Things to Do in Connecticut Last Updated: November 2023

Connecticut is a world-class destination in New England boasting a wide array of tourism activities and scenic landscapes. Connecticut offers four seasons of fun — from summer days hanging on the shoreline and fall afternoons exploring foliage in the nation's #1 hiking state, to high-energy winter sports and spring flower festivals. Whether you visit for a week, stay long-term, or make it your base for exploring New England, Connecticut packs a lot to love into its compact size. In fact, you can easily travel from coastline to countryside in just a couple of hours. There's so much to see and do — and it's all so close together. 
From culinary must-tries like the nation's #1 pizza and sustainable accommodations in the state with the #1 lowest impact on climate change, expect to experience top-notch finds around every corner — whether you want something active or relaxing, artsy or outdoorsy, historic or trendy.
While each season in Connecticut has its own unique appeal, there's plenty to do all year round as well! Here is our guide to exploring the state at all times of year, both seasonally and year-round.

Year Round

1. Go concert-going. From rock and indie to country, classical and beyond, listen to sweet, sweet sounds at these great live music venues.

2. Try the nation's #1 pizza. Home to the #1 pizza in America, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, New Haven's Wooster Street is famed as a pizza mecca. Not only does the area have the best pizza joint in the county, it's lined with some of Pepe's top competitors ranked in the nation's top 50.

3. Challenge your mind. Test your problem-solving skills at fun escape rooms like Mission Escape Games in West Hartford, Mind Factory Escape Games in Bridgeport, Escape New Haven, or Mystified Escape Rooms in Mystic.

4. Seek out speakeasies. Try these Prohibition-era inspired bars for unique, underground vibes and great cocktails.

5. Go antiquing. Travel across the state finding treasure on the Connecticut Antiques Trail – you never know what you’ll find!

6. Jump for joy. Have a blast bouncing around at trampoline parks like Rockin’ Jump in Trumbull and Sky Zone in Norwalk.

7. Appreciate the arts. Spend some time indoors admiring works of art in Connecticut. Check out art exhibitions at Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, The Florence Griswold Museum, or even view art outside by exploring the Scultpure Trail at Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London.

8. Take a bite of history. Experience fine dining in unique repurposed spaces like a gas station, an engine room, a courtroom, or many other reimagined spaces throughout the state. 

9. Make the most of the wine trail. Try a tasting, buy a bottle, take in the views – there’s so much to love about the Connecticut Wine Trail. Visit these great vineyards and get your Wine Trail Passport for the perfect afternoon outing.

10. Find some small-town charm. Stroll, shop, or dine in one of the state’s picturesque towns and main streets.

11. Explore state parks. Get out and enjoy the great outdoors as a family at these parks kids will love. And find even more state parks here.

12. Marvel at modern art. Connecticut is filled with art of all kinds — and we can’t forget these modern masterpieces! From a glass house to entire modern art museums, check out these great works of art.

13. Try food halls and beer gardens. The best thing about a food hall is the endless options — from diverse cuisine to gourmet grilled cheese stands! Try a little of everything at Parkville Market in Hartford or any of these food halls and beer gardens.

14. Go mural hunting. Connecticut is full of incredible outdoor murals that are perfect for your next Instagram post.

15. Explore history. No matter the season, Connecticut offers ample opportunities to experience the state's rich history up close. Spend a day touring the Keeler Tavern Museum in Ridgefield, the Roseland Cottage Museum in Woodstock, the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, or any of the many museums throughout Connecticut.

16. Enjoy perfect pairings. Gardens and wine: two romantic things that are even better when paired together! Plan a romantic trip immersing yourselves in these stunning spots and sipping local wine.

17. Stay in really unique spots. Spark romance by experiencing something truly new together. Book an unforgettable overnight in a lighthouse, a tipi, a treehouse, and so much more at these unconventional accommodations in Connecticut.

