The Real Life Stars Hollow: Kent, CT

This is a detailed article specifically about Kent, Connecticut.

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There are so many things to remind you of Stars Hollow in Kent! The architecture of the store fronts and houses downtown are very similar to those in the show. There are also a lot of local restaurants and shops that feel like they could fit right in to Stars Hollow, and they have a gazebo.

The very best part of my visit to Kent was that the library was hosting a book sale, that literally looked just like the one at which Dean so patiently waits for Rory (plus I got some great books!).

I think Kent has a strong Stars Hollow vibe going for it. What I don’t like about Kent is how spread out everything is. It doesn’t exactly feel like a cohesive town center to me, the way that New Milford does. Everything is stretched out along Main Street, or hidden away in several plazas behind Main Street.

But they definitely do have a lot for tourists to see.

The 4 Connecticut “Stars Hollow” Towns:

How is Kent, CT like Stars Hollow:

Cute Downtown

Kent has so much to see in their downtown area, and the buildings are really beautiful. The old houses converted into businesses (with unique Halloween scarecrow decorations outside) definitely look like Stars Hollow.

They have lots of fun things to do, and plenty of signs for upcoming festivals. Definitely try to visit during a festival (or book sale!) to get that Stars Hollow feel. Although… the downtown was packed! I even overheard some teenagers behind me saying they had never seen Kent so busy before, so hopefully that was just everyone channeling their inner Rory and getting really excited about the book sale.

What I didn’t like about the downtown area is that it was so spread out, and not compact. That took away from the Stars Hollow experience for me.

  • Good to Know: There is a little visitor’s center just behind the Pharmacy building (which you can’t miss because it’s a big red barn!) and the train tracks. They have nice bathrooms available here.

Kent Green & Gazebo

Kent does have one of the most important aspects of Stars Hollow life: the gazebo on the green!

Their gazebo was cute and picturesque. BUT… like I’ve said, Kent is all spread out along Main Street. So the gazebo isn’t in the center of town. It’s down at the end of the street. To me, it kind of felt like an afterthought. Like they had some room after all the shops and thought, well, let’s put a gazebo here, because gazebos are cute.

So it’s not the star of the town, and I feel like it’s kind of out of the way and not somewhere you could actually take your coffee from Luke’s and sit down in with a good book. It’s more for show than for function.

House of Books

I really enjoyed looking around the House of Books (which didn’t take long)! Unlike the Hickory Stick Bookshop in Washington, this one felt a lot cuter and cozier (and way smaller).

It was mostly new books, but with a (small) used section (of course, there was a GIGANTIC used book sale going on at the library down the street). They had homemade Halloween decorations up and a staff picks sections, with handwritten notes from the staff as to why they picked them.

It felt a lot more like a local book store, as opposed to just a regular old book store, so I enjoyed this one a lot.

Kent Coffee & Chocolate

I thought that Kent Coffee & Chocolate could be like the Weston’s of Kent. It smells amazing when you walk in. I love the smell of fresh coffee, and I love the smell of chocolate, so there you go.

I really liked this coffee shop. They had so many delicious choices. They also served ice cream (so maybe it should be the Taylor’s Soda Shoppe of Kent), homemade chocolate, and had a little store you could buy something for later if you didn’t want to eat anything right away.

It definitely didn’t feel like Stars Hollow though. The staff were friendly, but man, was it busy! The line was so long, and the place just hopping (of course, the downtown was extra busy that day too).

I don’t know that I can give them points for adding to the Stars Hollow vibe at all. But personally, I really liked this coffee shop, and would love to go there again.

The Villager Restaurant

I read a review of Kent by a local Gilmore Girls fan, and she described The Villager Restaurant as “if Al’s Pancake World and Luke’s had a baby.”

That sounds exactly like something you would find in Stars Hollow. Their menu is American and Mexican food, and it all looks delicious. The place was packed with customers all day, so it must be good too.

Since I was full from all my doughnuts, and intimidated by the HUGE crowd of people (like Rory would be, right?), I didn’t check it out, but you can read the review by the local here.

Antique Shops

I’m not the person who goes antiquing, so I can’t give you a review of the antique shops in Kent. But I can tell you that from the outside, the one I passed (which was Lyme Regis Ltd.) looked like a Kim’s Antiques.

And upon Googling antique shops in Kent, about a bajillion more come up. So there you go.

Historical Museums

Kent actually has several cute little historical museums in the area.

The Kent Historical Society is the local history museum.

The Eric Sloane Museum has a collection of work by the artist, as well as his collection of early American hand tools, but the really cool part is the ruins of the Kent Iron Furnace company on the grounds outside.

The Connecticut Antique Machinery Museum is apparently famous for its Fall Festival! It’s also listed as the number one museum in Kent on Trip Advisor. You’ll recognize it when you see the old steam train out front.

See where they filmed episode 1 of Gilmore Girls in Canada:

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