Connecticut, the southernmost New England state, is bounded by Long Island Sound on the south, Rhode Island on the east, New York State on the west, and Massachusetts on the north. The finger-like extension of Fairfield County is an easy drive to and from New York City. Connecticut is the nearest New England state to New York, Pennsylvania and points south for a short getaway.
Located along the shore of Long Island Sound, Fairfield County is a short drive from New York City. Its boundaries include the towns of Greenwich, Danbury, Southbury, Stratford, Shelton, and Bridgeport, CT. Good restaurants, with a special cluster in the SoNo section of Norwalk, CT, a waterfront area with lots of hip restaurants and shops. Family attractions include Beardsley Zoo, Discovery Museum, and the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, CT; Maritime Aquarium and the Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, CT; and the Stamford Museum & Nature Center in Stamford, CT.
North and east of the Fairfield region and also on Long Island Sound, New Haven, CT is home to Yale University, which is loved for its fine architecture and excellent science & art museums, including the Yale Center for British Art and the Yale University Art Gallery. New Haven calls itself the "birthplace of pizza in America", with the pies served in old legendary pizzerias like Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana, Sally's Apizza and Modern Apizza. New Haven's downtown and harborfront are bustling with dining and cultural activities, and it is known and loved for its blossoming food truck offerings.
As you move along the coast in either direction to the smaller cities and towns, alive with historic New England charm. Town centers of Milford, Branford, Guilford, and Madison, CT are expansive, pleasant and perfect for a weekend stroll or picnic. The coastline is also quite scenic, with beaches and some small islands that you can tour by boat.
The Mystic Country region is in the southeast corner of the state, aside Long Island Sound and also extending northward and inland, has attractions that are uniquely New England in character and great for families and kids. At the western corner is the mouth of the Connecticut River, and the nearby historic towns of Essex, Old Saybrook, Ivoryton, Old Lyme, Haddam, East Haddam and Deep River, CT. Towards the east there's the well-known village of Mystic, CT; Mystic Seaport is a historic shipbuilding museum and re-created 19th-century seaside village. Mystic Aquarium is associated with Robert Ballard, who discovered the HMS Titanic, and it has a marvelous exhibit exploring the legendary shipwreck. The city of New London, CT has the state's best salt-water beach and Ocean Beach Park, and is home to both a Naval submarine base and the Coast Guard Academy.
Further inland, the Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Mashantucket (Ledyard), CT and Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT are two of the largest casino resorts in America, with reputations to match. To the north, the countryside opens up and is dotted with big farms and wooded hills, old historic towns and small cities including Norwich, Willimantic, Mansfield, Plainfield and Putnam, CT. In this area you'll find the University of Connecticut's main campus at Storrs, CT, which has quickly grown in size and stature over the years.
The capital city of Hartford, CT, in the geographical center of the state, is known for some fine art and history museums, including the Mark Twain House & Museum. The Wadsworth Atheneum's renowned collections include Hudson River School landscapes, Old Master paintings, modernist masterpieces, Impressionist paintings, and American decorative arts. The city is also home to a large concert ampitheater and minor-league pro hockey and baseball teams.
To the north, Bradley International Airport, in Windsor Locks, CT, is the second-largest airport in all of New England. In the scenic mountainous area to the northeast is Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, CT, which hosts car enthusiasts and racing events. The hills and mountain in the area also offer great locations for the state's ski areas - several of which are located within a short drive of the capitol city.
In the western part of the state along the eastern border of New York State, the Litchfield region is a rural paradise of picturesque farms, villages, vineyards and wineries, lots of antique shopping, and fishing and rafting in the Housatonic River. Major towns are Litchfield, Danbury, Waterbury, Bantam, Kent, and Torrington, CT. Litchfield region has no saltwater shoreline, but has wonderful rivers and ponds.