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Area Attractions

WEST HARTFORD

Noah Webster House (227 South Main St.)
The Colonial birthplace of the author of the first American dictionary. Tours available. 860-521-5362

Sarah Whitman Hooker House (1237 New Britain Ave.)
Authentically restored to depict three periods of early Connecticut architecture. 860-523-5887

The Children's Museum
( 959 Trout Brook Dr.)
A fabulous hands-on science environment for children. The campus includes a planetarium and nursery school. 860-231-2824

The University of Hartford (200 Bloomfield Ave.)
Division One basketball and soccer teams, plus the Museum of American Political Life and performances and lectures at Lincoln Theater. 860-768-5096

West Hartford Center (Farmington Ave., South Main St. and LaSalle Rd.)
Top-notch restaurants, one-of-a-kind boutiques and specialty shops in a pedestrian-friendly town center. A locally-grown community that exudes downtown pizzazz.

Westfarms Mall (500 Westfarms Mall, Farmington)
The region’s premier shopping destination. Upscale retail including Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom, or any one of 160 fine shops, restaurants, and department stores.

Park Road
The neighborhood the way you remembered it. Long-time family-owned businesses line pedestrian-friendly, brick-paved sidewalks. Visit the Playhouse on Park or enjoy shopping the way it was before malls, chains and outlets.



AVON

Farmington Valley Arts Center (50 Simsbury Rd. Rte. 10 (north) towards Simsbury)
An exceptional resource for arts education for all ages. Regular classes and workshops by professional artists. Gallery shop and annual Christmas sale. 860-678-1867

The Pickin’ Patch (Route 185 to Nod Rd., south past Tower Ridge Country Club)
Family-operated since 1666! Acres of pick-your-own products. A brimming farm store. 860-677-9552

The Governor’s Horse Guard (232 West Avon Rd. Rte. 176)
The First Company Governor’s Horse Guard operates from a 139-acre facility off Route 176. Troop drills held every Thursday night are open to the public. The group appears at a wide variety of parades and events and is a prominent part of the inaugural ceremonies every four years. The Horse Guard was founded in 1788 by Hartford veterans of the Revolutionary War and has been called into national service during various wars and conflicts over the years. Today, more than 60 men and women are Horse Guard members. 860-673-3525

CANTON

Collinsville Historic District (Rte. 179 at Collinsville Center)
An interesting place to spend an afternoon, exploring an intact 19th-century mill village that has been sensitively adapted to our era. The old Collins Axe Factory has antiques shops and studios. Up the street a bit, LaSalle Market is known for its legendary sandwiches, hearty breakfasts and informal dinners. The Canton Historical Museum, with its interesting collection of local artifacts, and historic buildings like Collinsville Savings and Canton Town Hall line the streets. Bring your bike to enjoy the 6-mile stretch of the Farmington River Greenway that goes through the village.

EAST HADDAM

Goodspeed Opera House (6 Main St.)
Built in 1876, the Goodspeed Opera House opened in October of 1877. The opera house originally staged comedy and high drama. During WWI it was used as a militia base. Later it became a general store and then a Connecticut Highway department storage depot before Goodspeed Musicals purchased it in 1959. After a total refurbishment, the theatre was dedicated in June of 1963. Today the opera house is renowned worldwide for its musical theatre during the April to December season. The beautiful old theatre building on the banks of the Connecticut River is not only treasured by locals but beloved by audiences far and wide. 860-873-8668

ESSEX

The Connecticut River Museum (67 Main St.)
The old Steamboat Dock in Essex Village was built in 1879 and is home to one of Connecticut’s most treasured resources: the Connecticut River Museum. Today, this National Register site attracts folks interested in the long, proud history of the Connecticut River, its role in early colonization and its impact on the state’s evolution to the modern day. The museum, open year-round, tells that story through ever-changing exhibits, activities and programs. If you visit between Mid-January and mid-March, take along your binoculars, warm mittens and earmuffs. Winter Eagle Watch cruises sponsored by the Connecticut Audubon Society leave the dock on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 10:00 a.m. and 1 p.m. Book passage by calling Connecticut Audubon EcoTravel toll-free at 800-996-8747. All cruises are $30 per person. The Connecticut River is a National Heritage River and listed by The Nature Conservancy as “One of the Last Great Places.” 860-767-8269

