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Connecticut

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Connecticut [1] is a small New England state, full of charm, rural beauty and several major cities. The State's top tourist attractions include Yale University, which maintains numerous world-class museums, Mystic Seaport, the restaurant and nightlife scene in downtown New Haven, The Maritime Aquarium, and two major Native American casinos.

Regions[edit]

Regions of Connecticut
Fairfield County
Southwest Connecticut, near New York City. This area has many beaches and lighthouses, and many of the state's biggest cities, such as Bridgeport, Stamford, and Norwalk.
Litchfield Hills
Northwest Connecticut. Here you will find the less dense areas with colorful leaves in the autumn. There are some smaller cities such as Torrington, Danbury, and New Milford.
Greater New Haven
South central Connecticut. Home to Yale University, and numerous museums and theaters. It includes cities such as New Haven and Milford.
Connecticut River Valley
From North central Connecticut to the coast. Home to New England's 2nd most populous region, the Knowledge Corridor, featuring Connecticut's state capital Hartford and many historic sights.
Mystic-Eastern
New London, Tolland and Windham Counties in eastern Connecticut. A good place to get a view of the Long Island Sound, with beaches, and the famous Mystic Seaport/Aquarium. Has two of the biggest casinos in the world. Includes cities such as New London, Mystic, Uncasville, and Ledyard.

Cities[edit]

  • Hartford - The state capital.
  • Bridgeport- The most populated city in the state.
  • Danbury - Also known as Hat City, Danbury is home to Western Connecticut State University, Candlewood Lake, and many good restaurants.
  • Greenwich - Ranked the 12th greatest place to live, Greenwich is a quaint town with a great view of Long Island.
  • Mystic - This is one of the most common places to visit, due to the historic seaport and aquarium.
  • New Haven - the state's "creative capital" and home to the greatest amount of pedestrian life, top-rated restaurants and tourist attractions
  • New London - Home to the coast guard acadamy, New London has a historic view of Long Island Sound.
  • Norwalk - home to trendy SoNo with an active night life and The Maritime Aquarium
  • Waterbury - This is a small urban community with lots to do. Look for the Union Station Clocktower that overlooks the city.

Other destinations[edit]

Connecticut is rich with history, nature, art and beauty. Truly something for everyone. While many people are drawn each year to Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Casinos, there is much more in this state. There are a number of beaches at the shore, state parks and forests throughout the state, and many smaller parks as well. Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam is an excellent family destination. So is the Essex Steam Train and River Boat Ride in Essex.

Beaches[edit]

See "Do"

Understand[edit]

Geography

Connecticut is split by the Connecticut River, the largest river in New England. The state has 8 counties, and 167 towns and cities. The largest lake, Candlewood lake, is located near the New York border.

Weather

Like most of New England, the weather in Connecticut is varied with the seasons. It can be highly unpredictable in the spring and fall months. The weather in Connecticut is generally stable compared to many other parts of the country. Dangers that plague many regions of the country (e.g., tornadoes, mudslides, earthquakes, etc.,) are not a danger here.

It is recommended to bring clothes for a variety of temperatures when visiting, and to check the weather report closely. Although there are periods of little or no rain, a raincoat or umbrella are good items to pack. Warm clothes in the winter and light clothes in the summer are also important, although it is recommended to pack a light jacket, even in the summer months.

Talk[edit]

New Britain, Connecticut is well known for its large Polish community. Large cities in Connecticut, such as Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven and Waterbury have significant Hispanic populations. Bridgeport also has a small Brazilian area. New Haven's Chinatown caters to Mandarin speakers, and Wooster St serves as the city's "Little Italy."

