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Connecticut Travel Guide

From suburbs of New York City to historic towns, beautiful rolling countryside, quiet lakes and beaches, vineyards and wineries, even flashy casinos, Connecticut has a lot of variety.

Ship Charles W Morgan at Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, Connecticut
Kids inspect the whaling ship
Charles W Morgan (1841) at Mystic Seaport Museum.

The Connecticut Shoreline bordering Long Island Sound has everything from booming industrial cities to pristine colonial villages. Southwestern Connecticut is heavily influenced by giant New York City, while Northwestern Connecticut is really part of the Berkshire Hills. Pretty towns along the mighty Connecticut River are steeped in history and culture.

Connecticut Highlights

Mystic Seaport is Connecticut's outstanding "living" museum of 19th-century New England maritime life.

Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic CT
Old-time horse-and-carriage ride at Mystic Seaport Museum

Yale University in New Haven has outstanding museums, including the Center for British Art, the University Art Gallery, and the Peabody Museum of Natural History

Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum has a fine collection of over 60,000 works of art

Nook Farm, in Hartford, was home to Mark Twain, who wrote Tom Sawyer here, and also to Harriet Beecher Stowe

Goodspeed Opera House right on the Connecticut River in East Haddam is a Victorian gem mounting performances of American musical theater

Connecticut has over a dozen vineyards and wineries producing good to excellent vintages, and offering free wine tasting

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun near Ledyard, in southeastern Connecticut, offer elaborate gambling casino-resorts

Rural western Connecticut has beautiful lakes for swimming, inns either cozy or elaborate, and several good local wineries.

Here's information on transportation in Connecticut.

Connecticut Shoreline

Connecticut's 618 miles (995 km) of convoluted coastline stretch from the suburbs of New York City in the west to the quaint village of Stonington on the Rhode Island border to the east.

Harkness Tower, Yale University, New Haven CT
Harkness Tower, Yale University, New Haven CT

Along the way, it includes New Haven, home of Yale University; pretty and peaceful Guilford, founded in 1639; Old Lyme, Essex and other fine old towns at the mouth of the Connecticut River; New London & Groton, submarine capital of the world; Mystic Seaport, the re-creation of an old Connecticut maritime village and, nearby, some of Connecticut's best beaches and several vineyards; and Stonington, once a shipbuilding town, now noted for its beauty and charm. More...

Connecticut River Valley

Connecticut River at Essex CT
The mighty Connecticut River near where it flows into Long Island Sound.

The mighty, 410-mile (660-km)-long Connecticut River flowing from Qu├ębec, Canada, to Long Island Sound, is dotted with beautiful, historic towns: Old Saybrook and Old Lyme at the river's mouth; Essex and Ivoryton just to the north; farther north, Chester ith its historic ferry, and East Haddam with its Goodspeed Opera House; and Hartford, Connecticut's capital city.

Hartford & Vicinity

Connecticut's capital, straddling the Connecticut River 45 miles (72 km) north of the Connecticut Shoreline, is marked by tall insurance-company skyscrapers, and famous for its Connecticut historic sites, its Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, and for Nook Farm, home of Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Nearby Wethersfield is a pretty historic town. More...

Western Connecticut

Lake Waramaug, Northwestern Connecticut
Lake Waramaug, Northwestern Connecticut

Perfect for a leisurely scenic drive, Western Connecticut's historic towns of Litchfield and Salisbury, and pretty Lake Waramaug, are great places to go on a day-trip. You can even sto at a vineyard for a tour and tasting. More...

The Casinos

Southeastern Connecticut's gleaming gambling meccas of Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun stand in stark contrast to the old-fashioned charm of seaside Stonington, but if it's action and entertainment you want, this is the place. More...

Connecticut History

The Constitution State (so called because Connecticut was the first American colony to have a written constitution) is sprinkled liberally with lakes, rivers, and streams.

The state's namesake is the mighty Connecticut River, which springs from the Connecticut Lakes in northern New Hampshire, flows southward forming the boundary between New Hampshire and Vermont, cuts through Massachusetts and Connecticut, finally to empty into Long Island Sound.

The great river is navigable as far north as Hartford, a significant fact that was not lost on the region's Native American inhabitants. They were the ones who gave it the name Quinnehtukqut, "the long tidal river."

Almost three-quarters of the territory in Connecticut is woodland, and drives along the back roads through these forests reveal rich fields of corn, grain, vegetables, and tobacco. But the state's wealth comes not from agriculture, or from tourism, but rather from insurance and manufacturing.

In the old days the state's production of buttons, pins, doo-dads, and kitchenwares gave rise to the breed of men known as Yankee peddlers, who traveled from town to town in horse and buggy, spreading the products of Connecticut's industry far and wide. Later Connecticut Yankees such as Charles Goodyear, Eli Whitney, Seth Thomas, and Mr. Fuller (of Fuller Brush fame) pave the way for today's Connecticut products: helicopters, submarines, insurance, firearms and high-tech.

Hotel Map with Prices

Use this handy Hotel Map with Prices to find Connecticut hotels: