The Best Things to Do in Connecticut

The 25 Best Things to do in Connecticut

While it may be small in size, Connecticut packs a punch when it comes to New England charm. The third-smallest state in the United States, this year-round destination features a rich history with a beautiful coastline, interesting small towns, and a thriving seafood scene known for its hot buttered lobster rolls. 

You’re spoiled for choice with picturesque landscapes in this nature-filled state, from cascading waterfalls and beautiful beaches to lush forests. Plan a waterfall hike to one of the powerful plunges, go camping under the stars in a state forest, or take in the views from a historic steam train. 

Big cities like Hartford offer a wealth of historic and cultural attractions, while many of the state’s small coastal towns are beloved for their quaint shops and waterfront cafes. Whatever you do, don’t forget to sample the boat-to-table seafood specialties along the coast or try one of the wines at Connecticut’s award-winning wineries. 

There are so many exciting things to see and do in Connecticut that you might not know where to start. To help you narrow down your itinerary, we’ve compiled a list of the best things to do in Connecticut, from the most popular day trips to the most scenic outdoor adventures. Stick to our Connecticut bucket list and you’ll discover the best of what The Nutmeg State has to offer! 

Don’t forget to check out our web story: The 25 Best Things to do in Connecticut

25 cool and unique things to do in Connecticut

1. Explore the Highlights in Hartford

Best Things to do in Connecticut: Highlights in Hartford

There are dozens of things to see and do in Connecticut’s capital city of Hartford. Abundant in historic attractions, it has everything from fascinating museums to lush gardens, art galleries, and hidden cultural gems worth exploring. 

The Mark Twain House & Museum is a popular museum, offering you a chance to learn more about the literary great’s life in Hartford while touring the Victorian Gothic mansion. If you’re an art lover, a visit to Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is worth a stop. The oldest free public museum in the United States, it showcases more than 50,000 works of art with masterpieces from Dalí and Monet in its collection. 

Stop and smell the roses in the beautiful gardens at the Elizabeth Park Conservancy. Stretching for 102 acres, it boasts more than 15,000 plants and 800 varieties of roses. History enthusiasts can also visit the State Capitol, a National Historic Landmark that offers both guided and self-guided tours of the High Victorian Gothic building sitting on Capitol Hill. 

If you’ve got the kids in tow, explore the hands-on exhibits at the Connecticut Science Center. They’ll also love exploring the green spaces in the 37-acre Bushnell Park, which features a historic carousel with hand-carved wooden horses. 


2. Stroll an Ivy League Campus at Yale University

Fun Things to do in Connecticut: Yale University

It doesn’t matter if you didn’t get a perfect score on the SATs – you can still get into Yale University (for the day)! At this iconic Ivy League campus, you can take one of their informative daily tours led by current students. 

Get a behind-the-scenes look at one of America’s oldest universities as you hear about its 300-year history. During the tour, you’ll have the chance to step inside Sterling Memorial Library, Yale’s largest library, as well as the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, home to one of the world’s preeminent collections of rare materials, including the Gutenberg Bible. 

One of the best free activities in Connecticut, you can stroll the picture-perfect campus and admire its gothic-style architecture while soaking up the bustling student life. The approximately one-hour tour departs from the Visitor Center at 149 Elm Street and covers the central campus area. 

If you can’t make it to the campus, the university also provides a range of virtual tours. These convenient online tours highlight campus life and its historic architecture through videos and historical photographs. 


3. Stroll the Boardwalk at Silver Sands State Park

What to do in Connecticut: Silver Sands State Park

Located in Milford, Silver Sands State Park will lure you in with its sandy beaches, boardwalks, and variety of shorebirds. With over a half-mile of shoreline and three-quarters of a mile of all-weather boardwalks, it’s a popular four-season destination in Connecticut for nature lovers. 

A stroll at this park is an activity all ages will enjoy, offering pleasant sea breezes and picturesque water views. The popular beach area overlooks Charles Island and the Long Island Sound and is particularly beautiful at sunset. 