FARMINGTON

Hill-Stead Museum (35 Mountain Rd)
An outstanding example of Colonial Revival domestic architecture, it houses the Pope family’s collection of Impressionist paintings by Monet, Manet, Cassatt, Degas, and Whistler, and antique furniture, rugs and decorative arts. Hill-Stead sponsors regular educational and cultural events including the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival each summer. 860-677-9064

Stanley-Whitman Museum
(37 High St)
A National Historic landmark built in 1720 and restored to depict life in 18th century Farmington. Programming for families and children. Its Sampler Gift Shop sells educational materials, toys, and books related to 18th century life.
860-677-9222

Day-Lewis Museum (158 Main St., rear)
A small but impressive collection of Native American artifacts. 860-677-2754

Lewis-Walpole Library (154 Main St.)
A non-circulating research library for 18th-century English studies bequeathed to Yale University by W.S. Lewis, who spent his life collecting the letters and works of Horace Walpole. It has the most extensive collection of English 18th Century satirical prints in the United States. 860-677-2140

Farmington Village/Freedom Trail (Main St., Rte. 10)
Underground Railroad “safehouses,” which hid runaways during slavery, are featured along with homes connected to the Amistad case. Call the Farmington Historical Society at 860-678-1645 for a site map or guided tour. 860-678-1645

GLASTONBURY

The Welles-Shipman-Ward House (972 Main St.)
Built in 1755, the Gideon Welles House was slated for razing in 1935 when Dr. Lee J. Whittles and a committee of like-minded citizens acted to save it. The house was moved to a nearby lot in 1936 and the Historical Society of Glastonbury was born. The house, its 18th-century-style herb gardens and vintage barns are open to visitors. 860-633-6890

Museum on the Green (Corner of Main and Hubbard St.)
The Historical Society of Glastonbury occupies the original Town Hall. Nearby, the town’s Historical District is a showcase of 18th and 19th century homes, and the original Town Green hosts the Art Guild’s annual art show and, in the summer, Concerts on the Green and the annual Antique Festival on the Green. Native American, agricultural and industrial exhibits chronicle the town’s early history. Documents and genealogical materials are also available for research. The historical society is open for tours; for more information please call 860-633-6890.

Connecticut Audubon Center (1361 Main St.)
Located next door to the 48-acre Earle Park, the Holland Brook Center is maintained by the Audubon Society of Connecticut. The center features local live wildlife and plant exhibits, a gift shop and year-round nature-related programs. A hands-on area for children completes this Glastonbury gem. Open: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun, 1-4 p.m. 860-633-8402

Cotton Hollow Preserve (Hopewell Rd.)
Roaring Brook runs through the preserve, providing some of the best white water in the state. Three miles of Class IV water, with about a dozen significant rapids, is everything the white-water enthusiast could wish for. In addition, the park is a hiker’s delight with several paths that wind along the brook to the impressive ruins of an 18th and 19th century industrial center. Along the way, the carefully protected habitat of many New England plants and animals offers another insight into the beauty of this diverse natural area.

The Rocky Hill-Glastonbury Ferry (289 Meadow Rd., Rte. 160)
This is the nation’s oldest continuously operating ferry. Since 1655, it has served as a vital link between Rocky Hill and Glastonbury. The first ferry, a small raft, was pushed across the Connecticut River with poles. Today’s craft, an open flatboat, is propelled by a diesel-powered towboat. Historically, the ferry was operated by local families, but is now owned by the State of Connecticut and operated by the Department of Transportation. The ferry operates from May 1 through October 31: Monday-Sunday 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. $3 per vehicle, $2 per commuter, and $1 for walk-ons and bicyclists. 860-443-3856

