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Connecticut travel stories written straight from the heart
Visiting Connecticut -- The Nutmeg State

Quaint, quiet unspoiled towns and great coastline highlight Connecticut
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Saybrook Point, Old Saybrook CT
Saybrook Point, Old Saybrook, Conn. (photo by Eric)

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What to Heart
About Connecticut

If you are looking to visit small, unspoiled New England towns with tall white steeples, village greens, quaint inns and interesting little shops, Connecticut answers your wishes. Although Connecticut has some major urban areas like Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport, the majority of the state is largely untouched from the beautiful northwestern Litchfield Hills to the northeast's trip back in time "Quiet Corner" where old-fashioned Putnam offers some of the best antique shopping in New England and surrounding towns have unparalelled pastoral beauty with scenic rolling hills, farmland and a fresh air aura that will force you to relax. Connecticut also has some wonderful coastal towns (or nearby coastal towns) like Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Guilford, Mystic (with great shopping, an aquarium and a wonderful New England seaside flavor) Madison and Westport that are ripe for enjoying and exploring -- they are the quintessential New England towns with oceanside personality and some great nearby beaches and state parks. Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison offers two miles of sandy beaches, a pleasant boardwalk and great ocean swimming overlooking Long Island Sound.

Without a doubt, the most charming town in Connecticut is Stonington, on the coast near the Rhode Island border. Stonington, Conn., is a classic New England seaside community with an impossibly beautiful, picturesque harbor, interesting little shops, crooked, narrow streets, great seafood restaurants and a solitude that makes you feel like your miles away from everything --especially from the back of the center overlooking the harbor. Late in the day, the streets are virtually empty which allows residents and visitors to feel totally at peace. It's just you, the fresh ocean air and a few birds chirping.

Essex is another great vacation destination, although there's no blatant tourist feel to the town. This harborside town is so pleasant with a tree lined downtown, great little shops, and a beautiful park with gazebo and picnic benches leading to the Connecticut River. Once you visit, you'll never want to leave this special little place that is so much at peace with the world. Staying overnight is not a bad idea as the old, creaky and quintessentially New England Griswold Inn offers well-known top notch accomodations and dining. What a special place --Essex has to be experienced by anyone visiting New England.

Hartford, the state capitol, is worth visiting for lovely 41 acre Bushnell Park, a great several acre nicely landscaped area in the heart of the city featuring 600 trees, some over 100 years old and 125 varieties. The park also contains several buildings, statues and monuments. . Hartford is making a nice comeback with lots of nice places to eat, retail returning in bunches, a growing nightlife and a safer feel than in previous years. It feels more like a complete city, instead of a smattering of big city amenities here and there. Hartford also features some of the lushest, green suburban communities in the northeast as evidenced in West Hartford, Farmington and Avon.

We encourage you to make your Connecticut trip planning through our Connecticut vacation and travel ideas. At Visiting New, native New Englanders bring you the best in New England vacation planning and travel information with detailed essays, reviews, tips on things to do and resources. We hope you enjoy browsing our Connecticut vacation and travel ideas library and hope to see you travel New England soon. Please feel free to e-mail us with any questions, or sign our guestbook.


Connecticut Destinations - Great Towns and Cities

Connecticut's best travel destinations

Hidden, less-traveled Connecticut destinations

Antique shopping never grows old in Putnam, CT.

Downtown Mystic, CT, offers a friendly small-town, family-oriented coastal destination

Stonington Borough, Conn., is an authentic, unspoiled New England coastal community

Stonington is the great little village that nobody knows about.

Chilly outside, chili inside in Pomfret, Conn.

Essex, Conn., has true small town New England curb appeal.

Travel recommendations for the Quiet Corner of Connecticut

Noank is a tiny coastal village that time forgot (from's Great New England Photo Travel Tour Blog).

Photo travel essay of Brooklyn, Conn. (from's Great New England Photo Ttravel Tour Blog).

Photo travel essay of Guilford, Conn.

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Connecticut Attractions and Shopping

Visiting the historic Roseland Cottage in Woodstock, Conn.

Working class day trip, luxurious inn opportunities at Savbrook Point,, Conn.

Read our New England vacation attractions page for the best things to do in Connecticut

Gillette Castle offers stunning architectural design and sweeping river views in south central Connecticut.

Mark Twain's Connecticut

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Connecticut Dining/Food

Fisherman Restaurant, Noank, Conn., specializes in fresh, locally-caught seafood.

Amazing water views and delicious lobster at Abbott's Lobster in the Rough, Noank, Conn.

Mystic Pizza restaurant in Mystic, Conn., favors hometown over Hollywood.

The Traveler Restaurant in Union, CT., serves delicious, family-style breakfast, lunch and dinner and allows customers to take home a free book from its extensive library-like collection.

Connecticut restaurants with water views

The Vernon Diner brings diner food to a high level

The Vanilla Bean Cafe is anything but vanilla.

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Connecticut Hotels

Find hundreds of Connecticut Hotels at the lowest guaranteed rates at our New England Hotels Guide.

The Inn at Woodstock Hill makes for a wonderful Connecticut vacation destination.

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Budget Connecticut Travel Ideas from The Thrifty New England Traveler

Pez Candy Visitor Center, Orange, Conn.

Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream, Mystic, Conn.

Huge savings when dining out in Mystic, Conn.

Mystic, Conn., farmers markets

Following the Connecticut Wine Trail

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More Connecticut Travel Articles from the New England Travel and Vacation Gazette

Where to live in Connecticut that has a small town vibe

A scenic motorcycle ride in northeast Connecticut

A most unusual garden shop in Danielson, Conn.

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