Connecticut

Connecticut view by CC user joshbg2k on Flickr

Introduction

Constituting the southern boundary of New England, Connecticut is a state of transition between the slower pace of life that predominates in the rest of the region, and the frenetic pace of life that exists in the Mid-Atlantic states. You can find tastes of both throughout this territory, whether you’re seeking sandy beaches, rolling farmland, or cities that hum with life day and night.

One of America‘s most prestigious universities can be found in its centre, and a pair of this countries’ best authors made their home in this state throughout the productive years of their lives. Being located within an easy drive of both Boston and New York City, there are plenty of urban delights here as well, with world class museums, a famous aquarium and two massive casinos attracting tonnes of visitors from both cities.

While you may be tempted to speed through on the way to experience both of the world cities listed above, linger a while – some of the best travel experiences are had when off the beaten track, and when you spend time in a place not frequented by foreign tourists, having that highly valued local experience becomes much easier and far more genuine.

Mark Twain House and Museum by CC user nostri-imago on Flickr

What To Do – Culture & History

Located in the north central portion of Connecticut, the state capital of Hartford may be best known for such boring pursuits like being home to many of America’s better known insurance companies, it is home to a couple of sights of particular interest to the cultural traveler. The first of these is Mark Twain House, a home where the famed American author spent much of his adult life living in with his family.

During the fifteen plus years that he spent here, he wrote many of the works that he was best known for, such as Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The house featured 19 rooms, but this symbol of his success needed to be sold off in 1891, after his investments tanked during an economic contraction.

Literary fans should then proceed next to Harriet Beecher Stowe House, where the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin lived during the last two decades of her life, from 1873 on to 1896. Coincidentally (or not), she lived right next to Mark Twain’s house. Oh, to get into a dinner party with both of them present!

Before leaving Hartford, make time to view art at the Wadsworth Atheneum, which is the oldest art museum in the United States. Its castle-like ramparts will set the tone for your visit here, as its collection would be worthy for a king or queen, containing a wide variety of French and American impressionist paintings. The museum also contains antique furniture from the early days of America as a nation and a respectable selection of modern art, which will satisfy the art lover through their visit here.

Those that are enthusiastic about all things to do with the sea should not leave the state without checking out the Mystic Seaport, which is the largest marine museum in the entire world. Built in the fashion of a living history museum, Mystic Seaport recreates a 19th century fishing village, complete with actors/actresses wearing period clothing.

The structures that are here have been moved from other places from around New England, restored to how their state was in their heyday, and in the water, 16 ships from the golden age of sail sit there for your review. Simply put, if salt water runs through your veins, you need to visit this place.

Yale University by CC user adam_jones on Flickr

Sitting alongside schools like Harvard in academic prowess, Yale University sits at the middle of Connecticut’s coast in New Haven as one of America’s revered Ivy League colleges. On the grounds of Yale, aside from relaxing on the quad and pretending to be one of its fortunate students, there are a number of museums on its grounds that focuses of art and natural history. The memorial library also contains a number of artifacts from Babylon, which were donated to the institution by none other than famed financier J.P Morgan.

Finally, military buffs will be chomping at the bit to tour some of the U.S. Navy’s former combat class subs at the Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton. This attraction is based around the USS Nautilius, the world’s first nuclear powered submarine. Managed exclusively by the Navy, 33,000 artifacts from the history of submarines are here, from some of the first submersibles, to early prototypes of periscopes. One particular artifact to look out for is one of the first editions of Jules Verne 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, a book that was first published in 1870.

Mohegan Sun by CC user thisisbossi on Flickr

What To Do – Modern & Natural Attractions

In New York State, casino gambling is heavily restricted, so when NYC’s eight million residents get the itch to bet some circular discs in the hopes of earning more circular discs, they head out of the city into states like Connecticut, where casinos like Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun wait to take bets from money hungry New Yorkers.

Being the third and second largest casinos in the United States, there is a lot of action to be had, especially at the poker tables, where a wide spread of cash games and regular tournaments are available for avid card players.

Roller coaster lovers will adore Lake Compounce, as is one of the oldest amusement parks in the USA. Founded in 1846, the park today has over 40 attractions, including three hari raising roller coasters that will inspire joy in people young and old.

One of the largest dinosaur track finds in America can be found in Connecticut, which is protected by Dinosaur State Park. Located just south of Hartford in Rocky Hill, scores of dino tracks set in 200 million year old sandstone were found when a crew was breaking ground for a municipal building, prompting the subsequent protection of this tract of land. A dome protects these remarkable footprints so that they can be viewed by visitors and researched by paleontologists for generations to come.

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