Families will appreciate the array of amenities on-site, including picnic areas, docks, and well-maintained hiking trails for an afternoon of outdoor recreation. Once you arrive, you can walk along the boardwalk across the marsh and Fletchers Creek out to the beach. 

From here, you’ll find a sandbar that extends out to Charles Island that is only visible during low tide. The half-mile-long stretch of sand is where Captain Kidd is rumored to have buried his treasure in 1699. If you’re a bird watcher, see if you can spot some of the 200 species of birds that regularly visit here, including snowy owls! 


4. Go Skiing at Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort

Connecticut Things to do: Powder Ridge Mountain Park and Resort
Images courtesy of Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort

If you’re a powder hound, add Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort to your Connecticut bucket list. A favorite for its winter activities of skiing, snowboarding, and tubing, this year-round attraction also offers zip lining, disc golf, and mountain biking adventures in warmer months. 

You’ll find 20 ski trails to choose from that cater to different skill levels, while snow-biking is also on offer for a unique mountain experience. If you’ve got a need for speed, take advantage of the racing program that includes a four-lane track pitting boarders and skiers against each other. 

Beginners and those in need of a refresher can sign up for a private lesson, which incorporates a fun Terrain Based Learning System. There are also lessons available for mountain biking in the summer months, where you can then traverse its collection of professionally designed built trails. 

On-site facilities at Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort also include dining for when you need to refuel. Fire at the Ridge serves hearty cuisine, while it also boasts a popular Sunday Brunch, Happy House, and Beer & Food Garden. 


5. Go Camping in Pachaug State Forest

Best Things to do in Connecticut: Pachaug State Forest
Image courtesy of Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

A popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, Pachaug State Forest is the largest state forest in Connecticut. Boasting over 26,000 acres and spread across multiple towns, it’s an ideal getaway for an overnight camping adventure. 

Start your adventure in Pachaug State Forest by following one of its scenic hiking trails. You’ll find both short and long-distance hiking options, with the Pachaung Trail running about 30 miles from Pacha Pond to Green Fall Pond. 

The Nehantic Trail is a 15-mile route leading to the Pauchaug River, while the Quinebaug Trail runs for seven miles over gentle hills and through beautiful pine forests. When it’s time to rest before another day of adventure, set up your tent in one of the area’s popular campgrounds. 

Green Falls Campground in Voluntown offers 18 wooded sites with pond fishing and swimming available, while Mt. Misery Campground has wooded sites along with stream fishing. If horseback riding is on your itinerary, the Frog Hollow Horse Camp is exclusively for equestrian use with 18 semi-wooded sites.


6. Try Your Luck at a Mohegan Sun Casino

Cool Things to do in Connecticut: Mohegan Sun Casino

Casinos in Connecticut are a premier destination for dining, shopping, and entertainment. Mohegan Sun Casino is one of the state’s best and is situated on 185 acres along the Thames River in southeastern Connecticut. 

It’s one of the largest casinos in the United States, home to two casinos, two luxury hotel towers, a world-class spa, and a championship golf course. There’s also a huge collection of shops, restaurants, and bars, as well as the renowned 10,000-seat Mohegan Sun Arena. 

Come to the casino and try your luck at winning big, as it offers more than 300 table games and nearly 5,000 slot machines. You’ll have more than 300,000 square feet of gaming to enjoy, including favorites like Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, and Texas Hold ‘Em. 

You’re spoiled for choice amongst the 45 restaurants, bars, and lounges that range from fast-food favorites to fine dining. Give your credit card a workout at The Shops at Mohegan Sun, a 130,000-square-foot retail shopping experience, or take advantage of the live entertainment at the various music venues. 

Mohegan Sun Casino is also a family-friendly destination, with its on-site Kid’s Quest and Cyber Quest offering arcade games and play areas for all ages. 


