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Great Ways to Use Your Vacation Days

Photo: The Glass House, New Canaan

No time to take time off? If you’re one of the 41% of Americans who didn’t take a single vacation day in 2016, you’re not alone. Half of working Americans don't use all their paid time off. No doubt, you’re busy. But if your job pays you for days off, why not use them — and use them well? Take a short jaunt to Connecticut for these physically and mentally refreshing ways to make the most of your days off. Just be sure to check with each location before venturing out.

Places You Always Wanted to Visit

You know those places you always wanted to check out but never had the time to visit on the weekends? 

  • The Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford is one not to be missed. Enjoy a tour of this amazing house and the history that is hidden around every corner.
  • Litchfield’s White Flower Farm draws gardeners and garden lovers from across the country. Even in the fall, its autumnal landscapes, fall perennial display gardens and greenhouses come alive with color.
  • And speaking of color, enjoy the colors of season from the outside in at the remarkable The Glass House in New Canaan, which you can tour until the end of November.

Escape from the Office

Many popular outdoor attractions in Connecticut are open throughout the fall — and much less crowded on weekdays!  

  • Like Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, which is home to more than 300 animals including a Siberian tiger and a giant anteater!
  • The Stamford Museum & Nature Center has hiking trails, events, and exhibitions throughout the fall.
  • And there’s no better time than a weekday to take in Mystic Seaport Museum. You can stroll the village, explore the sights and even enjoy activities that are normally a little more crowded on weekends.
  • Walk the 4.5-acre beautiful landscaped grounds of Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds in Old Lyme. A look at this peaceful, shaded retreat is a must any time of the year.

A Little Culture Will Do You Good

Ferris Bueller famously went to the museum on his day off. Why not spend a day in one of these popular Connecticut museums:

Looking for something a little more unexpected? Try the Barker Character, Comic & Cartoon Museum in Cheshire!

Spots to Treat Yourself

woman in bathrobe with her legs dangling in a pool

Maybe, you just want to relax on your day off?

  • Spend a day, or even just a few hours, unwinding and pampering at the award-winning Spa at Norwich Inn.
  • Get a little retail therapy as you stroll the Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods or the Westbrook Outlets in Westbrook, a village of outlets not far from the shoreline that is usually very busy on weekends.
  • Not too far away, stop at the Vanilla Bean Cafe, named "Connecticut's Best Country Cafe" by Yankee Magazine and located Route 169, a National Scenic Byway.
  • Or, stroll the charming town of Essex, and its downtown filled with shops, restaurants and the Connecticut River Museum.

It’s Your Time, Use It Well

Whether you’re using a little of that hard-earned paid time off to relax and enjoy a change of weekday scenery, or playing hooky to play tourist in your own home state, you’ll find so much to discover at!


Sources: Labor Day by the Numbers: Americans Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Working, USA Today; Project Time Off Study, US Travel Association.

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