Wherever you are in Connecticut, you can find something to do during the summer or winter season. During the winter, there is sledding, skinning, snow tubing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Everyone can have fun at a price that will fit almost anyone’s budget. If you are old or young, having fun in the snow in Connecticut is the place to be.
In central Connecticut, there are two ski areas. One is Mount Southington: it has varied terrain and 14 trails, a terrain park and seven lifts. The other ski area would be in northwest Connecticut near Litchfield. It has 12 trails, snow tubing and a terrain park. There are six lifts and is the closet ski area to New York City. If you are in the mood for an old-fashioned sleigh ride then this is the place for you. The sleigh rides take you through the woods and countryside in a Victorian sleigh pulled by beautiful horses.
Another attraction is the working farm Ambler Farm. It is opened all-year round and offers kids the opportunity to see how maple syrup is tapped from the trees; it has informative programs that the kids will enjoy. So dress for being outside in the cold weather and enjoy the Ambler Farm.
In the summertime, you can go horseback riding, swimming, fishing, tubing, boating, picnicking, and hiking on trails. There is a multitude of things to do in Connecticut. Many of the state parks have Oceanside property that lets you swim and fish or boat. One of the oldest parks is located on Long Island Sound. It has great beaches and picnic areas.
One great attraction is the Maritime Aquarium. This aquarium lets you get in touch with nature. It lets you interact with live fish from the ocean. They take you on a cruise to see how some of the species live in the ocean. There are two hands-on tanks that let the kids touch the small fish and it has an IMAX theater on site.
The Audubon Center lets you see hawks, eagles and other birds of prey. It is a 295-acre sanctuary for the wildlife and has miles of trails. It has an education center that offers different kinds of programs and houses a Nature Gallery. At the Gallery, you can watch the beehive exhibit. In the fall, you can observe the migration of the raptors.
If you are into drinking wine, then the Jonathan Edwards Winery is the place to be. It is located in North Stonington overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It is nestled in 48 acres. It makes two kinds of wine, one of California distinction and the other of Connecticut distinction. Guests are welcome to tour the winery, taste the wine, visit the gift shop and just enjoy the scenery.
While the summer months and winter months are packed with plenty of activities, there is still much to do in Connecticut anytime of the season, regardless of your age and budget.
Connecticut has a total of 94 state parks and state forests. They are located inland and on the ocean side. Some of the state parks cover large areas and some are a bit smaller. This article will highlight some of the most popular state parks in Connecticut.
Sherwood Island State Park, Westport Connecticut
This is Connecticut’s first State Park and it is still operating today. It is located on the Long Island Sound. There are 235 acres in the park. On the east side is the New Creek and on the west is Mill Pond. A creek ran down the middle and there was an island called Fox Island to the west of the creek and marshland to the east.
A group of farmers settled to the east of the present park site in the 1600’s. They farmed what is known as Fox Island. Thomas Sherwood and his family settled in nearby Fairfield, Connecticut. He was a miller from England.
The descendants of Sherwood obtained a gristmill on the Mill Pond on Fox Island where they settled in 1787. They grew crops of onions and potatoes and shipped them to New York through the 1800s. The island became known as Sherwood Island. They gristmill serviced the local farmers until the farmers harvest fell off.
In 1914, the Connecticut State Park Commission stated after surveying the coastline, that the Sherwood Island property was the only place suitable for a state park. By this time, the island had many owners and the Connecticut State Park Commission needed help with acquisitions, the Commission hired a former state legislature, a Westport farmer, and an activist for historical preservation, William H. Burr, Jr.
The first property of Sherwood Island was in 1914 and it is said that this is the oldest state park of Connecticut. Many years pasted before the public could use the park.
This park offers, fishing, hiking, a Nature Center, picnic area, swimming area, food concession. The fees are $20 for weekend, weekday fees are $14 to 20, and fee after 4pm is $10.
Cockaponset State Park and Pattaconk Lake Recreational Area
This is the second largest state park of Connecticut. It covers 15,652 acres. This park offers fishing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, hunting, picnicking, and fresh water swimming. The park offers group camping for the youth. The fees are $14 for the Pattaconk Lake Recreational Area for state residents and $20 for non-state residents, there is no fee on weekdays. These are weekend and holiday fees.
Connecticut Audubon Center
This science and nature center is cared for by the Audubon Society of Connecticut. It offers exhibits on wild life and plants. It has hands-on for children of all ages. Gift shops and programs are offered year round. It is next to Earle Park that has numerous walking trails on 48 acres.
These are just a few of the beautiful parks that Connecticut has to offer. As you can see, there is a lot to do when in the parks any time of the year.
There is much beauty to see on the Connecticut River in Essex. That is where the Connecticut River Museum is located. There are many exhibitions to see that house artifacts and art that link it to the lives of the people from Connecticut. There is an array of wildlife that you can watch from the docks on the river. Tidal wetlands surround the museum and are considered an environmental treasure for anyone to enjoy.
The Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center is a very interesting place that is the home of the world’s largest Native American Museum. It houses the history of the first Native American that will please the young and the old. It has many different exhibits that will take you back in history to when the first Native American settled the area in Connecticut. It has live performances of contemporary arts. There are four acres that illustrate 18,000 years of Native and natural history. It houses two libraries that have many materials on all Native people of the continent. The museum is located in Ledyard, Connecticut.
Another part of history of Connecticut is the textile mills. The Windham Textile and History Museum is located in Willimantic. The museum is located in the former home of the American Thread Company. The museum preserves the history of the textile states. It affected the culture, economy and the lives of the people of the New England states from the 1800’s until present. It shows how harsh the working conditions were and how the advancement of technology helped to improve those working conditions. The museum offers guided tours on Sundays at 2pm. If you like to stroll through the museum by you then it is open during operation.