Many people in Fairfield County have a New York accent with the county's proximity to New York City, while some people in Northern Connecticut have a Boston accent.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

In state[edit]

  • Tweed New Haven Regional Airport, 155 Burr Street, New Haven, +1 203 466-8833, [4]. A smaller airport with flights to Philadelphia.
  • Waterbury-Oxford Airport, popular with private aviation. [5] [6]
  • Sikorsky Mem'l Airport [7] in Stratford is a private aircraft charter service based there.
  • Meriden Airport [8] in Meriden, CT provides private air charter.
  • Danbury Municipal Airport in Danbury is mainly used for general aviation.

Out of state[edit]

  • Laguardia, JFK, and Newark in the New York City area are all a common choice for travelers in the western part of the state. These are all larger airports than in-state airports, and have more flight opportunities.
  • Logan International Airport in Boston can be a good choice for travelers going to the northeast corner of the state, but is far away from any of the major cities, such as Hartford and New Haven.

By ferry[edit]

  • The Bridgeport-Port Jefferson Ferry crosses Long Island Sound daily between Port Jefferson, Long Island and Bridgeport, CT. It carries cars and passengers. Cross Sound Ferry connects New London, CT and Orient Point, NY (the easternmost tip of Long Island's North Fork.) It also carries cars and passengers.

By train[edit]

Amtrak [9] provides frequent service to Connecticut destinations on trains between Penn Station in New York City and South Station in Boston. MetroNorth [10] provides frequent weekday commuter service from Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan and several cities and towns in southwestern Connecticut's Fairfield and New Haven counties.

By bus[edit]

As with trains, there are frequent intercity buses between South Station Boston and Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan with stops in Connecticut. Major bus lines serving Connecticut include Peter Pan [11] and Greyhound [12].

By car[edit]

Those entering Connecticut by car from the west can choose from three major routes. Interstate 84 enters Danbury, Connecticut from Pennsylvania and the lower Hudson Valley of New York and continues to Waterbury, Hartford and Worcester. The Merrit Parkway, closed to trucks and buses, enters the state from New York's Westchester County, and is considered one of America's most scenic highways because of how its design matches the bucolic leafiness of the suburbs that surround it. An extension of the Parkway tunnels under a hill north of New Haven and continues to Meriden where it merges with Interstate 91 going north towards Hartford and beyond. Interstate 95 traverses the east coast of the United States from Maine to Florida, and runs along Connecticut's coast from east to west. The visitor should be aware I-95 North according to federal road signs is actually going East in Connecticut, and I-95 South is going West in Connecticut. Between New York and New Haven I-95 goes through densely populated suburbs and is heavily congested. East (North according to directional signs on the road) of New Haven I-95 goes through more rural coastal towns and is not so congested.

Entering the state from Boston involves taking the Massachusetts Turnpike also known as Interstate 90 west to I-84, or Route 6, a two-lane road, or Interstate 95 from Rhode Island.

Get around[edit]

By car[edit]

Car is the easiest way to travel through the state, and the best if you are planning on sightseeing.Several major highways, including I95 and I84, run through the state.

By bus[edit]

  • Connecticut Transit (CTTRANSIT), 100 Leibert Road, Hartford, Phone: +1 860 522-8101, Fax: +1 860 247-1810, [13].
  • Bridgeport is served by its own service.
  • New Haven is also served by a free electric trolley system that runs the downtown area.

By Thumb[edit]

Hitchhiking is not common in the United States, as most Americans believe hitching a ride is dangerous. The I-95 corridor is not difficult and is serviced by a very nice series of rest stops. Walk on, stick out your thumb, and you should have no trouble getting a ride. In addition, the Fairfield service plaza (exit 21) is a frequent stop for buses between New York and Boston, and if there are any empty seats, it is possible to get on, often for free or reduced price if you're a good negotiator.

