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10 Best Places to Visit in Connecticut

Divided in two by the Connecticut River that runs through it, the state of Connecticut is a beautiful place to explore that is all too often overlooked by visitors, who instead head to nearby New York or Boston. This means that you can see the authentic side of New England without the crowds, and there certainly is a lot for you to experience.

As it was one of the original 13 colonies, the state is home to many of the country’s oldest towns and settlements. As such, there is a myriad of fascinating historical tourist attractions and cultural landmarks, with many of the best places to visit in Connecticut relate to the area’s rich seafaring past.

With many of its main cities to be found on the Long Island Sound, there is a gorgeous stretch of scenic shoreline for you to discover, while many excellent state parks lie waiting in its interior.

10. Hammonasset Beach State Park [SEE MAP]

Hammonasset Beach State Park

rickpilot / Flickr

Home to the largest beach in the state, Hammonasset Beach State Park is a great place to head to if you just want to kick back, relax, and lounge on its inviting sands while taking in some rays. Although it is a popular place to visit, especially in summer, there is more than enough sand to go around: there is a very peaceful and relaxing feel to it, as it never gets too crowded.

In addition to its expansive beach, the state park has loads of enjoyable recreational activities for you to enjoy, with cycling, hiking, and camping all popular pastimes. Its tranquil waters lend themselves perfectly to swimming, fishing, and boating.

While visiting Hammonasset Beach State Park, it is well worth stopping by the Meigs Point Nature Center to explore its saltwater marshes and catch a glimpse of some of the beautiful birds and wildlife that call the area home.

9. Gillette Castle State Park [SEE MAP]

Gillette Castle State Park

© Jeff Schultes / Dreamstime

Very impressive and distinctive to behold, Gillette Castle was designed and built between 1914 and 1919 by the actor William Gillette, after who it is named. Now a popular tourist destination, the ”medieval castle” once acted as his private residence, and the interior is just as unique and special to gaze upon as its exterior.

Inside is full of amazing treasures and oddities, such as carved wooden light switches and Steampunk-like door latches with secret doors, passageways, and custom-built furniture also on show.

Spreading away from the castle is a lovely state park full of elegant gardens and beautiful woodland, with lots of great hiking trails for you to stroll along. Views from the castle of the surrounding grounds are simply stunning.

8. Norwalk [SEE MAP]

Norwalk

© Jeffrey Klein / Dreamstime

Lying on the banks of the Norwalk River, just a stone’s throw away from the Atlantic Ocean, the town of the same name boasts a proud maritime history. It’s along its crumbling but lively waterfront that you can find most of its main attractions.

While there are lots of shops, restaurants, and bars for you to delve into, alongside a couple of museums and art center, the undoubted highlight is its aquarium, which is home to lots of brightly colored fish and marine mammals. There’s also an IMAX cinema on offer.

Due to its proximity to New York, you can easily get in and out of the city in no time at all, and New Haven isn’t far away if you want to simply stop by Norwalk on your way from one to the other.

7. Silver Sands State Park [SEE MAP]

Silver Sands State Park

© Ritu Jethani / Dreamstime

Located on Long Island Sound in the city of Milford, Silver Sands State Park encompasses a huge variety of different landscapes and ecosystems; woods, marshes, dunes, and beaches are all found hugging the Atlantic Ocean shoreline. The wild and rugged scenery is beautiful, and there are loads of great hiking trails for you to explore that meander their way through the state park.

A delightful place to take a picnic or go swimming in the sea, Silver Sands State Park has a very peaceful feel to it, and lots of different types of birds can be seen swirling in the cool breeze that sweeps in from the Atlantic.

While it can be tempting to cross the sandbar to the far-off Charles Island, make sure to check when the tides are, as you don’t want to be left stranded there overnight!

6. Stamford [SEE MAP]

Stamford

© Ritu Jethani / Dreamstime

Due to its proximity to New York, Stamford is home to lots of large corporations and a number of Fortune 500 companies. In recent years, this has helped see an increase in fine dining options, with lots of great shops and bars also popping up.

Lying along the Long Island Sound coastline, the state’s third-largest city is a pleasant place to spend some time. Wandering around its downtown area feels like you’re in New York itself due to its lively feel and multicultural make-up.

There is certainly a lot for you to see and do in Stamford, with plenty of recreational activities, parks, and beaches for you to check out at Cove Island Park and Cummings Park. In addition to this, the southernmost part of the city, Shippan Point, has some impressive architecture, as well as great views of Long Island.

5. Stonington [SEE MAP]

Stonington

© Cynthia Farmer / Dreamstime

Founded all the way back in 1662, the small town of Stonington is remarkably the oldest settlement in Connecticut and is well worth visiting if you’re looking for a quiet, peaceful getaway.

As it is located on an indented stretch of coastline with both Mason’s Island and Fischer’s Island lying not too far offshore, it should come as no surprise to learn that Stonington boasts a rich maritime history. One of its main attractions is its beautiful old lighthouse that once warned fishermen of the perilous coastline ahead.