18. Treat yourself to a facial or massage. Whichever you prefer, a visit to spas like The Spa at Litchfield Hills in Litchfield, The Spa at Norwich Inn in Norwich, Delamar Spa in West Hartford, or Mandara Spa in Uncasville will help ease your way into a new season.

19. Make new (animal) friends. Meet friendly marine creatures at Mystic Aquarium or The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, see tigers and more at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, and greet farm animals at Flamig Farm in West Simsbury or Cold Spring Farm in Colchester.

20. Follow the clues. Round up the kids for a day of outdoor riddle-solving with scavenger hunts throughout the state. It’ll be a day to remember – and a perfect activity for the age of social distancing.

21. Take an art class. Whether you prefer painting, pottery, or more, dive into your creative side by taking art classes for all levels at Washington Art AssociationFarmington Valley Arts Center in Avon, or Wesleyan Potters in Middletown.

22. Get away the green way. Sleep better knowing you’re helping the environment! Escape to these sustainable spots across the state.

23. Make discoveries. Learn something new together when you explore these interactive kids' museums across the state.

24. Tour craft distilleries. Sample homemade flavors from moonshine to gin, whiskey, and vodka at these Connecticut distilleries.

25. Race cars. Feel the need for speed and race go karts at RPM Raceway StamfordOn Track Karting in Wallingford, and SuperCharged Racing in Montville.  

26. Get out after dark. When the sun goes down, Connecticut lights up. Grab your group and head to these nightlife destinations.

27. Plan an LGBTQ+ outing. Connecticut has long welcomed and celebrated the LGBTQ+ community. Explore Connecticut's great LGBTQ+ focused offerings from drag shows to gay-owned businesses and nightlife.

28. Go shopping. Pick out something special or simply browse the windows in Connecticut's favorite shopping towns. You can make a whole day of it.

29. Get out with your pet. Connecticut is dog friendly! From hotels to restaurants, check out places to bring your furry friend along for the adventure.

30. Eat the first burger. New Haven's Louis' Lunch is the birthplace of the hamburger! Still served like it was when invented, ttop in and try one for yourself.


31. Hike to the top. Did you know Connecticut is #1 in the U.S. for hiking? Get out in the spring air and hike to new heights. Try these trails with incredible views or the state’s top hiking destinations. Looking for more spots? Explore these hiking trails in every county.

32. Find flowers. From daffodils to cherry blossoms and more, browse beautiful blossoms all over the state and visit these spots for all things springtime. Or pick your own gorgeous bouquet of tulips at Wicked Tulips Flower Farm in Preston!

33. Go brunching. There’s something about spring that just says “brunch” – especially brunch that looks as superb as it tastes. Snap an Instagram shot (and send your taste buds to heaven) at these photo-worthy brunch spots.

34. Reel in fish. It's fishing season! Cast your lines inland or try deeper waters on a fishing trip aboard Middlebank IIOsprey Sport FishingNorth Coast Charters, or FlyingConnie Fishing Charters.

35. Try goat yoga. While doing Cat-Cow, add a goat! Unwind and stretch next to playful, adorable goats at Nadeau Farm in Hamden or Bradley Mountain Farm in Southington.

36. Tour historic homes and gardens. Connecticut is filled with landmarks steeped in rich history – and gorgeous grounds. Explore these spots and discover the beauty around every corner. And visit homes of famous figures like Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

37. Eat a la carte. Enjoy the spring air and sample foods of all kinds. Take a walking tour of nearly 30 food trucks offering tasty treats at Food Truck Paradise by Long Wharf in New Haven, savor flavors under string lights at GastroPark in West Hartford or Parkville Market in Hartford, or try over-the-counter meals at Essex Public Market and Food Hall – from Mexican fare to a noodle bar, to gelato.

38. Be mindful. Spring is for new beginnings — take a step back and live in the moment. From meditation retreats and sound healing to clean eating and connecting with nature, there are so many ways to travel mindfully in Connecticut.

39. Explore waterfalls. Spring is the perfect time for chasing waterfalls – and discovering all the ways to enjoy them. Try these waterfall activities and visit these cool cascades.

