Famously home to the Gilmore Girls, Stepford Wives, Yale University, and some of the most beautiful fall foliage in the US, New England’s southernmost state is both an interesting and very beautiful place to visit especially if you time your visit to coincide with the autumn season. Here you can expect truly gorgeous landscapes and other attractions including seemingly endless farmland, fine historical houses, sophisticated art galleries, patchwork hills, opulent mansions, waterfalls residing in stunning state parks, and affluent riverside and coastal communities. From impressive state buildings to scenic road routes, here are the best and most beautiful places to visit in Connecticut…
Talcott Mountain State Park – one of the most popular places to visit in Connecticut
This is easily one of the best places to visit in Connecticut, this is a sprawling and very beautiful public recreation area. The main attraction of Talcott Mountain State Park is Heublein Tower which was once Gilbert Heublein’s family home and can be reached by the yellow trail hiking trail which is 1.25 miles in length (which can be walked around 30-40 minutes). The striking tower is 165ft tall and 1,040 ft above sea level. The trail is well maintained and passes through the stunning Connecticut forest where the trees shed leaves annually.
The authority has arranged benches for visitors as it is a family destination to take proper rest for elders and children too. You can see the 360-degree view encompassing four states by climbing at the top of the tower. There is a museum of local history as well. It’s one of the best places for hiking and a picnic with a scenic view.
Hotels and Airbnbs in Talcott Mountain State Park
Cornwall – a historic town surrounded by stunning Connecticut countryside
Cornwall is beautiful and a wonderful small town located in Litchfield County, Connecticut. I would recommend visiting here during the autumn and winter to enjoy wild swimming in the local lakes, the open-air theatre, and skiing in Mohawk Mountain.
It’s both a charming and romantic place to visit as well as being a great base for outdoor activities. Cornwall has some great resorts too. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from and if you’re looking for peace and scenery then make sure you visit the Hudson River.
Hotels and Airbnbs in Cornwall
White Sands Beach – one of the most beautiful beaches to visit in Connecticut
This is a lovely and beautiful place to visit in Connecticut here you can spend some quality time with your family or just have some peaceful time for yourself. Located in Old Lyme you can kick off your summer season at the White Sands Beach and can get back to your busy life feeling much calmer. It’s a small and pretty community beach with safe swimming, pale sand, a picnic area and great views of Long Island Sound.
Hotels and Airbnbs in White Sands Beach
Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford – one of the most impressive buildings to visit in Connecticut
Hartford is the current capital of Connecticut and here you can find the very impressive and striking Connecticut State Capitol. Here you can find a full-size replica of the Liberty Bell and can even touch this Liberty Bell – unlike the original one in Philadelphia.
You will also get to see “The Genius of Connecticut” – a symbolic protector of Connecticut. Her name, Genius – reflects the spirit of innovation of this state. In Connecticut, you will see many things that tell a great history of this place such as A Globetrotting Gun, The Forlorn Soldier, Nathan Hale, the State Hero, and many more. Definitely one of the best places to visit in Connecticut!
Hotels and Airbnbs in Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford
Kent, New England – one of the most beautiful places to visit in the fall
Kent, New England located in Litchfield County is a beautiful town and hidden gem to visit in and explore in Connecticut. It’s one of the best places to visit to see this area’s stunning autumn foliage. Fall is when the trees transform into a kaleidoscope of the three striking colors of reds, oranges, and purples. Whilst here you should also visit the “Kent Falls State Park”, which is also known as “The Jewel of the Inland Parks.” Here you can enjoy stunning views of seventeen waterfalls!
The Rocky Hill/Glastonbury Ferry route – one of the most scenic river routes in Connecticut
Rocky Hill is a town in Hartford County located on the Connecticut Valley on the west bank of the river, here you can catch the ferry to the neighboring town of Glastonbury along the pretty Connecticut River. Part of Route 160 it’s a historic journey and actually thought to be the oldest continuously operated ferry service in the whole country.
It’s also a very tranquil and scenic route, and it’s a nice chance to watch birds and other wildlife, see lovely river views and just step back and take in all the wonderful Connecticut countryside.
Greenwich – known as one of the wealthiest cities in America
Greenwich is one of the oldest and historically rich towns in Connecticut. It’s also one of the most affluent. To get the feel of charming New England I would recommend paying a visit to this culture-rich and wealthy coastal town.