With lots of old sea captain’s cottages also on show, the town is very charming to wander around and boasts lovely views out over the sea. On top of all this, several wineries can be found in the area; it is well worth trying some of the region’s delicious local wines and produce if you have the chance.

4. New London [SEE MAP]

New London

© Ritu Jethani / Dreamstime

Due to its strategic location at the mouth of the Thames River, just where the Long Island Sound meets the Atlantic Ocean, New London has long been an important seaport, and this rich seafaring past is evident wherever you go in town.

While its heyday has long been and gone, there is still lots of magnificent architecture scattered about here and there. The US Coast Guard Academy and US Naval Submarine Base are still located in town.

The city’s one-time wealth is still evident in some parts of New London, with interesting historical sights and cultural landmarks related to its whaling past and important role during the American Revolutionary War all on display.

3. Mystic [SEE MAP]

Mystic

© Allard1 / Dreamstime

A very popular place to visit in Connecticut among both locals and tourists alike, the historic seaport of Mystic is full of fantastic things to see and do, and its beautiful harbor really is picture-perfect.

Straddling the banks of the Mystic River, the town used to be one of the most important shipbuilding ports and whaling centers in the country – as such, wealth poured in from all around the US.

As a result, there is some lovely architecture nestled alongside its many waterways, with picturesque marinas full of yachts and boats also on show. Mystic’s rich maritime heritage really shines through wherever you go; its wonderful Seaport Museum is not only the most popular attraction in town, but the state at large. It is also well worth checking out the town’s fantastic aquarium and the majestic historic vessels that are tied up in port.

2. Hartford [SEE MAP]

Hartford

© Laura Stone / Dreamstime

The state capital of Connecticut, Hartford lies at the center of the Knowledge Corridor, which stretches to Springfield in Massachusetts. All in all, there are a remarkable 29 colleges and universities found in the area, with around 120,000 students split between them.

Indeed, the city has always been closely connected to learning and the written word. Its once-thriving publishing industry attracted such renowned names as Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe to Hartford.

As well as visiting interesting museums dedicated to the life and works of these famous authors, visitors can also enjoy the many magnificent old buildings found around town. Among the most impressive are the beautiful State Capitol building, Old State House, and the Governor’s Residence.

As it is one of the oldest cities in the whole of the US, there are loads of significant historical sights and cultural landmarks scattered around Hartford for visitors to check out.

1. New Haven [SEE MAP]

#1 of Best Places To Visit In Connecticut

© F11photo / Dreamstime

The second-largest city in Connecticut, New Haven is famous for being home to the prestigious Yale University; its wealth of impressive buildings and pretty parks are what most people come to see. Taking a tour around the 300-year-old campus is simply a must. It has a fantastic art gallery as well as some brilliant museums, monuments, and libraries.

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While most of New Haven’s main attractions are found at the Yale University campus, it is well worth venturing further afield, as there are lots of great shops, restaurants, and bars to be found around its lively downtown area.

In addition to this, the nearby state parks of West Rock and Sleeping Giant offer up a plethora of great outdoor activities, with hiking and cycling being particularly popular. All in all, New Haven is a wonderful place to visit with a lot going for it.

Map of the Best Places to Visit in Connecticut

Connecticut Map

© OpenStreetMap © MapTiler © Touropia

17 Best Places to Visit in Connecticut

Connecticut is a natural wonderland packed with some of the country’s most inspiring landscapes and a slew of picturesque places to visit. From crashing waterfalls to sparkling lakes to verdant forests to sprawling golden beaches, there are so many memorable things to do in Connecticut.

Chapman Falls at Devil

Chapman Falls at Devil’s Hopyard State Park in Connecticut | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

In addition to its organic wonders, Connecticut is packed with charming small towns that exude New England charm; maritime villages that beg you to jump on a fishing boat; and larger cities that boast excellent attractions like museums, vibrant arts scenes, and fabulous restaurants. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it in this East Coat gem.

With so many interesting spots to choose from, it can be hard to pick your destination. Whittle down your choices with our list of the best places to visit in Connecticut.

1. Mystic

The Argia schooner in Mystic

The Argia schooner in Mystic | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

The Mystic River gently laps the shores of this lovely maritime village, which is dubbed one of the best small towns in Connecticut. The shimmering water draws attention to the town’s storied history as an important port, and multiple attractions teach visitors about its past.

All types of vessels, including massive whaling ships, sailed through and docked at Mystic Harbor. You can see replicas, as well as some refurbished originals, at the remarkable Mystic Seaport Museum. With so many great things to offer (i.e. a 19 th -century seafaring village, children’s museum, and the Charles W. Morgan wooden whaleship), this vast spot deserves a full day of your time.

While in Mystic, book a cruise on the Argia, a two-masted Gaff Topsail schooner, to spot the massive yachts, coastal homes, and sailboats dotting the horizon.