40. Golf with the buddies. Call up some friends and hit the links on some of Connecticut’s best professional-grade golf courses. Gillette Ridge in Bloomfield, Blackledge Country Club in Hebron, and Fairview Farm Golf Course in Harwinton, or these great spots are perfect for when the weather warms up.

41. Fly in the sky. Float through the warm spring sky with one of Connecticut’s hot air balloon companies! Make unforgettable memories at Aer Blarney Balloons and Berkshire Balloons.


42. Stay by the sea. Wake up on the water at amazing accommodations like the Inn at StoningtonSaybrook Point Resort & Marina in Old Saybrook, Water’s Edge Resort & Spa in Westbrook, or the Madison Beach Hotel. Or try these jaw-dropping waterfront rentals.

43. Start lobster lovin’. Summer seafood season is here, and Connecticut is the place to be for all things lobster. Try these photo-worthy lobster shacks or follow this guide for lobster lovers to find all your favorites.

44. Row, row, row your boat. Get out on the water and rent kayaks from Sea Kayak Connecticut in Westport, Black Hall Outfitters in Westbrook and Old LymeClarke Outdoors in West Cornwall, or Branford River Paddlesports in Branford. 

45. Relax by the lake. Kick back, take a dip, or have a picnic by one of Connecticut’s serene and beautiful lakes.

46. 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 these Insta-worthy ice cream shops on a hot summer day.

47. Road trip down the coast. An ocean view is always incredible… why not make a whole trip out of it? Plan a getaway and road trip along the scenic Connecticut coast.  

48. Go out to the ballgame. Take the family to enjoy peanuts, cracker jacks, and home runs hit by Connecticut’s baseball teams.

49. Experience waterfront thrills. From ziplining to water obstacles and more, adventure on the water at Club Getaway in Kent, Brownstone Adventure Sports Park in Portland, and the water parks at Lake Compounce in Bristol or Quassy in Middlebury.

50. Plan a beach day. While the summer’s still hot, cool down in the ocean and make plenty of sandcastles at Connecticut’s favorite beaches.

51. See a drive-in movie. Enjoy family movie night under the stars at drive-in theaters such as Mansfield Drive-In and Southington Drive-In.

52. Set sail. One great way to get out on the water is to rent a boat — charter a sailboat, rent a canoe, hire a fishing boat, and beyond! Or, catch some sites along the Thames River in Groton and New London on a boat cruise with the Thames River Heritage Park & Water Taxi.

53. Paddle on. Try gliding across the water — while standing up! Rent paddleboards at spots such as Adventure MysticNew England Watersports in Branford, Scoot & Paddle in Milford, or Black Hall Outfitters in Westbrook and Old Lyme.

54. 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.

55. Raise the roof. Celebrate summer air and good food at these cool rooftops and other outdoor spots that offer fantastic views.

56. Attend multicultural events. Summer brings many of Connecticut’s multicultural festivals – don’t miss these exciting events, parades, and more.


57. Go pumpkin picking. Stop by any one of Connecticut’s farms and find yourself a perfect pumpkin to display or eat! Or snap the perfect pumpkin picture at these Insta-worthy pumpkin patches.

58. Go on an ultimate foliage tour. You simply can't miss the colorful foliage in Connecticut! Set aside a weekend for exploring the state in its autumn glory. Follow these foliage drives or visit these knockout views and make some spontaneous pit stops (and romantic memories) along the way!

59. Explore on UTVs. Get behind the wheel of a UTV and take a guided tour through privately owned trails and foliage with Backyard Adventure Tours in Canaan.

60. Go on a coffee tour. When the fall menus are out, there's no better time to hit the coffee shops. Grab a pumpkin spice latte or maple cappuccino and cozy up at these top coffee destinations across the state.

61. Get adventurous. Seek a little thrill and find ways to view foliage from above. And find more adrenaline pumping activities here.

