Best Places to Visit in Connecticut
Connecticut, a gorgeous and attractive Northeastern state, epitomizes the legendary natural beauty of the New England states. The magnificence of the state’s natural splendor and picturesque locations are worth every minute of your vacation to the Constitution State, regardless of the season.
Don’t get us wrong: aside from the state’s beautiful natural environment, there are plenty of top places to visit and things to do in Connecticut.
The state of Connecticut, which is divided in half by the Connecticut River that passes through it, is a lovely place to visit that is all too frequently missed by people who choose to visit New York or Boston alternatively. This means you can see the real New England without the crowds, yet there is much to see and do.
The state is home to many of the country’s oldest towns and communities, as it was one of the original 13 colonies. As a result, there are a plethora of fascinating historical tourist sites and cultural landmarks to visit in Connecticut, with many of the greatest places to see in Connecticut relating to the state’s rich maritime history.
So, no matter how long you plan on staying in Connecticut or what your notion of a good time is, you’ll never be bored in this lovely New England state.
A list of top things to do and the best places to visit in Connecticut can be found below. Check out this Connecticut travel guide that covers everything from top tourist attractions in Connecticut to the most popular places to go in Connecticut:
Silver Sands State Park: Anyone who wants to see Connecticut at its most attractive should pay a visit to Silver Sands State Park. Silver Sands State Park is near Walnut Beach, which offers a comparable number of options, such as swimming in Long Island Sound or visiting the Charles Island bird sanctuary. Charles Island, which is accessible by foot during low tide, is home to heron and egret rookeries. The bird sanctuary is home to a variety of birds, including the snowy owl and the rough-legged hawk.
Hammonasset Beach State Park: Hammonasset Beach State Park, which has the state’s largest beach, is a terrific spot to go if you just want to rest, unwind, and soak up some rays on its friendly sands. Even though it is a top tourist attraction of Connecticut, especially during the summer, there is plenty of sand to go around: it has a very serene and relaxing atmosphere.
In addition to its huge beach, the state park offers a wide range of pleasurable leisure activities, including cycling, hiking, and camping. Swimming, fishing, and boating are all popular activities in its calm seas. It’s also worth stopping at the Meigs Point Nature Preserve while exploring Hammonasset Beach State Park to explore the saltwater wetlands and see some of the area’s gorgeous birds and wildlife.
Guilford: Guilford has been designated one of the best 100 locations to live in the United States, making it a must-see destination for anybody visiting Connecticut on vacation. The Henry Whitfield State Museum and Bishop’s Orchards are two of Guilford’s most popular attractions, while families will have a blast at Shoreline Segway. During a visit to Guilford, be sure to stop at Faulkner’s Island Lighthouse, Elisha Pitkin House, and Thomas Burgis II House, as well as Lake Quonnipaug, which is one of the top places to visit in Connecticut.
Gillette Castle State Park: The actor William Gillette, after whom it is called, constructed and erected Gillette Castle between 1914 and 1919, and it is a sight to behold. The “medieval castle,” now one of the best tourist attractions in Connecticut, was once his private abode, and the interior is just as distinctive and wonderful to look at as the façade.
Inside, there are remarkable treasures and curiosities like carved wooden light switches and Steampunk-style door latches, as well as secret entrances, passageways, and custom-built furnishings. A gorgeous state park spreads out from the castle, full of elegant gardens and beautiful woodland, as well as numerous hiking routes for you to enjoy.
Campbell Falls State Park: Campbell Falls State Park is one of the most natural regions of parkland in Connecticut, making it a perfect destination for visitors looking to observe nature in its purest form. The Park crosses the Massachusetts border, and there is also a stone to mark the spot where the two states meet. When the water is in full flow, the park’s eponymous waterfall falls approximately 100 feet and is a truly breathtaking sight.
Norwalk: The town of Norwalk, located on the banks of the Norwalk River and just a short distance from the Atlantic Ocean, has a long and illustrious nautical history. The majority of the city’s primary attractions are located around its deteriorating but busy waterfront.
While there are numerous shops, restaurants, and bars to explore, as well as a couple of museums and an art center, the aquarium is the undisputed highlight, as it is home to a variety of beautifully colored fish and marine creatures. There’s also an IMAX theatre on the premises. You can quickly travel in and out of New York due to its vicinity, and New Haven isn’t far away if you just want to stop by Norwalk on your route from one to the other.
Goodspeed Opera House: The Goodspeed Opera House is not only one of the best places to see in Connecticut, but it is also one of the state’s most important cultural institutions, as it is the home of some of the world’s largest most well-known musicals, like Annie, Man of La Mancha, and Shenandoah. The Goodspeed Opera House is especially lovely at night when the contrast between the white edifice and the adjacent dark swing bridge is breathtaking. Visitors can also take tours of many of the Goodspeed facilities.
Yale University: Yale University is one of Connecticut’s most prominent institutions as one of the country’s top universities. The site, which is located in the city of New Haven, has a 400-year history of education. A stroll through Yale’s gorgeous and historic Old Campus offers some of Connecticut’s most beautiful views, and tour packages are available for those interested in learning more about the university. Yale also sponsors a variety of events throughout the year, ranging from exhibitions and workshops to film screenings and concerts.
Stonington: Stonington is an excellent spot to come if you want to get away from the busy and bustle of contemporary life. It is located on Connecticut’s lovely coastline. Stonington is noted for its highly calm ambiance and is home to some of the state’s finest ancient structures, including the Capt. Nathaniel B. Palmer House, Stanton-Davis Homestead Museum, and the William Clark Company Thread Mill. The town’s Old Lighthouse Museum and Stonington Vineyards are also well worth visiting. No wonder it is one of the best places to visit in Connecticut that you must add to your itinerary.