Then, hit the Mystic Aquarium. One of the top places to visit in Mystic, this impressive venue is also one of the best tourist attractions in Connecticut.

Before heading home, stop for a meal and some retail therapy at the unique and picture-perfect Olde Mistick Village, an outdoor mall set to look like an 18 th -century New England village.

2. Kent

Kent Falls

Kent Falls | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

We’ve found the cure for stress. Hint: it’s in Kent. Serenely nestled a mere two hours from bustling New York City, Kent is the place where worries disappear. Home to the picturesque Bull’s Bridge, one of only three covered bridges in the state, and two gorgeous Connecticut state parks (Kent Falls and Macedonia Brook), Kent takes bucolic to a new level.

The small town itself is adorable, chock full of charming shops, cafés, and restaurants. It offers a perfect place to unwind and enjoy a sunny afternoon. Don’t miss the darling House of Books, an enchanting bookstore on Main Street that dates back to 1976.

Kent’s true beauty, however, lies just outside its border, within the rolling Litchfield Hills. This is where your face will be brushed by mist from one of Connecticut’s best waterfalls, Kent Falls. It’s also where your ears lulled by the crashing sound of water cascading down Macedonia Falls and your feet massaged by rocks lining the trails through Kent’s miles of wilderness.

3. Hartford

Hartford skyline

Hartford skyline

Connecticut’s pretty capital boasts an impressive watery backdrop. Sitting on the banks of the Connecticut River, Hartford was once known as the House of Hope. Today, this large city (one of the oldest in New England) is a wonderful place to soak up a little nature and culture.

The top attractions in Hartford include the Mark Twain House & Museum, the State Capitol, the Connecticut Science Center, and the impressive Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

Elizabeth Park is more than worthy of a visit. Sprawling across more than 101 acres through West Hartford and Hartford, this delightful space features a phenomenal rose garden and a sweet little Pond House Café.

Speaking of natural beauty, don’t miss a trip to Bushnell Park. The oldest public park in the country, its best to visit during spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

4. Old Saybrook

Lynde Point Lighthouse, Old Saybrook

Lynde Point Lighthouse, Old Saybrook

Lovely Old Saybrook is one of the most beautiful beach towns in Connecticut. Harvey’s Beach is its main attraction, with its fine sand and calm surf. The Lynde Point Lighthouse, though, is deemed by many to be more picturesque – it’s been photographed a bazillion times.

One of the oldest towns in the state, Old Saybrook overflows with charm and enticing antique shops you can’t ignore. The background is picture-perfect, especially in the Fenwick Historic district, one of Old Saybrook’s top attractions, which boasts shingled cottages dating to the 19 th – and early 20 th centuries.

Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center

Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

Katherine Hepburn once called this quaint town home, a fact never to be forgotten with the cultural arts center named in her honor. The Kate, as it’s known to locals, features concerts, films, comedy acts, and other great entertainment year-round.

5. Hammonasset State Park

Sunrise at Hammonasset State Park

Sunrise at Hammonasset State Park

The shining star of Madison, Hammonasset State Park is a must-see. Home to the largest beach in the state – it runs two miles in length – this lovely park is also one of the most popular places to visit in Connecticut.

The park was opened in 1920 and has been a popular attraction ever since. Quite crowded in the summer, especially on a weekend, it’s best to hit the beach early, so you can enjoy all it has to offer.

Sand dunes at Hammonnasset Beach State Park

Sand dunes at Hammonnasset Beach State Park | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

From walking on the boardwalk to cycling to hiking to swimming to SUPing to fishing, there’s plenty to keep everyone occupied near this fine sandy shore.

Want to stay even longer? Book a night or more at one of the park’s campsites. While in the park, don’t miss the Meigs Point Nature Center, an inspiring spot, where wildlife lovers can explore saltwater marshes and spy captivating birds and other creatures.

6. Stamford

Stamford

Stamford

More business oriented than most other Connecticut towns, Stamford has a lot of things to do for those who shy away from the Fortune 500 Companies that use it as a home base. Yes, you’ll find tall office and condo buildings here, but with this cosmopolitan atmosphere comes a lot of cultural pluses.

The Stamford Museum & Nature Center offers historic education in a serene natural setting. Kids will love the bespoke playground. Where else can you perch in a human-sized bird’s nest?

The Avon Theater sits downtown, on the popular Bedford Street, just a couple of minutes’ walk from Stamford Town Center. You can watch independent and foreign films here to up your sophistication meter.

Harbor Point has been newly revamped, brightening the South End district. Home to its own waterfront, parks, shops, and restaurants, this section has become an exclusive little hamlet.

7. Greenwich

Greenwich Town Hall

Greenwich Town Hall

You’ll be hard-pressed to find even one blade of grass out of place in Greenwich. A posh commuter town (NYC is only an hour away by train), this pristine city is one of the most prized (and largest) on Connecticut’s Gold Coast. Once here, it’s easy to see why it gets so much hype.

