Connecticut

Connecticut is so easy to get to, whether you fly in to Boston or New York. Wedged between the two, this may be one of the USA’s smallest states, but delivers on quality.

In the west, the wooded Litchfield Hills are home to pretty villages, antiques shops and state parks with well-marked hiking trails make this a popular area. Route 7 is scenic, but there are also plenty of lovely side roads. Autumn, with the fall foliage and country fairs, is a particularly good time to visit. The town of Litchfield with its village green, handsome homes and excellent restaurants and inns, is a great place to visit along with West Cornwall, best known for the 150-year-old covered bridge. The falls, in Kent Falls State Park, a series of cascades tumbling 250 feet into the Housatonic River, are also a must-see.

In the middle is the Connecticut River Valley, with Hartford, the capital of the state. Hartford boasts the country’s oldest Statehouse and oldest newspaper, the Hartford Courant ,however the main draws are the homes of two of the USA’s best-known authors. The Mark Twain House & Museum is a must for fans of the author, one of America’s favourites. Many of his books were written here; with the original furniture and decoration, it looks as if the family have just popped out. Right next door to Twain’s house is the Harriet Beecher Stowe Centre, the equally fascinating home of the author of the influential anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

The city also has the Wadsworth Atheneum, rated one of America’s Top 12 art museums; its collection includes works by American artists James McNeill Whistler and Georgia O’Keeffe, as well as Picasso and Monet.

Along the coast are sandy beaches and seaports and many attractions have a maritime flavour. The main seaport is Mystic where you return to the 19th century with 50 historic houses, role players, tradesmen such as printers at work and historic boats afloat. The star is the restored Charles W. Morgan (1841), the last remaining wooden whaleship around.

The Mystic Aquarium & Ocean Exploration Center, houses marine creatures, such as belugas, as well as Titanic – 12,450 Feet Below, a multimillion-dollar exhibit that brings the tragedy to life. Dr Robert Ballard, who first located the legendary shipwreck in 1985, is based here at the Ocean Exploration Center.

At Groton, you can tour USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear submarine (1954) and the first sub to reach the North Pole. The fun little village of Old Lyme has American Impressionists on show at the Florence Griswold Museum.

New Haven is synonymous with Yale University. Founded in 1701, its graduates include presidents George Bush, Bill Clinton and George W Bush. Take one of the free student-led tours of the campus to learn more. The Yale Center for British Art is rated the finest collection of British art outside the British Isles with masterpieces by Turner, Gainsborough and Reynolds while the Yale University Art Gallery has works by Picasso, van Gogh and Monet.

 

 

Everything went to plan. The car was excellent, we had no problems with the ferry bookings or the hotel reservations and the information we received was all accurate. We appreciated the very convenient seats that were reserved for us on the flights. Overall, an excellent holiday experience, you did an excellent job in putting it all together for us and in responding to my many queries

Mr Goodyear