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Top Ten Destination Spots in Connecticut

Updated on August 19, 2015

The Maned Wolf


10. Beardsley Zoo

Located in Bridgeport, Connecticut, The Beardsley Zoo houses many animals and are known to have rare amur leopards and Mexican wolves. You will also see the maned wolf which is native to South America.The focus of this zoo is conservation and education.

This zoo also offers a lot of fun activities aside from viewing the animals. You can get up close and personal with some animals and one of those animals are the camels. Camel rides are available at the Beardsley Zoo and is a popular attraction.

Kids will enjoy the Zoo Patrol program which gives kids the opportunity to learn more about the animals through talks, behind the scenes tours, labs and more.

The Beardsley Zoo also hosts many events including entertainment and free family fishing day which is a catch and release program and all equipment needed is already provided.

This zoo offers space to be reserved for birthday parties, corporate events and more.

A baby peccary at the Beardsley Zoo.

9. Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Founded in 1964, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is the only contemporary art museum in the state of Connecticut.

This museum houses many exhibits which include; sculptors, painting and other forms of contemporary art. This museum gives artist the opportunity to expose their artwork and careers.

Tours are available and these tours offer educational programs such as workshops, performances, events and even education.

This is a great place to visit for those who are interested in contemporary art and want to explore the work of contemporary artists.

Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum


Charles W. Hawthorn- The Dress Maker


8. New Britain Museum of American Art

The New Britain Museum of American Art was founded in 1903 and was the first museum dedicated exclusively to American art in the Unites States.This museum stores exhibitions, collections as well as offers educational programs.

The New Britain Museum of American Art also gives you the option to rent the facility for special events such as birthdays, corporate events and other occasions.

The New Britain Museum of American Art has its own events which include; The Arts of Food and Wine and the Spring Gala which are just a couple of events hosted at this museum.

Inside the museum are over 11,791 paintings, photographs, sketches and cultural art. This is a great place to visit for all the art lovers out there.

Browse the museum or show up to one of the many events hosted by the New Britain Museum of American Art.

New Britain Museum of American Art


Weir Farm


7. Weir Farm National Historic Site

J. Alden Weir was an American impressionist painter who in 1882 took his summer vacation land and turned it into an artistic retreat for artists.

This historical site is located in Ridgefield & Wilton Connecticut and offers many art galleries which include pieces of J. Alden Weir’s work.

There are exhibits by other artists including; the daughter of J. Alden Weir, Dorothy Weir Young and her husband, Mahonri Young; A sculpture as well. There are also art pieces from New England painters, Sperry and Doris Andrews.

The Weir Farm National Historic Site has an art education program which gives you the option to do some art of your own; usually with colored pencils and pastels.

The grounds include; the home of J Alden Weir, Weir Studios, a garden and barn as well as Weir Pond.

There are tours available and a hiking trail to explore the grounds of the Weir Farm National Historic Site.

Weir Studios


Are you interested in visiting the Phelps-Hathaway House and Gardens?

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6. Phelps-Hathaway House and Gardens

The Phelps-Hathaway House and Gardens were occupied by two families in the 18th century and was built in 1761.

The first owner, Shem Burbank, was forced to sell the house and move due to hardships from the Revolutionary War. Burbank sold the house to Oliver Phelps in 1785 who made additions to the house. After filing bankruptcy Oliver Phelps was forced to move and it was then owned by the Hathaway’s through the 1800’s.

Artifacts were found in the attack which document the life the families who lived in the house from the day it was built.

Located in Suffield, Connecticut, the Phelps-Hathaway House still has the original wallpaper, two fireplaces, art, pottery, furniture and ceramic dishes.

If you appreciate history of the East Coast, The Phelps-Hathaway will be a treat.

Phelps-Hathaway House


The Charles W Morgan


5. Mystic Seaport

Located in Mystic, Connecticut, on the Mystic River, Mystic Seaport is a museum known as, The Museum of America and Sea. Mystic Seaport is home to a large collection of sailing ships and boats and many are from the 19th century.

Five hundred historical vessels are located at Mystic Seaport and are viewed from visitors from all over the world.

Established in 1929, Mystic Seaport houses the last wooden whale ship in the world called, The Charles W Morgan.

This unique museum also houses a planetarium and many historical buildings which are located in Seafaring Village along with many exhibits.

The 19th century village, Seafaring Village, located nearby is home to many historical buildings and Musicians, role-players and educators and they are all there for your learning experience and entertainment.

While exploring Seafaring Village you will feel like you have been brought back in time.

Mystic Seaport


4. Foxwoods Resort and Casino

Foxwoods Resort and Casino is located in Ledyard, Connecticut on the Mashantucket Pequot Indian Reservation and is the second largest casino is the world next to a casino located in Oklahoma.

Foxwoods popularity has not only made it nationwide but is also worldwide. Foxwoods has six different casinos, a Hard Rock Café and the more recent, MGM Grand. There are areas for kids at Foxwoods and once of those places is an arcade.

Foxwoods also offers different forms of entertainment along with places to eat. Foxwoods offers twenty five eateries to choose from as well as three hotels to stay at.

Some of the entertainment includes boxing and live music.

The Mashantucket Pequot Museum is about five miles away and shuttles are available to take you where you want to go.

Foxwoods Resort and Casino


Interior of Rosewood Cottage


3. Roseland Cottage

Located in Woodstock, Connecticut, The Roseland Cottage was built in 1846 and is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark as well.

