CT Travel Guide
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The scene outside of Frank Pepe's...
If you find yourself in New Haven, Connecticut for work, school, or just an Amtrak layover it’s worth taking a spin through the city. Sure you can check out the architecture and history of the Elm City, and you certainly can’t miss the influence that Yale University has on the city; however, crossing the tracks—literally—brings you to an area that has its own history. We’re talking about Wooster Square, and we guess you could consider it New Haven’s very own version of a Little Italy neighborhood.
Anytime is a good time to visit, but with the warmer weather right around the corner you might as well plan your visit to coincide with the area’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival. This year they’re hoping that the trees will be doing their thing during the middle of the April, as they’re holding this year’s events on April 14. Expect the usual festival stuff like live music, arts, crafts, and of course plenty of food. Take a spin through the Wooster Square Historic District, as you cross another spot on the National Register of Historic Places—it was New Haven’s first.
Once you work up an appetite and take a photo of the Wooster Street archway it’s time to get down to business. The top two picks on the streets are both some of the finest places to grab a pizza—or "apizza"—but we’ve got to admit that we might be a little biased in that department.
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We missed the cake, but we made it for the balloons...
Just in time for the holidays, JetBlue has arrived at Bradley International Airport a few miles outside of Hartford, CT. The airline now pretty much owns New England with flights from Burlington, Portland, Nantucket, Boston, andfinallyHartford.
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We can now officially welcome the holiday travel season, and not just because Thanksgiving is weeks away. Over this last Halloween weekend, someone at the Bradley International Airport outside Hartford must have forgotten that snow globes are a no-go for launch. Thankfully the TSA was in place to protect us from this rogue souvenir, and the entire airport was shut down and evacuated.
Before 11am yesterday our buddies in blue identified something suspicious in a carry-on bag, and as a precaution, things in Terminal A—AKA the entire airport—were closed down until things were proven safe.
Tourist Traps / Julia Roberts / Movie Set Travel / Food Travel / Connecticut Travel / Pizza Travel / → All Tags
Thanks to Julia Roberts and screenwriter Amy Jones, the town of Mystic, CT was put on the map in 1988 when the film Mystic Pizza became a surprise hit. The movie, about three teenage girls who find their true selves while working at a pizza parlor, also happened to put Julia Roberts on everyone's radar.
The film was actually shot in the pizza parlor it was named for, making Mystic Pizza one of the most popular tourist attractions in eastern Connecticut. Movie fans line up outside to get a peek inside the restaurant that gave Julia Roberts her big break. The walls of Mystic Pizza are still adorned with newspaper clippings, reviews of the flick and photos of Julia and the rest of the cast in their "A Slice of Heaven" t-shirts.
When people think of Mystic, Connecticut, they usually picture quaint New England seascapes, drawbridges and pizza. But, there's another equally important food group that can't be missed when visiting Mystic: ice cream!
There are so many delicious spots for frozen treats in Mystic County that they've created an Ice Cream Trail, which follows routes inland and along the coast including stops at all the best dairies and ice cream shops along the way.
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It’s official—JetBlue has made Bradley International Airport its latest destination. Starting this November, JetBlue will send planes from just outside Hartford to both Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando twice a day. To celebrate the new route announcement they’re even offering a pretty decent deal on some of the first flights. Both routes start at just $69 each way, but you need to book your seats before the end of April. Of course there’s taxes and a few other restrictions, but a little time searching could result in a good deal.
With nonstop flights to both destinations in Florida, residents of the Nutmeg State can escape the winter weather without having to make a pre-flight roadtrip to JFK in order to access free in-flight TV and Dunkin Donuts coffee. With the JetBlue connections available at both Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Orlando International Airport, it will be easy to access plenty of warms spots across the Caribbean as well.
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JetBlue was busy giving stuff away in Boston the other day, but it seems like they might planning some promotions for another New England city soon. Apparently the airline known for blue in-flight snacks is seriously thinking about introducing service from Bradley International Airport outside of Hartford, Connecticut.
Right now it sounds like it’s only a matter of time before we get an official announcement, and it appears that JetBlue will likely be heading from Connecticut to the Sunshine State. Florida may be one of the best bets, but some are also thinking that Puerto Rico or other Caribbean warm spots could be solid options for new routes.
