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Connecticut, The Constitution State, The Nutmeg State

Connecticut MapTruly, Connecticut is a state of marvelous contrasts and an ideal New England getaway and vacation playground.

From any urban center within the state, a 20 minute drive north will have you in farm country, and perhaps that's what nurtures the state's charm. You can choose the urban life or a rural existence and still be within range of just about any type of shop, store or mall you need, or a nice peaceful drive to the country.

A magical mix of bucolic stonewalls, rolling meadows, gentle mountains and quaint and historic towns, villages and seaports, Connecticut offers such urban centers as: Bridgeport, home to The Barnum Museum; Danbury; Hartford, the state capital; New Britain; New Haven, home to Yale University; Stamford and Waterbury among others.

Connecticut was granted statehood on January 9, 1788, and was the fifth state to join the union. The name is a derivative of the Mohegan language, Quinnehtukqut, which means "Beside the Long Tidal River" or "Long River Place."

From Connecticut's crisp and inviting shoreline, lapped by the waters of Long Island Sound, to its northern border, the state offers many activities and attractions. It’s without doubt one of the more varied states for quintessential New England vacations and getaways. It’s also a historical treasure trove with any number of sites, buildings and museums that offer wonderful glimpses back to the very early days of American history, well before the Revolution. (See Connecticut History)

From the 1950s to the 1970s, it was an evolving microcosm of other states similar in geography, ecology, sociology and history. Since the 1970s, it has been filling in some blanks in an Eastern Seaboard "megalopolis," as political scientists call it.

Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are growing into their assigned spots as components of "Bowash," a strip of interconnected, urban areas from Boston, down the Eastern corridor to New York City and then to Washington, D.C. But, Connecticut has been successful in the struggle to strike a balance between preservation and, innovation and progress.

There's much to see and do here in Connecticut, the perfect place for New England vacatiosn and getaways.

Sudden Eruptive Tourism Growth to the East

While all of Connecticut is growing, perhaps the most impactful growth has been on-going development of Foxwoods and the Mohegan Sun casinos, which quickly brought large crowds of game players to an area well accustomed to quiet countryside, with old houses of all types. As the crowds of gamblers increased, so did Foxwoods, but the balance between colorful and quaint countryside and expanding casino businesses has been struck and both coexist well.

The greatest impact perhaps is the cost of hotel rooms, even along the shoreline. Chain hotels that charged as little as $59 a night, now charge considerably more since Foxwoods was developed. About the least expensive rooms are offered by small motels that charge $89 a night.

It’s popularity and closer proximity to people in Connecticut, New York and Boston has siphoned business away from Atlantic City, which had been the gaming jewel in the east until Foxwoods was built.

This is one of the perfect places for a New England vacation or vacations.

Due south of Foxwoods and on Long Island Sound is Mystic country (see below), a vast area in southeastern Connecticut on the shoreline that comprises Mystic Seaport and the Mystic Aquarium among many other attractions. The area has grown into a thriving tourism spot, especially over the past twenty years.

The crown jewel at its center is Mystic Seaport, which whisks you back to the days when Mystic was a whaling port and at which is docked the Charles W. Morgan, the nation’s last wooden whaling ship. At the moment, this proud vessel is being restored, but will soon be available to show her visitors how whalers lived and functioned aboard ship in what by modern standards are very tight quarters.

Mystic Seaport is a different institution to people with varying interests. To some, it’s a fun family destination, full of exciting attractions. To others, it’s a serious maritime museum and galleries. And to still others, it’s an incredibly valuable education and research center.

It sits on 19 acres on the banks of Connecticut’s legendary Mystic River. A quintessential New England experience, Mystic Seaport offers visitors of all ages a unique link to our country’s seafaring past and endless, year-round opportunities to immerse themselves in new worlds of hands-on history, featuring: a re-created 19th-century seafaring village made up of dozens of real New England buildings staffed with historians, musicians, storytellers and craftspeople who bring our seafaring past to life.

As a living history museum, shipsmiths and coopers, woodcarvers and chanteymen dress for their roles and are happy to answer questions.

One of the nation’s leading maritime galleries, it brims with permanent and changing exhibits offering rare glimpses into other eras and cultures, including the acclaimed Voyages: Stories of America and the Sea, restored vessels, figureheads, ship carvings and vintage photography.

It is also one of the world’s only preservation shipyards, where skilled craftspeople employ 19th-century tools and techniques to preserve Mystic Seaport’s collection of historic wooden ships and boats — as well as build authentic recreations of famous vessels, such as the Amistad.

In addition to the Charles W. Morgan, there’s the Joseph Conrad, a full-rigged 1882 training ship; and the L.A. Dunton, the last-surviving example of early 20th-century New England fishing vessels. In fact, Mystic Seaport is home to the world’s largest collections of boats, including more than 500 different vessels.

A new, state-of-the-art Collections Research Center houses more than two million examples of maritime art, artifacts, tools, buildings, imprints and other documents, including photographs, 1,000 ships registers, 600 audio-taped oral history interviews, 200 videotaped interviews and 1.5 million feet of historic and contemporary maritime-related footage.

Its unique educational programs are designed for everyone from preschoolers to graduate students, including overnight programs aboard the Joseph Conrad, courses in 19th-century trades, sail training, undergraduate Maritime Studies programs and fellowships.

There’s a Children’s Museum, offering kids seven and under a chance to experience the life of a sailor, including swabbing the deck, moving cargo, cooking in the galley, dressing in sailors’ garb and lying in sailors’ bunks.

Finally, there’s a Planetarium that gives visitors a lesson in celestial navigation using the stars, planets and heavenly bodies of the season.

