Mark Twain's house, Mohegan Sun Casino, and SoNo are among the many fun attractions and experiences in Connecticut. Here are 10 of our picks for things to do in the Nutmeg State:
1. Tour the Mark Twain House & Museum.
More than 16,000 artifacts connected to Samuel Clemens – better known by pen name Mark Twain – are on display at the Mark Twain House & Museum on Farmington Avenue in Hartford. Several pieces of furniture owned by the author are on exhibit, and many rooms of the house are open for tours.
2. Go for gaming, shopping and dining at Mohegan Sun Casino.
Whether your game is blackjack, poker, roulette, craps or slots, Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville is one of the top-rated gaming destinations in Connecticut. Besides gambling, the sleek high-rise venue has upscale restaurants and entertainment, along with a main concourse filled with brand-name shops.
3. Stop in SoNo for entertainment, food and socializing.
South Norwalk, better known as SoNo, is situated in the downtown Norfolk business district on Washington Street and features a great selection of upscale restaurants, shops, nightclubs and galleries. Also in the popular neighborhood is Oyster Shell Park, and gathering spots like Black Bear Saloon and Bradfords Grill and Tavern.
4. Hike to a waterfall in Kent Falls State Park.
In the town of Kent, in the Litchfield Hills of the southern Berkshires, is Kent Falls State Park, known for a spectacular series of waterfalls. The largest is Falls Brook, which drops 250 feet into a reflecting pool. The park also has fishing, hiking and picnicking along with nature trails and wildlife.
5. See a play at Hartford Stage.
Buy a ticket and attend a play at Hartford Stage, a top residential theater for more than 50 years that has showcased nearly 70 world and American premieres during its Tony Award-winning history. Past acclaimed productions have included Murder on Broadway, Enchanted April and Tea at Five.
6. Catch your dinner on the Black Hawk Party Boat.
You can bring up to 15 people and charter the Black Hawk Party Boat, a spacious fishing vessel that sails daily out of Niantic. The recreational boat can be enjoyed for both daytime and night excursions, and anglers can keep their catches of fish that range from largemouth bass to bluegill.
7. See a stegosaurus and more at The Dinosaur's Place.
A total of 40 life-sized dinosaur replicas are the main draw at The Dinosaur's Place, a 50-acre woodlands in Montville that also features a water park, playground, science activity center and wildlife nature trails. Kids are welcome to climb and play on the sturdy dinosaurs.
8. Visit the Harriet Beecher Stowe House.
Drive to Hartford and tour the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, where the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin lived for the last 23 years of her life. On site is a visitor's center, artifacts, and a research library with family letters and documents. The Stowe House is located next door to the Mark Twain House.
9. Touch nurse sharks at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
In the South Norwalk (SoNo) section of Norwalk is Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, with 2,000 animals that attract 500,000 visitors each year. The aquarium contributes $25 million annually to the local economy thanks to its harbor seals, river otters, jellyfish and loggerhead turtles, plus touch tanks that feature stingrays, nurse sharks and crabs.
10. Pay respects to Katharine Hepburn.
In a building that opened in 1911 is The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center on Main Street in Old Saybrook. The building has been renovated to include a 250-seat theater and small museum of memorabilia related to the famed actress, who was a Connecticut native and longtime resident of Old Saybrook.