In addition to its grandiose, gated homes; immaculate gardens; and sparkling coastline, Greenwich is home to historical gems like the colonial Putnam Cottage, Greenwich Historical Society, and Bruce Museum; all are family-friendly attractions worthy of a visit.

Shops along Greenwich Avenue

Shops along Greenwich Avenue | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

Perfectly intertwined with these cultural mavens are Greenwich’s real shining star attractions: the 147-acre Greenwich Point Park (the view of Manhattan’s skyline is unbeatable from this golden beach) and the serene Greenwich Audubon Center (home to miles of trails and a ton of wildlife).

Looking to flex your shopping muscle? Head to Greenwich Avenue. The city’s adorable main street is speckled with high-end shops like Sax Fifth Avenue, Lululemon, and Vineyard Vines. When hunger pangs hit, fill up on Italian fare at Mediterraneo, enjoy a curry at Thai Basil, or dine in style at Le Penguin.

8. Silver Sands State Park

Silver Sands State Park

Silver Sands State Park

Beaches and boardwalks and wildlife, oh my! There’s so much to see and do at Silver Sands State Park. Walk along the trails, jump in for a swim, build a sandcastle, gather shells, or try your hand at fishing. No matter what activity you choose, you won’t be bored at this lovely state park located in Milford.

Boardwalk at Silver Sands State Park

Boardwalk at Silver Sands State Park | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

While you’re here, why not try your luck treasure hunting? According to legend, Captain Kidd hid his valuables on the beach in 1699, and they’ve never been claimed.

You’ll have to wait until the tide is low to walk across the sand bar to Charles Island, the believed hiding spot of this supposed treasure. While you’re here, check out the incredible birdlife at the sanctuary located on the island. But be sure to leave before the tide comes back in, or you’ll be stuck there overnight.

9. Gillette Castle State Park

Gillette Castle

Gillette Castle

Gillette Castle serves as the crowning glory atop the southern hill of the Seven Sisters. Designed by William Gillette, a famous actor and playwright between 1914 and 1919, the castle is a true marvel. It boasts interesting wooden locking mechanisms, built-in couches, secret panels, and mirrors set up so the actor could spy on his visitors from above.

The most enjoyable way to reach Gillette Castle is by boarding the Chester-Hadlyme Ferry from the sweet town of Chester, one of Connecticut’s most charming small towns. While the ride lasts a mere five minutes, visitors reap spectacular views of the Connecticut River, especially during the colorful autumn months.

With 184 acres of beautiful landscape, a unique 24-room mansion/castle, and a remarkable set of walking trails (they include wooden trestles, tunnels, and a narrow gauge railroad), it’s no wonder visiting Gillette Castle State Park remains one of the top things to do in Connecticut.

10. New Haven

View of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut

View of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut

A coastal town most famous for being home to Yale University, New Haven presents a wide array of fun things to do.

Soak up the culture at the Yale University Art Gallery. You’ll find inspiring works by the greats like Van Gogh, Picasso, and Degas. You’ll also spot ancient artifacts and creations from talented modern and contemporary artists from across the globe. The best part? Admission is free.

The university is also home to the well-loved Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale Center for British Art, and Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

At the center of town lies the vibrant New Haven Green, which is hugged by the faux-Gothic, Victorian, and more modern university buildings. It’s around here that you’ll find many of the area’s quirky shops and restaurants. It’s also one of the best places for photographers looking some good photography spots in New Haven.

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A visit to Wooster Square (on the east side of town) won’t disappoint, especially if you visit during the annual Wooster Square Cherry Blossom Festival in late April.

11. Lake Compounce, Bristol

Lake Compounce

Lake Compounce | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

If you require a side of thrills with your Connecticut getaway, Lake Compounce is the place for you. The oldest continuously operating amusement park in North America, this family fun zone is a major hit with kids and adults of all ages.

Boulder Dash is a must-ride wooden roller coaster that’s been voted top in the world. Be prepared, it gets bumpy! If you’re feeling the need for speed, hit the Phobia Phear Coaster, which gets up to 65 miles an hour.

Then, cool off in the water park (the biggest of its kind in the state). The Croc-O-Nile lazy river is super relaxing while plunging down the waterfall at Mammoth Falls will get your heart pumping. Storm Surge is another must if you like excitement. This fun lighthouse waterslide comes complete with lights and sound.

Address: 186 Enterprise Drive, Bristol, Connecticut

12. Westport

Westport, CT

Westport, CT | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

Westport is less pretentious than Greenwich, with as much charm as a typical small, New England town. Its affluent nature serves up a hearty dish of high-end shops (like Lululemon, Vineyard Vines, and Tiffany’s) and an even larger plate of upscale restaurants.

The Spotted Horse, Pink Sumo, and The Whelk are just three tasty options. For lighter fare, check out the uber-healthy, delish, and locally owned, Granola Bar.

