Devils Hopyard State Park
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So named for the round holes cut into the parks waterfalls because locals have often wondered if the holes are the work of the devil, Devils Hopyard State Park is a beautiful place to spend the day in Connecticut.
Besides the lore of the mystery of the holes, the park is a lovely place to spend some outdoor time, exploring nature.
With nearly 900 acres to explore, the parks main attraction is Chapman Falls, with a 60-foot drop over beautiful stone steps, its both fun to climb and amazing to see.
Some of the approved activities for Devils Hopyard State Park include biking, hiking, birding, picnicking, and stream fishing.
Additionally, the park has wooded campsites for rental.
So you could make a day or even a weekend getaway of your visit to one of many beautiful tourist attractions.
Address: 366 Hopyard Rd, East Haddam, CT 06423, United States
Activities Near Me: Hill
The Hill-Stead Museum is a stately Colonial Revival house on a large estate in Farmington, Connecticut, designed by one of the first American female architects, Theodate Pope Riddle, in 1901 for her father Alfred Atmore Pope. Today it is a museum, best known for its major French Impressionist masterpieces, which hosts art collected by Pope and his daughter.
Some of the most significant are paintings by Mary Cassatt, Eugène Carrière, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet and Édouard Manet and engravings by Albrecht Dürer are on display. The house remains as it was when Theodate lived in it, and 19 rooms are open to the public. It is furnished with magnificent paintings, prints, art pieces, furniture and.
35 Mountain Rd, Farmington, Connecticut 06032, Phone: 860-677-4787
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Stroll An Ivy League Campus At Yale University
Along with its fellow New England Ivies Harvard, Brown, and Dartmouth Yale University boasts a beautiful, brick-filled campus that is a star in its own right even as it incubates the movers and shakers of tomorrow . The Yale University Art Gallery showcases classic canvases by Hals, Trumbull, and van Gogh, among others world-class art, all for free. Across the street, and also free, is the Yale Center for British Art, the premier collection of British art outside the United Kingdom. Theres more than enough to keep you occupied until Yales Peabody Museum of Natural History reopens in 2023 after a $200 million renovation.
An 1839 oil painting of the Amistad off the coast of Long Island.
New Haven Museum
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Harriet Beecher Stowe House
The Harriet Stowe house is next door to Mark Twains house, which makes it really easy to visit both! Harriet Stowe was an American author, known best for her book Uncle Toms Cabin. Her book took a controversial look at the issue of slavery during Americas Civil War. She lived in her home in Hartford for the last 23 years of her life enjoying the litany of authors that frequented the area.
Today you can visit her home and learn more about her personal life and legacy.
Plan on an hour.
Spend A Day In Mystic
If you’re looking for a picturesque spot to soak up some history, sail along a quiet harbor, and fill your belly with tasty treats, you’ll find it in Mystic. An adorable coastal town set along the Mystic River, this charming retreat is a perfect place for a weekend getaway.
Spotted with gleaming sailboats, the town thrives on its nautical history. Once serving as a port for whaling vessels, the popular Mystic Seaport is one of the best museums in Connecticut. Boasting everything from a planetarium to a working shipyard to historic wooden ships and a 19th-century seafaring village, you’ll need at least a day to fully explore its offerings. Don’t worry, there’s a restaurant on-site to help quiet those grumbly tummies.
The Mystic Aquarium is also top-notch. In fact, it’s been deemed one of the best attractions in Connecticut. People come for the beluga whales but stay for the other impressive creatures and exhibits.
Don’t miss a visit to the Olde Mistick Village, and make sure you’re hungry when you arrive. An outdoor mall designed to represent a 19th-century New England Village, the charming area is filled with themed stores, most of which offer free samples of their delicious wares. With multiple eateries on site, this is one of the best places in Connecticut to visit for a meal.
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Top Attractions In Connecticut: Best Things To See And Do With Kids
Connecticut may be small, but the Nutmeg State sure knows how to pack in a ton of fun. From historic villages to sandy beaches to amusement parks, there are plenty of exciting tourist attractions in Connecticut to make a family visit well worth the trip any time of year.
Its not easy narrowing down the list of things to do in Connecticut with kids, but weve made our picks for the 25 best kid-friendly activities in CT for residents and visitors alike. As locals, these are the places that we frequent with our children, and the first stops we make with family and friends whenever they’re staying with us from out of town. So leave your FOMO at the door and start checking these spots off your CT bucket list.
