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Connecticut's Top Attractions
Connecticut’s Top Attractions
The most southern of the New England states, Connecticut is easily accessible from both New York and Boston and offers a charming New England feel with a cosmopolitan style. From rafting down the Farmington River to kayaking through the Thimble Islands to following the Connecticut Wine Council Trail and enjoying coastal cuisine, Connecticut provides endless options for unforgettable holidays.
Celebrate your holiday by the Connecticut Shoreline
The shoreline has all your vacation necessities in one spot. Beautiful beaches, luxurious resorts, a variety of boutique shops, rentals and fantastic seafood make these quaint towns a must-see holiday destination, including places like Milford, Guilford, Essex, Mystic and more.
Discover, invent and learn at the Connecticut Science Center
Located in Hartford, this world-class destination provides educational and entertaining experience for families from around the globe. New exhibits like MathAlive! help kids uncover the math behind video games, sports, robotics and more, with fun and engaging hands-on activities.
Cash in at Connecticut’s Casinos
Whether its Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods Resort Casino or MGM Grand at Foxwoods, Connecticut’s casinos represent two of the largest casino destinations in the world – from gambling and 24/7 top entertainers, boutique shopping, fine dining, signature spas and golf facilities.
Splish, splash and scream at Lake Compounce in Bristol
Lake Compounce is America’s oldest and longest-running theme park. The park features more than 50 rides and attractions, including the Splash Harbor Water Park, Zoomer’s Gas n’Go antique car ride and Boulder Dash, voted the number one wooden roller coaster in the world. In 2012, Lake Compounce debuted Riptide Racer, a unique racing waterslide that pits up to four riders in a side by side, plunging race to a twisting, screaming finale.
Lake Compounce is always offering visitors something new and this year they’ve expanded to include a Bayou-themed wave pool over twice the size of its predecessor.
Sip, swirl and relax along the Connecticut Wine Trail
The Connecticut Wine Trail is a group of 25 charming vineyards divided into western and eastern sections. Connecticut produced wines have won hundreds of awards and medals and include varieties such Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Vineyards of note include Sunset Meadow Vineyards, which offers year- round wine tasting, and Haight-Brown Vineyard, where you can sample delicious artisan cheeses and other foods with your wine at HB Café. For those of you who prefer drinks of the hoppier variety, check out Thomas Hooker Brewery in Bloomfield, where you can tour the factory and sample 11 unique beers. The brewery is currently in the process of planning a huge new headquarters, outdoor beer garden, restaurant and more.
Immerse yourself in an artist’s world at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme
Old Lyme was the home of American Impressionism at the turn of the 20th century, largely thanks to Florence Griswold, “keeper of the artist colony.” Florence opened her home to a group of artists in the early 1900s and today the inspirational grounds and gardens are open to all.
Reflect at The Philip Johnson’s Glass House
Connecticut, specifically the town of New Canaan, is one of the largest centers of Modern residential design in the United States and the famous Glass House, created by American architect Philip Johnson, is one of the most significant structures of the 20th century. An object of fascination for decades, the rectangular house was built in 1949 out of quarter- inch-thick glass and without interior walls. Absent of curtains or blinds, the property’s 47 acres of trees and landscaping are the house’s only source of privacy.
Go wild at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2012. Situated on 52 lush acres in historic Beardsley Park, the Zoo features 300 individual animals representing nearly 100 species native to primarily North and South America.
Marvel at the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford
The 1874 Mark Twain House in Hartford was the author’s residence for 17 years and is where he penned some of his most famous works including “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” Twain’s Gilded Age mansion is a must see for its exotic Louis Comfort Tiffany designed interiors.
Have a whale of a time in Mystic
Mystic is filled with family attractions and lets kids of all ages have fun. Mystic Aquarium, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, is the place to discover whales, penguins, sea lions and other marine animals. Additionally, the aquarium also recently debuted its multimillion-dollar Titanic - 12,450 Feet Below exhibit, which takes guests on a journey to new depths of discovery through the eyes of the team that found Titanic.
Mystic Seaport brings visitors back to the 19th century with guided tours of waterfront tall ships and Civil War reenactments. The Seaport’s Charles W. Morgan, the last remaining wooden whaleship in the world, is undergoing extensive restorations this year, and ship- lovers can plan to watch it cast off once again by next year.
Enjoy active adventures at Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park in Portland and Power Ridge Park in Middletown
Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park is Connecticut’s first outdoor adventure park. Guests can experience activities from rock climbing, wakeboarding, cliff jumping and zip lining to scuba diving, snorkeling and more.
This winter, the founders of Brownstone are introducing a new adventure, a year-round mountain adventure sports park, on the site of the former Powder Ridge ski area. The new Powder Ridge Mountain Park and Resort, will be located in Middletown, and builds off Brownstone’s success of catering to the entire family offering activities for the extreme adventurer to the casual observer.
Stroll through the Yale University in New Haven
Art lovers will be enthralled while touring Yale University Art Gallery (including paintings by Manet, Picasso, Monet and van Gogh) and exploring the city of New Haven, known as one of the most groundbreaking cities for architecture and design in the United States. The gallery’s expansion and renovation, 14 years in the making, unites the 1953 museum building by Louis Kahn, the 1928 Old Yale Art Gallery and the 1866 Street Hall into a single treasure chest.
Watch history come alive at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum in Mystic Country
The largest Native American museum in the world, this state-of the-art museum boasts life- size exhibits, dramatic films and touch-screen computer programs that put the excitement of the past right at your fingertips.
Touch a shark at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk
In 2012, the Aquarium opened a $4.5 million renovation, which has transformed the visitors experience by adding 21 new exhibits and interpretative elements to include a “Touch a Shark”, as well as an all new seal show, 27 new species and more than 300 new animals.
Take in a show at one of Connecticut’s Award-winning Theaters
Enjoy a concert at Infinity Music Hall & Bistro in Norfolk, an intimate music, dining and entertainment destination. The newly renovated, historic building contains its original proscenium stage and wood, as well as many other notable details and features award- winning shows. The theatre is also opening a second 600 seat concert venue in Hartford that is slated to open at the end of 2013, beginning of 2014. Or head to Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam from April through December to enjoy originally produced musicals (since 1877). Nineteen Goodspeed productions have transferred to Broadway, receiving more than a dozen Tony Awards.
About still revolutionary
In 2012, Connecticut created and launched a new state brand, still revolutionary, after having been out of the market for two years. The brand, still revolutionary, communicates and proudly celebrates Connecticut’s spirit of independence and innovation that motivates people to experience new things, defy convention and blaze their own trails. The state’s state-of-the-art museums, world-class theaters and award-winning restaurants, combined with the unique historic landmarks showcase why Connecticut is every bit as revolutionary today as it was when the state was founded.
About The Connecticut Office of Tourism
Connecticut’s Office of Tourism (COT), a division of the Department of Economic and Community Development, created the award-winning still revolutionary strategic marketing initiative to build pride among residents and bolster the state’s reputation as a business and tourism destination. Located in New England, the Northeast part of the United States, and easily accessible from both New York and Boston, Connecticut is home to fine dining and entertainment, serene beaches and hiking trails, historic treasures and world class lodging and museums. To obtain more information about Connecticut tourism or plan your next getaway, visit www.CTvisit.com, call 1-888-CTvisit or 001 (860) 270-8080.
Rena Calcaterra, Tourism Division
Connecticut Office of Tourism
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