Tucked into the northwestern corner of the state, the countryside of Litchfield Hills is much less developed than the majority of the state. The relatively rural area is studded with lush hills, farms, and small villages. This is prime leaf-peeping territory come autumn, and come weekends, it’s also prime getting-away-from-it-all territory for New York  city-dwellers. That reliable stream of visitors has ensured a high level of culinary and retail panache that sets the area apart from other rural areas of New England.
The Litchfield Hills are located about 30 miles west of Hartford ; the most direct route is along U.S. Route 44 (45 min. to Torrington). From the south, the quickest (though not most scenic) route to Torrington  is along Route 8, a multi-lane divided highway from Bridgeport  (50 mi., 55 minutes). From New Haven , take Route 34 west to pick up Route 8 in Shelton (50 mi., 1 hour to Torrington). From the Berkshires, take the winding Route 7 from Stockbridge  to Cornwall  (35 mi., 1 hour).
Metro North (800/638-7646, www.mta.nyc.ny.us ) runs trains to Waterbury Travel Center (188 Bank St.). Greyhound (203/772-2470, www.greyhound.com ) and Peter Pan Bus Lines (800/343-9999, www.peterpanbus.com ) also operate bus routes to Waterbury  (188 Bank St.) and Torrington (429 Winsted Rd.).
CT Transit (www.cttransit.com ) runs local bus service within Waterbury (203/753-2538) and Bristol (203/327-7433). In the Litchfield Hills, your own car is almost essential. However, Kelly Transit (53 John St., Torrington, 717/292-4531 or 800/256-8163, www.kellytransit.com ) offers commuter shuttle service between Litchfield and Torrington, as well as car service for hire.