Belltown Hill Orchards Farm Market and Bakery (475 Matson Hill Rd., S. Glastonbury)
One hundred and fifty acres of fresh fruit including cherries, blueberries, apples, peaches, and more. Apple cider donuts, fruit filled pies, and crisps from our bakery. Farm made applesauces, maple syrup, and native honey. Free tractor-drawn hayrides to pick-your-own fields on weekends. “Glastonbury’s Best Apple Fritters.” 860-633-2789

Dondero Orchards LLC (529 Woodlast St., S. Glastonbury)
Apples, peaches, pears, plums, blueberries, strawberries, nectarines, raspberries, blackberries, rhubarb, basil, dill, parsley, lettuce, peas, summer and winter squash, asparagus, beans, cabbage, corn, eggplant, onions, peppers, pumpkins, tomatoes, fruit pies, cookies, breads, shortcakes, ice cream, annuals. Pick-your-own and picked items available. Spring & Fall 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Summer 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fall-Winter 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 860-659- 0294

E. Draghi & Sons Farms (80 Main St., S. Glastonbury)
Apples, pears, peaches, plums, blueberries, strawberries, nectarines, raspberries, blackberries, herbs, lettuce, tomatoes, corn, peas, beans, summer and winter squash, asparagus, eggplant, onions, potatoes, peppers, bakery items, gourmet foods, annual flowers, perennial flowers, Christmas Trees, cemetery arrangements, kissing balls, wreaths, roping, apple cider, cheese, eggs and honey. Seasonal (April/May-Christmas) 7 a.m.-6 p.m. 860-633-2197

Old Cider Mill (1287 Main St.)
Local apples, pumpkins, fruit. The “best tasting” apple fritters, apple cider donuts and pumpkin donuts in the state. Local cider, honey, jams. Hot mulled cider, baby chicks, and real farm animals. Seasonal: weekend before Labor Day to Halloween. 860-633-6601

Rose’s Berry Farm LLC (Main Farm, 295 Matson Hill Rd., S. Glastonbury)
Pick Your Own blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, pears, apples, pumpkins, fresh-cut flowers and Christmas trees. Tomatoes, green beans, snap peas, summer squash, peppers, lettuce, corn, spinach, zucchini, herbs, and cucumbers. Honey, jam, vinegar, and salsa. Made-from-scratch pies, fresh baked goods, and items from local artisans. June-December; hours vary. Breakfast with a view, Sundays only, from Father’s Day to the end of October, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. 860-633-7467

Scotts Orchard and Nursery, LLC (1838 New London Tpke.)
Pick Your Own apples, peaches, pears, plums, Morning Glory Baked Goods, annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, local honey and local vegetables. March 15 - December 23; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. 860-633-8681

GRANBY

McLean Game Refuge
(Salmon Brook St.)
Containing over 20 miles of well-marked trails with a wide variation of terrain, there’s a footpath here for everyone. Trails are easily accessible from two main entrances. The Route 10 entrance is located one mile south of Rtes. 202/10 and Rt. 20 in Granby Center. To reach the west entrance, take Rte. 20 West to Barndoor Hills Rd. A picnic area is available at this entrance.

HARTFORD

The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts (166 Capitol Ave.)
Broadway shows, Connecticut Opera, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, International performers. Broadway tours and travel series. 860-987-5900

Charter Oak Cultural Center (21 Charter Oak Ave.)
Built in 1876 as Connecticut’s first synagogue, this is now a venue dedicated to the exploration of world cultures through the visual and performing arts. 860-249-1207

Charter Oak Landing
Daily riverboat cruises. 860-526-4954

Connecticut Historical Society
(1 Elizabeth St.)
Museum galleries feature interactive exhibits and over three million manuscripts on Connecticut history. 860-236-5621

