While Connecticut might be one of the smallest states in America, what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in character, scenery and attitude. It’s often been described as New York’s younger brother. However, what sets it apart from New York City is the lush, rolling countryside, the sun-bleached beaches of the south coast, and the dainty villages in northwest New England. A Connecticut vacation will introduce you to the ‘Nutmeg State’, an ideal destination at any time of year.
With plenty of fun-filled attractions and secluded, romantic things to see and do, vacations in Connecticut are perfect for both families and couples. If you’re vacationing with children, be sure to spend some time one America’s oldest family theme parks, Lake Compounce. Packed with rides and slides for children of all ages (and grown-ups who ought to know better!), there are some excellent hotels nearby, so you can stay in comfort and spread the thrills over a few days. If you’re stealing some time away with your loved one, few destinations compare with New England in the fall. With Long Island Sound offering sea breezes, spectacular sunsets and the lazy meanders of the Connecticut River, it’s ideal for leisurely dinners and hand-in-hand moonlit strolls.
If you want to combine family attractions with the charm of village life, put Mystic at the top of your list. In addition to some superb restaurants and shops, it’s also home to the Mystic Aquarium. Here, you’ll find the only Beluga Whales in New England, alongside other fascinating marine creatures, including Steller sea lions, African penguins, and a tank of rays, which you can stroke and tickle.
With 19th Century Gothic Revival architecture creating a unique skyline, New Haven is a fantastic place in which to lose yourself. Yale University is an attraction well worth seeing, sporting a superb art gallery and built in an asymmetric patchwork of different types of stone and styles of masonry. A visit to the nearby Long Wharf Theater makes a special night out, especially if you’re here with your better half!
To see New England at its panoramic best, head to the Litchfield Hills. The Appalachian Trail is superb for walkers, or you can drive through rich farmland and tumbling hills. You’ll find glittering waterfalls, secluded villages, and there’s even the chance to go wine tasting. All of this comes together to make Connecticut package vacations perfect for those who want their downtime to be tranquil and relaxing.
One of the most popular places for a Connecticut vacation, Hammonasset Beach State Park offers much more than powder-soft sands and warm, blue waters. If you can tear yourself away from the beach, you’ll find the beach state park also acts as home to the Meigs Point Nature Center. In addition to turtle, snake and aquatic animal presentations, children and visitors can get involved in a variety of activities, such as the Hammonasset Safari.
Connecticut is best visited in the fall, when the heat of summer drops to more a more comfortable level. You can still expect good sightseeing conditions, with the temperatures averaging between the low 60s and mid-70s°F. It’s also the best time of year for the state to show off its scenery, as the trees slowly turn from green to gold. July and August are still popular but expect crowds wherever you go.
Sandwiched between Boston and New York, Connecticut is well served by an extensive network of highways, making it perfect car country. However, if you want to leave your wheels at home, there is a good train service, mainly running along the south coast. For trips to the state’s many ports, you’ll find that there are plenty of ferry services available. There are buses operating in most towns and cities, allowing you to explore local attractions quickly and conveniently.