The State of Connecticut was first inhabited by the Mohegan tribe and its name is derived from the Algonquian word “quinatucquet”, which means “upon the long river”. The first European settlement came with the establishment of a colony at Old Saybrook at the mouth for the Connecticut River in 1635 by John Winthrop. Connecticut was one of the original 13 English colonies, and became the United States’ fifth state in 1788.
Connecticut is very easy to get to from Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Eastern Pennsylvania. Following are approximate driving times to Connecticut cities from other major northeast cities:
|From / To||Hartford, CT||Stamford, CT|
|Boston, MA||1 hour and 50 minutes||3 hours and 15 minutes|
|New York City||2 hours and 28 minutes||59 minutes|
|Newark, NJ||2 hours and 38 minutes||1 hour and 9 minutes|
Small But Plenty to Do
While Connecticut may be the the third smallest state by area in the United States, there is still enough to do to keep the intrepid traveler busy for quite a long time. Following is a sample of some of the many wonderful things to do in Connecticut moving from east to west:
- Learn about Connecticut’s seafaring history at Mystic Seaport of see nearly 3,500 aquatic creatures at the Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration.
- See the USS Nautilus, the world’s first first nuclear-powered submarine at the USS Nautilus & Submarine Force Museum in Groton.
- See over 80 aircraft at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks.
- Visit the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford where the celebrated author lived from 1874 to 1891.
- Try your hand at one of the three largest casinos in the world – Foxwoods Resort Casino, MGM Grand Mashantucket, and Mohegan Sun all in Uncasville.
- Learn about Native American history at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
- Visit Yale University in New Haven and some of its’ world class museums and galleries such as: the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, the Yale University Art Gallery, and the Yale Center for British Art.
- See the legendary Shubert Theater in New Haven where South Pacific and My Fair Lady had their premieres.
- Board the Freedom Schooner Amistad in New Haven.
- Take a swim at Hammonasset Beach State Park that features Connecticut’s longest beach (2 miles) on Long Island Sound.
- Stroll Greenwich Avenue, the “Rodeo Drive of the Northeast” in Greenwich.
- Travel Connecticut’s Antiques Trail in Woodbury.
- Visit some unique museums such as the New England Carousel Museum in Bristol, the Danbury Railway Museum in Danbury, the American Clock & Watch Museum in Bristol, the Golden Age of Trucking Museum in Middlebury, and the Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston.
- Take in races and automotive festivals at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Thompson International Speedway in Thompson, and Lime Rock Park in Lichtfield Hills.
Connecticut is home to 5 of New England’s largest cities:
- Bridgeport (5th largest) – Connecticut’s largest city
- Hartford (6th largest) – the State Capital
- New Haven (7th largest) – home to Yale University
- Stamford (8th largest) – the fourth largest city in Connecticut
- Waterbury (9th largest)