Connecticut Science Center (250 Columbus Blvd.)
Perfect for kids, with highly interactive educational science exhibits featuring a wide range of topics, from physics to health to geology. See a 3D movie, try inventing something at the hands-on Idea Generator, or leave the kids at home and enjoy a night of food and music at the Liquid Lounge. 860-SCIENCE (860-724-3623)

Elizabeth Park (Prospect and Asylum Aves.)
The country’s first municipally owned rose garden, with more than 15,000 bushes representing 900 varieties. Peak bloom is in late June, making it a popular spot for wedding photos. Greenhouses open to public. Skating pond in winter and an excellent restaurant.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
(77 Forest St.)
The home of the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and 30 other books. Carefully restored with period art, memorabilia and beautiful grounds. On the same “Nook Farm” location as the Mark Twain House. Guided tours. 860-522-9258

Hartford Stage Company
(50 Church St.)
Live professional theater in downtown Hartford. This Tony Award-winning theater produces original works as well as adaptations of classics. 860-527-5151

Theaterworks (233 Pearl St.)
Cutting-edge theater productions in an intimate setting. 860-527-7838

The Wadsworth Atheneum (600 Main St.)
This is the nation’s oldest public museum. Within this grand and historic building are significant collections of American and international art, and major touring exhibitions. 860-278-2670

The XL Center (Civic Center Plaza)
This 16,000-seat sports and performance venue features the Connecticut Whale (AHL) hockey, UConn Basketball (men and women), skating shows, and big-time touring concerts. 860-727-8010

Dodge Center Music Theater (North Meadows, off I-91)
This outdoor music performance venue with a capacity of 30,000 attracts the biggest touring acts. 860-422-0000

Mark Twain House
(351 Farmington Ave.)
The Victorian mansion, once home to Hartford’s most famous citizen, has an impressive collection of Twain memorabilia, as well as award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns’ biography of the author. 860-247-0998

Old State House (800 Main St.)
Designed by Charles Bulfinch and built in 1796, this is the oldest state house in the nation. Guided tours. Changing exhibits. 860-522-6766

Real Art Ways (56 Arbor St.)
Contemporary art, theater and films. 860-232-1006

Trinity College (Summit St.)
Summertime Carillon Concerts, film classics at Cinestudio, and exhibits at Austin Arts Center. 860-297-2000

MIDDLETOWN

Wesleyan University (High St.)
Founded in 1831, Wesleyan University is one of the country’s oldest Methodist institutions of higher education. Twenty-seven hundred undergrads and about 400 graduate students share the campus and contribute to Middletown’s contemporary college-town atmosphere. A walking tour of the campus reveals architectural treasures that include the Washington Street Greek Revival Russell House fronted by massive Corinthian columns. The Davison Art Center’s (circa 1843) pink Mediterranean façade rubs shoulders with Queen Anne, Tudor and brownstone examples of the gracious evolution of the campus and the city. Henry Bacon, who also designed the Lincoln Memorial, designed the Olin Library, built in 1928 on Church Street.

Main Street
Wesleyan University and its students set the tone and pace for a main street and downtown that have undergone a dramatic renaissance in recent years. It’s an easy walk from campus to bookstores, clothing and jewelry stores that cater to every fashion taste, gift and card shops, home decorating and framing shops, a hardware store, sporting goods emporium, hobby shop, newsstand and all the services necessary to everyday life. Art exhibits, museums, lectures and the annual Connecticut River Regatta round out an unending list of things to do.

Lyman Orchards (Junction of Routes 147 & 157, Middlefield)
Generations of Connecticut families and visitors have made Lyman Orchards a year-round destination for great food, family fun, and championship golf. Starting in May, enjoy delicious breakfast fare in a beautiful country setting! Open weekend mornings through early October. 860-349-1793

Kidcity Children’s Museum (119 Washington St.)
Kidcity Children’s Museum celebrates a child’s natural curiosity with a hands-on play space where children ages 1 through 8 are welcome. Located in the 1835 Camp-Sterns House, which was moved 400 feet down Washington Street, renovated, enlarged and then filled with one-of-a-kind interactive exhibits. 860-347-0495