See[edit][add listing]

Botanical Gardens[edit]

Colleges[edit]

  • Yale University is the 3rd oldest university in the country, and is one of the country's 8 Ivy League Schools. This school has been home to many famous people, including presidents, authors, judges, and senators. Yale is in the downtown area of New Haven, overlooking the green.
  • University of Connecticut, more commonly known as UConn, is a good college with famous men's and women's basketball teams. It is in Storrs, near Hartford
  • The United States Coast Guard Academy and Coast Guard training tallship USCGC Eagle in New London.
  • Connecticut College was founded in 1911 as a college for women, but went co-ed in 1969. The entire campus is an arboretum and is in New London.

Forts[edit]

Lighthouses[edit]

Sports[edit]

Minor League Baseball

Hockey

Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)

Schools

Colleges such as Yale and UConn have many sports games open to the public.

Zoos[edit]

Do[edit][add listing]

Amusement Parks[edit]

  • Lake Compounce is the oldest amusement park in the United States. Located in Bristol, this park has dozens of rides for all ages, and good food.
  • Quassy is an old amusement park in Middlebury. This park is more suited for younger children.

Aquariums/Seaports[edit]

  • Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk
  • Mystic Aquarium and Mystic Seaport in Mystic

Beaches[edit]

  • Calf Pasture Beach is a historical beach in Norwalk
  • Cove Island Park is a beach/park in Stamford
  • Cummings Park is a beach/park in Stamford
  • Pleasure Beach is a great family beach/park in Bridgeport
  • Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme
  • Sherwood Island State Park in Westport
  • Silver Sands State Park in Milford

Bicycle[edit]

Bicycling is popular in Connecticut. There are plenty of country roads, coast line, lighthouses, and hills to keep you going. The state maintains a website called CT Trails[14] with a list and maps of trails. Some are paved and others are packed dirt. Another comprehensive site is CT Bike Routes[15] of 400+ routes, cue sheets, and maps.

Casinos[edit]

  • Mohegan Sun is the largest casino in the country, and the second largest in the world. It is in Uncasville
  • Foxwoods is the second largest casino in the country, and the third largest in the world. It is in Ledyard

Hike[edit]

There are hikes for every level on mountains or along the beach, many of them are suitable for kids[16]. Here are a few:

  • Talcott Mountain state park[17]
  • Jessie Jerard trail[18]
  • Burr Pond state park[19]
  • Sleeping Giant state park[20]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Connecticut has an incredible amount of restaurants everywhere you go. There are thousands of restaurants state wide. Downtown New Haven is widely considered the restaurant capital of the state, with more top Zagat-rated restaurants than any other community in Connecticut by a wide margin. Interesting ethnic restaurants, including Eritrean, Malaysian, Turkish, Spanish, French, Mexican, Cuban, Jamaican, Ethiopian, Lebanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Southern and Northern Indian, Nepalese, Cantonese and Italian restaurants can be found throughout the city. Also, the state's large casinos have plenty of dining opportunities.

Southington, Connecticut, between Hartford and Waterbury, is famous for their many apple orchards. This small town of forty thousand people has an incredible variety and supply of apples, celebrating their staple crop with the annual Harvest Festival in October. Anyone traveling through this beautiful state in the Autumn must stop in Southington for a bag of apple fritters and other foods made from the town's famous apples.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Be warned that there are only 78 hours of the week in which alcohol can be purchased, which is 8AM-9PM Monday-Saturday and now on Sunday.

Discover Connecticut's Craft Beer culture, boasting great local breweries, quality brewpubs and beer bars, home brew supply shops, and beer festivals. Many breweries offer tours of their facilities, and of course free samples of their products.

Stay safe[edit]

Crime

Although Connecticut is well known for its affluence, and is the third wealthiest state in America, there are sections in the state's largest cities (especially Hartford, Bridgeport, and New Haven) that have dangerous potential, especially at night. Common sense will more than likely keep you far from any signs of trouble in Connecticut, as the state is widely considered to be one of the safest in the country.

Ticks

Connecticut is the infamous birthplace of Lyme Disease. Make sure you know what to do if you are bitten. Tick season is usually from the spring to the fall.

Get out[edit]




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