If you’re reading this, you probably know the truth about Connecticut: it’s a beautiful state filled with charming towns, great schools, and cool restaurants. It’s also one of the most expensive states to live in. Here are a few places you can go enjoy Connecticut’s beauty without taking your wallet out.
1. Elizabeth Park, Hartford
Elizabeth Park is home to America's oldest rose garden, which opened in 1904. Walking among the park's 15,000 rose bushes, it's easy to imagine you've magically transported from Hartford to Versailles.
1561 Asylum Ave, West Hartford, CT 06117
2. Silver Sands State Park, Milford
Charles Island, just off the coast of Silver Sands State Park, is rumored to be the home of Captain Kidd's treasure. At low tide, you can walk out to the island on the sandbar to investigate for yourself.
1 Silver Sands Pkwy, Milford, CT 06460
3. Connecticut Audubon Society Center, Pomfret
This center run by the Connecticut Audubon Society manages over 800 acres of bird sanctuary. You'll spot some of the same birds you'll see in any Connecticut backyard, but the former farmlands also provide habitats for hard-to-find grasslands birds.
218 Day Rd, Pomfret Center, CT 06259
4. Connecticut College Arboretum, New London
With 250 acres of botanical attractions and views of both the Long Island Sound and the Thames River, the Connecticut College Arboretum is our state's own garden of Eden.
270 Mohegan Ave, New London, CT 06320
5. The Observatory at the Westport Astronomical Society, Westport
Every Wednesday from 8:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M., the observatory is open to the public, as long as the skies are clear. It's a beautiful opportunity to gaze up at the night sky and learn about the cosmos from local astronomers.
182 Bayberry Ln, Westport, CT 06880
6. Tarrywile Park, Danbury
Tarrywile Park was made for frolicking. There are 21 miles of hiking trails, two ponds, a manor house, a lake and multiple picnic areas. There's also an abandoned castle in the woods. If you can't take a good Instagram here, you can't take a good Instagram anywhere.
70 Southern Blvd, Danbury, CT 06810
7. UConn Animal Barns, Storrs
If you can't wait until state fair season to see some farm animals, head to UConn to see Holstein and Jersey cows, sheep and horses. Each afternoon, visitors can see the cows being milked at the Kellogg Dairy Barn.
3636 Horse Barn Road Ext., Storrs, CT 06269
8. Weir Farm National Historic Site, Wilton
In 1990, Congress named Weir Farm a national park to preserve the idyllic landscape, which is associated with the American Impressionist movement. It's one of just two national parks focused on the visual arts. Visitors can explore the Weir House, Weir and Young Studios, barns, gardens and Weir Pond.
735 Nod Hill Rd, Wilton, CT 06897
9. Talcott Mountain State Park, Simsbury
The beginning of the hike up Talcott Mountain is relatively strenuous, but what's at the top is worth it. Besides the incredible views, there's an enormous old house that was once a tycoon's summer home. The house includes a tower with an observatory that sits 1,000 feet above sea level.
560 Simsbury Rd, Bloomfield, CT 06002
10. The White Memorial Conservation Center, Litchfield
Anyone looking to spot local wildlife should head to this 4,000-acre preserve along Bantam Pond. There are 40 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. There's also a nature center Water enthusiasts can go kayaking, canoeing, and fishing on ten ponds, Bantam Lake and six miles of Bantam River. The onsite nature center puts on year-round programs for all ages.
80 Whitehall Rd, Litchfield, CT 06759
11. Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center, Ansonia
During weekly "creature features," visitors can touch and learn about the animals that call the 150-acre nature center home, including a bearded dragon, a ball python, a red-tail boa, various owls, a dove, a guinea pig, a domesticated rabbit, turtles, hundreds of honey bees, crayfish, walking sticks, a gecko and a tarantula.The playground here is one of the best in Connecticut; it features tube slides, tire swings, a sandbox, wall towers, climbing walls and a section devoted to toddlers.
10 Deerfield Rd, Ansonia, CT 06401
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