concert on the lawn features great musicians that will get concert goers up on their feet and dancing. A great time to run into friends and neighbors!

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Watch Old Lyme restaurants and venues for live music throughout the year. The Stumble Inne is offering live music on weekend nights, along with the Old Lyme Inn during teas and special dinners. During the summer months, The Pavilion Beach Bar offers live music on the beach, and Black Hall Outfitters sometimes has a live band Sunday nights on the docks. Check the calendars of all venues for the most up-to-date schedules.

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Cultural Organizations

Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center

100 Lyme Street

Named for the famed conservationist who lived and worked in Old Lyme, this CT Audubon Center dedicated to the conservation of the CT River Estuary ecosystem provides numerous learning opportunities for all ages.

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Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library

2 Library Lane

"The Phoebe" inspires lifelong learning and discovery in a welcoming place with exceptional resources, programs and services. Programming for all ages include toddler story times, young adult anime clubs, and lecture series for adults.

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Old Lyme Historical Society

55 Lyme Street

The Historical Society presents to the public aspects of cultural, economic, social, and architectural life here from the earliest settlements to the present through exhibits, walking tours and lecture series, original publications, and its website.

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Southeast CT World Affairs Council

Regional including Old Lyme

Fostering an understanding of foreign policy issues and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming, SECWAC provides a nonpartisan, non-advocacy dialogue between members and speakers.

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Cultural Programs

Old Lyme Arts District


The Old Lyme Arts District is a partnership of arts organizations, small businesses, and non-profits on Lyme Street who work together to promote cultural tourism and produce four signature events a year: Make Music Old Lyme, Old Lyme's Midsummer Festival, Fairy Doors on Lyme Street, and Light Up Old Lyme. Learn more here.

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Welcome to Old Lyme

Welcome to Old Lyme, a small, historic town on the Connecticut coastline. We are known for our art galleries and beaches, and have so much more. Whether you are thinking about relocating your home or business here, or just looking to visit for the afternoon, welcome! We are glad to have you.

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