Wandering through the streets of town is almost akin to being on New York’s Upper East Side, without the pungent smells, pollution, or noise. Oh yeah, you’ll also reap the added bonus of spectacular scenery and friendly locals.

The Saugatuck River winds its way through the heart of town, passing the popular Bar Taco Restaurant, winking at Main Street, and skimming the newly revamped (and uber-impressive) Westport Library. Stand near it long enough, and you’ll spot an ibis, snapping turtle, or swans. Don’t miss a show at the Westport Country Playhouse, one of Westport’s best attractions.

At the south edge of town lies Westport’s pristine and super soft, sandy Compo Beach. While this beach is reserved for town residents and beach pass holders, visitors can buy a day pass for $45 on weekdays or $70 on a weekend.

Sherwood Island State Park is also in town, offering another great beach option for visitors.

13. Stonington

Stonington Harbor Lighthouse

Stonington Harbor Lighthouse| Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

Stonington may be small (it measures less than one square mile), but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for with charm. Founded in the early 1660s, this maritime town sits on the outskirts of Mystic (about seven minutes away by car).

Stonington boasts an adorable main street peppered with shops, cafés, and restaurants. A short walk will get you to the Stonington Harbor Lighthouse, which has stood stoically for more than 170 years, tucked quietly behind a white picket fence off Water Street. Around the corner lies Stonington Point. From here, you can spy three states–Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island.

A few meters away lies duBois Beach, a small, protected, and sandy spot that’s perfect for swimming. During the summer months, the beach is guarded, but expect to pay a small fee to enter. And be warned, there are no concession stands or facilities.

14. The Henry David Thoreau Footbridge, Washington

Henry David Thoreau Footbridge

Henry David Thoreau Footbridge | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

It’s not surprising to hear that the Henry David Thoreau Footbridge is one of the most photographable structures in Connecticut. This 120-foot-long suspension bridge is a stunner, especially if you visit during fall. The bridge was built to allow pedestrians to cross the Shepaug River and offers incredible vistas. Look closely, and you’ll see the philosopher’s most famous quotes carved into the rails.

Named after the famous 19 th -century philosopher, this intricate bridge is tucked into the Hidden Valley Preserve, a natural wonderland located in Washington. Visitors spend most of their time hiking the wooded trails and hillsides of this 727-acre preserve, which is open from sunrise to sunset year-round.

The most popular trail in the preserve is the Winters Hunger Pinnacle. Set aside a few hours, as it is over seven miles long and gets as steep as over 900 feet.

Insider’s tip: Goshawks tend to nest both north and west of the footbridge between April and June. Warning signs are posted at this time, and some trails may be closed to protect the birds.

15. Enders Falls State Park

Enders Falls

Enders Falls

The main reason to visit Enders Falls State Park can be found flowing freely, and serenely, near its center. Enders Falls is one of the best waterfalls in Connecticut. A series of five waterfalls, this glorious spot will help melt your worries away. Watching the water cascade to its final resting place, an inviting swimming hole, is meditative and refreshing.

The park itself is comprised mainly of woodland but is zigzagged with trails that entice visitors to hike through its vast expanse. With over 2,000 acres to explore, you’ll want to stay for a while, so it’s best to pack a few snacks and water.

Not a real outdoors person? Don’t worry. The trails are well maintained and easy. Wear comfortable shoes, and you shouldn’t have a problem, unless you don’t watch where you step while you’re snapping photos of the splendid scenery.

16. New London

Soldiers and Sailors Monument in New London Parade Plaza

Soldiers and Sailors Monument in New London Parade Plaza | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

Once a busy whaling Port, New London is now best known as the home of Ocean Beach Park. A giant outdoor wonderland, this park boasts an Olympic-sized swimming pool, waterslide, playground, arcade, mini golf, and concessions.

The town itself harkens back to days of yore, with its charming buildings (some date back to the 1790s) and the U-shaped historic district that highlights the downtown core and sits at the mouth of the Thames River.

Other popular tourist attractions and things to do include taking a Cross Sound Ferry Lighthouse or Mystic Whaler cruise, sniffing flowers at the Connecticut College Arboretum, and visiting Fort Trumbull State Park to learn about the area’s maritime history and glimpse a lovely view of the river.

17. Wethersfield

Silas W. Robbins House in Wethersfield

Silas W. Robbins House in Wethersfield | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

As soon as you step foot in the adorable town of Wethersfield, you’ll understand how it got its nickname: “Ye Most Ancient Towne.” Founded in the mid-1630s, this historic town presents visitors with a chance to slow down and enjoy a day or two in a time when playing in nature was the best form of entertainment.

Located just south of Hartford and over eight miles from neighboring Glastonbury, this is likely the most charming New England town in Connecticut. More than 150 of its homes and buildings have been around since the colonial times. They lie in Connecticut’s largest historic district and include museums, shops, restaurants, and other places worthy of a visit.

