Kent, CT vs. Stars Hollow

“Everything’s magical when it snows…”

Kent, Connecticut was our first stop on the road to finding Stars Hollow. The funny thing is, a lot of the CT residents that we met on the trip (i.e. rental car agents, innkeepers, etc.) were surprised that we were visiting Connecticut all the way from California…for VACATION! It was raining when we arrived in mid-December, and the rental car agents were apologetic about it, but we didn’t care, we were hoping it would turn into snow! And just like magic…it snowed overnight and we woke up to a winter wonderland the next day. Check out my video to see some of the magical snowing shots of rural Connecticut!

We met a “Luke” and he made us breakfast!

We stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast on Main Street called the Starbuck Inn, owned and ran by a single gentleman named Peter Starbuck. Peter looks more like a rugged lumberjack or fisherman than an innkeeper – more of a “man’s man,” if you will – and although he didn’t wear a backwards cap, I could definitely see him feeling right at home in a flannel plaid shirt. Not only that, but he cooked us the best damn breakfast we had on the trip! He was also very knowledgable about the happenings in town. His demeanor reminded me of Luke Danes so much, I half-expected him to start complaining about Taylor Doose! We were the only ones staying at the Starbuck Inn that night, so we had the place to ourselves and ate breakfast with a lovely view of the back gardens by the window. There’s a shot in my video of the snow-covered landscape – it was the view outside one of our windows at the Starbuck Inn.

Lane Kim served us dinner at Kingsley Tavern!

Inside Kingsley Tavern in Kent, CT

Inside Kingsley Tavern in Kent, CT

Okay, so, this may be a bit of a stretch, but I noticed that the demographics of Connecticut (at least the small towns we visited) did not seem as racially diverse as the melting pot of the San Francisco Bay Area in California. No biggie…as an Asian myself, I didn’t feel out of place at all. And the major cities of Connecticut, such as Hartford, look to be very diverse much like most metropolitan areas. However, I did geek out and have a Gilmore Girls moment during dinner at Kingsley Tavern, when I saw that our server was Asian and looked like a “Lane Kim” without glasses! She was quick, friendly and efficient…and strangely enough, she looked like she would have good taste in music. See, I told you it was a bit of a stretch, but when you’re on a quest to find Stars Hollow, little details like this are victories.

Lorelai & Rory inside Luke's Diner

Lorelai & Rory inside Luke’s Diner

The restaurant itself was also a pleasant surprise. We ate there on a whim the night we arrived (after a long drive from the Hartford airport), and didn’t expect to have such a delicious, farm-to-table culinary experience! And if you look at my photos and video footage of the exterior, the twinkling lights and window setting very much reminds of the shot of Lorelai and Rory sitting inside Luke’s Diner, in the Gilmore Girls opening credits sequence and series finale episode. To see more of this restaurant, check out my video footage.

Other Similarities to Stars Hollow

  1. Charming, walkable town with locally-owned conveniences such as a coffee shop, bakery, deli, bookstores, restaurants, gift shops and a drug store.
  2. Town festivals & events, such as the Gingerbread Festival during the holidays, where local business compete in a gingerbread house contest.
  3. There is a nearby “Chilton” – Kent is known for being home to a couple of prestigous college prep schools.
  4. Covered bridges – the red painted, covered bridge at Kent Falls is especially charming! It’s the second shot in my video.
  5. Inns and B&Bs – there are a few in town, but we chose The Starbuck Inn because it was within walkable distance to the local businesses and situated right on Main Street.

Major Differences from Stars Hollow

  1. No gazebo.
  2. No town green or square.
  3. No local supermarket on Main Street.
  4. Sleepy town, not many locals milling around main street running their errands and such.

About my quest – see my video footage of Kent and other towns that look like Stars Hollow!

I’ve been obsessed with the quirky town of Stars Hollow for years now, and did some research online to see which towns resembled it the most. I scoured blogs, articles and forums, taking notes from real Connecticut residents and other Gilmore Girls fans, who were also on a similar quest. Then, I narrowed down a comprehensive list of the top towns to visit on my journey to finding a real-life version of Stars Hollow. See the video of my journey below!