For more information on Mystic, we encourage you to visit mysticcountry.com.

We're highlightening the eastern part of Connectcut because that's where the greatest tourism growth has occurred, but there is no city, town, village or hamlet in the state that doesn't have its own unique charm, history and fascinating past. A drive up the coast or U.S. Route 1 (better known as the Post Road), will expose you to what Connecticut is about. If you follow our tours (in the menu at left) you'll find some more drives that will give you a wonderful glance at the contrasts within the state of Connecticut, and we hope that your visit will be one you'll remember the rest of your life.

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have hardly bankrupted Atlantic City’s casinos, but with their success, they have had an impact on tourism and gambling revenues and the sustainability of some casinos, such as Donald Trump’s, which nearly toppled his entire empire.

Later, the Mohegan Sun was built, and together, the two casinos have become tourist Meccas. Both casinos are owned by Native Americans who were granted Federal recognition and were able to reacquire tribal lands. In the case of Foxwoods, the Mashantucket Pequot Indians are the beneficiaries, and the Mohegans benefit from recognition of their tribal legitimacy with the Mohegan Sun.

Today, both casinos are also full resorts and spas, and lack nothing that characterizes the best of the Las Vegas casinos. Top name performers appear regularly and both casinos have expanded into areas other than gambling. Foxwoods and MGM Grand at Foxwoods (see below), for instance, has a magnificent golf course overshadowed by the towering hotel in the Foxwoods sprawling domain.

Associated with Foxwoods is the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, the country’s largest repository of Native American artifacts and documents, and which teaches visitors all about Native Americans here and in Canada. We proudly have it featured in our it in our Museum Section.

MYSTIC COUNTRY

Mystic CountryMystic Country is an exciting and colorful destination blending the tranquility of classic New England seascapes and scenic rolling hills with rich cultural heritage and sophisticated, top-flight entertainment. Home to Mystic Aquarium, Mystic Seaport, Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun, Mystic Country covers the eastern third of Connecticut and coastal Rhode Island -- a convenient escape, located just a few hours by car or train from both Boston and New York City, and easily accessible from Hartford and Providence airports.

With so much to experience in beautiful Mystic Country, it's no wonder people travel from all over the world to explore this region of eastern Connecticut and southwestern Rhode Island. Mystic Country is complete with romantic getaways, world-class gaming, nightlife and entertainment, and fun for the whole family.

Our Yankee heritage is visible everywhere -- in charming villages surrounding classic town greens; scenic farm roads and ancient stone walls; waterfronts bustling with fishermen, ferries, and yachts. And here, like no where else in New England, you'll find a wealth of attractions and events of all sizes, appealing to all ages and interests. Welcome to Mystic Country!

Mysticcountry.com does a magnificent job of keeping apace with all that's going on in Mystic Country and makes sure that you know all about Mystic Country's many Attractions, Lodging, Dining, Outdoor Fun, Casinos &Entertainment, Shopping and Events.

If you're planning on visiting Mystic Country, which includes South Eastern Connecticut and Western Rhode Island, then, mysticountry.com has to be your first step in planning your trip.

FOXWOODS

FoxwoodsWelcome to Foxwoods the experience of a world-class resort, to the comfort and style of our three extraordinary hotels.

Accommodations: Luxuriate in the majestic AAA Four Diamond rated Grand Pequot Tower, relax in the Great Cedar Hotel or immerse yourself in the New England charm of the Two Trees Inn. Whichever you choose, you'll enjoy the warmth and professionalism of our impeccable service staff -- we guarantee that you are in good hands.

Gaming: Get your pulse racing with table games. There are over 380 to choose from. We feature 7,200 slots to choose from — including a smoke-free casino with over 500 slots. If poker's your game, Foxwoods is a charter member of the World Poker Tour in our state-of-the-art WPT World Poker room that boasts 114 tables and attracts international players from around the world.

Entertainment: The venues at Foxwoods offer something for everyone: championship fights, lounges, theatre, and concerts that fit your mood. At Foxwoods make it easy to find entertainment for all ages.

Great Dining: From refined gourmet dining to bountiful buffets and quick meals on the move, the choices are sure to satisfy your every culinary desire. There's a restaurant for every taste and budget, with a variety of atmospheres to satisfy whatever suits your mood.

Salon & Spa: In the world of perpetual motion, there is still a place where one can quiet the mind, calm the spirit and soothe the body. Indulge your senses and revitalize your spirit with a relaxing massage, mud wrap, hydrotherapy, whirlpool bath or a refreshing steam.

In addition, shopping at Foxwoods is an unforgettable experience.

And you can play golf. Lake of Isles is the ultimate golf experience providing breathtaking views on every hole. Our two new Rees Jones designed championship golf courses offer you the chance to refresh and recharge. Acclaimed designer Rees Jones has sculpted 36 unique holes from the natural topography. To find out more visit Foxwoods Home Page Now.

OUR FRIENDS

Stoweflake Resort & Spa

Located in one of America's most sensational, natural paradises, the Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa in Stowe, Vermont offers the ultimate, year-round vacation experience. With its celebrated world-class spa, luxurious accommodations, award-winning restaurants and friendly, attentive staff, the Stoweflake is unrivaled as New England's premier spa/resort destination.


Since 1865, Mountain View has offered visitors a memorable experience. Following a $20 million restoration in 2002, the Mountain View once again welcomes guests in grand style with all the state of the art amenities that today's travelers expect from a Four-Diamond destination resort.


INSIDE

QuickStart Guide

Four Simple Steps to Planning the Perfect New England Getaway or Vacation.

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