Posted by: RasmaSandra | November 20, 2018

Exploring Connecticut


The U.S. state of Connecticut is known by different names. It is The Constitution State, The Nutmeg State, The Provisions State and The Land of Steady Habits.

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Silver Sands State Park in Milford, Connecticut offers many different activities such as swimming in Long Island Sound.

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Bird watchers will enjoy the bird sanctuary on Charles Island. On the island, you’ll find heron and egret rookeries and the island can be reached on foot when it is low tide. The snowy owl and the rough-legged hawk also make their home here.

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This park is close to the great Walnut Beach.

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Wadsworth Falls State Park in Middletown is also referred to as Wadsworth Falls. The falls are a 1.25-mile hike from the entrance to the park. You can find lots of picnic and swimming facilities here and grills for cooking.

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Greenwich is the largest town on Connecticut’s Gold Coast. It was named after a borough in London, England. One of the most popular annual events here is the Greenwich International Film Festival.

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Worth visiting are the Bruce Museum (an art and natural history museum)

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and the Audubon Center. The place for shopping is Greenwich Avenue.

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Gillette Castle resembles a medieval fortress and straddles the towns of East Haddam and Lyme. Gillette State Park was once the home of actor William Gillette, who was best known for his stage portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. The castle is on the National Register of Historic Places and a Viewpoint Exhibit Host Site.

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Old Saybrook is one of Connecticut’s most historic places. A most impressive landmark is the Lynde Point Lighthouse. Other popular tourist attractions are the

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Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center


and the General William Hart House.

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In the summer it is great to spend a day at Harvey’s Beach. You can enjoy a game of mini-golf at Saybrook Point and take in the lovely scenery.

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Stonington is home to some of the state’s most historic buildings such as

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the Capt. Nathaniel B. Palmer House,

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Stanton-Davis Homestead Museum and

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the William Clark Company Thread Mill. Worth visiting are the Stonington Vineyards

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and the Old Lighthouse Museum.

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The U.S. National Iwo Jima Memorial is located in New Britain. It was the idea of and designed by Dr. George Gentile, who was the founder and president of the Iwo Jima Survivors Association. This memorial park has an eternal flame dedicated to all the brave soldiers.

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Saville Dam at Barkhamsted Reservoir has been named the most beautiful man-made structure in Connecticut. It is the primary water source for Hartford. From the dam, you can enjoy spectacular views.

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The Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam is one of the state’s most important cultural institutions.  Many world-famous musicals have been performed here like Annie, Man of La Mancha, and Shenandoah. There are tours available.

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Enders is mostly forest but also has lovely waterfalls at Enders Falls State Park. You can go hiking and take a beautiful walk along the Enders Brook.

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Kent Falls State Park is a designated trout park for fishing. There are many beautiful things to see here like a covered bridge. Visitors enjoy hiking and picnicking. The falls are lovely.

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Guilford is a lovely town to vacation in. Worth seeing is


the Henry Whitfield State Museum, which is the oldest house in Connecticut and the oldest stone house in New England

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and Bishop’s Orchard. Families enjoy Shoreline Segway Tours

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and can visit the Faulkner’s Island Lighthouse,

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the Elisha Pitkin House,

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and the Thomas Burgis II House.

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A great place for relaxing in Lake Quonnipaug.

Connecticut Off the Beaten Path

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The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield was founded about 20 years ago by Larry Aldrich. He was a collector of contemporary art and is known for his exhibits which focus on the major trend in today’s art world and the works of undiscovered artists. Behind the museum are slopping lawns surrounded by flowering trees and shrubs.

There are sculptures by some 15 contemporary artists. The terrace overlooking the garden is a great place to sit and view the collection. Among the museum’s activities is the “Artreach” program which features a series of lectures, films and slide shows given by art teachers and historians. It is offered to local schools as a part of a year-long schedule of cultural events, including group tours to museums and art galleries as well as private collections in New York City and throughout New England.

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Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is located in Norwalk. In 1864 millionaire LeGrand Lockwood built a magnificent 62 room mansion on a hill overlooking the Norwalk River. The mansion has towers, turrets, arches and iron grillwork on the rooftop. The granite building resembles a European castle.

The interior of the 4 story house has fine frescoes, marble carvings, etched glass panels, marquetry and parquetry, and a 42-foot high rotunda. Many of the rooms open onto a balcony that surrounds the great hall. The main stairway goes up from the rotunda to the balcony. A peacock of blue stones inlaid in a garland of marble decorates one of the mansion’s 25 fireplaces.

Soon after the mansion was completed the Lockwoods lost their fortune and the Charles D. Mathews family of New York bought the estate and occupied it for more than 60 years. Today it is a museum open to the public. In 1971 it was declared a National Historic Landmark and has been featured in films such as “The Stepford Wives” and “The House of Dark Shadows”. A Christmas tradition has about a dozen rooms in the mansion decked out with holiday decorations and an annual “community celebration” is held in December with Christmas music, refreshments and a Santa Claus.

