Connecticut is a beautiful state filled with history, culture, and natural beauty. From small towns to big cities, there’s something for everyone in Connecticut. There are also plenty of fun activities to do with your family or friends that won’t cost you an arm and a leg! Here are 21 fun things to do in Connecticut:
1. Mystic Seaport Museum
Here’s a great place to bring your family. This is a maritime museum with more than 40 historic buildings, ships, and boats. On display are over one million artifacts in the collection that spans more than 300 years of maritime history. The most famous exhibit is the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan which was built in Mystic and launched into the Mystic River on December 22nd, 1840.
The museum has several buildings which you can tour including restored whaleboats; shipbuilding displays; a blacksmith shop; a cooperage; a sail loft; a rope walk; a coper’s shop (the oldest wooden building in Connecticut); Native American longhouse wigwam (circa 1637); colonial farmhouse kitchen garden – herb gardens & vegetable plots for cooking demonstrations at Seaport Village Farmstands (open daily during the season).
2. The Mark Twain House & Museum
The Mark Twain House & Museum is a historic house museum located in Hartford, Connecticut, United States. It was the home of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), known by his pen name Mark Twain, from 1874 until his death.
For me, this is one of my favorite places in all of Connecticut to visit! I’ve been there many times and have always enjoyed it very much. The staff that runs the museum are always very friendly and welcoming to visitors like myself who may bring along their children or grandchildren with them for some fun! There’s lots of great information about Mark Twain’s life on display at this historic site as well as an assortment of items from when he lived here including many photos taken by him during his lifetime which are displayed throughout several rooms inside this beautiful home where he spent quite a bit of time living back then too before moving later on down south near New York City area where most people think he lived most off those years due t
3. Yale University Art Gallery
Yale University Art Gallery is a museum of art in New Haven, Connecticut. It is one of the oldest art museums in the United States and among the largest university-affiliated art museums in the world.
4. Mystic Aquarium
Mystic Aquarium is a great place for families, with attractions including touch pools, an underwater walk-through tunnel, and a sea exhibit. There are also many educational programs for people of all ages.
Address: 55 Coogan Blvd., Mystic, CT 06355
Hours of operation: Open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day)
Cost: $25/adult; $20/child (ages 3-12); free for children under 3 years old; discounts available for groups of 15 or more in advance. Tickets include general admission plus one ride on the carousel or train ride.
What to see there? The aquarium has over 2,500 animals representing 300 species living in an environment that recreates their natural habitat as closely as possible. This includes penguins, sharks, rays, and other marine life that live in habitats such as coral reefs and kelp forests. There are also exhibits on environmental issues facing our oceans today such as plastic pollution and overfishing that affect these ecosystems worldwide!
5. Yale University
Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 as the “Collegiate School” by a group of Congregationalist ministers led by President Thomas Clap, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The Collegiate School moved to New Haven in 1716 and shortly after was renamed Yale College in recognition of a gift from British East India Company governor Elihu Yale. In 1861, under President Abraham Lincoln’s inspiration for national unity during his administration’s Civil War efforts, Congress chartered two institutions: Eastern University (later named Eastern Michigan University) and Central University (later named Western Michigan University). These institutions were later combined into what would become known as Western Michigan State College; however, individuals across Michigan still refer to their respective campuses as being part of “Central” or “Eastern,” even though both universities now fall under Western Michigan’s umbrella organization.
6. Foxwoods Resort Casino
Foxwoods Resort Casino is an Indian casino and entertainment resort in the United States, located on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Ledyard, Connecticut. The casino is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. It is one of two federally recognized sovereign tribal nations in Connecticut that were granted land to build casinos (the other being Mohegan Sun). Periodically, Foxwoods hosts concerts featuring famous artists such as Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, and Cher.
If you’re looking for something fun to do while visiting Connecticut this summer, we recommend heading over to Foxwoods Resort Casino!
7. The Submarine Force Museum
- The Submarine Force Museum is located in Groton, Connecticut.
- It’s the only museum in the world dedicated to submarine history.
- The museum has a collection of over 400 items including submarines, torpedoes, and other artifacts.
- They also have a collection of over 30 submarines on display which include early classes like the USS Nautilus (the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine) and modern ones like the USS Miami (the first Los Angeles-class attack submarine).
8. Thimble Islands
The Thimble Islands are located in Long Island Sound, approximately two miles south of Stony Creek, Connecticut. The islands are part of the Town of Groton and a popular destination for boaters and kayakers. There are over 200 small rocky islands that make up the Thimble Islands, which were formed by glacial movement thousands of years ago. It’s also said that some Native American tribes lived on these islands as well!
If you do decide to visit the Thimble Islands, be sure to bring your camera along because these picturesque little gems will not disappoint!
9. Olde Mistick Village
If you love history and shopping, then Olde Mistick Village is the place for you. This shopping center has a colonial theme and houses a museum, gift shop, ice cream shop, and restaurant. It’s located in Mystic Connecticut.
10. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is one of the largest museums in the state and a great place to learn about art history. Located in Hartford, Connecticut, this museum has been around since 1842 and houses over 60,000 works of art. The majority of these works belong to their permanent collection which contains American paintings from all over New England as well as European paintings from the 16th century through today.
