The 10 Best RV Trips to Take in Connecticut

Wondering where to take your next RV road trip? Whether you’re a local or just passing through, Connecticut is one of the most beautiful states to visit with friends or family. From the sandy shores of Hammonasset Beach State Park to the gorgeous Wadsworth Falls, there’s something new to be discovered for everyone.

But if you need some suggestions on where to go, look no further than our Connecticut RV trip planner. Without further ado, here are the places we think make the top of the list:

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1. Mark Twain House and Museum

First up on our Connecticut RV trip itinerary is the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford. The esteemed American writer and humorist, who was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, lived in the Gothic-style home with his wife and children from 1874 to 1891. It was at the Hartford home that Twain wrote some of his most famous works, including the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Historic preservationists saved the building from being torn down in 1929, and it’s since been transformed into a museum where visitors can learn more about the author and his life and legacy. Think you’ve got the next Great American Novel? The museum also offers workshops and classes over the weekend for aspiring writers and novelists. And because some even say the old house might be haunted, you can tag along for “Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours” every so often on Friday and Saturday nights.

Location: 351 Farmington Ave, Hartford, CT 06105

Contact: (860) 247-0998

Price: $20 for adults

Discounts: seniors, children

Website: http://www.marktwainhouse.org

Where to Stay: 

There are plenty of RV parks to choose from near Hartford, but Nelson’s Family Campground, sitting on 175 scenic acres, is one of the most full-service. Camping sites include water, electric, and cable, along with a fishing pond, swimming pool, arcade, mini golf, shuffleboard, and weekly activities. Just a short drive away, you’ll find the Markham Meadows Campground, which offers water, electric, WiFi, and cable, along with an on-site general store, snack bar, and arcade. Looking for something else to pass your time? Markham Meadows also offers free kayak rentals, free paddle boat rentals, two ponds, fishing, and a pool table.

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2. Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

Right next to the Mark Twain House and Museum is the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, paying homage to another great American author. Born in Litchfield, Connecticut, Stowe honed her writing skills as a teacher before writing the iconic anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1852. She purchased the Hartford home in 1873 and spent the last 23 years of her life in the two-story brick house. After Stowe’s death in 1896, her grandniece purchased the property and later turned the home into a museum to share Stowe’s legacy. In addition to its regular tours, the center now offers tours specifically for families with children.

Location: 77 Forest St, Hartford, CT 06105

Contact: (860) 522-9258

Price: $14 for adults to tour, $8 for children ages 5 to 16, and free for children 4 and under

Discounts: seniors, students, groups

Website: https://www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org

Where to Stay:

Just west of Hartford you’ll find the Branch Brook Campground in the hills of Thomaston, not far from where Stowe grew up.  The family-friendly RV campground offers full hookups with water, electric, and sewer, and boasts an on-site swimming pool, fishing pond, playground, and camp store. Not far away is Gentile’s Campground, which has full hookups along with amenities like a swimming pool, baseball field, mini golf, basketball court, bocci ball court, and sand volleyball. Still need to rent an RV for your trip? No sweat — there are plenty available from RV owners in Connecticut.

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3. Gillette Castle State Park

Connecticut is full of oddities and eccentric personalities, and the late William Gillette was no exception. The actor, best known for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes on stage, was a longtime Connecticotian who was born and died in Hartford. Now known as the Gillette Castle State Park, his home on the 184-acre estate he called the “Seventh Sister” was a 24-room mansion that looked more like a medieval fortress. The house has all the markings of its eccentric builder, including built-in couches, hidden mirrors that allowed him to see the outside from his bedroom, and a series of unusual doorknobs and locking mechanisms. When Gillette died in 1937, his will left strict instructions that the home not be overturned to “some blithering saphead who has no conception of where he is or with what surrounded.” The state took over the property in 1943 and, with a recent renovation said to have cost $11 million, the park annually hosts up to 300,000 visitors who come to tour the home or take a hike on the nearby trails. The castle is open on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from Memorial Day until Labor Day.

Location: 67 River Rd, East Haddam, CT 06423

Contact: (860) 526-2336

Price: $6 for adults, $2 for children ages 6 to 12, free for children 5 and under

Website: http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/

Where to Stay:

The closest nearby RV park is the Wolf’s Den Family Campground in the Connecticut River Valley. The campsites have access to water, electricity, and cable, while the campground comes with an Olympic-sized swimming pool, recreation hall, shuffleboard courts, mini golf, a camp store, and laundry facilities. From May to October, there are also weekly activities offering fun for the whole family. Up the road, you can also check out GrandView Camping, which has 19 full-hookup RV sites, as well as a game room, basketball court, tennis court, swimming pool, and playground.