The Wethersfield Heritage Walk is three miles long and one of the best things to do in this quaint town. It passes the First Church of Christ, Hurlbut-Dunham House, Buttolph-Williams House, Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, and Cove Park, among other important attractions.

If you’re feeling hungry, stop for a healthy and delicious bite at Heirloom Market. It’s set in the old, Comstock, Ferre & Co. building. Inside, you’ll find a grocery store selling local, organic groceries and Baker Creek’s heirloom seeds. There’s also a café serving tasty dishes, juices, and coffees.

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Other Places to Visit in Connecticut: Let’s face it, there are a ton of great attractions in Connecticut – way more than would fit on our list. When you’re finished checking out the awesome spots mentioned earlier, check out these spectacular waterfalls, jump in one of these sparkling lakes, or laze about on one of these sandy beaches.

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The Best Places to Visit for a Weekend in Connecticut: Some Connecticut marvels are too wonderful to see only fleetingly. Schedule at least two days for sightseeing in these popular weekend getaways.

Top 18 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Connecticut

Famously home to the Gilmore Girls, Stepford Wives, Katharine Hepburn, Yale University, and some of the most beautiful fall foliage in the US, New England’s southernmost state is both an interesting and very beautiful place to visit especially if you time your visit to coincide with the autumn season.

Here you can expect truly gorgeous landscapes and other attractions including seemingly endless farmland, fine historical houses, sophisticated art galleries, patchwork hills, opulent mansions, waterfalls residing in stunning state parks, and affluent riverside and coastal communities. From impressive state buildings to scenic road routes, here are the best and most beautiful places to visit in Connecticut…

1. Talcott Mountain State Park – one of the most popular places to explore in Connecticut

Talcott Mountain State Park

This is easily one of the best places to visit in Connecticut, this is a sprawling and very beautiful public recreation area. The main attraction of Talcott Mountain State Park is Heublein Tower which was once Gilbert Heublein’s family home and can be reached by the yellow trail hiking trail which is 1.25 miles in length (which can be walked around 30-40 minutes).

The striking tower is 165ft tall and 1,040 ft above sea level. The trail is well-maintained and passes through the stunning Connecticut forest where the trees shed leaves annually. There are also many other great hiking trails in the park to explore.

The authority has arranged benches for visitors as it is a family destination to take proper rest for elders and children too. You can see the 360-degree view encompassing four states by climbing at the top of the tower.

There is a museum of local history as well. It’s one of the best places for hiking and a picnic with a scenic view.

2. Cornwall – a historic town surrounded by stunning Connecticut countryside

Cornwall Connecticut

Cornwall is beautiful and a wonderful small town located in Litchfield County, Connecticut. I would recommend visiting here during the autumn and winter to enjoy wild swimming in the local lakes, the open-air theatre, and skiing in Mohawk Mountain.

It’s both a charming and romantic place to visit as well as being a great base for outdoor activities. Cornwall has some great resorts too. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from and if you’re looking for peace and scenery then make sure you visit the Hudson River.

The Most Popular Places To Go In Cornwall Are:

Mohawk Mountain – Mohawk Mountain State Park is located in Cornwall, Connecticut. The state park offers trails for hiking and cross-country skiing, as well as access to the Appalachian Trail. Mohawk Mountain Ski Area occupies part of the summit ridge, which has views of Long Island Sound, Hartford CT skyline.

Mohawk State Forest – is a Connecticut state forest in the towns of Cornwall and Goshen. It has over 9 miles (14 km) of marked hiking trails, including a portion of the Mattabesett Trail. The forest also features a nature center, open daily from Memorial Day through Columbus Day.

3. White Sands Beach – one of the most beautiful beaches to visit in Connecticut

White Sands Beach Connecticut

This is a lovely and beautiful place to visit in Connecticut here you can spend some quality time with your family or just have some peaceful time for yourself.

Located in Old Lyme you can kick off your summer season at the White Sands Beach and can get back to your busy life feeling much calmer. It’s a small and pretty community beach with safe swimming, pale sand, a picnic area and great views of Long Island Sound.

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4. Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford – one of the most impressive buildings to visit in Connecticut

Connecticut State Capitol

Hartford is the current capital of Connecticut which is home to a number of interesting attractions including The Mark Twain House & Museum, the Wadsworth Atheneum, the pretty Elizabeth Park Rose Garden, Connecticut Science Center, and the lovely Bushnell Park (the oldest publicly funded park in the United States).

Here you’ll also find the very impressive and striking Connecticut State Capitol. Here you can find a full-size replica of the Liberty Bell and can even touch this Liberty Bell – unlike the original one in Philadelphia.

You will also get to see “The Genius of Connecticut” – a symbolic protector of Connecticut. Her name, Genius – reflects the spirit of innovation of this state.

In Connecticut, you will see many things that tell a great history of this place such as A Globetrotting Gun, The Forlorn Soldier, Nathan Hale, the State Hero, and many more. Definitely one of the best places to explore in Connecticut!