Old Saybrook: Old Saybrook is a historic and lovely town in Connecticut. The Lynde Point Lighthouse is one of the town’s most beautiful features, while the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and the General William Hart House are two of the most popular tourist spots in Connecticut. One of the best parts to do in Old Saybrook, or anywhere in Connecticut, is to enjoy a quiet day at Harvey’s Beach, while families will enjoy a game of Mini-Golf at Saybrook Point, which offers stunning views.
Historic Downtown Mystic: Mystic, Connecticut’s downtown, is a picturesque coastal town steeped in cultural heritage. Downtown Mystic, located on the Mystic River between two distinct communities joined by the historic Mystic Drawbridge, is jam-packed with family-friendly activities. Over 80 boutiques and stores, award-winning cafés and pubs, and lovely local inns for overnight stays are nestled amongst and among each other. The shopping is one-of-a-kind, the food is unusual, and the inns are warm and inviting.
There is an adventure to be experienced in Downtown Mystic, in addition to the shopping and eating. Tourists can take a guided tour of the Mystic River, paddle or kayak for fun, or visit the Mystic Seaport Museum.
With so much to see and do in Historic Downtown Mystic, you may want to stay for the weekend. Check out the event schedule before you go to Mystic because there are usually big occasions going on, such as concerts, nature hikes, art displays, classes, and many other activities.
Lake Compounce: This 175-year-old amusement park offers a fun-filled day for both families and friends. Lake Compounce in Connecticut has a variety of thrill rides, roller coasters, water activities, and even traditional kiddie rides. Lake Compounce, one of the best things to do in Connecticut, is a must-see for people of all ages. There’s still enough fun to be enjoyed at Lake Compounce if the action-packed rides and attractions are a little more adventurous than you planned for.
It’s not all wild rides at Lake Compounce, with big events, shows, shopping, and plenty of food. Lake Compounce is a Connecticut institution with camping areas if you want to stay for a night or two. Family toilets, cabana rentals, and locker rentals are among the park’s many features. Lake Compounce is one of Connecticut’s many lovely destinations to visit, with much to do and many visitor amenities.
The Glass House: The Glass House, a National Historic Site, was constructed in the mid-nineteenth century and sits on 49 acres of lush greenery. This property, which consists of 14 architectural structures, paintings, and sculptures, is dedicated to the preservation of history, art, and design.
Although the Glass House is the most well-known structure on the property, it is surrounded by other mid-century structures. A 1949 brick house, a one-of-a-kind one-room studio, and a painting gallery are all on the property.
You are led on a three-quarter-mile gorgeous length of pathways and grass ways while admiring the art, architecture, and scenic beauty. Glass House Tour mixes architectural and artistic passions with natural beauty. For adults going through Connecticut, this is a fantastic spot to stop.
Holy Land USA: Interestingly, Holy Land USA is a Connecticut-based theology-themed amusement park. Holy Land USA was founded in the early 1950s by a guy who wanted to pay honor to Christianity and Jesus by developing and replicating Biblical locales and ideas. It has been in existence on and off since then.
A visit to Holy Land USA is pleasant for everyone, regardless of religious beliefs, with wonderful views of Waterbury, CT, and plenty of beautiful nature. A 56-foot tall cross and key biblical scenes built around the park are just a few of the unusual sights you can expect to see at Holy Land USA.
Maritime Aquarium: The Maritime Aquarium, in Norwalk, Connecticut, is one of the top 10 places to visit in Connecticut which is a Constitution State. There’s a lot to see at the aquarium, with over 75 live displays and over 2,700 aquatic animals.
Maritime Aquarium provides the excitement of marine science to Connecticut with a variety of engaging exhibits, both interactive and passive. The aquarium’s 4D theatre offers a different viewing experience, and its 64-foot catamaran offers gorgeous river cruises, as well as the opportunity to touch and feed real stingrays.
The Maritime Aquarium is one of few aquariums in that it is almost totally outside. The aquarium, which is located along the Long Island Sound, teaches about the sea from the water. So, before going to the Maritime Aquarium, make sure to check the weather. Aside from all of the fantastic sights and activities, you’ll encounter during your visit to this top Connecticut attraction, it also has a cafe and a gift store. In addition, there are several neighboring hotels and restaurants. The Maritime Aquarium is a one-of-a-kind aquatic experience that you should not miss out on when visiting Connecticut’s many tourist attractions.
Greenwich: Greenwich, Connecticut’s Gold Coast’s biggest town, is founded after a London borough and has already been named one of the Best Places to Live in the United States. One of the town’s most prominent yearly events is the Greenwich International Film Festival, while the Bruce Museum and the Wildlife Center are also worth seeing. Greenwich Avenue is a must-see for everyone who likes shopping.
What’s next waiting for you?
These are some of the top things to do in Connecticut that narrowing down your best selections will be difficult. Hopefully, you’ll have enough time in the Constitution State to see some of the great sights listed below. Connecticut is a tourist’s dream, with sites and activities varying from outdoor wilderness areas and farms to wild and crazy amusement parks to heritage landmarks and everything in between. So pack your luggage and prepare to create lifelong memories on your stay at the Constitution State.
Now you know where to go and what to do in Connecticut, you can go ahead and plan your tour judiciously. Browse through our other travel guides to explore the best places to visit near Connecticut.