Connecticut Vacation Planner

[y] Connecticut Visitors Guide

American history resonates throughout Connecticut. In Coastal Connecticut, unique towns are built upon layers of intriguing history. The bygone whaling era echoes in the streets of New London. New Haven is home to Yale University and is graced with its Gothic buildings and intellectual nuances. Here, art connoisseurs can enjoy museums that display paintings from masters such as Van Gogh, Manet, and Picasso. Central Connecticut includes the capital city of Hartford, home to famous American writers Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe and the 37-acre Bushnell Park. Founded in 1636, this metropolitan city is flavored by a rich heritage. The Connecticut River Valley is alluring with its enchanting towns and countryside. Here, the unusual Gillette Castle at Hadlyme stands guard. The forests and lakes of the Litchfield Hills region offer natural beauty and numerous recreational opportunities including the Topsmead State Forest.

Connecticut Fun Guide

Connecticut Coast Visitors Guide

American history resonates throughout Connecticut. In Coastal Connecticut, unique towns are built upon layers of intriguing history. The bygone whaling era echoes in the streets of New London. New Haven is home to Yale University and is graced with its Gothic buildings and intellectual nuances. Here, art connoisseurs can enjoy museums that display paintings from masters such as Van Gogh, Manet, and Picasso. Central Connecticut includes the capital city of Hartford, home to famous American writers Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe and the 37-acre Bushnell Park. Founded in 1636, this metropolitan city is flavored by a rich heritage. The Connecticut River Valley is alluring with its enchanting towns and countryside. Here, the unusual Gillette Castle at Hadlyme stands guard. The forests and lakes of the Litchfield Hills region offer natural beauty and numerous recreational opportunities including the Topsmead State Forest.

Central Connecticut Visitors Guide

The beauty of Central Connecticut will inspire any visitor. Literary greats Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe both resided in Hartford, the capital of Connecticut and the largest city in the area. Mark Twain House is a gothic mansion open to visitors, and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center features her restored home and library. The Science Center of Connecticut is also found in Hartford and features live animals, hands-on exhibits and more. Bushnell Park is known for its carousel, a restored 1914 ride that welcomes visiting riders. In West Hartford, the National Theatre for the Deaf features productions performed with the aid of American Sign Language as well as spoken word performances. Architecture fans will also enjoy a trip to Hatheway House in Enfield, one of the largest 18th-century homes in the state. Nature lovers will appreciate the Harry Barnes Memorial Nature Center in Bristol. This 70-acre park of field and forest features nature trails and an interpretive center.

Litchfield Hills, CT Visitors Guide

West of Hartford and east of New York State lies the charming area known as Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills. The defining geological feature of this area is the Housatonic River, which provides water to the villages and farms that line its path. To enjoy the beauty of Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills, a trip to Kent Falls State Park is an ideal start. The park is a short distance northeast of Kent, and the falls themselves—a 250-foot cascade—are a breathtaking sight. In Litchfield, the Tapping Reeve House and Law School is a unique attraction. It was the first law school in the state, and today remains furnished with 18th-century pieces. The Charles Ives Center for the Arts in Danbury is a 5,000 seat outdoor venue that is used for live performances and concerts. Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills also features a wealth of camping, hiking and biking opportunities.

Hartford Visitors Guide

Founded in 1636, Hartford is a metropolitan city that serves as Connecticut’s state capital. Famous American authors Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe once made Hartford their home. Today, Mark Twain’s House and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center are both open to the public and provide a fascinating look into the two authors’ lives. Visitors enjoy touring the Old State House, which was completed in 1796 and is considered the oldest statehouse in the United States. Bushnell Park is another historic site, as it is the nation’s oldest public park. A variety of festivals and entertainment are found throughout the year at this park, including the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz—a three-day event in July. Art lovers appreciate the impressive collection at Wadsworth Atheneum, while history enthusiasts whet their appetites at the Museum of Connecticut History. Outdoor adventurers enjoy nearby Penwood State Park, where hiking, picnicking and cross-country skiing are popular pastimes.

Hartford Visitors Guide
Hartford, CT Visitors Guide

Mystic, CT Visitors Guide

The seaside town of Mystic has a tidy downtown laced with shops, galleries, and antique stores. Nearby homes built for the rich sea captains of bygone days radiate charm. The 17-acre (7-ha) museum town of Mystic Seaport exhibits the workshops, buildings, and shops of 19th-century Mystic, with the paraphernalia of the whaling era, showcased in displays and films. The theater is also used to entertain and educate people about whaling and the lifestyle of the time. Winding along the Mystic River is the Four Mile River Road. This natural area is a welcome place for bikers and hikers to trek-no cars allowed. The road meanders past an osprey sanctuary. Another appealing place to visit in the Mystic area is the Mystic Aquarium, which is home to over 6000 sea creatures. A visit to Olde Mistick Village provides shopping, restaurants, and entertainment in the guise of a historic New England village.

New Haven, CT Visitors Guide

New Haven was founded in 1637 by affluent puritans. Shipping and manufacturing were the mainstays upon which the economy was built, however, the focal point of New Haven is Yale University, a world-famous university founded in 1716. The university grounds are located in the heart of New Haven. Gothic buildings on campus stand as sturdy sentinels from the past creating a steadying influence accompanied by a certain mystique. The Harkness Tower sings out at different times of day, filling the surrounding air with its carillon song—a sound that has called out to people for centuries. Handsome churches enfold the area. Several art museums with famous collections are on or near campus, while the Peabody Museum of Natural History is also located in the area. Each June, the International Festival of Arts & Ideas brings world-class art exhibits, performances and thinkers from around the world together.

Bridgeport, CT Visitors Guide

Situated on Long Island Sound, Bridgeport is a small city with much to offer. A big tourist draws to Bridgeport is the Captain’s Cove Seaport. Numerous restaurants fry up tasty seafood dishes and an array of unique shops can be found along the boardwalk. Close by the port is Seaside Park. One of the first waterfront parks established in the United States, this beach offers sandy shores with picnic areas and sports fields. Each year an impressive fireworks display is fired off over the water as part of the Barnum Festival. Dating back to 1948, this festival is another heritage feature in Bridgeport. It boasts live bands, contests, a carnival, and other events and takes place between April and July. The only zoo in Connecticut, the Beardsley Zoo is an attraction for all ages to enjoy, featuring a range of exotic and endangered animals, including tigers, bears, and turtles.