The history of artwork is preserved on the Weir Farm National Historic site. Here you will find that the Weir Farm was the home of the Weir family of artists starting with J. Alden Weir. The Weir Farm is a host for visual arts. You can take a tour of the home and the studios and then take a guided tour of the stone walkways and painting trails. They also have rotating art exhibits. This National Historic site is located in Wilton, Connecticut.
The New England Air Museum is the next stop for the aviation buffs. The museum houses over 80 aircraft along with a collection of engines, aircraft parts, instruments, uniforms and personal effects. The last remaining four engine American flying boat is housed here. The museum offers many different events that will thrill the children of the family. Therefore, if you are into aviation and history then this is the place to be.
As you can see, there is a lot of history that you can study. To see it first hand and to read about it or participate in it will leave an impression in your mind. Everyone should see the state of Connecticut and take in all the history that you can. This is truly a grand place and it is a very interesting place to live.
Connecticut is one state that is highly popular among tourists. Once you come here it is really easy to understand why. There is something for everyone from adrenaline filled tourist attractions to spots where you can relax and can be sure that nobody will ever disturb you. Let us talk about some really popular Connecticut attractions that you might want to visit.
There are 14 highly popular museums that are recommended in Connecticut. They are of diverse themes and you can expect much for them. In Bridgeport you should visit the Discover Museum and the Barnum Museum. While in Danbury go to the Danbury Railway Museum or the Military Museum of Southern New England. There are also 2 other train theme museums that you might want to go to in the Naugatuck Railroad and Railroad Museum of New England. Other museums that should be included in a tour are the New England Carousel Museum, the American Clock and Watch Museum, the Mattatuck Museum, the Connecticut Antique Machinery Museum and the New England Air Museum.
Wine Trails in Connecticut
There are 16 impressive wineries in the state. People that love wine are going to be thrilled to visit as many as possible. We have many special Wineries tours that one can go on. Wine in Connecticut started to be produced around 1978 but the grapes that are used have been grown for hundreds of years now. Tourists can opt for special wine tours that will take them to different wineries around the state.
Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun Complex
This complex is actually the largest casino complex that you can find anywhere in the world. Mohegan Sun is run by Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe runs Foxwoods. We are basically talking about a tremendous experience as these complexes offers you great entertainment acts, shopping complexes, top restaurants and hotels. For those that want even more, there are some museums really close by and many scenic drives that you are surely going to love.
Connecticut Historic Homes
Out of all the many well known historic homes that one can visit the most famous is definitely Mark Twain’s. It is located in Hartford and it was turned into a museum. Here you can find many artifacts that the author accumulated during the 17 years that he spent there. You might also want to visit Canterbury to see the first academy that was opened for black women in the New England Region.
On the whole we can say that Connecticut has a lot to offer from tourists from all around the world and even if the attractions that were mentioned above are among the most popular, there are others that you might want to visit. We recommend that you do a good research before you actually visit in order to make sure that you are not going to miss anything that you might really want to see. There are many tour packages offered by companies from all around the world and you need to take your time before you make your decision.
No matter what part of Connecticut you are in, there are several museums and art galleries to enjoy. If you are in the Northwest part of Connecticut then there is the Heron American Craft Gallery. The Gallery is in Kent, Connecticut. It offers many different and unusual pieces of art. The art craft is very colorful, witty and whimsical in the form of ceramics, pottery, glasswork, jewelry and toys. It is open daily.
In Connecticut there is an art trail called the Connecticut Art Trail. It is comprised of 15 outstanding historic sites and museums. The trail zigzags through historic sites and rustic farms, art studios and artists houses to the distinguished art museums to dazzling downtowns. Among the trail, there is a feature known as the Trail Getaways that gives certain schedules of fine places to dine and visit.
For people that are into home decorating, then the Ten Thousand Villages store in West Hartford, Connecticut. You can glance through the homemade furniture that is rustic, folk art, wall hangings, rugs, pillows and so much more. The goods reflect the culture and tradition of its time. The art comes from overseas in places like Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
For people that enjoy musicals there is the Godspeed Opera House in East Haddam. This opera house is known as the home of the American musical. It is near the Connecticut River. Some of the famous musicals that were preformed there are “Man of La Mancha,” “Annie,” and “Shenandoah.” In the year 2011 the musicals that will be performed are “Showboat,” City of Angles,” and “My One and Only.” So take the family or a loved one to see a musical.
In central Connecticut there is the Art Museum called the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford. It is the oldest American art museum that houses more than 45,000 works of art. The structure of the museum is like a castle. It has collections of American silver and American furniture. The sculpture garden has been renovated and a fine collection of art from the Hudson River Art School.
If you are into antiques, then the United House Wrecking in Stamford, Connecticut, in the southwestern part of the state. It is an old demolition company that you will find artifacts of old and beautiful woodwork, stained glass, mantles, and other valuable structures. In the earlier years, the store was Connecticut’s haven for unusual contents. Now, fifty years later, it is Connecticut’s largest supply of antiques and home décor. It also has a new 6,500 SF Design Center.
If you are into antiques, then visit the Stratford Antique Center in Stratford, Connecticut. It houses roughly 200 antique dealers. It is known as the “big blue building” locally. Antique hunters will find numerous lighted displays and dealer spaces. There 16,500 SF of antiques and collectables. Whatever you are looking for, you will probably find it here. So if you are looking for something that you cannot find at home in your antique stores, you will find it in the art world inside the beautiful state of Connecticut.