West Haven Beaches
West Haven Beaches are typical of the Connecticut shoreline. We are fortunate to live right on the West Shore and have the beach right across the street from us. The beaches here can get rather busy in the day but it is nice and quiet when the sun begins to fade later in the day. We are not big sun worshipers but enjoy some nice walks along the water.
Gillette Castle is like no other castle. It's built with stones and rocks inside and out. The building contains unique wood carvings including the built in desks, shelves, doors, etc. etc. Everything about Gillette Castle is unique and very interesting.
Gillette Castle sits inside the State Park, where you can camp overnight.
The owner, William Gillette, was a famous theater actor well known for his long running stage act as Sherlock Holmes. The castle displays his memorabilia as well as beautiful paintings.
Side note: William Gillette met a Japanese man (Osaki) and hired him as a cabin boy. While Osaki was an employee, they maintained a great friendship till Gillette's death. Osaki's brother was a mayor of Tokyo, who gifted cherry trees to Washington DC.
Age 13 and Over: $6
Ages 6-12: $2
Ages 5 and under: Free
Parking is free.Related to:
- Castles and Palaces
- Family Travel
The Sabino is the world's last wood-hulled, coal-powered passenger vessel. She was built in 1908 at the W. Irving Adams Shipyard in East Boothbay, Maine. Originally called the Tourist, the steamboat was used as a ferry on the Demariscotta River in Maine. The ship sank as a result of an accident in 1918, but was salvaged and sold to new owners.
The new owners rechristened the ship as the Sabino in honor of an Abenaki American Indian chief named Sabenoa. She then served as a ferry between Portland, Maine and the numerous islands in Casco Bay. Over the years, the ship changed hands several times and eventually ended up serving as a ferry on the Merrimack River in Massachusetts in 1971.
In 1975, the Sabino was leased to Mystic Seaport to determine if there would be an interest for such a steamboat among the museum's visitors. The ship was hugely popular, so Mystic Seaport ended up buying her.
Nowadays, the Sabino takes visitors on a 30-minute cruise along the Mystic River during the warmer months.
If gambling is your forte; then Foxwoods is for you. Foxwoods has six casinos filled with over 7,000 slot machines and 400 tables for different types of table games. Foxwoods also has a variety of accomodations whether you are spending the night or weekend: Grand Pequot Tower, Great Cedar Hotel, Two Trees Inn or the MGM Grand.
Foxwoods also has plenty of food options to choose from upscale dining to a buffet experience. Some of the restaurants available at Foxwoods: Paragon, David Burke Prime, Al Dente, Cedars, Burke in the Box, Veranda Cafe, Golden Dragon, Stadium Sports Bar & Grill, The Grill at Two Trees, Hard Rock Cafe, California Pizza Kitchen, Fudruckers, Panera Bread, Nathan's Ben & Jerry's, Carnegie Deli, Festival Bufet and more.
There are plenty of shops selling everingthing from Foxwoods tee shirts to a Rolex watch.So that shopper in your life can shop till they drop.
Foxwoods also offers golf, a Spa and a variety of concerts and live entertainment.
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation operates Foxwoods. Some of the tribal influence and heritage is reflected in the various statues, artwork and displays throughout the Casino and Resort.
Personally I prefer Mohegan Sun as a Casino but that is just my opinion.
Since 1861 Bishop's has been serving the local community by providing excellent quality fruit and vegetables. Bishop's Orchard is more than a farm it's also a winery, a bakery and a market. Bishop's Orchard has a great market & bakery selling fresh produce, fruit, cheeses, bread, pies, cakes, cookies, prepared foods and fresh flowers. Their winery specializes in fruit wines derived from peaches, cherries, strawberries, pears and apples. The Orchard also has pick your own fruit and visitors can pick their own: Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Peaches, Pears, Apples and Pumpkins.
Bishop's Market is the place to shop for fresh fruit, vegetables, breads, cheeses, prepared foods, meat, juices, snacks, pies, cookies, fresh flowers, plants, herbs and wine. Liz is a stickler when it comes to the best fruit and vegetables possible. The market has a good selection and everything is fresh. The market grows many of their fruit and vegetables and the rest are shipped in from various sources.
We are often in this part of Connecticut visiting friends or passing through back from a road and this is a mandatory stop.