7. Discover Indigenous Cultures at Mashantucket Pequot Museum

Connecticut Things to do: Mashantucket Pequot Museum
Images courtesy of Mashantucket Pequot Museum

For a dose of culture, Mashantucket Pequot Museum is one of the coolest things to do in Connecticut for families and history buffs alike. This award-winning cultural attraction in Mashantucket boasts fascinating multi-sensory exhibits that will take you back in time all the way to the Ice Ages. 

You can easily spend an entire day exploring the over 300,000 square foot facility, which features five floors of life-size exhibits, captivating films, and touch-screen computer programs. The tribally-owned museum highlights the Native American and natural history of New England, detailing the Ice Age to the present day. 

Marvel at the diorama of a caribou from 11,000 years ago and life-size Pequot village, then learn about Native languages and notable archaeological discoveries. You can also watch films that showcase Native artisans creating tools, bowls, and other objects that helped them survive. 

Its touch-screen computers and audio guide add to the experience, while enlarged photographs put a face to the contemporary Pequots. The museum also boasts an 18-story observation tower, in addition to two libraries, a gift shop, and an on-site restaurant. 


8. Take a Day Trip to Picture-Perfect Mystic

Connecticut Bucket List: Day Trip to Picture-Perfect Mystic

One of the most popular destinations in Connecticut, Mystic is beloved for its classic New England charm. It’s a must on your Connecticut bucket list, as the adorable coastal town is the perfect place to cruise on the water and get away from it all. 

Bask in the gentle sea breeze as you soak up the history of this quaint maritime town, which is set along a quiet harbor. In addition to being home to some of the top things to do in Connecticut, it’s also a great place to enjoy some of the state’s freshest seafood.

Start your exploration at the popular Mystic Seaport Museum, a top attraction that includes a planetarium, working shipyard, and re-created 19th-century seafaring village. The Mystic Aquarium is another popular destination for families and is home to marine life such as African penguins and beluga whales. 

Alternately, opt for a visit to Olde Mistick Village, which recreates the charm of an 18th-century New England village. Wander its quaint cottages, admire the duck pond and water wheel, and stop to sample artisanal treats like homemade ice cream and small-batch donuts.

When you’re hungry, a slice of pizza at Mystic Pizza is a hit with movie fans, made famous by the 1988 Hollywood film! However, if you’re craving seafood specialties, add S&P Oyster Restaurant and Bar, Red 36, and The Mariner to your list. 


9. Follow the Trails in Bluff Point State Park

Best Things to do in Connecticut: Bluff Point State Park
Image courtesy of Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Hiking lovers won’t want to miss a chance to explore the trails at Bluff Point State Park. Located in Groton, the park offers a mix of wooded hiking and biking trails that couple with its spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities on the Long Island Sound. 

Enjoy the views of undeveloped land along the coastline along the main loop around the park. The four-mile trek is on an old dirt road, with various smaller trails branching off for further adventures. 

If you prefer to explore on two wheels, Bluff Point State Park is also a premier biking destination in Connecticut. You’ll find a pleasant coastal riding experience that is ideal for all skill levels, even family bike rides. 

You’ll find a long list of other outdoor recreation options here as well, from kayaking to horseback riding to swimming. Picnic tables are found near the entrance, while there’s also a boat launch, and fishing, crabbing, and shellfishing are also popular activities. 

You can also walk one mile to the small rocky island called Blushy Point Beach. A picturesque stretch of shells and rocks, it’s a dog-friendly space in the off-season from September to March. 


10. Go Crabbing and Fishing at Rocky Neck State Park

Cool Things to do in Connecticut: Rocky Neck State Park
Images courtesy of Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Enjoy some of Connecticut’s most beautiful landscapes at Rocky Neck State Park, a family-friendly destination with a beautiful, gently sloping, sandy beach. In addition to picnic areas, trail systems, and salt marsh viewing platforms, it’s also a great spot for crabbing and fishing. 

