Destinations across Connecticut are embracing the last few weeks of winter—and preparing for spring—by offering a variety of new and unique ways to enjoy the state’s unparalleled blend of natural wonders, arts and cultural offerings, active adventures and culinary experiences, from eagle watching along the Connecticut River and maple sugaring in the countryside, to ziplining above the treetops and wine tasting on the shoreline.
During a late winter or spring getaway to Connecticut, travelers can:
Spot Eagles and Seals
Connecticut’s bald eagle population has soared in recent years, which means more opportunities to enjoy their beauty—from the water or on shore. Eagle watching activities include wildlife cruises aboard the RiverQuest in Essex and Bald Eagle Viewing from Shepaug Dam Observation Area in Southbury. Or, spot seals aboard The Maritime Aquarium’s R/V Spirit of the Sound in Norwalk.
Go Maple Sugaring
The end of February through March is maple sugar season in Connecticut. Sugarhouses throughout the state, including the Sugar House at Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust in Woodbury, welcome visitors for maple syrup demonstrations, while maple sugar festivals, including the 30th annual Hebron Maple Festival (March 21-22), feature everything from maple kettle corn to “sugar on snow,” a New England favorite.
Experience the Great Outdoors
The spring equinox presents a variety of ways to enjoy Connecticut’s natural wonders, from miles of hiking and biking trails to waterfalls and fish-filled rivers. The Last Green Valley, a National Heritage Corridor which spans 26 towns in eastern Connecticut, will kick off its annual Spring Outdoors event series on March 20. Astronomical events, including supermoons and meteor showers, also abound—with many ways to enjoy at Connecticut observatories.
Sip and Sample
Released every spring, the Passport to Connecticut Farm Wineries—now available by mobile app—kicks off months of wine sipping and vineyard hopping across the state. Spring also marks the start of beer and food festival season, with popular events including the Connecticut Craft Beer Fest in Wallingford (March 28) and Thread City Hop Fest in Willimantic (April 26).
Putt, Pedal and Zip
Come spring, many of Connecticut’s family friendly, adventure-packed destinations reopen for the season. The Dinosaur Place at Nature’s Art Village in Montville will debut four new attractions: Carnivore Cave, Prehistoric Putt-Putt mini golf, Pedal Pushers kart track and Nestor’s Notch miniature train. Zipline and aerial adventure parks, including the Adventure Park at the Discovery Museum in Bridgeport, will also open for the season.
Celebrate the Holidays
Spring holidays, including St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day, are celebrated with flare throughout Connecticut. Highlights include the Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade (March 15)—the 6th oldest parade in the nation; the Easter Bunny Express at the Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston (April 4, 5, 11); and, Mother’s Day cruises aboard the Lady Katherine in Haddam (May 10).
Stop and Smell the Flowers
In April and May, flowers begin to bloom across Connecticut, creating a blanket of cherry blossoms, tulips, daffodils and dogwoods. Popular events, including the 47th annual Cherry Blossom Festival in New Haven (April 19) and 85th annual Dogwood Festival in Fairfield (May 8-10), are just two great ways to mark the season. Check Connecticut’s Spring Blossom Finder for events and must-see locations.
Appreciate the Arts
Many of Connecticut’s world-class museums, including those on the Connecticut Art Trail/Passport, are presenting new exhibitions. Highlights include two major exhibitions of art and science at The Bruce Museum in Greenwich and “SALT: Tracing Memories” in the Thompson Exhibition Building at Mystic Seaport Museum, where visitors can watch Japanese artist Motoi Yamamo create a 1,000-square-foot design made of salt on select days and enjoy the completed artwork (April 30 – Sept. 6).
Book a Getaway
With hotels, inns and B&Bs across the state offering special rates and packages, spring is a great time to getaway in Connecticut. Escape to the countryside at the Inn at Fox Hill Farm in Pomfret, a top-rated hidden gem; to the city at The Blake Hotel in New Haven or The Goodwin in Hartford, featuring newly opened Terreno restaurant; or, to the shoreline at Saybrook Point Resort & Marina in Old Saybrook, where their “Spring Fling” overnight package includes a credit to their award-winning spa and passes to the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.
To learn more about visiting Connecticut, and to plan your next trip, visit www.CTvisit.com.
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