It's that time of year again, and we're not talking about NY Fashion Week or Awards Season. For Southern New Englanders, February mean the return of bald eagles who come back to hunt for herring and other fish in their native rivers. The greatest concentration of eagles is on the lower reaches of the Connecticut River, near Essex, Connecticut, thanks to a 1972 anti-pollution law that brought back a variety of fish.
The Connecticut River Museum is now offering 90 minute Eagle Tours aboard Project Oceanology's Envirolab III through March 14th. The mission of Project Oceanology is to nurture interest and enthusiasm for the planet's marine life. The tour includes educational information from one of the museum's naturalists and is appropriate for all ages. Cruises leave the museum dock Fridays at 1 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The cost is $35 for museum members and $40 for nonmembers. Call (860) 767-8269 to make a reservation.
Today, the Americanized version of Giuseppe Tornatore's 1990 "Stanno Tutti Bene", better known as "Everybody's Fine", opens in theaters nationwide. The movie stars Robert DeNiro as a father who goes on a road trip to check on his adult children after his wife dies and learns they aren't doing as well as she had always led him to believe. Though the movie is set in various locations across the country (hence the road trip) it was filmed almost entirely in Connecticut last year.
Where to stay:
The movie's cast and crew moved up and down the Connecticut coast to take advantage of locations like the Yale campus, Bradley Airport, and several residential neighborhoods, including one on Shippan Point in Stamford, not far from The Hotel Chesterfield. This recently restored 1860s mansion is located in the quintessential New England neighborhood and room include free breakfast. Rooms start at $239 a night.
We love taking in the sights of the season from the comfort of the car. It’s nice to get out and breath in the cool crisp air, but usually it’s best to do that when stopping for lunch or refilling our cup holder with a pumpkin spice latte. However, we do recognize that there are a large number of citizens that enjoy the fresh air that the fall season brings. That’s why we’re suggesting the ING Hartford Marathon for a solid active travel option for the autumn season.
Connecticut’s capital city is pretty sleepy after the workday ends, so it’s population will swell when thousands of runners hit the streets on October 10. There’s even still time to register, just head out to packet pick-up on October 9, and they’ll be happy to sign you up. You’ll enjoy cool weather, peak foliage, and some nice scenery as you do your best to keep your pace along the banks of the Connecticut River. Overall the course is pretty flat as well, so you might just be able to reach that personal best. After all, this marathon can get you into the Boston one if you go fast enough.
Theme parks are always trying to outdo one another with bigger rides, and that usually corresponds with increases in ticket prices. So if you’re looking to spend your summer roller coaster dollars in a more unique location, consider visiting the country’s longest operating amusement park. Since 1846, Lake Compounce has been opening every season to greet families from Connecticut and the Northeast.
They’ve upped the fun quotient in recent years, and there are quite a few rides and attractions to keep you entertained for the day. We’re especially fond of Boulder Dash—the wooden coaster that winds its way through the woods while reaching speeds of over 65 mph. But if you’re more of a fan of older wooden coasters, don’t miss The Wildcat. This rickety old thing will give you a thrill as it drops 68 feet and feels as though it will shake itself apart at every turn.
We’ve quickly discovered that there’s nowhere better to beat the heat than from the comfort of a tube floating down a river. Despite the intense sun heating up the tube so that it almost burns your skin, all is well once you hit a wave and get dumped into the cooling waters below your seat. That’s why we fully recommend a trip to Farmington River Tubing in New Hartford, Connecticut within the Satan’s Kingdom State Recreation Area—scary, huh?
Other river locations may have turned into party scenes, complete with special floating cooler rafts designed to hold your thirty-pack. For better or for worse, booze isn’t allowed on this river adventure, so things are more serene and peaceful. That is of course until you hit some of the rapids with only a tube to help you out. Officials at the river request that you are comfortable swimming through Class III rapids—you know, just in case.
Only $20 will get you a 2.5-mile ride down the river. Bring an old T-shirt to be a little more comfy, since you’ll be wearing a snazzy life jacket during your journey. An old pair of sneakers does wonders to help protect your feet when you try to avoid some of the river’s larger rocks. When you're all done, a bus will bring you back to where you parked your car, and if you want to go again, it’ll only cost you $10.
With all the recent rain in the Northeast lately, the river should be running at full steam, so remember to use the buddy system.
Related Stories: [Photo: Joshua.Rose80]
·Farmington River Tubing [Official Site]
·Tubing The Apple River: Slow Speeds, Fast Sunburns [Jaunted]
·Water Sports coverage [Jaunted]