9 comments

  1. Sarah says:

    Hi there! Love your posts. I’m from CT and my husband and I just started watching Gilmore Girls. We love it! We both work at boarding schools – we live in Kent and I work in Litchfield. All this to say – these towns remind me a lot of Stars Hollow. I will say — please come visit when it’s nice out (late spring/summer/fall)! You will see that Kent is bustling with people and activity! We were just in town today and there was even a troubadour by the green! I took a photo but it looks like I can’t attach it here. When it’s cold in New England, people really don’t venture outdoors a lot (unlike the magical and fictional Stars Hollow, where no one seems to mind the biting wind and bitter cold ;)). If you do decide to visit during the warm months, we’d be happy to show you around to some of the best spots. :)

    • Darcy says:

      I hope she revisits in the warmer months or even fall! I loved this blog too. I have become obsessed with New England since watching Gilmore Girls. So much so that my boyfriend agreed to a New England/Finding Stars Hollow honeymoon whenever we get married. Lol!

      • Sarah says:

        That is so cool!! I think you found a keeper. :) There’s a lot of great spots! Late spring through fall are my favorites around here.

    • Veronica says:

      Hi there!! I’m actually going to be in the area in a couple of weeks and was planning on spending a day/night in Kent! From my research it seems like the best bet to find a Stars Hollow feel. Any recommendations??

      • Amy says:

        Hi Veronica! Kent was one of my favorite towns on the tour, especially during Christmas. The main street should definitely be more active during the fall…and the covered bridge near the waterfall is a must! Though it’s fancier than Luke’s Diner, definitely check out Kingsley Tavern for dinner. If you have an extra day to spend in CT, I would also recommend staying at The Bee & Thistle Inn in Old Lyme. They have a restaurant there as well, and Afternoon Tea Service! It reminded me so much of The Dragonfly Inn (to catch a glimpse of it, check out my video at around the 3:34 mark). I still need to update my blog with the other towns I visited, but Essex, CT was also a favorite. It was once voted as the Cutest Small Town In America, for good reason!

      • Sarah Pfeffer says:

        Hi Veronica, Awesome! I think you will love it here. It is absolutely GORGEOUS at this time of year. Bulls Bridge Inn is a classic little New England cabin restaurant and bar, and if you visit the covered bridge, it’s right across the street! Kent Coffee & Chocolate is great (on North Main) and Gifford’s is also a nice restaurant with delicious food and drinks (although I agree that looking into the window of Kingsley definitely has a more opening credits Rory and Lorelai feel). Of course, there is Kent Falls a few minutes down the road. The Villager restaurant is probably the closest thing to Luke’s as far as casualness for breakfast. While you are in Kent, you will be very close to New Milford. I would highly recommend going to downtown New Milford (Bank St. area). It looks just like Stars Hollow, gazebo and all! Enjoy!!

      • Veronica says:

        Thank you guys SO much!!! I really appreciate all the tips! All of that sounds amazing, and exactly what I’m looking for :) I can’t wait!

  2. Opal says:

    Come to bethel! We have a diner, gazebo, town sqaure, local events, locals abound on Fridays especially. White church, municipal center was the old school, lovely coffee shop and more! I can’t believe bethel isn’t listed but perhaps it’s supposed to be a secret. We also have a huge library where studious rory would have spent many an hour and a lovely bookstore and our supermarket is always buzzing oh and of course pizza! Gilmore Girls would have loved this town. We have our pick of colorful locals and the demographic is varied too. We also have a local hiking spot where someone like Luke would haven enjoyed. Common’ over! PERFECT timing for the revival.

  3. Melanie Mullen says:

    I’ve determined that Stars Hollow is in New Haven County, close to Naugatuck and Waterbury. There are several scenes throughout the series that indicate that this is the specific area that Stars Hollow is located in. Sadly, none of the towns in that area resemble SH much.

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