Connecticut is full of art and culture. Just travel the Connecticut Art Trail to visit a consortium of fifteen museums and historic landmarks. Explore bucolic farms; see studios and boarding houses where famous artists once resided. Visit contemporary art museums and go back in time to marvel European masterpieces and the works of American Impressionists. Some highlights along the trail are the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, the Hill Stead Museum in Farmington, the Mattatuch Museum Art & History Center in Ridgefield, and Yale University in New Haven. Connecticut is also home to two casinos, the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville and Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, the largest casino in the world. Both casinos offer their own unique atmosphere with an array of gaming experiences that include table games, slots, poker, bingo, keno, and race book. Foxwoods' latest addition is the MGM Grand. Both Foxwoods and Mohegan offer accommodations and special packages, luxury spas, casual and gourmet dining, live entertainment, and shopping. Feeling lucky? Just a short distance away from the casinos, along the banks of the Mystic River, return to the charm of New England in Mystic. Mystic is home to two world-renowned museums: Mystic Seaport, the largest maritime museum in the world, and the Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration. At Mystic Seaport you can go aboard tall ships at the seaport and tour a real 19th-century seafaring village. There’s also a remarkable exhibit detailing Dr. Robert Ballard’s discovering of the shipwrecked Titanic.
The Mystic Aquarium gives you lots of hands-on experiences, like touching the tongue of a beluga whale, a cownose ray, or a penguin. There are interesting exhibits and live shows throughout the day…even a 3D motion theatre that takes you deep down into the depths of the ocean. Essex is another must-see. Check out the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat to find fun for the entire family. Two fire-coaled locomotives and several beautifully restored carrier cars take you on a route that showcases some of the best scenery and wildlife Connecticut has to offer. Travel themes change throughout the year such as Thomas the Tank Engine, the Polar Express, visits with Santa, fall foliage rides, comedy shows, music, jazz and more. You can even take a trip to Gillette Castle in Hadlyme, Connecticut, a stone mansion built by actor William Gillette, who played detective Sherlock Holmes. The castle overlooks the Connecticut River and is filled with interesting nooks and crannies, secret passages, trick locks and adventure. And of course, don’t forget the beaches! Many of Connecticut’s beaches are very family oriented with bathhouses, food concessions, picnic facilities, and even campgrounds. So grab swimsuit and come visit the Connecticut shores. Pretty much where there’s sand, there’s water!