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Connecticut is bordered on the south by Long Island Sound, on the west by New York State, on the north by Massachusetts, and on the east by Rhode Island. The highest peak in Connecticut is Bear Mountain in Salisbury in the northwest corner of the state. The highest point is just east of where Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York meet, on the southern slope of Mount Frissell, whose peak lies nearby in Massachusetts. The Connecticut River cuts through the center of the state, flowing into Long Island Sound. The most populous metropolitan region centered within the state lies in the Connecticut River Valley. Despite Connecticut's relatively small size, it features wide regional variations in its landscape; for example, in the northwestern Litchfield Hills, it features rolling mountains and horse farms, whereas in the southeastern New London County, it features beaches and maritime activities.
Connecticut is rich with history, nature, art and beauty. Truly something for everyone. While many people are drawn each year to Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Casinos, there is much more in this state. There are a number of beaches at the shore, state parks and forests throughout the state, and many smaller parks as well. Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam is an excellent family destination. So is the Essex Steam Train and River Boat Ride in Essex.
Interior portions of Connecticut have a humid continental climate, while the Connecticut shoreline has a borderline humid subtropical climate with seasonal extremes tempered by proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. The city of Bridgeport (on Long Island Sound), like most other areas in metropolitan New York, typically falls within the humid subtropical climate. Hartford has a humid continental climate. Consistent with its coastal reputation, Connecticut is a moderately sunny state, averaging between 2,400 and 2,800 hours of sunshine annually.
Winters are generally considered to be cold, with average temperatures ranging from 3 °C in the maritime influenced southeast to -2 °C in the northwest in January. The average yearly snowfall is about 54-189 centimetres across the state, with higher totals in the northwest. Spring has variable temperatures with frequent rainfall. Summer is hot and humid throughout the state, with average highs in New London of 27 °C and 31 °C in Windsor Locks. Fall months are mild and bring colorful foliage across the state in October and November. During hurricane season, tropical cyclones occasionally affect the region. Thunderstorms are most frequent during the summer, occurring on average 30 times annually. These storms can be severe, and the state usually averages one tornado per year. Connecticut's warmest temperature is 41 °C which occurred in Danbury on July 15, 1995; the coldest temperature is -36 °C which occurred in Falls Village on February 16, 1943 and Coventry on January 22, 1961.
Bradley International Airport (BDL) is the second-busiest airport in New England, after Boston's Logan International Airport. It is located about halfway between Hartford and Springfield. There are many flights, including to/from Montreal, Toronto, Miami, Dallas, Chicago, Punta Cana, Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, Cancun, Orlando, New York City, Cincinnati, Raleigh/Durham, Fort Lauderdale, San Juan, West Palm Beach, Baltimore, Denver, Tampa, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Cleveland, Newark, Charlotte, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
A number of Amtrak trains stop in Connecticut:
Those entering Connecticut by car from the west can choose from three major routes. Interstate 84 enters Danbury, Connecticut from Pennsylvania and the lower Hudson Valley of New York and continues to Waterbury, Hartford and Worcester. The Merrit Parkway, closed to trucks and buses, enters the state from New York's Westchester County, and is considered one of America's most scenic highways because of how its design matches the bucolic leafiness of the suburbs that surround it. An extension of the Parkway tunnels under a hill north of New Haven and continues to Meriden where it merges with Interstate 91 going north towards Hartford and beyond. Interstate 95 traverses the east coast of the United States from Maine to Florida, and runs along Connecticut's coast from east to west. The visitor should be aware I-95 North according to federal road signs is actually going East in Connecticut, and I-95 South is going West in Connecticut. Between New York and New Haven I-95 goes through densely populated suburbs and is heavily congested. East (North according to directional signs on the road) of New Haven I-95 goes through more rural coastal towns and is not so congested.
Entering the state from Boston involves taking the Massachusetts Turnpike also known as Interstate 90 west to I-84, or Route 6, a two-lane road, or Interstate 95 from Rhode Island.
Fuel is more expensive in Connecticut than it is in New York or Massachusetts.
As with trains, there are frequent intercity buses between South Station Boston and Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan with stops in Connecticut. Major bus lines serving Connecticut include Peter Pan and Greyhound.
The Bridgeport-Port Jefferson Ferry crosses Long Island Sound daily between Port Jefferson, Long Island and Bridgeport, CT. It carries cars and passengers. Cross Sound Ferry connects New London, CT and Orient Point, NY (the easternmost tip of Long Island's North Fork.) It also carries cars and passengers.
Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.
For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.
Connecticut has a number of National Scenic Byways which offer a great way to explore the state crossing beautiful landscapes. Mostly, there are lots of national parks, state parks or monuments along the way and it's generally a better alternative than the faster but boring Interstate Highways.
Connecticut has an incredible amount of restaurants everywhere you go. There are thousands of restaurants state wide. Downtown New Haven is widely considered the restaurant capital of the state, with more top Zagat-rated restaurants than any other community in Connecticut by a wide margin. Interesting ethnic restaurants, including Eritrean, Malaysian, Turkish, Spanish, French, Mexican, Cuban, Jamaican, Ethiopian, Lebanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Southern and Northern Indian, Nepalese, Cantonese and Italian restaurants can be found throughout the city. Also, the state's large casinos have plenty of dining opportunities.
Southington, Connecticut, between Hartford and Waterbury, is famous for their many apple orchards. This small town of forty thousand people has an incredible variety and supply of apples, celebrating their staple crop with the annual Harvest Festival in October. Anyone traveling through this beautiful state in the Autumn must stop in Southington for a bag of apple fritters and other foods made from the town's famous apples.
Be warned that there are only 78 hours of the week in which alcohol can be purchased, which is 8:00am-9:00pm Monday-Saturday and now 10:00am-5:00pm on Sunday. Hours are longer for on-premises consumption, such as at bars. Those are 9:00am-1:00am Monday-Thursday, 9:00am-2:00am Friday-Saturday, and 11:00am-1:00am Sunday.
Discover Connecticut's Craft Beer culture, boasting great local breweries, quality brewpubs and beer bars, home brew supply shops, and beer festivals. Many breweries offer tours of their facilities, and of course free samples of their products.
There are dozens of hotel and motel chains, ranging from budget to top end. Allthough they are not the most charming accommodations, they usually have a very decent midrange service with good rooms and are generally good value. At least you know what to expect and in some cases they are either the only or the best option in the area. Some of them include:
Ask Putumike a question about Connecticut
Lived 95% of my life here. I am a boat captain and have traveled the East Coast of USA extensively.
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