The smaller state of Connecticut can be found in the Northeastern United States and is considered to be part of the cluster of states that makes up New England. It has cold and snowy winters and warm and humid summers. It is a small state, and its landscape has trees, grass-covered fields, rivers and rolling hills along with gentle mountains that can be seen. Are you passing through or stopping for vacation? Add these top things to do in Connecticut while you’re there.
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The Mystic Seaport
The Mystic Seaport is a Maritime museum, complete with buildings, its little port, and even ships! The open-air museum has exceptional exhibits that offer vintage photographs, restored ships, carvings and much more. Annual events are held here, like the Lantern Light Tours, or the marine engines show. How would you like to climb aboard the last wooden whaleship in the world? The ship named the Charles W. Morgan calls the Mystic Seaport its final home. As an active whaling ship for over 80 years, the ship has sailed the high seas and survived many storms. After restoration efforts, the ship lives on and is now an exhibit for all to admire as they climb aboard her decks. Take a boat cruise out on the water, visit the planetarium, or see a demonstration of how to correctly set sails on the ship or how they rescued sailors from a damaged ship. There is a lot to do and see, and you may need more than one day to experience it all!
Yale University Art Gallery
The gallery is known for its extensive and impressive collection of art and displays. Guided tours are available and recommended to capture some information while you see everything. You will find modern, classics, Asian, African art and so much more here! If you are interested in a particular era or artist, you will most likely find a piece of what you are looking for here. The lectures are encouraged as well to learn more about the building itself and the pieces on exhibit. The museum is large, and there is a lot to see, and visitors highly recommend it.
Mark Twain House and Museum
Mark Twain fans will be delighted to know that his house (and now a museum) resides in the lovely state of Connecticut. The tours are excellent, and the guides are knowledgeable and will tell stories of Mark Twain’s life. The impressive Victorian house is rather large and beautifully crafted. Many of the original details have been preserved; allowing Mark Twain’s personality and his story come to life through them. There is a gift shop with some great books and artwork for your visit too. The house and museum are fascinating and may take several visits to hear and see all there is to offer.
Gillette Castle State Park
The Gillette Castle was built by the actor William Gillette, who played Sherlock Holmes on stage in the early 1900s. His fame and fortune as the face of Sherlock Holmes enabled him to build this magnificent stone castle. It has stunning architecture, beautiful grounds, and some fantastic views. There are nicely maintained walking trails through the grounds and make sure to check out all the exciting doors and locks in the castle. William used to spy on his guests to see who was worthy of further conversation efforts from one of the balconies and viewing areas in the interesting building. Take one of the tours to learn all the interesting facts, secrets and fantastic history of the castle and William himself. Enjoy this magical castle which was well ahead of its time and discover the intriguing stories and hidden treasures.
Submarine Force Museum
Enjoy this fantastic and free museum that has been raved about in Connecticut. Kids as well as adults all love this place and find it interesting. Board a real-life submarine and explore the vessel and visit the museum to see all the displays and exhibits available to the public. See how sailors and Navy officers lived and worked aboard the submarine for months at a time. Take a tour of the submarine and learn the facts and interesting history as well as the operation of such a vessel. This submarine is staffed and managed by the U.S. Navy and is a fascinating and must-see stop in Connecticut.
Yale University is known as one of the elites of the Ivy League colleges in the United States. Free tours are given by students where you can see the impressive architecture of the old buildings as well as learn the history and astounding wealth of a school that has been in existence since 1701. The tour and visit to Yale are excellent opportunities for photographers, both amateur and professional to see the towering buildings full of master craftsmanship and intricate details. Pay special attention to the arches, doors, gates, and windows throughout the buildings and area, as they are perfect photo opportunities. The main library has a cathedral-like appearance and is a favorite of most visitors. The tours are informative, interesting and not boring! Stop by and see one of the most famous colleges in the U.S.
Are you ready to touch a jellyfish or a stingray? The Maritime Aquarium in Connecticut is the perfect outing for families, especially kids. The Stepping Stones Children’s Museum is only a few minutes away, and the combination of the two places make for a great family day. Stick your hand in the jellyfish or stingray touch pools to see what they feel like. Try the Seal Boat Cruise where you go out on the water to look for seals! The IMAX Theater is a great addition and makes you feel like you are there. The exhibits and displays are lovely placed, so it doesn’t get too cramped, and there is also a gift shop for souvenirs for the family. This is a great place to experience marine life in the area.
If you’re looking for a relaxing day, the Thimble Islands have what you are looking for. There are excellent restaurants, hiking trails, scenic views, a boat ride around the islands and cute shops are all waiting for visitors to experience. Located off of the Connecticut shoreline, the Thimble Islands are a gem of the state. Take a guided kayak trip and enjoy the sun in the warmer months. The islands are beautiful and pay tribute the states extensive Maritime history.
Small but Mighty
Although small, Connecticut has fascinating Maritime things to do and see, as well as a tribute and historical gems to Mark Twain and William Gillette among others. Visitors say that these top things to do in Connecticut are all quite fascinating and that they were pleasantly surprised by all the things they did and saw. Are you ready to explore the state?