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Nubble Lighthouse picture.Welcome to Connecticut, affectionately known as "The Nutmeg State."  If you are an experienced Connecticut traveler or planning on visiting for the first time, we have some helpful trip suggestions as well as oceans of detailed, local online storytelling to share with you right now...

Connecticut Travel and Food Feature Stories

What's to Love About Connecticut?

A few personal thoughts on Connecticut travel from the publisher of VisitingNewEngland

Mystic River in Mystic, Connecticut.
Mystic, Conn. Photo by Joan Hurwitz.

by Eric Hurwitz

Connecticut has so much to offer -- for starters, quaint small towns, interesting cities, scenic rolling hills, sandy beaches, waterfront restaurants serving seafood and great places to stay.

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 unparalleled 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 accommodations 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.

Eric Hurwitz, editor and publisher of VisitingNewEnglandWe encourage you to read our Connecticut travel and food stories through our online library at Visiting New Enjoy!

Happy travels,
Eric at VisitingNewEngland

List of Connecticut Travel and Food Articles

Discover great Nutmeg State destinations in the Best New England towns and cities article

Experience local family fun things to do in the Top New England Attractions article

Read about off-the-beaten-path CT spots in the 6 Great Hidden New England Travel Gems article

Find classic diners in The Nutmeg State through the Best Diners in New England book

CT seafood shacks mentioned in The Best and Biggest Lobster Rolls in New England article

Discover unique, offbeat travel attractions in CT and the rest of New England

A true New England travel getaway at The Inn at Woodstock Hill, Woodstock

Gillette Castle reigns as a unique New England travel attraction

Downtown Mystic features a coastal Main Street USA look

Putnam reinvents itself as a major New England antiques shopping center

Why you should tour the Roseland Cottage in Woodstock

Visiting Saybrook Point in Old Saybrook on a Sunny Summer Weekend Afternoon

Abbott's Lobster in the Rough in Noank is the ultimate New England lobster shack

Stonington Borough is a authentic hidden New England travel gem

Vanilla Bean Cafe, Pomfret, offers cozy dining setting, made-from scratch foods

Vernon Diner in Vernon takes the cake when it comes to chocolate cake

Follow the CT Wine Trail

Pez Visitor Center in Orange offers sweet self-guided tours

Mystic Drawbridge in Mystic makes true homemade ice cream

The Mystic Drawbridge never fails to amaze

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Relax and stay for a while: Start with our navigation links and also our articles on the best New England towns and cities, hidden travel destinations, scenic drives, seafood restaurants and lobster shacks, lobster rolls, ice cream stands, and country stores, as well as our New England summer, fall, winter and spring sections. Then take a fun online journey on VisitingNewEngland to read the rest of our articles for your trip planning needs!

VisitingNewEngland's small business commitment to excellence: is a proud, small business based in New England. We love it when one of our articles helps you with your New England vacation and travel trip planning! That's what we are here for: to serve you in the most genuine, helpful way possible.

Old-fashioned New England work ethic: All articles, photos by Eric Hurwitz unless otherwise noted. Eric also manages the site's layout and design, social media, and public affairs.

All this, and blogs too! Also, please check out our authentic, informative and entertaining New England travel blogs with original content: The Thrifty New England Traveler (New England travel ideas on a budget), The New England Travel and Vacation Gazette (more original New England travel articles), and Old School Boston (warm memories of Boston and New England from back in the day).

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