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Contact Information All Travelers
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Drink In The Historical Vibe At The Griswold Inn
Shipbuilders and sailors were slaking their thirst as early as 1776 at the Griswold Inn and Tap Room in Essex. Today patrons can sit down to a hearty meal in one of the dining rooms or head down to the Tap Room a cozy spot warmed by an old stone fireplace, the glow of a vintage popcorn machine, and a twinkling year-round Christmas tree. But when patrons join the Jovial Crew band in rounds of sea chanteys, this historic barroom fills with the warmest kind of cheer. In honor of the Griswolds founding, order the inns own Revolutionary Ale.
What would you add to the list of the best things to do in Connecticut? Let us know in the comments below!
And see more great things to do in Connecticut in The 85 Best Things to Do in New England.
This post was first published in 2020 and has been updated.
Kick Back At Hammonasset Beach State Park
The warm and gentle waves of the Long Island Sound welcome folks to Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison. And this beachthe largest in the stateis a popular place, hosting more than a million visitors each year. When summer’s crowds dissipate and the seaside camping season ends, the busy vibe at Hammonasset changes. This is a great time to take a scenic stroll along the water and observe the natural beauty of the Connecticut shoreline.
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Dine On Connecticuts Famous Buttery Lobster Rolls
Connecticut is known for its hot buttered lobster rolls that lure in foodies from across the country. Served everywhere from seafood shacks to fine dining restaurants, youll find hundreds of spots to satisfy your seafood cravings on Connecticuts shoreline!
To sample what this New England coastal state does best, head to Captain Scotts Lobster Dock in New London for a classic lobster roll. You also cant go wrong with Abbotts Lobster in the Rough in Noank, as this legendary seaside restaurant has been a fan favorite for decades.
Lobster Landing in Clinton is beloved for its hot and buttered lobster roll experiences, while The Lobster Shack in East Haven is a seasonal waterfront eatery that serves homemade clam chowders alongside its lobster delicacies.
Head to Guilford to enjoy the mom-and-pop atmosphere at Guilford Lobster Pound, which features picnic tables overlooking the harbor. However, Lenny and Joes Fish Tale is a shoreline favorite in Westbrook and Madison with its generous portions of lobster on its rolls.
For a bucket list experience, you can also dig into Connecticuts other seafood specialties at a classic New England clam bake. Sheffield Island is one of the best places to experience this authentic seafood feast, with the Clambake on Sheffield Island held every Tuesday in August.
Fun Things To Do In Hartford Ct You Can’t Miss
Founded in 1635, Hartford, the capital of Connecticut, is one of the oldest cities in the country. Known for its history, art, and entertainment, the city is home to plenty of oldest and firsts. For example, Hartford is home to the oldest public art museum in the U.S., the oldest continuously published newspaper, the oldest publicly funded park, and its the site of the first witch hunt in America.
For all of its history, the city is pretty progressive and is a huge supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, and supported the nations first legally married gay mayor.
Hartford is a global city and is nicknamed the Insurance Capital of the World because of all the insurance companies that have their headquarters located there. Companies include United Healthcare, Lincoln National Insurance, The Hartford, Travelers Insurance, and Aetna.
Hartford is a fun city with a lot of history. If youre a history buff, an avid reader, or have an interest in the history of wars, Hartford, Connecticut is an excellent place to visit. However, there are plenty of other options for activities and things to do.
Ready to learn more? Here are 18 things to do in Hartford CT that you dont want to miss!
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Check Out The Wadsworth Atheneum
The first public art museum in the United States has over 50,000 world-class pieces and is noted for its collections of Ancient Egypt, Classical bronzes, modernist masterpieces, and European Baroque art. It also features decorative arts and contemporary works of other famous artists. The rooms Matrix Exhibition and The Great Morgan Hall are both a public favorite.
Note: The castle-like Wadsworth Atheneum offers free admission to all Hartford residents. Visiting guests need not worry as well since they offer other ways for free entry such as the Happy Hour.
Eat Local At Westport Farmers’ Market
An easy commute from Manhattan , Westport offers locals and visitors a welcome slice of tranquility. Dipping into the Long Island Sound, the town’s Compo Beach is a well-loved gem, as is the newly renovated Westport Library, which boasts a lovely path along a peninsula and unbeatable views of the Saugatuck River.
Every Thursday from mid- May to November, you’ll find the bustling Westport Farmer’s Market, which was conceived by Paul Newman and Michel Nisan in 2006. The market lies tucked away in a parking lot, across a small bridge on the other side of the river from the library. In addition to local fruits, veggies, and kombucha, you’ll find freshly made tacos, a pizza truck, live music, art, and so much more.
Address: 50 Imperial Avenue, Westport, Connecticut
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National Iwo Jima Memorial
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If youre trying to figure out what to do with the history buff in your life while visiting Connecticut, be sure to plan a trip to the National Iwo Jima Memorial.