The 710-acre Niantic Park lures in fishing fans due to its high spring tides that allow schools of herring to swim into Bride Brook. Along with seasonal changes, Rocky Neck offers opportunities to reel in mackerel, striped bass, blackfish, and founder. 

After you’ve gotten your catch of the day, follow the network of hiking trails throughout the park. You’ll find easy-to-follow routes for the whole family that offer tranquil views of the ocean, salt marsh, and interesting sites such as Baker’s Cave. 

Best Things to do in Connecticut: Rocky Neck State Park

Alternately, opt for a leisurely day on the sand. Throw a towel on the white sandy shoreline and get your feet wet in the clear waters, which are ideal for swimming. Families will appreciate the on-site amenities like concessions and restrooms. 

Birdwatchers can keep their eyes peeled for local birdlife, including ospreys, cranes, herons, and other waterfowl. It’s also a popular camping destination, with many campsites within walking distance of the beach. 


11. Hop on the Ferry to Gillette Castle

Connecticut Things to do: Gillette Castle

If you want to see a one-of-a-kind historic site in Connecticut, take a day trip to Gillette Castle in East Haddam. You can take the scenic Chester-Hadlyme Ferry to get there for an up-close look at the stone castle’s built-in couches, table trackway, and woodcarvings set in a 184-acre park. 

The castle was built by the creative genius of William Gillette, who was a legendary stage actor best known for playing Sherlock Holmes on stage. The 24-room mansion looks like a medieval stone fortress, with its 47 unique doors being one of its most quirky features.

This state park isn’t all about the mansion though, as there are also fascinating geological formations and scenic hiking trails to explore. Marvel at the rare rock formations and large garnet crystals found throughout the park, including the gem-embedded steps at the castle. 

It’s also a great destination to enjoy the outdoors, featuring easy-to-follow trails that wind throughout the park. Pack a picnic and take in the natural beauty surrounding you, including gorgeous views overlooking the Connecticut River. 


12. Ride the Essex Steam Train

Unique Things to do in Connecticut: Essex Steam Train

​​All aboard! If you’re a family traveling with kids, the Essex Steam Train should be at the top of your Connecticut bucket list. Offering a scenic 2.5-hour journey into the heart of the picturesque Connecticut River Valley, this steam locomotive experience takes you back in time to a golden era. 

Immerse yourself in the beauty of quintessential New England towns of Deep River and Chester on the narrated round-trip excursion, where vintage coaches take you past incredible scenery. Savor the nature views as you pass the tidal wetlands of Pratt Cove and Chester Creek, which are natural habitats for a variety of birds. Seeing Selden Neck State Park is a highlight, as it’s only accessible by boat.

Once you arrive at Deep River Landing, you can hop aboard a riverboat excursion for a relaxing cruise along the Connecticut River. The Becky Thatcher is a multi-deck riverboat that takes you on a leisurely journey past some of the state’s most beautiful marshes, coves, inlets, and rocky shoreline. 

This family-friendly attraction also has other fun excursions on offer, including a day out with Thomas the Tank Engine and rail bike adventures. They also boast scenic dinner trains that pair fabulous food options with the sightseeing journey and kid-friendly Christmas train events.  


13. Explore the Adorable Small Town of Chester

Cool Things to do in Connecticut: Town of Chester
Image courtesy of Little House Brewing Company

One of the most charming river towns in the United States, exploring Chester is one of the most popular things to do in Connecticut. This picture-perfect New England town oozes historic charm, featuring a farm-filled landscape and artsy community that offers the perfect escape from the big city bustle. 

Embrace the slow pace of life at this countryside destination, where you’ll find plenty of shops, restaurants, and art galleries to fill up your day. Don’t miss a visit to the Chester Museum at the Mill, a small museum with interesting exhibits and artifacts highlighting the city’s 300-year history.

If you prefer the outdoors, explore the woodlands of Pattaconk Recreation Area in Cockaponsett State Forest. Located on a reservoir, it’s a popular spot for fishing and boating. After you explore Connecticut’s second-largest state forest, enjoy a swim at nearby Cedar Lake. 

