Author Topic: First time in USA - August vacation to Connecticut  (Read 2983 times)

MostlyBearded

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
  • Age: 34
  • Location: England, UK
First time in USA - August vacation to Connecticut
« on: July 20, 2017, 08:49:11 AM »
Hi all, I'm very excited to be visiting the US for the first time this August for 10 days (from UK).

I'm flying with my wife and our 8 month old son and we are staying with my cousin who lives in Ridgefield, CT. We will have access to a car and already planning to spend around 36 hours in NYC courtesy of a free night at the Millenium Hilton.

Any recommendations for other places we could visit whilst we are over? I love the sea and my wife is a PhD student so I thought it might be nice to spend a day in New Haven and check out Yale, possibly even travel a little further to Boston and get an AirBnB. Some of what I've read suggested New Haven is pretty bad for crime! If so, where else would be nice for chilled days on the coast?

I will be asking my cousin's advice too, but it might be a fair bit more spendy!

Thanks
« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 08:51:30 AM by MostlyBearded »

Dusty Dog Ranch

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 225
Re: First time in USA - August vacation to Connecticut
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2017, 09:14:07 AM »
If you like the sea, then Mystic Seaport is a great choice. Stonington is a lovely little New England coastal town not far from Mystic.

The Coast Guard Academy is in New London and may offer tours, not sure. Across the the street is Connecticut College, which has an amazing arboretum. Harkness Beach State Park in New London is really great too.

MostlyBearded

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
  • Age: 34
  • Location: England, UK
Re: First time in USA - August vacation to Connecticut
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2017, 09:34:01 AM »
Thanks! Will check those out. New London looks nice :)

TravelJunkyQC

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 465
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Québec City, Canada
Re: First time in USA - August vacation to Connecticut
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2017, 09:40:16 AM »
+1 for Mystic Seaport! I don't know if the aquarium is still there (I moved out of Connecticut 13 years ago), but it's lovely.

Also, Newport, Rhode Island is lovely, and just a few hours away.

New Haven isn't a super nice city, and sure, there's crime, but it's no worse than NYC honestly (but there IS a lot fewer things to do in New Haven than NYC). In NYC, I love the Bronx Zoo, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Natural History.

CowboyAndIndian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1636
  • Location: NJ, USA
    • KOWines: Deep discount wine/spirits store.
Re: First time in USA - August vacation to Connecticut
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2017, 09:46:08 AM »
Hi all, I'm very excited to be visiting the US for the first time this August for 10 days (from UK).

I'm flying with my wife and our 8 month old son and we are staying with my cousin who lives in Ridgefield, CT. We will have access to a car and already planning to spend around 36 hours in NYC courtesy of a free night at the Millenium Hilton.

Any recommendations for other places we could visit whilst we are over? I love the sea and my wife is a PhD student so I thought it might be nice to spend a day in New Haven and check out Yale, possibly even travel a little further to Boston and get an AirBnB. Some of what I've read suggested New Haven is pretty bad for crime! If so, where else would be nice for chilled days on the coast?

I will be asking my cousin's advice too, but it might be a fair bit more spendy!

Thanks

Don't make the mistake of driving to NYC. Take the train to NYC. Lots of things to see and do in NYC.

+ to Mystic Seaport

In Boston, I would recommend the USS Constitution. This is the oldest serving ship in the US Nave (sailing ship) with US navy personnel running it.

MostlyBearded

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
  • Age: 34
  • Location: England, UK
Re: First time in USA - August vacation to Connecticut
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2017, 09:50:28 AM »
Thanks for the tips. Yep already settled on the train to NYC and it will be nice to see Grand Central Station anyway. I expect traffic is disgusting and our hotel charge like $75 or some ridiculous amount for mandatory valet parking!

