Savor the Best of Fall in Connecticut with These Leaf “Pairings” Last Updated: August 2020

You’ve heard of wine pairings, well, in Connecticut, we’ve got a few “leaf pairings” for you— tips on experiencing the dramatic and diverse foliage of a Connecticut fall while enjoying a few great autumn activities. For the best viewing times, use our Foliage Finder to see when color is expected throughout the state. Before venturing out, be sure to check with each location as hours may differ due to COVID-19. Then, enjoy your foliage with …

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A Spectacular View

Way up high in Meriden's Hubbard Park stands Castle Craig, a 32-foot stone observation tower overlooking the park’s 1,800 acres filled with hiking trails and picnic areas. In addition to breathtaking foliage with vibrant colors, views may include a glimpse of New Haven or the sparkling water of Long Island Sound.

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A Fine Vintage

When the temperatures dip and the air is crisp, you may be tempted to snuggle inside. But many of Connecticut’s vineyards are still offering a tours and tastings well into the fall season —
and make for a great leaf-peeping spot. Some offer even more. Not far from Gouveia Vineyard's stunning landscape, enjoy a delicious meal at The Library, the Gouveia family's Portuguese and Mediterranean restaurant set in a restored library.

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A Peaceful Paddle

Get out in the crisp air — on a kayak or canoe! Paddle down the Farmington River in historic Collinsville with rentals from Collinsville Canoe & Kayak and admire the foliage! And if you're in the mood to hit the trails, bike rentails are also available for the Farmington River Trail.

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A Roaring Firepit

After a day touring Connecticut’s “Quiet Corner,” share your memories around the firepit at Woodstock’s Mansion at Bald Hill. This premier bed & breakfast also offers fine dining and a scenic spot for weddings and other gatherings. Book an overnight stay and experience the drive on Connecticut’s famed Route 169, which winds its way north-south through Connecticut’s scenic eastern region.

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Small Town Charm

One of the best ways to really experience fall in Connecticut is to spend a little time in one of the many picturesque small towns around the state, and Essex is postcard-perfect for a day or a weekend of fall foliage viewing adventures. From here you can travel back in time on a vintage steam train, browse boutiques and art galleries or even see the color from a riverboat on the Connecticut River itself.

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A Beautiful Bike Ride

Seeing the leaves from within is the perfect way to enjoy fall and get a great workout too. Many of Connecticut’s hiking trails are also open to bike riders. Grab your mountain bike and take a ride on Haley Farm State Park’s 7½ mile bikeway from Mystic to Groton. If you’re looking to take your bike out on the trail in another part of Connecticut, you’ll find a list of recommended rides, here.

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A Waterfall View

After the rains of summer, Connecticut’s waterfalls really show their stuff. Pack a lunch and take a short hike to experience natural beauty at its most extreme. The one in Devil’s Hopyard State Park is particularly stunning in fall. Other great spots for waterfalls include Wadsworth Falls, Campbell Falls, and Indian Well State Park.

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A Work of Art

What better way to experience the beauty of fall than from an inside-out perspective? The Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan is a historic site that invites you to enjoy a one-of-a-kind architectural masterpiece surrounded by acres of amazing fall color. Whether you arrive by car or by train via Metro-North, the town of New Canaan itself offers classic a New England fall main street experience, with shops, restaurants and more.

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A Pumpkin Patch

What says fall more than pumpkins? Luckily, Connecticut is filled with charming little farms where you can pick your own and enjoy plenty of extra treats! Bring the kids, check out a corn maze, and find your perfect pumpkin for carving. Not to mention pumpkin patches make for very Insta-worthy photo sessions with family and friends!

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Your Best Friends

Sometimes, all you need to enjoy the fall foliage is a big rock and your best friends. You’ll find great views of New Preston's Lake Waramaug when you pick up the trail in the Maricrostas Preserve and hike to the pinnacle. There are hiking trails all across the state, and you can find a few of them, here.