The Top 20 Bucket List Destinations in Connecticut

Published on June 15th, 2021

Connecticut may be on the smaller side, but it certainly isn’t lacking when it comes to things to do. Whether you enjoy outdoor recreation, learning about history, or enjoying good food, there is something here for everyone. In fact, there is so much to experience that you might even want to create a Connecticut bucket list. 

That’s where this article comes into play. Below, we’ve put together an incredible list of things to see, do, and eat in the Constitution State, and we’re betting you’ll want to add a few of these to your personal travel bucket list. 

Connecticut Bucket List

What is a Bucket List?

Not sure what a bucket list is? You aren’t alone in this, so let’s do a bit of explaining before we dive in.

In short, a bucket list is a collection of places to visit, things to do, and other experiences you’d like to have before you die, or in other words, “kick the bucket.” Some people keep one giant bucket list, but we prefer to keep several smaller bucket lists based on different locations.

In today’s article, we will focus on bucket list ideas for Connecticut.

Weir Farm National Historical Park
Image source: Ser Amantio di Nicolao

— Bucket List Vacations: Connecticut’s National Parks —

Some of the very best bucket list ideas involve visiting our country’s national parks. While Connecticut doesn’t have any traditional national parks, it is home to two amazing national historical parks, and both are well worth seeing.

#1. Coltsville National Historical Park

Located in New Haven, Coltsville National Historical Park encompasses a variety of buildings, including the old Colt factory and worker housing. The park tells the story of Samuel Colt, who was one of the first to take on precision manufacturing of firearms in the US. It also helps visitors understand how his factory and company influenced the area. 

#2. Weir Farm National Historical Park

The home and studio of impressionist painter J. Alden Weir can be found at Weir Farm National Historic Park. Explore the beauty of the place that has inspired so many artists, create your own art, and learn about the life and times of Weir himself. 

Mystic, CT

— More Connecticut Bucket List Experiences —

Need more ideas to add to your Connecticut travel list? Lucky for you, we’ve gathered a bunch. Pick and choose from this list and you’re sure to have a totally amazing time visiting this totally amazing state. 

#3. Go on a Pizza Tour in New Haven

The New Haven area is all about pizza, and most will agree it is absolutely delicious. Pick one spot to try, or choose a few and go on a pizza tour. Some favorites are: BAR, Frank Pepe’s, Zuppardi’s, and Modern. 

#4. Visit the Town of Mystic

Mystic is an adorable historic seaside town that you absolutely must see. Be sure to check out historic Main Street while you’re there, and do some shopping at Olde Mystic Village. While there, try to imagine what this beautiful town might have been like when it was first built. 

#5. Step Back in Time at Mystic Seaport

Also located in Mystic, Mystic Seaport is an excellent attraction, especially if you’re a history or maritime enthusiast. Step back in time and explore the recreated 19th century seafaring village, climb aboard a historic ship, or learn something new at one of the excellent exhibits. 

#6. Dive Deep at Mystic Aquarium

Yet another Mystic attraction, the Mystic aquarium is well worth a visit while you’re in the area. This awesome aquarium features sea lions, beluga whales, African penguins, and even a ray and shark touch pool. Kids also love the “Jurassic Giants” dinosaur exhibit. 

#7. Hike to Heublein Tower

Located in Talcott Mountain State Park on Talcott Mountain, the historic Heublein Tower is a 165-foot-tall mountaintop lookout. It’s the perfect destination for those looking for a mountain hike, and offers excellent views as a reward for your hard work. 

#8. See a Yard Goats Game

Sports fans will love Dunkin Donuts Park. Here, they can enjoy an exciting game played by Connecticut’s favorite minor league baseball team, the Hartford Yard Goats. This team plays great baseball and is always fun to watch. 

#9. Taste Some Amazing Wine

Not everyone is aware of the wine scene in Connecticut, but it’s there, and it is growing incredibly quickly. In fact, the Connecticut Wine Trail is one of the fastest-growing wine regions in the country. Pay the area a visit, take a tour or two, and try some excellent wine. 

#10. Ride a Ferry

Two historic ferry crossings make themselves at home in Connecticut. These include the Chester-Hadlyme Ferry and the Rocky Hill-Glastonbury Ferry. The latter is the nation’s oldest continuously running ferry, but both are fun to ride as you take in the beauty of the Connecticut River.

#11. Check out Mark Twain’s House

Mark Twain was an incredibly smart and equally interesting man. Even his house was interesting, as it displayed the latest modern innovations back in 1874. These days, people can tour the house and all of its gadgets to learn about the man behind classic literary favorites such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

#12. Walk the Yale Campus 

Boasting one of the most gorgeous university campuses in the country, Yale University is an excellent place to go for a stroll while in New Haven. Admire the well-manicured grounds, take in the beauty of the architecture, and pay a visit to the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. 

#13. Stroll the Harkness Memorial State Park Gardens

Found in the town of Waterford, Harkness Memorial State Park is a historic preservation area that is absolutely stunning. The park features Eolia, a large Renaissance Revival-style historic mansion. The house is surrounded by gorgeous gardens and greenhouses that are perfect for a stroll. 

#14. Enjoy a Connecticut Lobster Roll

As a coastal state, Connecticut is well known for its delicious seafood. In particular, we love Connecticut lobster, and the hot buttered Connecticut lobster roll is probably one of the best foods on earth. Be sure to grab one while you’re in the state. 

#15. Explore Gillette Castle State Park

Another state park that you’ll want to make time for, Gillette Castle State Park is a beautiful and interesting place. It features scenic views that overlook the Connecticut River as well as plenty of hiking trails and train tunnels. The best part? The park also houses a historic castle that certainly is a sight to see. 

#16. Ride the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat

Looking for a way to relax while taking in the beauty of the state of Connecticut? The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat tour is the perfect solution. Each tour begins at the historic 1892 Essex Station and makes a 2.5-hour round trip journey into the heat of the natural beauty of Connecticut River Valley. 

#17. Catch a Race at Lime Rock Park

Those who have a need for speed will love a visit to Lime Rock Park. This place first opened in 1957 and has been hosting car races ever since. Some of the most famous cars in history have raced here, and fans love watching their favorite racers zoom by. 

#18. Learn How PEZ is Made

PEZ is a classic candy that we’ve all enjoyed at some point in our lives. See how this fun, poppable treat is made at the PEZ Museum and Factory in Orange. Not only does the museum offer a peek into the factory itself, it also features tons of PEZ-related exhibits, including a PEZ motorcycle, the world’s largest PEZ dispenser, an interactive timeline of the history of PEZ, and more. 

#19. Take in Kent Falls State Park

The last state park on our list, Kent Falls State Park is absolutely gorgeous. It’s the perfect park for waterfall lovers, as it features a lovely series of waterfalls that drop a total of 250 feet in under a quarter of a mile. We definitely recommend a picnic lunch in this beautiful natural area. 

#20. Snag a Fresh Apple Cider Donut

So far we’ve mentioned New Haven pizza and buttered lobster rolls. One food we haven’t talked about is the apple cider donut. This is the dessert that Connecticut does best. Be sure to snag one while it’s hot and fresh so you can get the full experience!

As you can tell, there is a lot to see in the amazing state of Connecticut. Of course, you’ll need someplace to stay while there. This is where all our fantastic Connecticut RV rentals come into play. Find one that’s right for you and then hop from spot to spot throughout the state, enjoying the trip of a lifetime.

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