Alternately, art lovers can browse the locally made pieces found at the Connecticut River Artisans artist co-op. If you’ve got the little ones with you, they’ll love a visit to Chakana Sky Alpacas, a small farm where you can meet friendly alpacas. 

You’ll also find award-winning restaurants in this tiny town, with Grano Arso one of the most popular with its pasta dishes. Little House Brewing Company has an enticing menu of local craft beers, while Honeycone Craft Ice Cream makes small-batch frozen desserts. 


14. Soak Up the Sunshine at Hammonasset Beach State Park

Connecticut Things to do: Hammonasset Beach State Park

If you’re a beach lover and not sure what to do in Connecticut, add a trip to Hammonasset Beach State Park to your list! It’s Connecticut’s largest shoreline park, offering two miles of sun-kissed beach for a fun day of swimming, strolling the boardwalk, and relaxing in the sunshine. 

This beach getaway is about an hour’s drive south of Hartford in Madison and is also a popular destination for overnight camping trips. Let little ones play in the sand as you enjoy beautiful views of Long Island Sound, then head to the pavilion showers and snack bar when you need to freshen up. 

In summer, the beach is filled with colorful umbrellas and kids building sandcastles, but it’s big enough to find your own patch of sand. When you want to stretch your legs, follow the walking trails to admire the area’s beautiful flora and fauna. 

The Hammonasset Beach State Park Walk is one of the most popular walking paths, with the 3.4-mile paved multi-use trail starting at the Meigs Point Nature Center. For a shorter trek, the Willard’s Island Nature Trail stretches for 1.1 miles through the park’s bird-filled salt marshes. 


15. Cruise Around the Thimble Islands

Must do things in Connecticut: Thimble Islands
Image courtesy of Branford River Paddlesports

Cruising around the Thimble Islands is easily one of the coolest things to do in Connecticut. Hop on a guided tour of this natural attraction in Branford to see over 100  islands of various sizes that feature beautiful homes ranging from tiny cottages to large mansions.

Sea Mist offers one of the most popular narrated cruises around the Thimble Islands. Hop aboard the 44-foot vessel for a fun 45-minute journey, which features on-site amenities like a bar, large windows, and comfortable seating for taking in the coastal views. 

Those looking for more of a thrill can join Branford River Paddlesports for a kayaking tour of the Thimble Islands. The family-friendly, three-hour tour allows you to paddle out to the beautiful islands, with a stop for a swim and break on Kelsey Island Beach. 

Once you’re off the water, you can explore the nearby coastal village of Stony Creek. Pop into the charming Stony Creek Museum for a look at the area’s history. After that, catch some rays on the tiny Stony Creek Beach. 


16. Dine on Connecticut’s Famous Buttery Lobster Rolls

What to do in Connecticut: Buttery Lobster Rolls
Image courtesy of Guilford Lobster Pound

Connecticut is known for its hot buttered lobster rolls that lure in foodies from across the country. Served everywhere from seafood shacks to fine dining restaurants, you’ll find hundreds of spots to satisfy your seafood cravings on Connecticut’s shoreline! 

To sample what this New England coastal state does best, head to Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock in New London for a classic lobster roll. You also can’t go wrong with Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough in Noank, as this legendary seaside restaurant has been a fan favorite for decades. 

Lobster Landing in Clinton is beloved for its hot and buttered lobster roll experiences, while The Lobster Shack in East Haven is a seasonal waterfront eatery that serves homemade clam chowders alongside its lobster delicacies. 

Head to Guilford to enjoy the mom-and-pop atmosphere at Guilford Lobster Pound, which features picnic tables overlooking the harbor. However, Lenny and Joe’s Fish Tale is a shoreline favorite in Westbrook and Madison with its generous portions of lobster on its rolls. 