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4. Yale

Even if you’re long past your college years, making the drive to New Haven to visit campus is one of the best RV trips Connecticut has to offer. There’s plenty to see if you prefer to show yourself around, but the university also offers guided tours where you can hear about Yale’s storied 300-year history. The tour, which lasts about an hour and 15 minutes, stops at the Gothic Sterling Memorial Library as well as the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, which contains some of the oldest texts in history. After the tour, stop by Yale’s Whitney Medical Library to check out the Cushing Brain Collection, a fascinating exhibit of human brain specimens that tell the story of neurological medicine through history.

Location: 149 Elm St, New Haven, CT 06511

Contact: (203) 432-2300

Price: free

Website: https://www.yale.edu/about-yale/visiting

Where to Stay:

Twenty-five minutes east of campus you’ll find the Riverdale Farm Campsites in Clinton. The family campground offers RV sites with full hookups, WiFi, and its own restrooms and showers. Each site has its own fireplace and picnic table, while the campground has everything you could ever need, including a camp store, laundromat, recreation hall, basketball court, tennis court, swimming pond, ping pong, video arcade, trout fishing, shuffleboard court, and a children’s playground. Looking for something else in the area? Check out our list of the top 10 campgrounds and RV parks in Connecticut, where you’ll find plenty of other great options to consider.

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5. Louis Lunch

On a list of Connecticut RV road trips, you might find it odd to see a simple lunch joint, but think again. Louis Lunch has been recognized by the Library of Congress as the birthplace of the hamburger, one of the most iconic American foods. Since 1898, the New Haven restaurant has been serving up meat patties made with a proprietary blend of five meats. And the meat is the star here: there’s no ketchup, no French fries. The burgers are simple, served on white toast with cheese, onion, and tomato to allow the flavor to pack a punch. You won’t find much else on the menu — just potato salad, chips, and homemade pie — but that’s kind of the point.  In fact, their motto says as much: “This is not Burger King. You can’t ‘have it your way.’ You get it my way or you don’t get the damn thing.”

Location: 261 Crown St, New Haven, CT 06511

Contact: (203) 562-5507

Price: $6.25 for the Original Burger (cash only)

Website: http://louislunch.com/

Where to Stay:

After lunch, make the 15-minute drive over to Totoket Valley RV Park in North Branford, where you’ll find the only RV campground in the greater New Haven area. Totoket Valley offers 15 full hook-up RV sites with free WiFi and cable access. All booked up? Don’t worry about it — there are plenty of other RV parks and campgrounds just a short drive away.

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6. Dinosaur State Park and Arboretum

Ready for some Connecticut RV trips with kids? Head over to the Dinosaur State Park and Arboretum in Rocky Hill. The state-owned park is home to one of the largest sets of dinosaur footprints in North America, which were discovered in 1966 and can still be seen today. About 500 of them can be spotted underneath the park’s geodesic dome, while another 1,500 are buried beneath the surface of the ground to better preserve them. During the spring, the park offers gem mining on the weekends, and with two miles of trails, it’s a great place to stretch your legs while learning more about the dinosaurs of the Jurassic Age.

Location: 400 West St, Rocky Hill, CT 06067

Contact: (860) 529-8423

Price: $6 for adults and teens, $2 for children ages 6 to 12, free for children 5 and under (no debit cards or American Express)

Website: http://www.dinosaurstatepark.org

Where to Stay:

If you’re planning a trip to the Mark Twain House or the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, you won’t even have to move campgrounds. Nelson’s Family Campground, with its family-friendly activities and plentiful amenities, is a perfect spot to post up for the weekend, while the Markham Meadows Campground has just as much to offer and is only a few more minutes down the road. Each of the RV campgrounds is about a 25- to 30-minute drive from Dinosaur State Park and Arboretum, making it the perfect base camp for Connecticut activities.

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7. Wadsworth Falls State Park

Need some Connecticut RV trip ideas to help you stay cool during the dog days of summer? Wander over to Wadsworth Falls State Park in Middletown, where you’ll find two natural waterfalls and a lifeguard-supervised swimming hole perfect for taking a soak. But that’s not all this state park has to offer. Outdoor enthusiasts will find hiking and biking trails snaking throughout the park’s 267 acres, while history buffs can visit the historic mansion once owned by Col. Clarence S. Wadsworth, for whom the park is named. Better yet, pack a picnic basket and a blue tarp and make a day of it — after driving around in your RV all day, it’s nice to kick back and feel the sun on your face at one of the most beautiful places in Connecticut.