This cottage was owned by the Bowen Family who used it as a summer retreat. The cottage was often use to entertain friends and family and even entertained some US Presidents including; Ulysses S Grant, Benjamin Harrison and Rutherford B Hayes.

The inside of this Gothic style house is detailed with colorful patterns as well as stained glass. The furniture and art in the house are original and of the Gothic style as well as the clothing.

This gorgeous coral pink cottage with black trim is also home to twenty-one flower gardens on the land, an aviary, a barn and the oldest bowling alley in the United States.

Over the years Roseland Cottage has maintained the same appearance and has not changed much due to the original state it is in including both the inside of the cottage as well as the outside..

Rosewood Cottage


Harkness Tower


2. Yale University

Located in New Haven, Connecticut, and established in 1701, Yale University is a prestigious college and sought out by many to receive their education.

The School of Medicine, which opened in 1813, Yale Law School which was founded in 1824, The Yale Art Gallery opened in 1832 and The School of Music which opened in 1894 are all some of the early schools of Yale University. Yale also houses the Sterling Law Building, Wanderbuilt Hall and The Yale Visitor Center.

A popular attraction at Yale is The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History was founded in 1866 and offers several educational programs and learning experiences.

The most prominent structure on campus is the Harkness Memorial Tower. The Harkness Memorial Tower houses bells which are rung daily and heard around the old Yale Campus. This tower was completed in 1914.

Yale offers different types of tours which will give you the opportunity to get a look at Yale University and to have any questions you have answered.

There is a golf course located here as well as places to dine.

Yale University Old Campus


Center Church of The Green (First United Church)

Built in 1812
Built in 1812 | Source

Fort Nathan Hale Park


Pardee Rose Garden


1. New Haven

Located in Connecticut, New Haven is a quaint city surrounded by beautiful terrain and a gorgeous shoreline. Known for the home of Yale University, New Haven offers more attractions.

West Rock Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and overlooks New Haven as well as some other places from the cliff top.

East Rock State Park is another popular attraction and houses the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial which was built in 1887 and is a National Historical Landmark. This landmark honors those who fought and died during the Revolutionary War, The Civil War, The War of 1812 and The Mexican War.

The Pardee Rose Garden is also located in East Rock State Park and is a popular place to take pictures. The Mill River flows along the park as well.

West Rock Ridge State Park is another park in New Haven and has many walking trails to walk along. Lake Wintergreen is another attraction in the park. Judges cave is a rock in which was used as a hiding place in the 1600’s and probably the most known attraction in West Rock Ridge State Park. South Overlook offers spectacular views of New Haven and is a great place to soak them in.West Rock Ridge Park also offers hiking, biking, fishing, rock-climbing and much more.

Sleeping Giant State Park is a popular park that offers views of cliff top vistas and is known or its many hiking trails. Another great spot to overlook the area is at Lookout tower which was built in 1936. Hiking, picnicking and bird watching, cross country skiing and rock climbing are just some of the recreational activities that Sleeping Giant Park has to offer.

Another historical attraction located in New Haven is The Green. This privately owned park was built in 1638 and houses several historical structures. The United Church on the Green is one of them and was built in 1814. There are two other churches located on these grounds along with a couple of fountains. The Green hosts summer events in which the New Haven Jazz Festival is just one of the events.

Light Point Park is home to the New Haven Lighthouse which is on the National Register of Historic Places and was in use for 73 years. Although it’s not in use today, the lighthouse is still standing. Due to dim lighting and other problems with the New Haven Lighthouse, another lighthouse was purchased to take its place in 1924.

Over the years several things have been added to the park including concession stands and a small amusement park. There are also playgrounds and picnic areas located at the park. The 1920’s carousel is a popular attraction at Light Point Park since it is one out of 100 of its kind still used today.

New Haven is also home to the historical Fort Nathan Hale Park which is the site of a fort used in the Revolutionary War. This site attracts many people from all over.

New Haven, Connecticut


A road map to help you get around Connecticut

Beardsley Zoo:
Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06610, USA

get directions

New Britain Museum of American Art:
New Britain Museum of American Art, 56 Lexington Street, New Britain, CT 06052, USA

get directions

Peabody Museum, Yale:
Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, Yale University Science Hill, 170 Whitney Avenue

get directions

Weir Farm:
Weir Farm National Historic Site, Wilton, CT 06897, USA

get directions

Mystic Seaport:
Mystic Seaport, 75 Greenmanville Avenue, Mystic, CT 06355, USA

get directions

Roseland Cottage:
Roseland Cottage, 556 Connecticut 169, Woodstock, CT 06281, USA

get directions

Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA

get directions

New Haven:
New Haven, CT, USA

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    • profile image

      Teri Stohlberg 

      3 years ago

      Thank you for the great article and pictures. I am lucky to live in Connecticut, and I also live near Roseland Cottage and never get tired of seeing it as I drive by every day!

    • April Dawn Meyer profile imageAUTHOR

      April Dawn Meyer 

      5 years ago from Belle Fourche, South Dakota

      Thank you!! :) I have alot of fun writing them.

    • ameliam.michelle1 profile image

      Ameliam Michelle 

      5 years ago from London, England

      April, you seem like a hubbber-cum-guide. This hub once again was superb and now I definitely think that I would not need a guide while I am at this part of the world. Loved it and voted up. Thx for sharing such a beautiful hub april, keep it up!

    • April Dawn Meyer profile imageAUTHOR

      April Dawn Meyer 

      5 years ago from Belle Fourche, South Dakota

      Thank you very much :)

    • Bercton profile image


      5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great hub with beautiful destination!


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