5. Kent, New England – one of the most beautiful places to visit in the fall

New England USA

Kent New England

Kent, New England located in Litchfield County is a beautiful town and hidden gem to visit in and explore in Connecticut. It’s one of the best places to visit to see this area’s stunning autumn foliage.

Fall is when the trees transform into a kaleidoscope of the three striking colors of reds, oranges, and purples. Whilst here you should also visit the “Kent Falls State Park”, which is also known as “The Jewel of the Inland Parks.” Here you can enjoy stunning views of seventeen waterfalls!

Kent’s Top Attractions

Kent Falls State Park – A forty-five minute drive from the city lights of Hartford is a more tranquil world. Kent, CT is a small rural town with many interesting attractions for visitors and residents alike. One such attraction is Kent Falls State Park.

Eric Sloane Museum & Kent Furnace – The Eric Sloane Museum is a tribute to the work of one of America’s foremost illustrators and historians. The museum occupies the site of the old Kent Furnace, where Sloane did much of his early work.

6. The Rocky Hill/Glastonbury Ferry route – one of the most scenic river routes in Connecticut

Rocky Hill/Glastonbury Ferry route

Rocky Hill is a town in Hartford County located on the Connecticut Valley on the west bank of the river, here you can catch the ferry to the neighboring town of Glastonbury along the pretty Connecticut River.

Part of Route 160 it’s a historic journey and actually thought to be the oldest continuously operated ferry service in the whole country.

It’s also a very tranquil and scenic route, and it’s a nice chance to watch birds and other wildlife, see lovely river views and just step back and take in all the wonderful Connecticut countryside.

7. Greenwich – known as one of the wealthiest cities in America

Greenwich Connecticut

Greenwich is one of the oldest and historically rich towns in Connecticut. It’s also one of the most affluent. To get the feel of charming New England I would recommend paying a visit to this culture-rich and wealthy coastal town.

As well as charming scenery, very fine mansions, high-end boutique shops, and upscale restaurants it’s also home to lovely attractions including Bruce Museum (dedicated to Art and Science), Greenwich Audubon Center, Greenwich Botanical Center, Putnam Cottage, as well as plenty of other beautiful places to visit.

8. Connecticut State Route 169 – one of the most scenic road routes in Connecticut

Route 169 Connecticut

This route has some peaceful roads through quiet villages, scenic woodlands, quaint farmsteads amid rivers, and rolling hills. You can travel through one of the last unspoiled areas in the northeastern US.

This route has everything from open spaces, forests, to rustic farmsteads. It begins at an intersection with Route 2 and Route 32 in Norwich and ends at US Route 20 in Charlton City.

9. Litchfield Hills – known as one of the most beautiful places to visit in Connecticut

Litchfield Hills

Locked in a tranquil NorthWest corner of the state, Litchfield Hills is one of the best places to visit in Connecticut to enjoy outdoor activities including hiking (try walking the Appalachian Trail), biking and water sports, and horseback riding.

Expect scenery such as pretty small towns, gorgeous waterfalls, rolling hills, charming village greens, endless farmland, and lovely bridges crossing beautiful rivers. Definitely try and visit around fall as this is when the colors here are truly gorgeous!

10. Burr Pond State Park – a beautiful recreation area which looks particularly gorgeous in the fall

Burr Pond State Park

Love swimming and gorgeous scenery? You should definitely pay a visit Burr Pond State Park. Here you can relax, go swimming or take a picnic. Also, don’t forget to hike the trails in search of the bronze tablet marking Connecticut’s role in the Civil war and the Industrial Revolution.

At this great place to visit in Connecticut, you can have fun doing various outdoor activities including boating in spring and summer, ice skating in the winter, and watching the incredible foliage during the fall!

11. Haight Brown Vineyard – Connecticut’s first winery set in 10 acres of lovely countryside

Haight Brown Vineyard

Haight Brown Vineyard is situated on ten pastoral acres and was the first fine winery of New England. You can visit this place to sample wines (they have several tasting rooms) and learn about growing grapes and wine production.

On lazy summer days, enjoy sips of wine on the downstairs terrace, and in winter sample their delicious products sitting by the fireplace. You can also find a cafe, a gift shop as well as a few lovely walking trails.

12. Saville Dam, Barkhamsted – a striking and very photogenic Connecticut beauty spot

Saville Dam

Saville Dam is a lovely and serene place to visit in Connecticut. It’s a very striking embankment dam with an almost fairytale-like turret located on the eastern branch of the Farmington River in southwestern Barkhamsted, Connecticut, and is actually one of the most photographed structures in the state.

It has some large areas to walk around and has some beautiful spots, again this is a particularly very photogenic place to visit during fall.

13. Lake Waramaug – one of the best places to explore in Connecticut

Lake Waramaug

The 656-acre Lake Waramaug is definitely one of the most beautiful places to visit and explore in Connecticut. Located across a number of areas in Connecticut, there are also a lot of outdoor activities to enjoy here including boating, swimming, camping, and picnicking.