If you’re looking for something fun to do with your family or friends while visiting Connecticut, then have no fear! There are plenty of things for you to do here!
11. Gillette Castle State Park
The park is located in the towns of East Haddam and East Hampton, Connecticut. The castle was built by William Gillette, an actor renowned for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. He built the castle on top of a small hill and named it “The Castle”, which later became known as “Gillette Castle”.
Gillette Castle State Park is open year-round from dawn to dusk. Walking trails through the forests are available throughout the park and lead to many scenic views and interesting areas such as a replica Native American village, an old barnyard with farm animals (available at select times), a playground area, picnic tables, and restrooms.
12. Charles W. Morgan
This historic ship is the last surviving wooden whaleship and is currently a museum ship in Mystic, Connecticut. The Charles W. Morgan was built in 1841 and named after its owner, Charles Waln Morgan (no relation to John Pierpont Morgan). The ship served as an active trading vessel until it was retired in 1937. It then became a floating exhibit at Mystic Seaport until 1941 when it was taken out of service due to WWII. In 1963 the Charles W. Morgan Foundation purchased the ship from the Maritime Museum foundation who had been managing it since 1958. Since then they have restored her every year but she remains one of only three remaining whaleships that have seen actual commercial use as a whaling vessel (the other two being Hannah Boden and Pequod).
13. Mystic Dark Room
If you’ve ever taken a picture of an object, then you know that the flash on your camera can’t always capture the image in a way that’s true to life. A dark room is a photography studio where photographers can take photos without the use of a flash. The best results are achieved by using slow shutter speeds and taking photos in low-light conditions.
14. Mystic River Bascule Bridge
The Mystic River Bascule Bridge is a drawbridge that opens for boats to pass through. It was built in 1915, was the first bridge of its kind, and is considered a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. The bridge has been featured in music videos by Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign, and many more. There is also a plaque commemorating the opening ceremony held on December 31st, 1915 which reads: “The Mystic River Drawbridge was opened for travel at 3 p.m., December 31st, 1915.”
15. Hammonasset Beach State Park
Hammonasset Beach State Park is one of the most beautiful beaches in Connecticut. It can be found on Long Island Sound and features some of the best fishing spots in the state, as well as swimming, boating, and sunbathing. The park also provides many different types of wildlife that you may be able to spot while exploring; visitors have spotted everything from birds to marine life while there!
16. Historic Downtown Mystic
The Maritime Aquarium is a great place to learn about the creatures of the sea. It’s also one of the best places to grab lunch in Mystic, thanks to its waterfront location. If you’re planning on visiting for more than just an afternoon, be sure to explore some of Mystic’s historic downtown district. There are tons of shops, restaurants, and museums that honor Connecticut’s history as a center for trade and commerce on both sides of Long Island Sound.
If you’re looking for something to do with your family this summer—or any time of year—a trip down memory lane might just be what you need!
17. Mohegan Sun
Mohegan Sun is a casino and entertainment complex in Uncasville, Connecticut. It is owned by the Mohegan Tribe and operated by Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment. The casino features 1,200 slot machines and 70 table games, with two restaurants and a shopping mall. The facility includes a hotel and convention center as well as an 18-hole golf course. The complex’s 2,000-seat arena has hosted concerts from such artists as Elton John, Beyoncé Knowles, and Jay Z.
18. Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center
The Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center is dedicated to the history and culture of the Mashantucket Pequot Indian tribe. The museum tells the story of Native Americans, who have lived in Connecticut for thousands of years. It also tells the story of their ancestors: members of the tribe who helped settlers build America’s first casinos in Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun.
The Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center is located on tribal land in Mashantucket, Connecticut (a town named after them). It was founded in 1983 as part of an effort by tribal leaders to preserve their culture and educate others about it through exhibits and programs such as walking tours through nearby villages where people once lived before Europeans arrived with diseases that killed many Native Americans across North America. Today the museum serves as headquarters for both tribes: The Mohegan Tribe (which owns Mohegan Sun) has its offices here; so does The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation (which owns Foxwoods).
19. Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library is located at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. It is one of the largest rare book libraries in the world with a collection of over 5 million items. The library also features an exhibition space and a butterfly garden.
The library’s website states that it’s open to the public and admission is free.
20. Mohegan Sun Arena
Located in Uncasville, Connecticut, Mohegan Sun Arena is a 20,000-seat multi-purpose arena that opened in 2002. It has hosted many famous acts including Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, and Justin Timberlake. The arena features a concert hall and theater as well as restaurants, bars, and a casino that share the same name. If you’re looking for something fun to do on your trip to Connecticut this is it!
21. The Maritime Aquarium
The Maritime Aquarium is a great place to visit for the whole family. It has over 150 species of marine life from around the world, from sharks and sea turtles to jellyfish and seahorses. The aquarium also has interactive exhibits, including touch tanks and a touch pool which allows visitors to get hands-on with some of their favorite creatures!
You can immerse yourself in a world where you are the captain of your destiny, and there isn’t much to worry about except what lies ahead.
To get started with your next adventure, book a trip on one of these great ships:
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of 21 fun things to do in Connecticut. It’s a beautiful state filled with history, culture, and natural beauty. If you’re looking for somewhere new to visit this summer, why not plan a trip to Connecticut?