Top 15 Things to do in CT this summer

Summer is basically upon us and I don’t know about you, but I am itching to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather. Being cooped up inside all winter has gotten me on the quest for exploration. Contrary to popular belief, Connecticut has a plethora of options that can fulfill this need for adventure.

In no particular order, you should check out these 15 unique spots this summer:


  • Cassidy Hill Vineyard Friday Night Music Session
    • This hidden neighborhood gem has a great view, rustic atmosphere and reasonably priced tastings. What better way to kickstart your weekend by relaxing with wine and live entertainment? To give a little something extra, Cassidy Hill has live music from the porch on Friday evenings from 6-8 pm. Just remember to bring your own lawn chairs!


  • Sunday Brunch on the porch at Rose’s Berry Farm with Berry Picking
    • Deemed as ‘breakfast with a view,’ Roses’ Berry Farm serves up fresh fruit with a home cooked old-fashioned breakfast. Could you ask for much more? Relax Sunday mornings 8AM – 1PM on Roses’ deck overlooking the fields while munching away. Beware, the menu is limited (but extremely reasonable pricing) and the line starts early!


  • Day Trip to Block Island
    • While not entirely in CT, this close destination is a perfect day trip during off the coast of Rhode Island (and not just in the summer)! Block Island is a 10-mile stretch of rolling hills, dramatic bluffs, white sand beaches,miles and miles of hiking trails, and more activities than you’ll know what to do with. This is definitely a bare-feet-and-bicycle type of location offering tourists and residence a unique brand of laid-back ease. Don’t worry about packing immense amount of clothing just bring your flops and swimsuit and you’re good to go. Spend your day swimming in the clear water, climbing to the top of the local lighthouses, digging up clams or hiking through hundreds of acres of conservation land. Words alone can’t do it justice.


  • Glass House New Canaan
    • Philip Johnson is considered one of the most influential modern American architects. His legacy is well preserved at his estate in New Canaan, CT. The property houses his infamous Glass House, which was completed in 1949.Tours of the entire property are available and begin from the visitor’s center in downtown New Canaan.


  • Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden
    • Driving along I-91 just north of New Haven, you can see some interesting hills that seem to just pop out of the ground. The rocky hills that create Sleeping Giant are a traprock ridge which was formed thousands of years ago when magma oozed up through cracks in the Earth’s crust that from afar appears to be the form of a giant man sleeping on his back. It is one of Connecticut’s most popular state parks with over 30 miles of trails. After a long day hiking, stop off for sandwiches at Corner Deli or lunch at MiKro for some craft beers followed by ice cream at Sweet Claudes.


  • Brunch at Avert
    • Avert Brasserie, located in vibrant West Hartford Center gives a modern, crisp presentation of traditional French cuisine. As they say, experience old world European charm with a modern flair in a casual, relaxed environment which utilize locally sourced ingredients. They have a vast menu from salad to specialty eggs to classics like french toast. Afterwards you can walk around the center and do some shopping!


  • Hartford Flavor Company
    • The company  started in 2012 providing the liquor market – from retailers to consumers – with uniquely flavored natural liqueurs that are on-trend and align to the idea that the creative cocktail is an essential aspect of both the social and dining experiences. They have a tasting room, located in a historic manufacturing building where the first pay telephones were made, named Diana’s Lair. The tasting room has a full-bar and a unique decor including a living wall. Open to the public on weekends with a $10 fee per person, which includes a Wild Moon Liqueurs production process tour, tastes of current and future flavors, light food bites, and cocktail samples. Hours of operation are Fridays 4 – 7 pm, Saturdays 1 – 6 pm, and Sundays 2 – 5 pm.


  • Leitner Planterium – Yale then Bar Pizza
    • Every Tuesday night, the Leitner Observatory presents planetarium shows for $5, and, if the skies are clear, opens up the telescopes for public viewing of stars, planets, and nebulae at the end of twilight. Planetarium shows start at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., and the telescopes are open from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., weather permitting. Afterwards, head over to BAR pizza in New Haven, CT.


  • Uconn Dairy Bar
    • Uconn most notably deemed the Basketball Capital of the World, but they also dominate the game of ice cream. The Dairy Bar uses fresh milk from the cows that reside on Horse Barn Hill to create the infamous ice cream that the Huskies know and love. The UConn Dairy Bar opened in 1953 to sell dairy products that were made by the Creamery. Today, they make ice cream still using the original recipe along with a variety of cheeses.


  • PEZ Factory in Orange, CT
    • PEZ was first marketed as a compressed peppermint candy 83 years ago in Vienna. The name comes from the German word for peppermint, PfeffErminZ. Today, PEZ is a sweet interactive candy where over 3 billion candies are consumed annually in the U.S.A. alone! The factory is located in Orange and visits are self guided. Unfortunately, you are not permitted to actually tour the manufacturing area, but they do provide viewing windows into the production floor as well as video monitors that detail the entire process of how a dispenser is created and how the candy is made.


  • Brownstone Quarry
    • Located in Portland, Brownstone Quarry where you are able to zip through the sky and jump off of cliffs into the water. This is a water adventure park like no other. Located in an old quarry, they have ziplines, trampolines, rock climbing, wakeboarding, scuba diving and much more. To save time, print out your waivers and purchase your day passes online.


  • Tubing in the Farmington River
    • CT’s Farmington River is a nature made lazy river. Bring your own tube or rent from one of the local businesses and float for miles, passing through some sets of rapids. You’re guaranteed to get wet and catch a tan on this fun adventure!


  • Food Truck Festivals
    • For all you foodies, checkout your nearest food truck festival fun. Sample all kinds of food, from baked potatoes, gourmet burgers and BBQ to cannoli, chicken and cupcakes. You get to not only sample great food, but you get to spend the day outdoors listening to great music. Mark your calendars for all the upcoming Food Truck Festivals


  • Saville Dam at Barkhamsted Reservoir
    • A hidden gem of Barkhamsted, is the Saville Dam, which is an 8 mile long reservoir with views to die for. It was built in 1936 and was named after Chief Engineer Caleb Mills Saville.  By 1940 the reservoir had reached its maximum level.


  • Ice Cream Trail
    • A little known gem is that the Connecticut Office of Tourism keeps track of where to find the best ice cream!  You’ll have to head to Eastern Connecticut for this delectable adventure, but it’s definitely worth the drive.

Anything that I missed? Comment below so we can check it out!







  1. Kristin Novotny (@littlemamajama) | 21st Jun 17

    This is an excellent list of ideas! I’ve never visited CT, but it’s on my list of places to go. 🙂

    • Courtney & Steve | 21st Jun 17

      There are definitely a few good things about CT and it’s a great place to take kids during the summer – centrally located between NYC and Boston – you can make a whole trip out of it! Let me know if you every come this way.

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