Shopping at Clinton Crossings
Clinton Crossings has great outlet shopping. Clinton Crossings has some great stores such as: Coach, Dooney & Burke, Guess, J. Crew, Michael Kors, Gap, Bose, Calvin Klein, Brooks Brothers, Yankee Candle, Waterford, Lindt and more.
We are often here shopping on the weekends on the way home from one of our weekend getaways or from visiting friends. We have found some great bargains at the outlet and are always happy with our purchases.
**If you have an AAA Card and present it at the Visitor's Center (next to Lindt) you will receive a coupon book for the outlet stores. They can come in handy with some very big discounts.**
Vino Trail in Connecticut
Yes, Connecticut does have a wine trail. In fact, the state has two. They are the Western Trail and the Eastern Trail (original, huh?). I took the Western Trail. There was only one winery open for tasting along my chosen route. Hopkins Winery. It is set on a beautiful hillside, overlooking a lake. The tasting room is in a building that looks like a red barn. I happened to be the only taster there (what a difference from California). The winery is extremely generous with their tastings. They allow you to taste every wine on their list, which is not what you usually see in California.
I experimented. I tasted them all. Including the Peach Wine and the Apple Wine. You definitely do NOT see that in California.
Hopkins Winery also has a very nice gift shop. Two floors of gifts in fact. All in all, this was a pleasant stop on my journey from White Plains, NY to my destination in Connecticut.Related to:
- Wine Tasting
A Great way to see Mystic
See Mystic the way it should be seen - from the water. Enjoy a scenic 1½ hour tour of the harbor aboard an electric launch which is very quite and enjoyable. Travel around Mystic learning about mystic and it's founding. Mystic is very beatiful, plan a dayat the sea port and also Mystic Aquarium. Also, ask about private charters and sunset cocktail cruises.
Planes from the past
If you are in the Hartford area i would recommend stopping by the air museum..
Located in windsor locks it houses more than 75 different aircraft....
It is the largest air museum in the north east....There are many buildings and also an outdoor yard if the weather is good..
We have been there twice and love it.....
You can sit in many of the planes and get thee feel of how it was back in the day....
There is an extensive research library for looking up past information...and the most amazing thing is that all the people are Volunteers...
It is not expensive at all...it is fun for everyone...
Adults (age 12 & up) $8.00
Children Ages 6 - 11 $4.00
Children Age 5 & under free
Seniors (age 60 & up) $7.00
(prices subject to change)
The State Capitol Building
The Connecticut State Capitol Building is the third building to be used as the Connecticut capitol building. The previous buildings were in New Haven and Hartford at a time before Hartford became the capital, and when state administrative activites were carried out in both cities at the same time. The present capitol contains the Connecticut General Assembly, the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the offices of the governor and lieutenant governor.
The capitol building was designed by Richard Upjohn in the Eastlake style of architecture, which combines elements of Gothic, Classical, and Second Empire styles. Construction started in 1871 and was completed in 1878. The building was constructed of Rhode Island granite and Connecticut marble. The distinctive gold-plated dome is 257 feet (81 meters) tall.
Historical artifacts displayed on the the building's main floor include bullet-riddled flags from various wars, Lafayette's camp bed, and numerous other historical artifacts. A large statue of Nathan Hale, a hero from the American Revolution who was from Connecticut, adorns the lobby.
The State Capitol Building has been listed as a National Historic Landmark.
Always dominating a seafaring village were the tall ships that sailed the seas to provide a livelihood for the village's inhabitants.
By definition, a tall ship is square-rigged with separate topmasts and topsails, and is at least 131 feet (40 meters) in length. Tall ships were sail powered, and many yards of canvas sails were needed to catch the wind to propel these ships through the seas of the world. Some of the tall ships required 13,000 square feet (1,208 square meters) of sails. Tall ships preserved at Mystic Seaport include the Charles W. Morgan (pictured here), the Joseph Conrad, the L.A. Dunton, and the Australia.
It is possible to board these ships to see how the crewmen lived in cramped quarters for up to three years at a time. There are people on board to show visitors around and answer any questions they might have.
In addition to tall ships, the collection at Mystic Seaport includes ships and boats classified as catboat, coasting schooner, dragger, eastern rig-dragger, fishing schooner, harbor tug, ketch, lighthouse tender, Noank smack, oyster tonger, racing sailboat, sandbagger, sloop, water shuttle, water taxi, and yacht.