This is also a great place to spot wildlife and many species including bears, beavers, eagles, possum and wild turkeys call this place home. If you’re thinking of staying it also has a campground that allows at least 77 tents at a time as well as a walk-in camping option as well.

14. New Haven – a charming coastal city which is home to Yale University

New Haven Connecticut

New Haven Connecticut

This coastal city is arguably most famous for being home to Ivy League Yale University which was founded in 170, but New Haven is a also great place to visit to relax and spend some quality time with your family.

First head for Lighthouse Point Park which is an 82-acre park on Long Island Sound which offers swimming, nature trails, a traditional carousel, and a bird sanctuary – kids will love this place! The park also has some sandy beach areas with rocks and shallow water as well as some lovely picnic areas.

Also, make sure you explore the beautiful Hammonasset Beach State Park and the city itself, there’s a Yale University Tour and some fun Brewery Tours and Tastings (there’s an ever-increasing craft beer scene in the city).

15. Mystic – a quintessential New England town on the waterfront

Mystic Connecticut

This is a small but very beautiful quintessential New England town with a strong maritime legacy and nautical landmarks and attractions. Visit for the wonderful atmosphere, pretty waterfront scenery, historic downtown, charming houses and quaint shops.

Must see attractions in Mystic include the Mystic River Bascule Bridge, Olde Mistick Village, the historic watercraft at the Mystic Seaport, and the restaurant which inspired the Julia Roberts film “Mystic Pizza.”

Also don’t leave without checking out the wooden anchor in Liberty Pole Square and exploring hiking trails and wildlife at the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center.

16. Devil’s Hopyard State Park – a beautiful public recreation area

Devil's Hopyard State Park

Devil’s Hopyard State Park is a perfect and stunning place to visit in Connecticut with your family or dog and here you can enjoy a picnic, hike, go cycling, spot birds, go camping, or just take in the wonderful scenery.

There are many great trails here with differing degrees of difficulty and expect bridges, streams, woodland, and mountains along the way. Although one of the area’s most famous attractions is 60-foot high Chapman Falls (pictured above).

17. Old Saybrook – the former home of Katharine Hepburn

Old Saybrook Connecticut

This is a must-see destination in Connecticut which is located only an hour and a half from New York City so also makes a great day trip.

It’s actually New England state’s oldest town and it also happens to very beautiful with a gorgeous waterfront location. It’s actually the only town in Connecticut that has a downtown located along a waterfront. The old lighthouse is a particularly scenic attraction here.

It’s an elegant and upscale place filled with a nice collection of independent and boutique shops as well as spa and wellness experiences and all this is set against a gorgeous backdrop of picturesque fields and manicured landscaping.

It’s also famous for being Katherine Hepburn’s former home (she lived on a grand 3.4-acre waterfront estate) and they opened the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center here in her honor.

18. East Haddam and Gillette Castle State Park – a historic town with a scenic location

East Haddam - places to visit in Connecticut

Gillette Castle Connecticut

This pretty historic New England town founded in the 1700s is another spot to add to your list when exploring this beautiful state.

It enjoys a picturesque position on the east bank of the Connecticut River in Middlesex County and has a number of great attractions including a charming atmosphere and a nice collection of independent shops, cafes, and restaurants.

Must-see attractions include the Goodspeed Opera House, the very interesting Gillette Castle State Park, and the Nathan Hale Bust and Schoolhouse. Gillette Castle is a wonderful stone mansion with unique decor and a medieval-style facade that once belonged to actor William Gillette.

So what are you waiting for? Pack up your bags and get out there on the road to explore some of Michigan’s most beautiful places. You may even find yourself wondering why more people don’t talk about this great state that has so much beauty, culture, and natural resources. It will be worth it!

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Ever since he was knee-high to a grasshopper Michael has always been a sucker for an adventure. Growing up he was lucky enough to live in a handful of exotic far flung locations including Hong Kong, Pakistan, Kenya and Tanzania and since then he’s continued his taste for seeking out new cultures. So much in fact he now travels the world as a trading digital nomad, exploring everything from the sizzling street markets in Bangkok to random back alleys in Sri Lanka and everything in between! He also has a special fondness for Cohibas, street food, playing carrom, and fine wine and knows his clarets from his chiantis. He counts Cuba, Amsterdam, Indonesia, Cambodia and Italy as his favourite destinations.

Source https://www.touropia.com/best-places-to-visit-in-connecticut/

Source https://www.planetware.com/connecticut/best-places-to-visit-in-connecticut-us-ct-43.htm

Source https://globalgrasshopper.com/destinations/north-america/top-15-of-the-most-beautiful-places-to-visit-in-connecticut/#:~:text=Litchfield%20Hills%20%E2%80%93%20known%20as%20one%20of%20the,Trail),%20biking%20and%20water%20sports,%20and%20horseback%20riding.

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