Fun things to do in Connecticut

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    Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides

    by traveldave Updated Nov 20, 2010

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    Although the exhibits at Mystic Seaport are all within easy walking distance, it does take time to see it all, and some visitors could get tired. A fun and relaxing way to get around Mystic Seaport is to take a horse-drawn carriage ride.

    Rides are offered during the warmer months from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and take guests through the museum's nineteenth-century whaling village. Lantern light carriage tours are also offered in the winter. They take visitors through the village on a one-hour moving performance that recreates many dramatic events from the village's history and condenses them all into one fictitious Christmas Eve in 1876.

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    The Greenmanville Church

    by traveldave Updated Nov 20, 2010

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    The Greenmanville Church served as a place of worship for the large Seventh-Day Baptist community that lived in Mystic during the town's shipbuilding heyday in the 1850s. It was also used as a meeting house for village meetings and gatherings.

    The church was constructed in 1851 on a site which was near the present-day entrance to Mystic Seaport. Funding was provided by two shipbuilding families, the Greenmans and the Fishes.

    Mystic's shipbuilding industry declined during the 1870s and 1880s, as did the church's congregation. The church closed in 1904 for a lack of parishioners, and was subsequently used over the years as a residence and for apartments.

    The church was bought by Mystic Seaport in 1955, moved to its current location, and fully restored. The restoration process included the addition of the tower clock in the church's steeple. The clock was not part of the original church, but was donated by Yale University, where it had been part of the Old South Sheffield Hall on the university's campus. It was built in 1857 by the Howard Clock Company of Waltham, Massachusetts.

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    The Mystic Lighthouse

    by traveldave Updated Nov 20, 2010

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    The Mystic Lighthouse was built in 1966, and is actually a replica of the Brant Point Lighthouse located in Nantucket, Massachusetts that was built in 1900. Both the original lighthouse and its copy at Mystic Seaport are the lowest in New England, the light being only 26 feet (eight meters) above the level of the sea.

    Although the Mystic Lighthouse is a replica, it does have a genuine fourth-order Fresnel lens in its lantern room that is on loan from the Coast Guard. Its 1300-candlepower electric light can be seen for ten miles (16 kilometers) out to sea. The Fresnel lens was developed in France in the 1830s, and was a significant development in lighthouse design.

    The interior of the Mystic Lighthouse was closed to the public until 2008. However, in that year, an exhibit called "The Sentinels of the Sea" opened, and recounts the history of lighthouses in the United States with two short films, The Heyday of Lighthouses and How to Look at Lighthouses.

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    The Travelers Tower

    by traveldave Updated Nov 20, 2010

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    The 528-foot (161-meter), 34-story Travelers Tower was constructed in 1919, and stood for many years as the tallest building in New England. It is the headquarters of the Travelers Insurance Company, the first casualty insurance company in North America.

    The building was designed by architect Donn Barber, who also designed the Connecticut State Library, the Supreme Court Building, and the Hartford Times Building.

    Nowadays, visitors can arrange to go to an observation deck on the 27th floor for a panoramic view over the Hartford area. However, after the elevator reaches that floor, there are still 100 stairs to climb in order to reach the observation area.

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    Mystic Seaport

    by traveldave Updated Oct 28, 2010

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    Mystic Seaport is the nation's most important maritime museum, and has the largest collection of historic vessels, artifacts, and nautical art in the world. There are three major components of the museum, including a re-created nineteenth-century coastal fishing village with tall ships, a working shipyard in which historic vessels are repaired and preserved, and formal exhibit galleries. Mystic Seaport is situated in 19 acres (eight hectares) of land in the village of Mystic, on the banks on the Mystic River.

    The museum was founded as the Maritime Historical Association in 1929 by Charles Stillman, Edward Bradley, and Carl Cutler. The museum gained importance in 1941 when it acquired the Charles W. Morgan, the only remaining wooden whaling ship in the world. Nowadays, the museum has a collection of 60 historical vessels, including four which have been listed as National Historic Landmarks. These are the Charles W. Morgan, the Emma C. Berry, the Sabino, and the L.A. Dunton.

    The nineteenth-century fishing village features 60 buildings which were transported to the site and restored. Any trade or business associated with a nineteenth-century seaport and the operation of a sailing fleet is represented here. Visitors can explore the tall ships docked on the village's waterfront, as well as the village's general store, church, bank, printing office, tavern, chandlery, sail loft, cooperage, the office of a shipping agent, and lighthouse. Each exhibit is designed to replicate the original activity that took place in each establishment, and to display the objects sold or used in each of those establishments. Volunteers in period costumes reinact activities that were a part of everyday life in a seaport, and are available to answer questions. Chanteymen wander around the docks singing old seafarers' songs.

    The museum's Preservation Shipyard employs craftsmen who use traditional tools and techniques to repair and preserve the museum's collection of ships, as well as any other historic vessel that might need work.

    In addition to being an important maritime museum, Mystic Seaport also supports educational programs. It runs the Frank C. Manson Institute of American Maritime Studies, a graduate-level academic program established in 1955. It also hosts the Williams-Mystic undergraduate program in maritime studies. And finally, there is a sailing school which teaches young people the fundamentals of sailing.

