Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut residents: do you have a bucket list of places to see before you die? While the Nutmeg state is small, it’s certainly home to some intriguing, must-see spots.
See our full list of fan-favorite spots and hidden gems across the state below:
Gillette Castle | East Haddam
Ever dreamed of seeing a real-life castle, pulled straight out of a fairytale? Nestled high on a property in East Haddam sits Gillette Castle, adorned with turrets and a cobblestone structure. While the inside is off-limits, anyone is free to walk the grounds, where you can pretend to be royalty.
Holy Land | Waterbury
The once-lively religious amusement park is now a desolate trail, filled with remnants of building structures. While it may not seem aesthetically pleasing to the eye from the highway, it’s certainly fascinating to explore. At the top sits a 65-foot-tall illuminated cross, and down the trail is the dilapidated “Holy Land U.S.A.” sign.
Wadsworth Falls State Park | Middlefield
Connecticut is filled with its fair share of waterfalls, but Wadsworth Falls has something special to offer. There are two separate falls on the land; the larger waterfall offers a picturesque view of the stream, with plenty of places to explore. It’s even possible to climb the waterfall to see the different viewpoints.
Sleeping Giant State Park | Hamden
Aptly titled Sleeping Giant, the state park’s high and low mountaintops showcase an abstract outline of a person sleeping amid the sky in Hamden. Sleeping Giant offers over 32 miles of hiking trails — ranging from easy to difficult — and one even leads to an observation tower.
Boothe Memorial Park | Stratford
Built around 1840, Boothe Memorial Park is considered to be the oldest homestead in the country, as it has been continuously occupied since it originally sat on a 1663 house. With such a long history also comes a spooky past. It’s known to be somewhat haunted; take a trip across the grounds to see an old blacksmith shop, church, and trolley ticket booth.
Henry David Thoreau Footbridge | Washington
This one isn’t for anyone afraid of heights. The 134-foot-long footbridge, spanning across Washington Depot’s Shepaug River in the Hidden Valley Preserve, is the largest structure in Connecticut. It features quotes from the famed 19th century philosopher Thoreau, honoring his love of nature.
Mark Twain House & Museum | Hartford
Not only does the Victorian Gothic-style mansion offer a stunning view, but the former home of the famous author also doubles as a museum. It was reportedly built to look like a riverboat with a steeply-pitched roof and an asymmetrical bay window. Guests can walk the grounds and take-in the atmpsphere where great literature, like ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ and ‘The Prince and the Pauper’ were born.
Indian Leap at Yantic Falls | Norwich
Uncas Leap, known as the Indian Leap, dates back to the 1600s. According to legend, the Mohegan Indians chose the spot as a battle ground, and when the rival tribe Narragansetts tried to attack, they fell to their deaths below. Water falls from a nearly 40-foot drop. There is an area to walk around the falls, as well as a bridge, allowing the perfect, scenic view.
Saville Dam | Barkhamsted
Have you ever travelled on Route 318 and wondered: Did I just pass a small castle? For the ‘Bridgerton’ fans out there looking to for a royal aesthetic, the Saville Dam is the perfect photo spot. Right along the Farmington River sits an earthen embarkment dam with masonry work and a door reminiscent of the Medieval era; an aesthetically-pleasing dam that provides water for Hartford County.
Olde Mistick Village | Mystic
When people think of New England, Mystic always comes to mind. While Mystic provides some great spots, the Olde Mistick Village is a perfect taste of the past. The re-created 18th century village is packed with shops, boutiques, eateries, and more. Its charming atmosphere and unique activities make it a must-see.
Yale University | New Haven
Ivy league schools across the country always peak interest, but New Haven’s Yale University campus has something different to offer. The campus, which stretches across nearly 400 acres of the city, is both busy and quiet, offering secluded sections amid bustling traffic. The buildings’ architecture and nearby shops provide an unparalleled setting for a prestigious college.