Heroes821

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 567
Re: First time in USA - August vacation to Connecticut
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2017, 09:52:21 AM »
Possibly a little disappointing to see, but Plymouth Rock is in that area. The rock itself is lame, but they have a replica of the Mayflower that does Tours and that is neat.  Definitely a Tourist attraction.

terran

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2878
Re: First time in USA - August vacation to Connecticut
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2017, 11:17:03 AM »
Boston would definitely be worth a trip IMO. I would skip New Haven (unless you want to go to the Ikea or need a top notch hospital). Philadelphia and even DC wouldn't be a terrible drive from Southern CT, but might be pushing it a bit depending on the pace you like to set while traveling.

justchecking

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: First time in USA - August vacation to Connecticut
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2017, 12:31:13 PM »
I am mustachian who lives in New Haven and just finished graduate school at Yale.  We have a daughter under two and would love to show you around if you want to check the city out.  We have the best pizza in the world along with all of the awesome architecture and museums that Yale offers.  Reports of the crime are greatly exaggerated and you shoudn't be worried unless you are involved in the drug trade, if you are involved in the drug trade please disregard the rest of this message.  Message me if you want more details or if you need a place to stay down here. 

starbuck

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 377
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Small Town Connecticut
Re: First time in USA - August vacation to Connecticut
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2017, 02:49:52 PM »
In Boston, I would recommend the USS Constitution. This is the oldest serving ship in the US Nave (sailing ship) with US navy personnel running it.

The USS Constitution is indeed awesome, but it's closed for renovations until September.
https://ussconstitutionmuseum.org/visit/plan/

Mystic as a whole is a nice place to spend the day. There's a great aquarium, Mystic Seaport which is an indoor/outdoor museum, and the waterfront district of Mystic that has really great restaurants and shops, complete with working drawbridge for boats to go through the harbor.

There are some great state beaches along the coast in CT, Hammonasset in Madison, and Rocky Neck in East Lyme.

There's also Niantic (part of East Lyme) which has a boardwalk along the ocean, two small beaches, a park, and the downtown strip of stores and eateries all in a compact, walkable area.

JoJo

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1593
Re: First time in USA - August vacation to Connecticut
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2017, 04:47:33 PM »
May be a bit far but you could head over to the other side of NY state and see Niagara falls, have buffalo wings in Buffalo, and see the eternal flame falls.

Dusty Dog Ranch

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 225
Re: First time in USA - August vacation to Connecticut
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2017, 09:48:53 PM »
Also, enjoy all the familiar town names. It ain't called New England for nothing! ;-)

Bonus, you already know how to pronounce Worcester. :-)

aspiringnomad

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 929
Re: First time in USA - August vacation to Connecticut
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2017, 10:47:46 PM »
May be a bit far but you could head over to the other side of NY state and see Niagara falls, have buffalo wings in Buffalo, and see the eternal flame falls.

Nah, definitely not worth the 16 hour drive (there and back). Maybe if you had more than a month, but even then there's plenty to see closer by. Unless you don't like big cities, I'd plan to spend another day or two in NYC. Or, as others have suggested, you could add Boston to the itinerary.

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1134
Re: First time in USA - August vacation to Connecticut
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2017, 11:07:37 PM »
A couple places I've see in CT that were worth while:

http://www.ctvisit.com/listings/gillette-castle-state-park
http://www.pequotmuseum.org/default.aspx

Also, if you're at all interested in seeing a US State capitol, Hartford has free tours of theirs.

Yale has a decent natural history museum (the Peabody).

I was not impressed with CT beaches.

Mystic Seaport is nice but can get crowded, so go early.

Walden Pond is in Massachusetts and I'm sure the large gift shop located there is for irony.

CT is sort of meh in a lot of ways, northern New England (NH, VT, ME) is much more scenic than southern New England.

MostlyBearded

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
  • Age: 34
  • Location: England, UK
Re: First time in USA - August vacation to Connecticut
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2017, 05:17:03 AM »
Got to love this forum. Thanks everyone for some great suggestions. I will spend some time this weekend looking into them all!

@justchecking wow thats really kind! I will speak to my wife and PM you! :)

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk


lizzzi

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2153
Re: First time in USA - August vacation to Connecticut
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2017, 08:40:56 AM »
The OP might like Cape Cod. Or how about a drive up the coast to Maine. Or from Ridgefield it's not far over to the mid-Hudson valley of New York.-The Roosevelt Home and Library in Hyde Park is worth seeing, as is the Vanderbilt Mansion right there in the same town. Make reservations and eat at the Culinary Institute of America. ("The Culinary".) Drive up Rt. 9 to Rhinebeck and spend some time moseying around the village center--eat at the Beekman Arms, maybe. Antiques, galleries, little shops--the Rhinebeck Aerodrome. Take Route 9 back down through Hyde Park to Poughkeepsie, and walk over the Walkway Over the Hudson. (Tip: Poughkeepsie is pronounced P'kippsy)