Looking for something fun to do this summer that doesn't require a lot of travel? Connecticut has a myriad of places where you can play, eat, swim or just relax on a daytrip! Here are just a few ideas, as provided by Connecticut's tourism office, Visit CT.
1. Get out on the water. Try paddle boarding or kayaking with rentals from Branford River Paddlesports, Kayaks and Tours, Black Hall Outfitters in Westbrook, or Collinsville Canoe & Kayak.
2. Climb to the top. Take guided rock climbing lessons and explore the heights of Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden, Pinnacle Rock in Plainville, West Rock Ridge State Park in New Haven, and more.
3. Make a splash. Ditch the chlorinated pool and get out into nature! Enjoy the natural swimming hole at Gay City State Park in Hebron or Glastonbury’s own Eastbury Pond or Cotton Hollow Preserve. Kick up your water fun even more with a visit to the Brownstone Quarry Adventure Park in Portland.
4. Get golfing. Grab your clubs, cart, and take a swing at Minnechaug Golf Course, Portland Golf Course, Blackledge Country Club in Hebron, East Hartford Golf Club and Rockledge Golf Club in West Hartford.
5. Go fish. Whether you’re reeling in big stripers, blackfish, fluke or something else, take a captain-lead fishing trip aboard Island Sport Fishing Charters, Sea Sprite, North Coast Charters, FlyingConnie Fishing Charters, or Nightjack Sportfishing.
6. Paddle around. In the town of Lyme, explore Hamburg Cove, a quiet spot known for its calm waters and being the ideal place to paddleboard. Cove Landing Marine's rentals will give you an amazing day of paddling opportunities in the Lower Connecticut River.
7. Connect with animals. A little time with a furry friend can do a lot for the soul. Detox with a rejuvenating llama walk at Rowanwood Farm in Newtown, meet rescue animals at Ray of Light Farm in East Haddam, or visit gentle alpacas at Lavender Hill Farm in Voluntown.
8. Plan a girls’ weekend by the water. Gather the girlfriends and book a night (or two, or three) at Insta-worthy beach town hotels such as The Surfside in Stratford, Saybrook Point Resort & Marina in Old Saybrook, Water’s Edge Resort & Spa in Westbrook, Madison Beach Hotel in Madison, Interlaken Inn in Lakeville, or the Whaler’s Inn in Mystic.
9. Find a sanctuary. Try peaceful activities such as yoga classes and beekeeping demonstrations on the vast and beautiful grounds of Catharine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary.
10. Tour architecture. From historic and artistic structures to celebrated works by well-known architects, explore Connecticut’s diverse architectural masterpieces throughout the state.
11. Find vintage treasures. Go on the hunt for antiques at Nathan Liverant and Son Antiques in Colchester, Tongue in Chique in Bridgeport, Old Saybrook Antiques Center, and other antique shops and centers throughout Connecticut.
12. Take an art walk. Discover a 234-acre tree farm and landscape sculpture park at Hogpen Hill Farms, explore work from local Woodbury artists Arts Alliance of Woodbury Art Walk, admire murals walking in downtown New London, stroll by the river and see award-winning sculpture reflecting the life of Abraham Lincoln in Hartford, or pack a picnic to enjoy large star sculptures by Frank Stella on the grounds of The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.
13. Enrich your mind. From historic sites to art galleries and even some one-of-a-kind displays, visit a few of Connecticut’s many museums for a truly fascinating experience. Stay local and visit the Welles-Shipman-Ward House museum in South Glastonbury.
14. Admire Impressionist art. Connecticut was an important creative seedbed of American Impressionism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Explore Impressionist exhibitions at museums across the state.
15. Attend summer concerts. Enjoy the beat of the music at the summer concert series at Riverfront Park on Welles Street, where the town hosts concerts throughout July on Wednesday nights.
16. Explore the works of Norman Rockwell. See all 323 of the legendary covers created for The Saturday Evening Post by the renowned American painter and illustrator, Norman Rockwell at the Mystic Museum of Art’s exhibit, Norman Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post Covers: Tell Me a Story.
17. Savor seafood. From clams to lobster, taste all your favorites with a visit to some of the dozens of fish stores, restaurants and clam shacks along the Connecticut coast.
18. Take a hot dog tour. Whether you like them topped with bacon or a famous hot relish, you’ll find savory flavors at every turn on Connecticut’s hot dog tour, a listing of great hot dog stands in the state sponsored by the state’s tourism office (Ctvisit.com), including Augie & Rays in East Hartford.
19. Check out a brewery. Raise a glass and devour good food at breweries like Hops on the Hill Farm Brewery on Dug Road.
20. Eat the “coolest” ice cream. The only thing better than cooling down with an ice cream cone, when the treat looks as good as it tastes. Plan a trip to some Insta-worthy ice cream shops on a hot summer day, include Robbs Farm on Wassuc Road in South Glastonbury, which also boasts spectacular views of the Glastonbury countryside.
21. Sing with Sea Chanteys. Grab dinner and drinks at the Griswold Inn on Sea Chantey night to experience The Jovial Crew leading the Tap Room in fun sing-alongs, laughs, and an all-around memorable evening.
22. Go out to the ballgame. Take the family to enjoy peanuts, cracker jacks, and home runs hit by Connecticut’s baseball teams, including the Hartford Yard Goats at Dunkin Park.
23. Spend “Summer at the Museum.” All summer long, kids 18 and under get in free at participating Connecticut museums – plan a day trip filled with discoveries.
24. Pick your own blueberries. July is the beginning of the blueberry season! Pick your own at local farms, including Belltown Hill Orchards and Dondero Orchards, Cavanna Farms, Walnut Ledge Farm, Rose's Berry Farm and Carini's Berry Farm.
25. See fireworks. Nothing says summer like a fireworks show! Find one near you and light up the night.
26. Visit a state park. Connecticut has some incredible state parks, from the sprawling Pachaug State Forest in the Quiet Corner of Eastern Connecticut to the Connecticut River Valley parks of Gillette Castle State Park and Devil’s Hopyard to Harkness State Park along the shoreline in Waterford.
27. Try the state's first water coaster. Quassy Amusement & Waterpark just opened Rocket Rapids, Connecticut's first-ever water coaster. Ride a raft propelled uphill by water jets along more than 600 feet of H2O fun!
For more information on places to go and things to do here in our state visit CTvisit.com.