62. Try fall treats. In fall, there's nothing better than farm fresh pies, apple cider doughnuts, and other tasty treats! Find these goodies at places like Lyman Orchards in Middlefield, Rogers Orchards Shuttle Meadow Farm in Southington, Belltown Hill Orchards in South Glastonbury, and Beardsley's Cider Mill & Orchard in Shelton.

63. Get lost in a corn maze. Test your skills at one of the fun and challenging corn mazes around the state.

64. Enjoy seasonal hard cider. Fall's the season for fresh-pressed cider, so plan a visit to one of Connecticut’s hard cider destinations like Hogan's Cider Mill in Burlington, Yankee Cider Barn at Staehly Farms in East Haddam, and Bishop's Orchards Farm Market & Winery in Guilford.

65. Go apple picking. Connecticut is filled with locally owned farms and orchards that let you fill up your baskets with fresh apples and other baked goods.

66. Snap some fall photos. Take a romantic road trip to these stunning fall photo locations and capture a few shots of you and your significant other beneath the foliage!

67. Float through the sky. Breathe in the crisp fall air from way up top with a hot air balloon ride. Make unforgettable memories at Berkshire Balloons in New Hartford, Connecticut Voyager Balloons in Woodstock, or Aer Blarney Balloons in Bethlehem.

68. Travel the Barns Trail. Explore the agricultural roots of Connecticut history and road trip through the Barns Trail. You may even see some great foliage on your journey!

69. Go for a scenic train ride. Take in Connecticut’s beautiful autumn scenery by train aboard the Essex Steam Train.

70. Have Gilmore Girls Fall. The popular TV show, Gilmore Girls takes place in Connecticut. If you're a fan of Rory, Lorelai and Luke, check out the real inspiration for the fictitious town here in Connecticut. 

71. See the stage. Fall is a big time for theater – and Connecticut has some of the best. Check out what’s playing at stages across the state.


72. Shred the slopes. Break out your skis, snowboards, and tubes for some downhill thrills at Mohawk Mountain Ski Area in Cornwall, Mount Southington Ski Area in Southington, Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort in Middlefield, and Ski Sundown in New Hartford.

73. Devour comfort foods. Nothing pairs better with chilly weather than indulgent comfort foods! Enjoy all your favorites from mac 'n cheese, chicken wings, shepherd's pie, and even diner-style pancakes.

74. Pick-your-own tree. Bring your axe, put on your heaviest layers, and head to Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree Farm in East Hampton, Lou's Christmas Tree Farm in Orange, and Yurechko Tree Farm in Griswold to chop down this year’s perfect tree.

75. Enjoy ice skating. Sharpen your blades and practice your balance at the International Skating Center of Connecticut in Simsbury or book a skate time at Danbury Ice Arena or at Northford Ice Pavilion located in Northford.

76. Dine fireside. There are dozens of fireside dining options in Connecticut where you can toast the cold days and nights hearthside. From pubs and shoreline inns to fine dining, warm up to these destinations.

77. Take a winter retreat. Essex, Madison, and Greenwich are just a few of Connecticut’s historic and charming towns that offer the perfect winter getaway for you and that special someone.

78. Hop on the healthy trend. If you’re resolving to eat better, Connecticut has a handful of fresh and local dining spots that will help you meet your goals. Or try delicious vegan flavors at these plant-based restaurants, cafes, and eateries.

79. Go snow tubing. Take the squad sliding down the slopes — on tubes. Find downhill thrills and more at Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort.

80. Find thrills indoors. Stay warm and test your skills and your nerve indoors at these high-energy family destinations.

81. Sample some chocolate. Take a trip down the Chocolate Trail to find the sweetest gifts (and treat yourself while you’re at it!). 

82. (Re)treat yourself. After holiday stress, find some inner peace and get lost in sound healing at The Sound Retreat in Chester, or try these other self-care travel ideas.

83. Get sporty. Don’t let the cold keep you from being active. Take the family to indoor sports centers like Chelsea Piers in Stamford or Golf Quest Family Sports Center in Brookfield.