Despite its proximity to New York City and its fairly dense population, Connecticut retains a rural air. Its traditions include colonial villages with sweeping town greens, elegant inns and restaurants, maritime museums and lobster shacks.
On the Coast
In Mystic on Long Island Sound, visitors often flock to the Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration. The Penguin Pavilion is a crowd pleaser as are the daily dolphin and whale shows. Nearby, explore world-famous Mystic Seaport, where you can spend a day in the 19th century. Board a historic ship or visit the Amistad, topic of the Steven Spielberg movie. While in Mystic, watch the famous drawbridge open up for the tall masted yachts, then grab a bite to eat at the famous Mystic Pizza where Julia Roberts started her acting career.
Further south, see the watery world of the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, with amazing underwater creatures, touch tanks and an IMAX movie theater. Connecticut’s coastal location is a natural for maritime and marine life adventures.
In nearby Groton, the world's first nuclear-powered submarine is on display. Launched in 1954, the USS Nautilus was the first vessel to sail beneath the polar ice pack. Next door, the Submarine Force Museum traces submarine history from the Turtle to today's Trident, which is capable of carrying 24 missiles equipped with nuclear warheads.
Most people associate this city with Yale University or think of it as the place where many Broadway plays were first tried out.
The best place to get to know New Haven is a walking tour of the Green, the town square that’s surrounded by historic buildings. Next, take a look around the campus and make time to visit the university’s superior array of museums.
Before you leave New Haven, be sure to see one of the area’s many theatrical performances. For many years, the city was one of the towns where producers tried out and retooled plays before they hit Broadway.
It is said that much of what’s best about New England is outdoors, and the woods and hills of Connecticut offer ample proof. Spend time in at least one of the state’s many excellent parks and preserves. Most of them are centered on some unusual historical or natural landmark.