Connecticut 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.
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.
Connecticut was one of the original 13 colonies of the United States, and was the fifth state to join the union in 1788. Over the next centuries, the state became a manufacturing center, and supported the war effort during the Civil War and the World Wars. Today, Connecticut is one of the richest states in the union, and is the home to many businesses.
Connecticut is split by the Connecticut River, the largest river in New England. The south is bordered by the Long Island sound, and is home to many ports and beaches. The state has 8 counties, and 167 towns and cities. The largest lake, Candlewood lake, is located near the New York border.
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.
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.
Amtrak provides frequent service to Connecticut destinations on trains between Penn Station in New York City and South Station in Boston. MetroNorth provides frequent weekday commuter service from Grand Central Station Manhattan and several cities and towns in southwestern Connecticut's Fairfield and New Haven counties.
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 and Greyhound .
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.
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.
Hitchhiking along the I-95 corridor is not difficult, as the highway 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.
Minor League Baseball
Minor League Hockey
Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)
Colleges such as Quinnipiac, Yale and UConn have many sports games open to the public.
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 with a list and maps of trails. Some are paved and others are packed dirt.
Connecticut has four ski areas in the western part of the state.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Connecticut has been known for its sudden shifts in weather. Be prepared for snowstorms in the winter, and thunderstorms in the spring and summer.