    Two restaurants specialize in New England cooking, including seafood and New England clam chowder. And visitors can purchase books and an assortment of souvenirs of Mystic Seaport in the well-stocked gift shop.

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    Yale Center for British Art

    by shawnT Written Feb 26, 2009

    Very nice museum ! it's right in the heart of Yale campus. This is the largest collection of British art outside of the UK. Go for a docent tour or on Wed.'s they have free chamber music concerts at noon. It such a treat !

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Music
    • Museum Visits

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    What a romantic place !

    by floche2001 Updated Jul 31, 2008

    if you have the chance of visiting Connecticut, you have for sure to head towars Mystic.
    I had the chance of visiting it at the "indian automn" like Joe Dassin would sing it.

    The place is so quiet. You need to taste the local lobsters and for sure visit the Mystic Seaport Museum. Visitors have here the opportunity to go back in the past, discover the old sea ships & the life of that times. A must, for sure !

    The main gate

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    For you powder hounds

    by karenincalifornia Updated Apr 3, 2008

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    Yes, one could ski in Connecticut, but I don't think you'll be getting a nosebleed. This is Mohawk Mountain, near Cornwall, CT. Top elevation is 3,000 feet. Lest you think there are no difficult runs here, some of these runs you are looking at are rated as black diamond runs. Which just goes to show the rating system is all relative. In the west, this would be a bunny hill (even the so-called "black diamond runs"). But if I lived in Connecticut, I'm sure I'd be here in the winter. Skiing on a bunny hill is a bit better than not skiing at all.

    It costs $49 to ski here all day!!! Oh, you poor Connecticut folks!

    Mohawk Mountain, Connecticut
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    • Skiing and Boarding

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    Mystic Seaport....the museum village

    by Pawtuxet Updated Jan 30, 2008

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    The Mystic Seaport Museum village is a great adventure for kids and adults. You can easily spend a day exploring the buildings and old fashioned shops... like the one where they used to make barrels. I've created an entire page on the village....hope you'll click in.
    Mystic Seaport

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Family Travel

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    Westport

    by ZiOOlek Written Oct 7, 2007

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    I visited Westport when going for dinner. I had a walk and in fact there are not many interesitng places and the town is small enough to be seen during 2 - 3 hours.;) I like the most the area of the cost.

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    Milford

    by ZiOOlek Written Oct 6, 2007

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    "The sixth oldest town in Connecticut, 50,000 residents are proud to boast of a meticulously maintained "town green", the second longest in New England".

    It is a nice place to stop on the way and admire the beauty, not only the historic sites but olso nature.

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    • Historical Travel

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    Fairfield

    by ZiOOlek Written Oct 4, 2007

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    Fairfield is a small town. It is situated along the Gold Coast of Connecticut. You may enjoy not only the town but also the sandy beach.

    In July 2006, Money Magazine ranked Fairfield the ninth "best place to live" in the United States, and the best place to live in the Northeast. Surprised? :)

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    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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    Stopover at Yale University, New Haven

    by SLLiew Written Sep 12, 2007

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    If you are driving on I-95 between New York City and Boston, recommend a pit stop at New Haven.

    You can drive around the beautiful Yale campus with Gothic, Georgian and modern architecture resembling UK Cambridge and Oxford Univeristies.

    Park and walkabout too and check out the many art and dinosaur museums. Take a bit a the many popular Italian pizza parlors.

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    Support Volunteer Firefighters with Lobster

    by Kristin Written Jan 29, 2007

    The Canton Volunteer Fire Department sponsors a Lobster Festival every August to raise funds for the Department. For $17, you can stuff yourself with a fresh, whole lobster, delicious clam chowder, half an ear of corn on the cob and a cup of beer. Seconds of anything are available for a nominal price. There is generally good live music on the weekends. If you're in the area around this time, it's hard to find a better meal deal - and you're gorging for a good cause!

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    Spend your Labor Day at the Goshen Fair

    by Kristin Written Jan 29, 2007

    The Goshen Agricultural Fair is an annual event that takes place every Labor Day. As Northwestern Connecticut is mostly a rural area, this is a chance for local agrarians to get together and showcase their wares, from livestock to homemade crafts, farm equipment to freshly grown fruits and vegetables. The Fair is an endless source of entertainment for children and adults. You can walk around the livestock barns, admiring the cows, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, and so on. Freshly made milkshakes are available, made with milk straight from the cow. There are carnival rides and games, pony rides to be had, and scores of food booths available. Each day has a series of events, from tractor pulls to lasso contests.

    Make sure you stop at the fried dough booth and get some fried dough with sauce on it. I have searched high and low, and the Goshen Fair is the only place I have found where you can eat fried dough in this way - it's much better than with powdered sugar!

    Inside the cow barn Fried dough with sauce
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Festivals

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Connecticut Hotels

See all 482 Hotels in Connecticut
  • Colony New Haven

    1157 Chapel Street, (Hotel Currently Under Renovation), New Haven, Connecticut, 06511, United States

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Families

  • Hyatt Place Hotel Mystic

    This was a simple one night stay during a roadtrip and I needed an additional Hyatt stay as well....

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  • Mohegan Sun Hotel

    Mohegan Sun suites do not dissapoint. Large living room, dining room, bathroom and a bedroom. I...

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Connecticut Things to Do

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