Connecticut, also known as the “Constitution State,” is the wealthiest state in the USA, with a per capita income of around $45,000. The state is one of the smallest in terms of land area but is among America’s most heavily populated states. It borders Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Long Island Sound, and New York.
Connecticut is known for its rich and diverse culture. Tourists love Connecticut’s beautiful fall foliage, scenic views, state parks, and seaports. It also earned the highest ranking in technology, invention, and innovation. In fact, it is the home to many “firsts” like the first hamburger, color television, and helicopter.
The town of Mystic takes pride in its majestic seaport. The Mystic Seaport, the nation’s prime maritime museum, is now open to the public as an open-air museum showcasing its rich oceanic history. It is a place for families to bond, learn, and relax. Kids can enjoy building toy boats, swabbing a ship’s deck, dressing as sailors, cooking in the galley, reading fun stories, fishing, and many more fun activities. You can also learn about the natural world in their gardens and planetarium tours. To complete the experience, you can et on the water and ride one of their vessels.
Home of Many Inventions
Connecticut is known for its superior technology, innovations, and brilliant inventors. From simple inventions and literary contributions to life-changing innovations, Connecticut proved worthy of being called the home to many firsts. Some notable creations made in Connecticut are the submarine, hamburger, cotton gin, polaroid camera, frisbee sports, lollipops, and can openers. Each unique invention proves Connecticut’s rich history and pursuit of knowledge and development.
You can find some of the oldest pizzerias in Connecticut. Because of their classic and delicious pizzas, these pizzerias stayed in business for decades. Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, built-in 1925, is the oldest pizzeria in Connecticut. You can also try Zuppardi’s Pizza (1934), Modern Apizza (1934), and Jennie’s Pizzeria. Aside from their pizzas, their classic look and old-school appeal are worth visiting.
Connecticut River, located east of Mississippi, is the longest river. It passes through New Hampshire and Massachusetts before the Long Island Sound. It serves as a separation between Vermont and New York. The Connecticut River is essential to the people who live beside the watershed. It serves as an avenue for recreational activities like hiking trails, golf courses, fishing, boat tours, river rafting, and Tubing.
The Charter Oak Tree
Connecticut’s official state tree is the Charter Oak Tree. The tree plays a big part in Connecticut’s rich history. You’ll hear the fascinating legend about how the locals protected the colony’s official Charter from being confiscated by the colonists. The Charter plays a significant role in giving Connecticut the right to govern. Charter Oak Tree is also one of the first trees to serve as an emblem of a particular place.
The First Music School
America’s first music school, Music Vale, is located in the quiet town of Salem. It is the first school to offer music teaching degrees. Its opening is a massive win for the music industry. In addition, it also opens many doors of opportunities for students with a strong passion and desire to learn music. Although the original building was burnt down, you can still visit some paintings and exhibits at the Salem Historical Society.
Hartford, the Capital City
Hartford is Connecticut’s capital city. It is the fourth most populous city in the state, having 122,000 people in 2020. You can visit Wadsworth Antheneum, the oldest public art museum in the country, where you can view the outstanding collection of American Arts and other historic homes. It is a perfect place to learn more about the city’s culture. You can also drop by Bushnell Park, the oldest publicly funded park. If you are a booklover, you’ll be thrilled to see the homes of two American Literary giants: Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
The First Publicly-Funded Library
Scoville Memorial Library is the first publicly-funded library in the US. In 1771, Richard Smith brought home 200 books from London and decided to start a free library. The books were transferred to the townhouse in 1805. More and more books were added to the collection as time went by. Then, finally, in the 1890s, a bigger library was built from Jonathan Scoville’s donation to the town of Salisbury. The library now features over 30,000 donated books in its collection.
Connecticut Science Center
One of the most exciting places in Connecticut is the Connecticut Science Center. It offers 168 hands-on activities. Through experiments, exhibits, and fun activities, kids can learn different science topics like sight and sound, forces of motion, natural disasters, and the universe. You’ll also be fascinated with their simulations of hurricanes, wind conditions, life in water, and other natural phenomena. The kids can even try flying devices, racing robots, creating inventions using Legos, and many more!