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Boothe Memorial Park is situated on a hill overlooking the Housatonic River in Stratford. It sits on 32 acres built in about 1840 and was remodeled in 1914. It is said to be “The Oldest Homestead in America” because it sits on the foundation of a 1663 house and has been continuously occupied.

The Boothe Memorial Museum maintains a collection of architecturally unique buildings. Some of the structures include a carriage house, an Americana museum, a miniature lighthouse, a Dutch windmill, a six-story bell tower, a pagoda-like redwood cathedral, and other structures.

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A 77-foot clock tower and belfry known as the Anniversary Tower houses family heirlooms gathered from cousins far and near, along with the family genealogy. Walking trails wind through the park to various exhibits and to a rose garden and a sundial set in a circle of stones. There are picnic tables set under the trees overlooking the river.

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The Lock Museum of America can be found in Terryville. In the 19th century, the Connecticut Yankees’ mechanical skills were convincingly demonstrated by their work as locksmiths. The Eagle Lock Company of Terryville donated some 5,000 old locks and the Lock Museum of America opened in 1972 in a building that once served as the town hall. Then some 10 years later the museum needed more space and a permanent home was built for the collection. Every one of the original 5000 locks was manufactured in Connecticut during the 19th century.

Today the collection has more than 23,000 and represents manufacturers from all across the country. Many from the early 20th century are also included. On display are thousands of keys and other related objects and the museum library includes lock catalogs from many early American lock manufacturers. There are eight display rooms. The newest of these is an extensive lock collection that includes a Cannon Ball Safe, 30 early era time locks, Safe Escutcheon Plates and a large number of British Safe Locks, Door Locks, Padlocks, Handcuffs, and Keys.

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Talcott Mountain State Park – This park extends for more than three miles along a wooded ridge named for John Talcott, a Revolutionary War hero. The centerpiece of the park is the Heublein Tower, a famous landmark in the Farmington River Valley. The tower is perched on Mount Philip, the park’s highest peak; the 165-foot tower was the home of Gilbert Heublein for 30 years. He built it in 1914. To be able to reach the tower one has to climb the trail winding up the craggy mountainside from the parking lot at the foot of the ridge.

Wildlife can be seen along the way and from the top bird watchers can get glimpses of bald eagles and turkey vultures. In one room of the tower is a museum that presents the history of the building which includes its use during WWII as a radio transmitter station. The trail further leads to a shelter with picnic tables and then winds back down the mountain by another route to the parking lot.

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The Old-Gate Prison and Copper Mine in East Granby opened in 1707 and the mine was the first of its kind in the American Colonies. It continued to operate for more than 65 years and at the height of its productivity, more than 20 miners worked here. Attempts to smelt copper ore in America failed so the ore from the mine was shipped to England for processing. Two such valuable shipments were lost at sea so that the shipping proved uneconomical and the mine closed in 1773.

Afterwards, the Connecticut colony designated the mine as a prison for burglars, horse thieves, robbers, and counterfeiters and named it for the infamous Newgate Prison in London. The first prisoner arrived on December 22, 1773, and escaped 18 days later. Other escapes followed some successful others not. Richard Steele, a “notorious villain and burglar” held the record of three escapes from Newgate. In 1776 Newgate became the first state prison in America. A couple of Tories and captured British soldiers were sent here during the American Revolution. Women were first committed here in 1824. Newgate was closed about 50 years later when the prison at Wethersfield was built. There are guided tours through the tunnels where prisoners were confined.

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Leffingwell House Museum in Norwich was built in 1675 by Stephen Backus, son of a Norwich founder. Thomas Leffingwell bought the house in 1700 and turned it into an inn with a tavern room. An addition was added in 1715. Some years later Thomas’s grandson Christopher Leffingwell, a prominent Norwich businessman added the rear section. This includes the North Hall, the kitchen and the George Washington Parlor, which was named for the general, who was entertained in this room during the Revolutionary War. Today the museum is completely restored and contains many examples of 17th and 18th-century furniture. Visitors to this living museum can get a glimpse of early 18th-century life. The house is filled with a fascinating assortment of pieces from each generation. To supplement the collection, items such as a canopy bed, silver, and a pewter communion set have been lent by the Wadsworth Athenaeum and other American institutions.

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  1. Such a beautiful region.

    • It certainly is. Many people don’t realize that the state of Connecticut has a lot of beauty to see. This state gets overlooked often because of its close proximity to New York and NYC

      • CN is beautiful. So many NYers commute from CN. 😊

  2. Love all the photos .

    • Glad you enjoyed them. It is never easy finding just the right photos.

  3. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford.

  4. I’ve never been to Connecticut, but the beach, castle and waterfall definitely caught my eye. New England is a beautiful place, especially in the fall. I’ve been to Massachusetts and New Hampshire so far. Loved it.

    • New England is lovely in all seasons. I have traveled all over the New England states and each has something special to offer. Glad you enjoyed this tour, Alexis.

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