Unveiled in 1995, this historical landmark commemorates the lives of more than 100 Connecticut soldiers lost at the battle of Iwo Jima.
Significantly, the names of those soldiers are tastefully inscribed upon the memorial.
Situated amid a beautifully kept park, youll also see the Eternal Flame and stroll the Memorial Walkway.
Furthermore, theres also a monument dedicated to the chaplains and medical personnel who treated the wounded during Iwo Jima.
Other park features include commemorative plaques, boulders, other monuments, and a time capsule set to be opened in 2045.
This simple yet lovely memorial park is a sightseeing activity perfect for history and war buffs.
One of many recommended Connecticut attractions, be sure to plan a visit to the National Iwo Jima Memorial when passing through the Constitution State.
Address: 1 Iwo Jima Way, New Britain, CT 06053, United States
Take A Peek At The Glass House
Speaking of cool houses, albeit ones of a very different nature, architecture lovers should not miss The Glass House. This isyou guessed ita house made largely of glass. But truly, its more than that. The site comprises 14 structures across 49 pastoral acres, the focal point of which is The Philip Johnson Glass House, built by architect Philip Johnson between 1949 and 1995.
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Beinecke Rare Book And Manuscript Library
121 Wall St, New Haven, CT 06511
Impressive book stacks at Beinecke!
*Please note that at the time of this writing, Yale Libraries are only open to individuals with a Yale ID. We hope that they re-open to the general public soon.*
This is one of my absolute favorite spots at Yale University. I might be a bit biased because I already love to hang out at book stores and libraries, but Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is truly a stunning library. The entire library is solely dedicated to rare books and manuscripts, and its one of the largest libraries in the world dedicated to rare finds.
The library was built in 1963 and named after three brothers that attended the university . Inside the building, youll see a spectacular glass-enclosed tower of book stacks thats six stories tall. On the main floor, you can see an original copy of the Gutenberg Bible. On the ground floor, you can find books from the 18th century that were part of the original Yale library.
The librarys exterior is comprised of square marble panes. The marble filters light so that the rare books are protected from the sun. If you visit inside the building on a sunny day, the marble panes seem to glow.
Visiting Beinecke is free. Public exhibitions do not have an admission charge.
Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center
Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center
If youre wondering what to do during your visit to CT, this non-profit educational center is the answer.
Of note, the center provides visitors with more than 10 miles of epic hiking and walking trails in one of the most serene settings.
Established in 1946, the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center has provided locals and visitors alike with up close and personal nature and wildlife experiences.
Speaking of, during a visit to Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center youll have the opportunity to explore natural history exhibits, learn about the spaces ecological landscape, and even birdwatch along carefully curated paths.
Speaking of the centers paths, one of the parks unique features are the new mediation paths which carve out a special place for quiet reflection.
Moreover, the centers wildlife sanctuary will bring you face to face with the parks inhabitants.
From bluebirds to turtles and bullfrogs to screeching owls, the center is fraught with amazing wildlife.
Of note, the natural setting, and wildlife inhabitants make the perfect place for photography and nature observation at its finest.
Address: 109 Pequotsepos Rd, Mystic, CT 06355, United States
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Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort
Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort
Connecticuts Powder Ridge Park is loaded with year-round outdoor activities for the whole family.
During the winter months, Powder Ridge is a destination ski resort.
Skiing, snowboarding, snow-tubing, and even snow biking are all available for wild winter fun.
In the warmer months, the park hosts activities such as mountain biking, ziplining, and disc golfing.
With so much to do and see, the mountain park is worth a whole weekends visit.
In addition to the mountain sports and outdoor activities, Powder Ridge is also a resort with suite-like day rooms available to rent for overnight stays.
The resorts amenities include a pro shop, restaurants, a tavern, picnic area, marketplace, fire pits, brunch, live entertainment, and more.
With lots to do on one giant property, Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort is one of the best places to visit in Connecticut.
Address: 99 Powder Hill Rd, Middlefield, CT 06455, United States
Try Your Luck At Cts Famous Casinos
When New Englanders want to win big, they play in Connecticut. The popular Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods are the two spots everyone knows. These are both resorts, with much more than just gambling going on. Entertainment and activities are endless here, so be sure to take a closer look.
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Browse This Massive Used Book Store
Avid readers and bookworms will find heaven on earth at the Book Barn in Niantic, CT. Not only is this used bookstore MASSIVE, with approximately 500,000 books on their shelves, they also have adorable CATS walking around. I mean, this is probably the #1 thing to do in Connecticut as far as Im concerned.