Elizabeth Park Rose Garden
Elizabeth Park Rose Garden is the third-largest rose garden in the United States. This county’s first municipal garden features 15,000 plants with 800 varieties of roses. You can walk through the park and enjoy the scenery of different climbers, shrubs, hybrid teas, and pillars of roses. The rose garden is most beautiful during the summer, so try to visit it during June and July. However, Elizabeth Park Rose Garden is still open during the winter as a perfect place for ice skating.
Dinosaur State Park
Kids will go wild over this interactive park featuring a 200-million-year-old trackway. Dinosaur State Park is 80 acres of land in Rock Hill, Connecticut, protecting and preserving one of the most extensive known dinosaur tracks. You can visit the Geodesic dome to see more than 500 dinosaur tracks from the Early Jurassic period. The Geodesic dome also features life-sized dioramas of creatures and plants from the Jurassic and Triassic periods, interactive displays, and historical exhibits. The park also offers guided trail walks, lectures, and film viewing activities for kids and adults. You can also try mining for gems, hiking, and footprint tracking.
Gillette Castle State Park
Gillette Castle State Park features a rich history and natural beauty. The setting is breathtaking and mesmerizing, but you must visit the palace. William Hooker Gillette designed the 24-room mansion to reflect medieval and modern architecture. One of the fantastic features of this home is its 47 doors- none of which have the same style and design. Outside the Gillette castle, you’ll see its steps embedded in local rocks, mica, and crystals. You can find perfect formations of crystals around the area; however, you are not allowed to bring the crystals home. You can also stay in their romantic inns.
Connecticut is the proud home of Yale University. Many people travel across the country to visit Yale. Whether you plan to attend the university or not, you can still have a meaningful tour around the campus. First, Yale’s monolithic and pseudo-gothic architectural style is one-of-a-kind. You’ll surely enjoy taking photos around the campus. In addition, Yale offers different exhibits like the museum of natural history and Yale’s art gallery. You can go around the campus alone or with a volunteer tour guide.
The First Dictionary
Born and raised in West Hartford, Noah Webster authored the first American dictionary. Noah realized the flaws of America’s educational system while teaching in Connecticut. He then decided to write his own American English books. He published the first dictionary, which is known as Webster’s Dictionary, in 1806. His perseverance helped improve the level of comprehension and learning of people around the world. They preserved the Noah Webster House in West Hartford to honor his legacy, which is now open for public viewing.
There is an interesting story about why frogs became symbols of Willimantic. One evening in the mid-1700s, the people heard an unusual noise when the city was experiencing severe drought. The noise was so strange and terrifying that the townspeople thought it was coming from a battle between Native Americans. The following day, they woke up to the sight of several dead frogs. Apparently, the noise was the cries of the frogs who died because of the low water level. Since then, frogs have become symbolic. You can visit the Frog Bridge that was made to commemorate the said event.
The Very First Written Constitution
In the early days, there was massive independence and political freedom. Unfortunately, too much freedom resulted in unruly people who refused to take accountability. In 1639, the people of Connecticut created the first written constitution, The Fundamental Orders. The Fundamental Orders discussed the rights and obligations of the people of Connecticut. It is a written proclamation that the Connecticut colony is self-ruling and self-governing. This is why Connecticut is named “The Constitution State.”
Connecticut is known for its silly, weird, and wacky laws. For example, you are not allowed to call a pickle a pickle unless you saw it bounce. They created this law long ago to protect buyers from purchasing pickles that are not properly fermented. Another silly law prohibits stylists and beauticians from singing or humming, or whistling while doing their work. It is also illegal to dispose of used razor blades. Although some of these silly laws are outdated, it is still safe to read them if you plan to stay for a while in Connecticut.