The "Joseph Conrad"
The Joseph Conrad is another of the many tall ships docked at Mystic Seaport. She is a steel-hulled square-rigger that over her lifetime served as a Danish training ship, a private yacht, an American training ship, and now a museum.
The ship was built in Denmark in 1882, and was originally christened the Georg Stage. The 123-foot (37-meter) ship could accommodate a crew of 80. She was used to train Danish sailors up until 1934. The Danes then planned on scrapping her.
However, in 1934 the ship was saved from scrapping when she was purchased by Alan Villiers, an Australian sailor and author. He rechristened her the Joseph Conrad in honor of the famous author whose stories mainly concerned sailing and the sea. Between 1934 and 1936, Alan Villiers circumnavigated the globe in the Joseph Conrad, sailing her 57,000 miles (91,733 kilometers) from Ipswich, England across the Atlantic Ocean to New York City, then around the globe and back to New York City. However, the trip bankrupted him, so he was forced to sell the ship.
The ship was bought by an American businessman who used her as a private yacht up until 1939. She was then acquired by the Maritime Commission to be used as a training vessel up until 1945. In 1947, the Joseph Conrad was transferred to Mystic Seaport, where she was repaired and converted to a museum. In addition, the ship now hosts a summer school for young sailors.
The "Charles W. Morgan"
The Charles W. Morgan is just one of the many tall ships in Mystic Seaport. She is the world's oldest surviving merchant vessel, and the only surviving wooden ship from the American whaling fleet of the 1800s.
The Charles W. Morgan is 113 feet (34 meters) long, and was built in 1841 by Jethro and Zachariah Hillman of New Bedford, Massachusetts. She was named after her original owner, a Quaker whaling merchant. During her 80 years of service, the ship went on 37 voyages, the shortest of which lasted nine months and the longest of which lasted five years.
In 1924, the ship caught fire and was almost destroyed. After being restored, she sat in retirement until 1941, at which time she was transferred to Mystic Seaport.
The Charles W. Morgan has been designated a National Historic Landmark, and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Ship Chandlery
The Ship Chandlery was a retail and wholesale shop which supplied vessels and individual seamen with their sailing needs. The chandler was a specialist in meeting the needs of the whaling, shipping, fishing, or ship-building industries.
The ship's agent was responsible for purchasing and managing the supplies and equipment that would be necessary for a long voyage. He was also charged with the hiring of the crew and officers for each voyage, repairs, freight, and towage. The chandlery was where the ship's agent bought supplies for voyages, including foodstuffs and equipment for the operation of the ship.
The chandlery supplied imperishable foods for long voyages, such as salted fish and meat, hardtack, molasses, potatoes, onions and other winter vegetables, spices, and flour.
A ship's agent could also stock up on supplies for his ship. The chandlery offered navigational instruments, lanterns, buoys, ropes, logs, and inkstands. Repair items such as needles, beeswax, canvas, paints, oils, and other marine hardware were also available at the chandlery.
And individual seamen could stock up on personal supplies at the chandlery, which sold clothing, boots, blankets, rum, and tobacco.
The George H. Stone General Store
The building that houses the George H. Stone General Store located on the grounds of Mystic Seaport never served as a general store. Instead, it was built in 1850 as a private residence in Pawcatuck, Connecticut. It was donated to Mystic Seaport in 1954.
The store's collection of historic items was donated to Mystic Seaport by George H. Stone, a retired merchant from nearby North Stonington. He personally selected the items to be placed in the store, and stocked the shelves himself.
The George H. Stone General Store displays goods that people would need in a nineteenth-century whaling village. There are antique tins that once contained food items, flour, tobacco, and other perishables; dry goods; and apothecary items. There are many household items such as candles, lanterns, and other useful things. The storekeepers are available to explain the items in the store, and answer questions about daily life 150 years ago.
1157 Chapel Street, (Hotel Currently Under Renovation), New Haven, Connecticut, 06511, United States
Good for: Families
This was a simple one night stay during a roadtrip and I needed an additional Hyatt stay as well....more
2049 Norwich New London Turnpike, Uncasville, Connecticut, 06382, United States
Good for: Solo
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