For a bucket list experience, you can also dig into Connecticut’s other seafood specialties at a classic New England clam bake. Sheffield Island is one of the best places to experience this authentic seafood feast, with the Clambake on Sheffield Island held every Tuesday in August. 


17. Create Art at Weir Farm National Historical Park

Unique Things to do in Connecticut: Weir Farm National Historical Park
Images courtesy of Weir Farm National Historical Park

Weir Farm National Historical Park is one of the most unique destinations in Connecticut, as this national park for art celebrates the life and work of American Impressionist painter J. Alden Weir. Preserving the artist’s home and studio, you can walk in the footsteps of generations of world-class artists. 

The 60-acre park features a gorgeous landscape of woods, fields, and gardens that have inspired creative types for years. It’s a family-friendly destination where you can explore its historic setting and explore its scenic hiking trails. You can learn more about the legendary artists on a self-guided or guided tour of the Weir House, Weir Studio, Young Studio, and Burlingham House Visitor Center Gallery. 

Artists of all ages can even create their own masterpieces at Weir Farm with its popular “Take Part in Art” program. Bring your own art supplies or pick up a set of free art supplies at the Visitor Center, including colored pencils and watercolor kits. 

You can also register for an art class, including Impressionist painting workshops that are tailored for beginners and advanced artists. The park also hosts an annual Art in the Park Festival, featuring demonstrations, activity stations, and live music. 


18. Hike to the Tallest Peak in Connecticut

Hikers up for a challenge can tackle Connecticut’s Bear Mountain in Salisbury, which is the tallest peak in the state. Towering over 2,000 feet, this 5-mile out-and-back day hike is steep but worth the effort to enjoy the panoramic nature views at its peak. 

You have a few options for getting to the summit, with the most popular being the Under Mountain Trail. Located three miles north of Salisbury off of Route 41, it’s a favorite since it’s a jumping-off point for a variety of hikes in the Appalachian Trail. 

Starting at a dirt parking lot, it rises straight for about two miles until it meets up with the Appalachian Trail. Well maintained and clearly marked, you’ll be treated to gorgeous nature views once you overcome the steep ascent. 

From the top, you can marvel at Salisbury’s Twin Lakes and Washinee and even get a glimpse across the mountains of New York and Massachusetts. There are also plenty of lush forest and field views, as well as a few picturesque farms and silos. 


19. Hike Scenic Trails in Kent Falls State Park

Cool Things to do in Connecticut: Kent Falls State Park

Kent Falls State Park is an oasis for nature lovers and is home to one of the most-visited waterfalls in the state. Located in the beautiful Litchfield Hills, Kent Falls rushes 250 feet down into a picture-perfect reflecting pool. 

The popular waterfall hike in Kent Falls is easy but is steep in many sections along the stair pathway. You can stroll across the covered bridge and feel the powerful mist on your face as you get closer to the natural wonder. 

Make sure to take in all the scenic views along the way, as the hike features various observation points and benches where you can enjoy a quiet break. Once you arrive at the waterfall, you’ll be impressed by its gorgeous landscape that joins the Housatonic River. 

If you’re a fishing enthusiast, this designated Trout Park is also a great place to bring your rod and reel. Plan a quiet morning of fishing or pack a picnic and enjoy lunch by the water. 


20. Visit Ogle Enders Falls in Granby

Best Things to do in Connecticut: Enders Falls in Granby
Image courtesy of Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

A perfect destination for waterfall lovers, Ogle Enders Falls in Granby is a must-see natural marvel in Connecticut. This captivating site actually features five separate waterfalls, surrounded by some of the state’s most picturesque forest scenery!

The first fall is six feet tall, then it’s followed by three shorter, gentler cascades that appear like a staircase. The last fall features two falls, plunging at 15 feet into an inviting pool below. 

The best way to take in its beauty is from the summit. You can reach it by following one of the best waterfall hikes in Connecticut, which leads you to a photogenic vista of the cascades and beautiful rock formations. 