Wadsworth Mansion at Long Hill Estate (421 Wadsworth St.)
his was the summer residence of Colonel Wadsworth, who was an authority on the emerging science of forestry and conservation. Designed by the New York architecture firm Hoppin and Koen, it rivaled the “cottages” of Newport, RI. In the late 1990s, Middletown citizens funded a rehabilitation of the mansion and immediate grounds. Today, it’s a favorite site for weddings, celebrations and cultural activities. The public is invited to walk through the parkland at anytime or tour the mansion on Wednesdays only. 860-347-1064

NEW BRITAIN

New Britain Museum of American Art (56 Lexington St.) An outstanding collection of early through contemporary American works. 860-229-0257

ROCKY HILL

Dinosaur State Park (400 West St.)
Connecticut’s “Jurassic Park” is open all year for walking tours. A walk across the boardwalk in spring may be rewarded with a frog sighting or wildflowers in bloom. Dinosaur State Park, a National Landmark, opened in 1968 two years after 2,000 dinosaur tracks were uncovered during excavation for a new state building. In the Exhibit Center’s geodesic dome, 500 tracks dating back 200 million years are enclosed for viewing; 1,500 are buried to preserve them forever. Well-labeled nature trails meander past the plant and animal life of a swamp forest. In the Arboretum, plants representative of the Mesozoic Era (especially conifers) thrive. 860-529-8423

Rocky Hill Historical Society and Academy Hall Museum (785 Old Main St.)
Formed in 1962, the Rocky Hill Historical Society’s first mission was to save the Academy Hall, built in 1803 as a navigation school to teach young sailors and future sea captains their craft. Today the town’s history is accessible to the public through the museum, library, and programs located in Academy Hall. The library contains book collections, manuscripts, stories, oral histories, photographs, maps and paper memorabilia and is open for research. The Academy Hall Museum displays artifacts, farm implements, military items, maritime history, technology and costumes. The exhibits change periodically. 860-563-6704

The Rocky Hill-Glastonbury Ferry (289 Meadow Rd., Rte. 160).
This is the nation’s oldest continuously operating ferry. Since 1655, it has served as a vital link between Rocky Hill and Glastonbury. The first ferry, a small raft, was pushed across the Connecticut River with poles. Today’s craft, an open flatboat, is propelled by a diesel-powered towboat. Historically, the ferry was operated by local families, but is now owned by the State of Connecticut and operated by the Department of Transportation. The ferry operates from May 1 through October 31: Monday-Sunday 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. $3 per vehicle, $2 per commuter, and $1 for walk-ons and bicyclists. 860-443-3856

SIMSBURY


Tariffville Gorge (Rte. 315 to 189 East to 187 North)
Cross the river on 187, first right on Spoonville, then take a right onto Tunxis at the bottom of hill. Go under the Rte. 187 bridge to the foot trail to the beach. The most challenging whitewater on the Farmington River, the Gorge has hosted national canoe and kayak competitions, including Olympic trials.

The Talcott Mountain Summer Music Festival (Simsbury Meadow, right off Iron Horse Blvd. in the center of town)
The Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s popular summer music series. 860-244-2999

The Pinchot Sycamore (Rte. 185 at Nod Rd.)
Connecticut’s largest tree grows on the bank of the Farmington River. A great spot to swim, launch a boat or have a picnic.

Heublein Tower (Rte. 185 on Talcott Mountain)
The 165-foot-tall structure atop Talcott Mountain is the Valley’s most visible landmark. Now part of Talcott Mountain State Park, it was built as a summer retreat between 1911 and 1914 by Gilbert Heublein of Heublein, Inc., distillers. The tower has been renovated and is open to the public. A nice 30-minute hike up, with gorgeous Valley views.

