7 Top-Rated Weekend Getaways in Connecticut

Connecticut, one of the original thirteen colonies, holds a special place in America’s heart and history since many inventions, conventions, and art pieces were birthed there. 

Naturally, history enthusiasts around the country tend to add Connecticut to their bucket lists.

Of course, this gorgeous state has more to offer than a history lesson. Connecticut’s clear water beaches and lush parks make for the perfect vacation. Keep reading to find out about Connecticut’s top-rated weekend Getaways.

1) Mystic Village

Mystic Village, Connecticut, a once significant seaport with over 600 ships built since 1784, is now one of the largest maritime museums in the United States. At the Mystic Seaport Museum, you get to explore various exhibits, stroll through a 19th-century seaport village replica, discover the unique art of shipbuilding in action, watch a movie at the planetarium, and more. 

The Mystic Seaport Museum is only one of the activities in the town of Mystic. If you decide to spend your weekend in this small town, you will find many activities such as fishing, swimming, shopping, and dining.

Locals especially enjoy the various town events held throughout the month and spending time at the Mystic Luxury Cinemas that are fully equipt with heated, reclining seats, surround sound, and the best concessions. 

2) Hammonasset Beach State Park

Hammonasset Beach State Park, Located in Madison, Connecticut, is the largest shoreline park in the state and offers over two miles of beach. 

If you decide to spend the weekend at Hammonasset, you can lodge in a nearby cottage or camp within the park grounds. 

Popular day activities include:

  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Picnicking
  • Car-Top boating
  • Fishing
  • Fresh and saltwater aquariums

Just outside of town, you find tons of family-friendly activities such as Bounce! Fun Center, various marinas, and sea-themed restaurants. 

3) Hartford

Hartford, Connecticut’s capital city, is a great weekend getaway option for historians and nature enthusiasts. 

Hartford locals and tourists enjoy visiting destinations such as:

  • The Mark Twain House
  • Connecticut State Capitol
  • Wadsworth Atheneum
  • Talcott Mountain State Park
  • Six Flags New England
  • New Britain Museum of American Art

Hartford attracts millions of travelers each year because of its 250-mile-long island sound shoreline, multiple state parks, and the recent legalization of recreational cannabis.

4) Milford

Milford is a coastal city in New Haven County that offers visitors an authentic English experience since much of the city dates back to when it settled in 1639.

Other than exploring the towns Antique New-England Charm, tourists spend their trip participating in activities such as:

  • The National Helicopter Museum
  • Eisenhower Park
  • Pez Candy Visitor Center
  • Walnut Beach

Additionally, it is said that Captain Kidd and other pirates infested the nearby coast, hiding treasures along their way. Many visitors go treasure hunting at Walnut Beach, Charles Islands, and Silver Sands State Park.

5) Madison

Madison, Connecticut, is a large beach town located in the southeastern corner of New Haven County. 

Madison is known for its crystal clear water, immaculate sand, friendly town residents, award-winning book store, restaurants, and various small shops offering gifts, souvenirs, coffee, and more.

Some tourist activities and must-see locations include:

  • Hammonasset Beach State Park
  • Meigs Point Nature Center
  • Madison Green Historic District
  • R.J Julia Booksellers
  • Madison Art Cinema
  • Rockland Preserve
  • Chambord Vineyards

To maximize your Madison experience, consider lodging at the top-rated Beech Tree Cottages or Thimble Islands Bed and Breakfast. 

6) Litchfield

Litchfield is known for being voted one of the most beautiful residential communities in the Country and for preserving New England’s historic charm.

One of the most memorable takeaways of a Litchfield vacation is the town’s ability to help you relax and embrace the mellow atmosphere that a busier city can’t provide. 

Some of the popular activities that assist such a trip include:

  • The White Memorial Foundation
  • The Litchfield Greenway
  • Topsmead State Park
  • Mohawk Ski Mountain

Of course, if you are looking for some more exciting activities, The Litchfield Hills Road Race and Litchfield Distillery are great gathering spots for friends and family.

7) Essex

Essex is a small town located in Middlesex County, and is made up of three welcoming villages: Essex Village, Centerbrook, and Ivoryton.

The town of Essex is known for its beautiful landscapes, architecture, and magnificent trees and gardens. 

If you decide to book a weekend in Essex, you must add these stops to your schedule.

  • Connecticut River Museum 
  • Main Street Park
  • Essex Library Association 
  • Cooper & Smith Gallery
  • Riverquest
  • Essex Steam Train & Riverboat

Since Essex is located along the Connecticut River and is a short drive from Long Island Sound, many activities, shops, and restaurants are sea themed. Therefore, any angler would appreciate the fresh seafood and various fishing spots that a weekend trip to this small town provides.