Tour America's Treasures

An invitation to tour America's historical sites...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Destination: Connecticut

View Connecticut in a larger map

Connecticut is our first New England destination and many of the sites we’ll be covering promise to be classic New England—from the iconic First Congregational Church of Litchfield to Mystic Seaport’s majestic sailing ships to a picturesque lighthouse on Long Island Sound.

I’m proud of my Connecticut roots. My grandfather (on my mother’s side) was born and raised on a farm in Deep River, Connecticut, located on the eastern side of the Connecticut River just ten miles north of the Florence Griswold Museum, one of our great Save America’s Treasures sites. My uncle Harold volunteered as a tour guide at Gillette Castle State Park (East Haddam, CT) and would sometimes take us through the castle when we visited. While we won’t be covering it on this tour (it never received a Save America’s Treasures grant), I thoroughly recommend Gillette Castle as a fun turn-of-the-century American-built castle, full of personality and eccentricity.

Our seventeen Save America’s Treasures sites are roughly spread across much of the state, offering opportunities to explore many historic communities. While I can imagine it might be possible to visit all these sites in a frantic two-week spree, such an approach would neither do justice to the state nor all the important complementary history that surrounds these treasures. Two weeks per site would be much more sensible…

Small towns set the tone in Connecticut—even the handful of Connecticut cities have neighborhoods that maintain that distinctive autumnal small-town feel. Naturally, there are many choices for places to stay when visiting Connecticut. The charming inns and bed & breakfasts would perfectly complement many of the historic sites, but there are plenty of practical options for the budget traveler, as well. For professional orientation and reliable tourism advice, start with visits to the Connecticut section of the Visit New England website or the Official Connecticut State Vacation Guide.

Our Tour America’s History exploration of Connecticut’s 17 Save America’s Treasures sites begins on Wednesday.

Postcard of Main Street in Deep River, Connecticut, circa 1907
(my grandfather would have been six when this was taken).
Source:  Wikimedia Commons

Tour America's History Itinerary
Friday’s destination:  Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

© 2012 Lee Price

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