In summer, several of the waterfall cascades plunge into popular swimming holes for adventurers. If you’re looking for a less-crowded option, wait until you get to the fifth fall before you jump in. 

It’s a perfect day trip from the capital city of Hartford, less than a 30-minute drive to Enders State Forest. In this 2,000-acre natural oasis, you’ll find a landscape of diverse forests, wetlands, and waterfalls to explore. 


21. Take a Riverboat Tour of the Connecticut River

Fun Things to do in Connecticut: Riverboat Tour of the Connecticut River

The Connecticut River stretches 400 miles through New England, draining into the Long Island Sound after it crosses Connecticut. The designated American Heritage River offers scenic boat tours where you can take in the incredible views for a leisurely day out on the water. 

RiverQuest is a popular option, as the eco-friendly cruise ship is one of the best green tours in Connecticut. With engines that don’t give off fumes and have minimal impact on the environment, they offer a variety of themed excursions, including daytime, sunset, birdwatching, fall foliage, and winter wildlife cruises on the Connecticut River. 

Lady Katharine Cruises is another local favorite, with special cruises available on its 113-foot vessel. It features two fully enclosed, climate-controlled dining decks and a tented observation deck for prime nature viewing, and themed cruises are available throughout the year. 


22. Cycle the Farmington River Trail

Connecticut Things to do: Farmington River Trail

Biking enthusiasts looking for a scenic trail to explore in Connecticut can cycle the Farmington River Trail. The 18.2-mile loop links to the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail in Farmington and Simsbury, passing through charming towns like Unionville, Collinsville, Burlington, and Canton. 

If you want to make the entire trek, the 29.5-mile loop connects the five towns for a scenic journey along the banks of the Farmington River. It traces the route of the old “Canal Line” railroad and passes by quiet nature landscapes for a scenic biking journey. 

Keep your eyes peeled for scenic sights along the way, as you’ll encounter 19th-century mills, dams, and waterfalls, as well as lush forests and prairies. Get an up-close look at these enchanting New England communities as you leisurely bike the photogenic route, where you can stop to walk around and explore the charming towns. 

The trail is ideal for all skill levels, as it is paved and wide. You are almost always within a short distance from the river and its scenery, making the bike trail accessible year-round. 


23. Sip Local Wines on the Connecticut Wine Trail

Unique Things to do in Connecticut: Connecticut Wine Trail

​​Calling all wine lovers! The Connecticut Wine Trail is one of the coolest things to do in Connecticut if you are a fan of vino. You can sip and savor local wines on this popular trail, which includes 40 vineyards and wineries nestled within the state’s beautiful countryside and coast. 

You’ll want to add at least a few of these top sites to your itinerary, as many of the vineyards in Connecticut offer tours, tastings, and a chance to sample their farm-fresh products. Priam Vineyards is one of the best of the bunch, as this international award-winning vineyard produces 13 wines in a completely solar-powered winery.

Paradise Hills Vineyard & Winery is another favorite with its Tuscan-style tasting room and countryside setting. You can also make a stop at Hopkins Vineyard in New Preston, which has a winery set in a 19th-century barn overlooking Lake Waramaug. 

Sit back and relax with a glass of wine at Miranda Vineyard or visit a fourth-generation family farm with fruit picking at Holmberg Orchards. Set on 20 acres, Jonathan Edwards Winery boasts New England charm and Napa-style, while The Vineyard at Hillyland is located in the scenic town of Scotland. 


24. Enjoy Waterfall Overlooks at Wadsworth Falls State Park

Fun Things to do in Connecticut: Wadsworth Falls State Park

With a beautifully serene setting, Wadsworth Falls State Park features two spectacular waterfalls. Called Big Falls and Little Falls, these natural wonders can be reached on the park’s scenic walking paths. 

An easy-to-follow trail leads hikers to a small observation platform overlooking Wadsworth Big Falls, one of the best natural sites in Connecticut. It’s actually wider than it is tall and is noted as the highest volume of an undammed waterfall in New England. 

