15 Fabulous Day Trips in Connecticut

Connecticut is in southwestern New England. It has a big city, fancy suburbs of New York City, a pretty coastline, and rural farmland. I did my residency in Hartford and lived just north of that area for about 5 years. Since Connecticut borders Rhode Island, I still visit often for day trips. Below are a few of my favorite Connecticut day trips.


The historic boating town of Mystic has an aquarium, cool balancing bridge, colonial seaport, and quaint downtown.

Read on for more things to do in Mystic, Ct.

things to do in Connecticut
Mystic River, Mystic

Hike to Hublein Tower, Simsbury

A 1.25-mile hike through Talcott Mountain’s woods brings you to this tower with sweeping views of Connecticut, including Hartford.

Talcott Mountain is one of my top ten New England family hikes.

West Hartford Center

If you are in the mood to spend a day shopping and eating, West Hartford is the place to be. Here you can find almost any store you can think of. My favorite Connecticut restaurant, Restaurant Bricco, is on LaSalle Road.

New Haven

New Haven is the Ivy League school’s home, Yale, and the home of some delicious wood-fired pizza. There is some controversy about who has the best, but the original is at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana. There are often long lines, so it is good to show up right when they open. One of their most popular pizza is the white clam. While in town, visit the museums of Yale, such as the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.

Southwestern Connecticut

day trips in Ct

If you want to explore Connecticut’s rural side, try a road trip around the southwest corner of the state where you can drive past farms, go antiquing, visit wineries, and hike to waterfalls.

Read more about spending a day in rural southwestern Connecticut.

Connecticut Wine Trail

You can see the whole state, as well as have an amazing day visiting Connecticut’s 40 wineries, but of course, you would need a designated driver and drink safely.

You can read about my day with the girls at Jonathan Edwards Vineyards.

A Day at Lavender Pond Farm, Killingworth

If you are in Connecticut in June or July, spend a peaceful day among the blooming, fragrant stems. The farm has chairs and games to play as well. This farm is on my list of the best flower fields around New England.

Connecticut day trips

Clyde’s Cider Mill, Old Mystic

If you are visiting in the fall, be sure to join the party at Clyde’s Cider Mill, where you can see cider being pressed by a room-sized antique press and eat apple cider donuts. Right up the road, visit Whitehall Cemetery with graves dating back to the 1600s.

Sharpe Hill Winery, Pomfret

Start your day at the Lavender Hill Alpaca Farm in Voluntown. After getting your fill of these frilly-headed animals. Then take a hike around the Connecticut Audobon Society Bafflin Sanctuary. End your day with a wine tasting and dinner in Sharpe Hill’s beautiful old barn.

Lake Compounce

Read more about spending a day at Lake Compounce, the oldest continually running amusement park in the United States.

Devil’s Hopyard

Devil’s Hopyard is one of my favorite picnic spots in New England. On the two-mile hike, you can see a waterfall, covered bridge, and sweeping green views.

Lower Falls at Kent State Park, southeast Ct

Explore the Connecticut River Valley

Take a boat ride on the river, explore Gillette Castle, take a train ride, or shop and eat in the charming town of Essex.

Read on for how to spend a day in this area.

Visit Old Saybrook

Get a spa treatment at the Saybrook Point Resort and Spa. Walk through the Monument Park. Enjoy lunch on Main Street. A few of my favorite restaurants are the Penny Lane Pub or Liv’s Oyster Bar. Finish your day with a walk by the ocean or a peek at the Lynde Point Lighthouse.

Spend a Day at the Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme

Around the turn of the twentieth century, Florence Griswold was running a boarding house on the Lieutenant River banks drawing painters to the area. This was the Lyme Artist Colony, the beginning and hub of American Impressionism. The house is open for touring, as well as a garden and a museum housing a large collection of impressionist paintings. Be sure to leave time for lunch on the veranda overlooking the river.

Mark Twain House

This gothic-style house in Hartford is where Samuel Clements raised his family. There are three buildings to tour, including the house.

I hope you enjoyed this list of day trips in Connecticut. I will continue to add to it as I think of more.

Did I miss any of your favorites? Please let me know in the comments.

Whether you are looking for history, nature or a day by the ocean, this list of Connecticut day trips has something to make anyone happy. #NewEngland #USTravel #Ct

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7 thoughts on “15 Fabulous Day Trips in Connecticut”

  1. I live in Boston, these are some really great things to see in CT. I love Mystic, it’s one of my favorite towns in New England. I actually wasn’t aware if the Lavender Fields, I’m going to need to check those out some year.

  2. Those are some great ideas for day trips. I think I should like to do them all – from the lavender to antique hunting to the wine trail. Mystic has always been intriguing to me, and those waterfalls in Devil’s Hopyard looks so scenic.

  3. I have only done Mystic and its outdoor seaport museum in my only day in CT and I really do need to go back to the state to check out the natural beauty (or maybe the changing of the colours in the leaves in the fall). I am loving the waterfalls in Devil’s Hopyard and would defo want to check these out. One place I would like to go is Hartford for a bit of history, as the founder of the town is from a town very near to my home in Hertford, in the UK. 🙂 So there is a little bit of a connection for me, not much, but its enough for me to get myself into gear and visit CT again 🙂

  4. I have never been to Connecticut and this post makes me want to spend a week just exploring the day trips. I would first explore Devil’s Hopyard. A two-mile hike isn’t too bad especially if you get views of a waterfall and bridge. I’ll have to see if it’s pet-friendly too. I’m sure my pup would enjoy this hike as well.

  5. This is a part of the US I’d really like to explore more! I didn’t know that Connecticut had a winery scene but checking out some of them sounds like a lot of fun! Mystic also looks like an interesting little town. I checked out your other post and the drawbridge does look unique with those concrete slabs!

  6. There is also. Harkness park in Waterford Connecticut. it’s a mansion that used to Belong to a rich family. there is Alot to see. it’s surrounded by the ocean. flower gardens . it’s beautiful. Look it up!


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