Feeling the crunch of technology weighing on your shoulders? Why not take a day off and meander down memory lane to a simpler time? Everyone can use a good dose of nostalgia now and then. From duckpin bowling to a 50s diner, this retro road trip is a fun way to get back to your roots. Let’s get started:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
Here's a map to get you started on your retro road trip, but it's totally interactive. If you want to add a stop or remove a destination, click
1. Norm's Diner, Groton
Norm's Diner has been a fixture in Groton since the 1950s. The shiny exterior of this old-school dining car immediately gets you excited for what awaits inside.
The interior colors are bright and reminiscent of the retro style where poodle skirts were all the rage. Sink into a comfortable vinyl-covered booth or perch on a stool at the long counter and breathe in the sense of history at this spot.
As most diners are, Norm's is known for its stellar breakfast plates. Eggs any which way, pancakes, bacon, and waffles are just a few of the tasty items you'll be treated to here. Find this nostalgic spot at 171 Bridge St., Groton, CT 06340. Norm's Diner is open from 5 a.m. - 2 p.m. daily.
2. Ocean Beach Park, New London
Make your way to Ocean Beach Park in New London to take a stroll down memory lane. This 1/2-mile boardwalk is the perfect place to stretch your legs and walk off some of that awesome breakfast from Norm's Diner.
Test your skill at some of the old-timey games like skee ball. Take a spin on the classic carousel or some of the other amusements. There's nothing quite like this traditional beach-side boardwalk. The park is open from 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. daily and can be found at 98 Neptune Ave., New London, CT 06320.
3. Gumdrops & Lollipops Candy, Ice Cream & Diner, Niantic
Before we hit the road for a bit of driving time, pop over to Gumdrops & Lollipops for a snack. This retro spot is a candy store, ice cream parlor, and diner all packed into one charming place.
You'll appreciate the old-fashioned seaside charm of this popular place better with a cool and sweet ice cream cone in your hand. You'll find a variety of soft and hard ice cream plus sundaes and other cool treats. If your appetite is bigger, enjoy all-day breakfast or a mouthwatering burger instead.
Visit the candy counter to stock up on sweets for the ride. Discover old-fashioned fudge, licorice sticks, taffy and more. Gumdrops & Lollipops is open daily from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. and you'll find it at 334 Main St., Niantic, CT 06357.
4. Woodlawn Duckpin Bowling
Hopefully, you're planning on taking your retro road trip on a weekend, or you might have to skip this nostalgic spot. Woodlawn Duckpin Bowling is only open 6 - 10 p.m Fridays, 12 p.m. - 10 p.m. Saturdays, and 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. on Sundays.
There are only a few duckpin bowling alleys left in Connecticut and Woodlawn is one of them. Whether you can bowl that elusive strike or not, you'll love being transported to the past at this fun-filled attraction. Visit this bowling alley at 240 Platt Ave., West Haven, CT 06516.
5. Plasko's Farm, Trumbull
This long-standing farm has been around since 1925. Stop by to visit the last remaining fully operational farm in Trumbull.
You'll adore the rustic charm in the traditional red barn buildings. Catch a view of some of the incredibly cute animals that reside here.
You'll love the bakeshop full of fresh breads, donuts, and pies. Take some of this farm fresh goodness home with you. If you skipped out on ice cream earlier, try some of the incredible flavors at the farm's newly opened creamery. This countryside gem is open Sunday - Thursday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. and Friday - Saturday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Visit the Plasko's Farm at 670 Daniels Farm Rd., Trumbull, CT 06611.
6. Roller Magic Waterbury Skating Center, Waterbury
Hit the retro wooden rink for a blast from the past. Enjoy the lights, music, and feeling of gliding through times gone by at this nostalgic place. Don't have your own skates? No problem, you can rent a pair here.
Take a few minutes to check out the arcade games too. Some of these are sure to bring back memories of yesteryear. Visit Roller Magic at 60 Harvester Rd., Waterbury, CT 06705. They are open Mondays 7:30 p.m. - 10 p.m., Wednesdays 6 p.m. - 10 p.m., Fridays 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m., Saturdays 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m., and Sundays 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
7. Southington Drive-In
The last stop on this retro road trip is the Southington Drive-In, this spot has been screening movies since the 1950s. To catch a flick on the big screen, you'll have to take this trip on a Saturday. Movies are shown through the summers on Saturday evenings at sunset, the gates open at 6 p.m.
Bring your own food and enjoy the film tailgate style or visit the snack bar for movie snacks like popcorn, candy, and milkshakes. There is also a trailer serving up juicy burgers too. Enjoy the movie at 995 Meriden-Waterbury Tpke., Southington, CT 06489.
Whether you take this retro road trip from beginning to end or just visit a few epic spots, you’re sure to love the nostalgic journey down memory lane and all the awesome new memories you can make along the way.