After you photograph the Big Falls, spend some time exploring Wadsworth Little Falls. Only about half a mile away, this less powerful cascade is just as beautiful and also includes a natural swimming area and beach. 

Pack a picnic and savor the view from the shaded areas or bring your fishing gear and see if you can reel in a big catch. The picturesque Coginchaug River runs through the park and is stocked with trout. If you prefer a more adrenaline-fueled activity, bikers can traverse the park’s scenic trails on two wheels. 


25. Enjoy Thrills at the Country’s Oldest Amusement Park

Best Things to do in Connecticut: Country’s Oldest Amusement Park

Thrill-seekers looking for a day of family-friendly fun can ride the coasters at Lake Compounce. The oldest continuously operating amusement park in the United States, this 332-acre park includes a beach and water park with the price of admission. 

It’s one of the coolest things to do in Connecticut for families with kids, as you’ll find a long list of heart-pounding adventures for everyone. Test your bravery on the Boulder Dash, an award-winning wooden coaster, or see if you can tackle the Phobia Phear Coaster that reaches speeds of up to 65 miles an hour. 

In addition to roller coasters, this park features classic carousel rides and giant Ferris wheels for those who prefer a more low-key adventure. Kid-friendly train rides take you around the park, while the Ghost Hunt lets you hunt down ghosts in the Bleakstone Manor. 

If you need to cool off, head to the on-site water park Bayou Bay. Kick back and relax on the Croc-O-Nile lazy river or plunge down the cascading waterfall at Mammoth Falls. Alternately, opt to drive a mini-Corvette around the race track or zoom around in a bumper car. 

There you have it! The 25 best things to do in Connecticut. What’s your favorite thing to do in The Nutmeg State?


Planning a trip to Connecticut? Check out our favorite books and travel guides!


SHARE THIS ON PINTEREST


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best ski resort in Connecticut?

If you’re a powder hound, add Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort to your Connecticut bucket list. A favorite for its winter activities of skiing, snowboarding, and tubing, this year-round attraction also offers zip lining, disc golf, and mountain biking adventures in warmer months. You’ll find 20 ski trails to choose from that cater to different skill levels, while snow-biking is also on offer for a unique mountain experience.

What is the best campground in Connecticut?

A popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, Pachaug State Forest is the largest state forest in Connecticut. Boasting over 26,000 acres and spread across multiple towns, it’s an ideal getaway for an overnight camping adventure.

Where is the best place to go hiking in Connecticut?

Hiking lovers won’t want to miss a chance to explore the trails at Bluff Point State Park. Located in Groton, the park offers a mix of wooded hiking and biking trails that couple with its spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities on the Long Island Sound. Enjoy the views of undeveloped land along the coastline along the main loop around the park.

What is the best town to explore in Connecticut?

One of the most charming river towns in the United States, exploring Chester is one of the most popular things to do in Connecticut. This picture-perfect New England town oozes historic charm, featuring a farm-filled landscape and artsy community that offers the perfect escape from the big city bustle.

What is the best food to try in Connecticut?

Connecticut is known for its hot buttered lobster rolls that lure in foodies from across the country. Served everywhere from seafood shacks to fine dining restaurants, you’ll find hundreds of spots to satisfy your seafood cravings on Connecticut’s shoreline! To sample what this New England coastal state does best, head to Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock in New London for a classic lobster roll.

What is the best waterfall in Connecticut?

A perfect destination for waterfall lovers, Ogle Enders Falls in Granby is a must-see natural marvel in Connecticut. This captivating site actually features five separate waterfalls, surrounded by some of the state’s most picturesque forest scenery! The first waterfall is six feet tall, then it’s followed by three shorter, gentler cascades that appear like a staircase. The last waterfall features two falls, plunging at 15 feet into an inviting pool below.


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Scroll to Top
139 Shares
Share
Pin139
Tweet