As well as charming scenery, very fine mansions, high-end boutique shops, and upscale restaurants it’s also home to lovely attractions including Greenwich Audubon Center, Greenwich Botanical Center, Putnam Cottage, as well as plenty of other beautiful places to visit.
Connecticut State Route 169 – one of the most scenic road routes in Connecticut
This route has some peaceful roads through quiet villages, scenic woodlands, quaint farmsteads amid rivers, and rolling hills. You can travel through one of the last unspoiled areas in the northeastern US. This route has everything from open spaces, forests, to rustic farmsteads. It begins at an intersection with Route 2 and Route 32 in Norwich and ends at US Route 20 in Charlton City.
Litchfield Hills – known as one of the most beautiful places to visit in Connecticut
Locked in a tranquil NorthWest corner of the state, Litchfield Hills is one of the best places to visit in Connecticut to enjoy outdoor activities including hiking (try walking the Appalachian Trail), biking and water sports, and horseback riding.
Expect scenery such as pretty small towns, gorgeous waterfalls, rolling hills, charming village greens, endless farmland, and lovely bridges crossing beautiful rivers. Definitely try and visit around fall as this is when the colors here are truly gorgeous!
Burr Pond State Park – a beautiful recreation area which looks particularly gorgeous in the fall
Love swimming and gorgeous scenery? You should definitely pay a visit Burr Pond State Park. Here you can relax, go swimming or take a picnic. Also, don’t forget to hike the trails in search of the bronze tablet marking Connecticut’s role in the Civil war and the Industrial Revolution.
At this great place to visit in Connecticut, you can have fun doing various outdoor activities including boating in spring and summer, ice skating in the winter, and watching the incredible foliage during the fall!
Haight Brown Vineyard – Connecticut’s first winery set in 10 acres of lovely countryside
Haight Brown Vineyard is situated on ten pastoral acres and was the first fine winery of New England. You can visit this place to sample wines (they have several tasting rooms) and learn about growing grapes and wine production.
On lazy summer days, enjoy sips of wine on the downstairs terrace, and in winter sample their delicious products sitting by the fireplace. You can also find a cafe, a gift shop as well as a few lovely walking trails.
Saville Dam, Barkhamsted – a striking and very photogenic Connecticut beauty spot
Saville Dam is a lovely and serene place to visit in Connecticut. It’s a very striking embankment dam with an almost fairytale-like turret located on the eastern branch of the Farmington River in southwestern Barkhamsted, Connecticut, and is actually one of the most photographed structures in the state.
It has some large areas to walk around and has some beautiful spots, again this is a particularly very photogenic place to visit during fall.
Lake Waramaug – one of the best places to explore in Connecticut
The 656-acre Lake Waramaug is definitely one of the most beautiful places to visit and explore in Connecticut. Located across a number of areas in Connecticut, there are also a lot of outdoor activities to enjoy here including boating, swimming, camping, and picnicking.
This is also a great place to spot wildlife and many species including bears, beavers, eagles, possum and wild turkeys call this place home. If you’re thinking of staying it also has a campground that allows at least 77 tents at a time as well as a walk-in camping option as well.
New Haven – a charming coastal city which is home to Yale University
This coastal city is arguably most famous for being home to Ivy League Yale University which was founded in 170, but New Haven is a also great place to visit to relax and spend some quality time with your family.
First head for Lighthouse Point Park which is an 82-acre park on Long Island Sound which offers swimming, nature trails, a traditional carousel, and a bird sanctuary – kids will love this place! The park also has some sandy beach areas with rocks and shallow water as well as some lovely picnic areas.
Also, make sure you explore the beautiful Hammonasset Beach State Park and the city itself, there’s a Yale University Tour and some fun Brewery Tours and Tastings (there’s an ever-increasing craft beer scene in the city).
Devil’s Hopyard State Park – a beautiful public recreation area
Devil’s Hopyard State Park is a perfect and stunning place to visit in Connecticut with your family or dog and here you can enjoy a picnic, hike, go cycling, spot birds, go camping, or just take in the wonderful scenery.
There are many great trails here with differing degrees of difficulty and expect bridges, streams, woodland, and mountains along the way. Although one of the area’s most famous attractions is 60-foot high Chapman Falls (pictured above).
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