Location: 721 Wadsworth St, Middletown, CT

Contact: (860) 345-8521

Price: free on weekdays, $9 for Connecticut vehicles and $15 for out-of-state vehicles on weekends and holidays

Website: http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/

Where to Stay:

You’ll have to drive about 45 minutes southeast from Middletown to find RV camping, but the options are worth the drive. The Salem Farms Campground has full hookup campsites on 157 acres in rural Salem. The pet-friendly campground offers family activities from May to October and has its own swimming pool, snack bar, shuffleboard court, mini golf, volleyball court, animal petting zoo, and tennis court. Not far away is the equally family-friendly Witch Meadow Lake Family Campground, located on a 14-acre freshwater lake. With its tennis courts, heated pool, pet walking trails, adult lounge, and campground store, it’s the ideal spot to post up for a weekend and enjoy the nearby sites.

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8. PEZ Visitor Center

Who doesn’t love PEZ? You might not know it, but the beloved, nostalgia-invoking candy is produced right in Connecticut in a factory in Orange. Take a self-guided tour through the facility and peek in the windows to see how both the tiny candies and classic PEZ dispensers are made. While at the factory, you can test your knowledge in a PEZ trivia game or take pictures beside a 14-foot tall PEZ dispenser. Bonus tip: Your $5 admission also works as a $2 voucher if you want to pick up some candy on the way out the door.

Location: 35 Prindle Hill Rd, Orange, CT 06477

Contact: (203) 298-0201

Price: $5 for adults and teens, $4 for children ages 3 to 12, free for children under 3 years old

Discounts: seniors, groups

Website: https://www.pez.com/visit_us/

Where to Stay:

Head north on Interstate 95 for roughly 25 minutes to the Totoket Valley RV Park in North Branford, which offers 15 full hookup RV campsites. Free WiFi and cable are included with your stay, and the campground has on-site coin laundry in case you need to wash a load or two.

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9. Lake Compounce

Whether you’re traveling with kids or just want to feel like a kid again yourself, taking a trip to Lake Compounce is one of the best Connecticut RV vacations for unwinding and having some good old-fashioned fun. Lake Compounce first opened in 1846, making it the oldest continuously run amusement park in the U.S. A jack of all trades, the park has roller coasters, kiddie rides, shows, and even water rides. Hop back in time on the wooden Wildcat coaster, which has been around since 1927, or conquer your fears on the new Phobia Phear Coaster, which goes up to speeds of 65 miles per hour. End your day with a ride on the Ferris wheel or the antique carousel and you’ll be feeling 10 years younger in no time.

Location: 186 Enterprise Dr, Bristol, CT 06010

Contact: (860) 583-3300

Price: $43.99 for daily entry

Discounts: children, seniors, family four pack

Website: https://www.lakecompounce.com

Where to Stay:

After a long day at Lake Compounce, your best bet is to head on over to the Bear Creek Campground, conveniently located right on the premises. RV sites come with full hookups and parking for up to two more vehicles, making it an ideal choice if you’re towing a trailer. Bear Creek also has themed activities from May to September, so it’s great if you’ve got little ones tagging along.

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Top 10 Connecticut RV Trips

10. Hammonasset Beach State Park

If you’re the type who likes to veg out on vacation, no worries — we’ve got one more stop right up your alley. As the largest shoreline park in Connecticut, Hammonasset Beach State Park has over two miles of sand waiting for you to set up your chair and umbrella. There’s something for everyone to do, whether you prefer to catch up on summer reading, take your fishing poles out to the boardwalk, or cool off in the new Meigs Point Nature Center. Vacation is supposed to be relaxing, so don’t feel guilty — you’ve earned it!

Location: 1288 Boston Post Rd, Madison, CT 06443

Contact: (203) 245-2785

Website: http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/

Where to Stay:

Just a short 15-minute drive away, you’ll find the Riverdale Farm Campsites, which is located on an 100-acre colonial farm. RV campsites have water, electric, and three-way hookups in addition to WiFi access. Plus, the campground has a swimming pond, playground, video arcade, tennis court, basketball court, and softball field.

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That’s all!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our free Connecticut RV travel guide! Whether you plan on checking out the Dinosaur State Park or the PEZ Visitor Center, our Connecticut RV travel tips are meant to have something fun for everyone, so no matter where you’re headed, we know you’ll have a great time. Safe travels, and happy camping!

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