Tulmeadow Farm (Farms Village Rd., Rte. 309.)
This has been an operating dairy farm since 1786, and today produces what may, in fact, be the world’s best ice cream! 860-658-1430

International Skating Center of Connecticut
(1375 Hopmeadow St. Rte. 10, north of town center)
Oksana Baiul, Victor Petrenko and Ekaterina Gordeeva all trained here. So do lots of up-and-coming skating stars. Skating lessons, community skating and hockey are going on all the time. Regular shows by the stars, too. 860-651-5400

Phelps Tavern Museum and Homestead
(Hopmeadow St. (Rte. 10), middle of town center)
Imaginative tours and presentations. Special exhibit uses period rooms and interactive galleries to re-create the tavern’s use as an inn from 1786 to 1849. Museum store. Group tours available. 860-658-2500

Rosedale Farms & Vineyard (25 East Weatogue St.)
This family farm has been growing good things since 1920. Today fresh produce, fruit, flowers and crop-share memberships continue the tradition. Award-winning wines make Vineyard-hosted tastings special events, as are the Chef-to-Farm Dinners prepared by Max’s Oyster Bar in June, July & August. A perfect setting for a party or wedding, and don’t miss the corn maze, pumpkin patch and hayrides. 860-651-3926. Tastings: 860-810-4440


WETHERSFIELD

Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum (211 Main St.)
The Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum consists of three restored 18th century homes that showcase furniture and decorative arts from 1690 to 1840. The homes bring to life the lifestyles of Joseph Webb, merchant (1752), Silas Deane, Revolutionary diplomat (c. 1766) and Isaac Stevens, a leather worker (1788). The Webb and Deane houses are National Historic Landmarks. It was the Webb house where, in 1781, General Washington met with Compte de Rochambeau to make final plans for the battle of Yorktown. These homes are part of a larger historic district —”Old Wethersfield,” Connecticut’s first permanent English settlement—with over 200 houses that date from the 17th to 19th centuries; 50 pre-date the Revolution. The museum is owned and operated by the Colonial Dames. Admission is charged. Open from May 1 to October 31, Wednesday through Monday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. November 1 - April 30, Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed Saturdays and Sundays from November to April and most national and religious holidays. 860-529-0612

The Buttolph-Williams House and Broad Street Green (Broad St.)
A short distance away from the Main Street houses, on Broad Street, the Buttolph-Williams House (c. 1715) is considered the best-restored house of its period in the area. It evokes the influence of medieval English architecture and features authentic period furnishings. The Broad Street Green—two blocks wide and two miles long— is lined with handsome old homes. In 1781, General Washington assembled his troops on this ancient ground in preparation for the battle of Yorktown. The house is open May 1 - October 31, Wednesday - Monday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with an admission fee of $5 per adult and $4 per child, senior, student, or active military member. $15 per family. The building is owned by the Antiquarian and Landmarks Society and is managed by the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum. 860-529-0612

Wethersfield Museum and Visitor Center at the Keeney Memorial (200 Main St)
“Legendary People, Ordinary Lives” is the museum’s permanent exhibition that details the history of Wethersfield. It features over 100 artifacts, interactive components for visitors, and information on historic sites to visit in the area. The exhibition galleries showcase local artisans, artists, craft guilds and temporary society-mounted exhibitions. Open Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 1-4 p.m. Gallery admission is $3 for adults, free to Wethersfield residents, society members and to children 16 and under. The Wethersfield Visitors’ Center, in the front of the Keeney Memorial, is fully accessible from the rear parking lot and elevator. Visitor facilities are located here and information on museums, historic sites, local shops, restaurants, accommodations, and travel may be obtained here. It is open the same hours as the Wethersfield Museum. 860-529-7161

Old Academy Library and the Wethersfield Historical Society (150 Main St.)
Over 200 researchers visit the library every year seeking their genealogical roots or researching Wethersfield history. In addition, volunteers respond to written inquiries. Located in the 1804 Old Academy building, its shelves contain some 1000 books, local and regional histories, rare books and manuscripts, account books, logs, journals, newspapers, maps, charts and an extensive photographic history of town events, buildings and people. The library is open year-round, Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and by appointment. 860-529-7656

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