Car-Free Connecticut Last Updated: October 2022
Think you need a car to visit Connecticut? Think again. There are quite a few great places to explore (and great deals to be found) when you visit by public transportation, too. We’ve even got a few ideas here that will save you money. Time to leave the traffic (or the city) behind!
Search transportation options near you with the CTrides Transit Finder.
Explore Easy Train Getaways
Enjoy the Art of New Canaan and Greenwich
The Metro-North stop at New Canaan drops you off just a short walk from the Visitor's Center for the remarkable Glass House and Sculpture Gardens (you will take a shuttle ride to the property for a tour). In Greenwich, an easy walking distance from the Cos Cob station, learn about the vibrant history of the town at the Greenwich Historical Society. Want to linger a little longer? Make it an overnight at Greenwich’s Stanton House Inn, the perfect spot for a weekend getaway from the city.
Take a Trolley Ride in Stamford
Stamford’s charming new Harbor Point Trolley goes throughout the city, stopping in shopping and dining neighborhoods, the Stamford Town Center Mall, the theater district and more. Take the train to Stamford and take a short walk to Trolley Stop 12 to get on board.
Discover Art, Shopping and Dining in New Haven
The Union Station Shuttle travels from Union Station to the New Haven Green continuously every twenty minutes, from 6:05 a.m. until 10:15 p.m., Monday through Friday. Experience the best of New Haven, with museums, theater, art galleries, boutiques and top dining destinations. From the green, you may even want to take a short stroll up Church Street to Whitney Avenue and discover the challenging fun of Escape New Haven.
Go Treasure Hunting in Seymour
Take the Metro-North Waterbury Line to Seymour, where a district of antique shops and galleries are just a short stroll away from the Seymour train station.
Open a Cold One on Our Beer Trail
Local Kitchen, located in South Norwalk, is just a short stroll from the South Norwalk Metro-North station, not to mention a district filled with other great drinking and dining destinations. Two Roads Brewery in Stratford provides a "12 Pack" beer bus on Fridays through Sundays from the Stratford Metro-North Station or the Port Jefferson Ferry in Bridgeport, or take the Greater Bridgeport Transit bus right to their front door. Easily change at New Haven for Shore Line East to Branford’s Stony Creek Brewery. Insider tip: For more trains back to New Haven, take Shore Line East eastbound to Guilford, then pick up a westbound train to New Haven.
Make a Splash in Mystic
The charming seaport village of Mystic is just three hours from New York by train. Amtrak from New York or Boston stops at the station in Mystic. Walk or take a taxi to Mystic Seaport Museum or Mystic Aquarium.
Additional Rail Routes
Amtrak (leaving from Penn Station, NY and Boston’s three main stations) offers a discount to several Connecticut destinations. Shore Line East Trains connect New Haven with towns on the shoreline, all the way to New London.
Take a Bus or Ferry to Fun
Why take a car when you can take a bus, boat or bike? With just a little creativity, you can get to some of Connecticut’s best-known spots without giving a single thought to gas or parking. Here are a few spots that are easily enjoyed using public and private transportation:
Head for the Casino
Greyhound, Peter Pan Bus Lines and several local operators run buses to Connecticut’s world-class casinos, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino.
Ferry Back in Time
Leave your car in Long Island and take the Cross Sound Ferry from Orient Point. Enjoy great views of the shoreline and revisit maritime history in New London’s historic waterfront district.
Board a Bus to the Litchfield Hills
Peter Pan Bus Lines travel from New York’s Port Authority to the beautiful town of Canaan in northwestern Connecticut, where you can visit Falls Village, and hike the trails, see waterfalls and more.
Things to Do by Region
River Valley/Greater Hartford
- Hartford Yard Goats Dunkin Donuts Park (Hartford - accessible by rail/bus)
- Parkville Market (Hartford - accessible by CTfastrak)
- Hog River Brewing Co. (Hartford -accessible by CTfastrak)
- Connecticut Science Center (Hartford - accessible by rail/bus)
- Bushnell Park/The Carousel (Hartford - accessible by rail/bus)
- Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (Hartford - accessible by train and DASH)
- The Mark Twain House & Museum (Hartford - 4-minutes from Hartford Union Station)
- Harriet Beecher Stowe House (Hartford - 5-minutes from Hartford Union Station)
- Montana Nights Axe Throwing (Newington - accessible by CTfastrak)
- Gastropark (New Britain, accessible by CTfastrak)
- The Assembly Room (New Britain - accessible CTfastrak)
- Little Poland Neighborhood (New Britain, - accessible by CTfastrak)
Greater New Haven
- Yale University (New Haven, -accessible by rail/bus)
- Branford Town Green Festivals/Events/Jazz Nights (Branford - accessible by train)
- Shubert Theatre (New Haven - accessible by rail/bus)
- New Haven Green (New Haven - accessible by rail/bus)
- Thames River Heritage Park (walking distance from the station)
- Custom House Maritime Museum (New London,walking distance from New London station)
- Cross Sound Cruises (walking distance from the station)
- Lyman Allyn Art Museum (New London, 8-minute bus ride from New London station)
- The Garde Arts Center (New Haven - 9-minute walk, or 2-minute bus ride from New Haven Union Station)
- Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana (New Haven - 5-minute drive from New Haven Union Station)
- Essex Steam Train and Riverboat (Essex - X-Tra mile service by 9Town Transit from Old Saybrook Station)
Connecticut River Museum (Essex - X-Tra mile service by 9-Town Transit from Old Saybrook Station)
- Stepping Stones Museum for Children (Norwalk - accessible by train)
- Third Place by Half Full Brewery offers residents a coffee shop by day and a brewery taproom by night, all while also being a co-working space. (Stamford - accessible by train. Distance from train station: 0.2 miles)
- The Barrett Bookstore is the largest and oldest independent bookstore in Fairfield County. The local bookstore is open every day. (Darien - accessible by train. Distance from train station: 0.2 miles)
- Stamford Museum and Nature Center (Stamford- accessible by rail/bus)
- Connecticut Audubon Birdcraft Museum (Fairfield - 4-minute walk from station)
- Rock Climb Fairfield (Fairfield - 11-minute walk from station)
- Webster Bank Arena (Bridgeport - 6-minute walk from the train station)
Learn More about Public Transportation to CT
Visiting Hartford for business or pleasure? The dash Shuttle provides free shuttle service to the Connecticut Convention Center, as well as the Riverfront, the CT Science Center, hotels, restaurants, museums, theaters and Union Station.
Many other locations throughout Connecticut can also be reached by public transportation, including the Hartford Line, now connecting New Haven to Hartford to Springfield, MA; and CTFastrak, bus, train, plane and ferry. Here is more information about transportation options. But no matter how you get here, make sure to check out just a few of the experiences you can discover in Connecticut.
And search transportation options near you with the CTrides Transit Finder.