10 Reasons to Make Connecticut Your First Stop in New England Last Updated: November 2023
Connecticut is located halfway between Boston and New York City. That’s what makes it such an easy place to visit. But what really makes Connecticut an amazing destination is how much you can do in this compact state — all year round! From hiking to sailing, cross-country skiing to designer outlet shopping, riding a roller coaster to being a high roller at the casino, there is so much to do in Connecticut, you won’t know what to experience first.
10. Get into Yale.
A prestigious educational institution since 1701, New Haven’s Yale University is home to art galleries, music venues, a natural history museum, and even a rare book library. Today, you can take a campus tour or just relax on the green and watch students and visitors from all over the world explore this fascinating campus. Please note that during COVID-19, the university visitor center is closed, as well as a few Yale attractions. We recommend adding them to your bucket list for future travel!
9. Discover Natural Beauty.
Connecticut’s fall foliage (leaf peeping) season is often considered the longest in New England. It’s the perfect time of year to take a scenic drive (or a hike, or a bike ride) and marvel at the colorful trees — or even join the locals in pumpkin hunting, apple picking or getting lost in a maze of corn! Here are a few of Connecticut’s best known foliage viewing spots, along with a list of great fall experiences in Connecticut!
8. Play at the Casino.
Stay, play and dine at world-class casino destinations in Connecticut. Mohegan Sun in Uncasville is a premier entertainment destination, offering hotels, restaurants, entertainment, golf, spas, nightlife, shopping and much more. Not far down the road in Mashantucket, you’ll find all of this and outlet shopping too, at the remarkable Foxwoods Resort & Casino.
7. Love Lobster!
New England is known for its lobster shacks — and Connecticut has dozens of them! All summer long, you can enjoy oysters, clams and other seafood favorites, like an authentic lobster roll sandwich, which was invented right here in Connecticut! Check out a few of Connecticut’s best lobster restaurants here.
6. Visit a Lighthouse.
Lighthouses are a staple in New England. You'll find them up and down the coast of the northeastern United States. And Connecticut is home to dozens of lighthouses you can get closer to, whether you travel by sea or by land!
5. Travel Back in Time.
American history is alive in Connecticut’s small towns, whether it’s the 1700s War for Independence or more recent nautical history in the ports of New London and Mystic. But Connecticut history goes back even further, with museums dedicated to the first native American settlers (and even dinosaurs!)
4. Find Romance at a Bed & Breakfast.
Stay in a charming and historic bed & breakfast or a country inn in one of Connecticut’s scenic small towns and villages—perfectly cozy no matter what time of year you visit.
3. Bring the Kids.
Connecticut is filled with activities and attractions to please everyone in the family, from amusement parks to aquariums, “pick-your-own” farms to far-out science centers. Here are just a few ideas to keep the younger family members really happy.
2. Shop ‘Til You Drop.
Whether you like to stroll the shops and boutiques of a quaint downtown or search for great deals on designer brands at an outlet center, Connecticut is home to all kinds of shopping.
1. Get Here (and Everywhere Else) Faster!
Flying in? Skip the traffic and hassles of New York or Boston airports. Get in, get your rental car and get on your way faster in Connecticut! Be sure to book your flight to Bradley International Airport, outside of Hartford, the state capital. Here is more information about traveling around Connecticut.