20 Fun Things To Do In Connecticut

20 Fun Things To Do In Connecticut

This summer, explore the Nutmeg State's hidden gems.
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Whether you grew up in central Connecticut, or are just passing through, here are a local's secrets to a fun summer, indoors and out.

1. Miller's Pond -- Durham

This hidden gem on the town line between Middletown and Durham offers beautiful hiking trails through the woods, and rocks to fish and dive off of. One of my favorite things to do in the summer is grab a floatie and go out and float in the middle of the lake.

2. Harbor Park -- Middletown

Grab your love and a homemade picnic, and snag a wooden swing at Harbor Park on the Connecticut River. This is a relaxing activity for a beautiful day.

3. Brownstone Park -- Portland

Go cliff diving, swimming, ziplining, sliding, and more at Brownstone Park just over the Arrigoni bridge in Portland, Connecticut.

4. Wadsworth Falls -- Middletown

Check out the waterfall, the beach, and hiking trails at Wadsworth Falls State Park.

5. Wadsworth Mansion -- Middletown

Explore Wadsworth Mansion and its historic hiking trails. Every July, the Mansion holds Music at the Mansion, which are Wednesday night concerts on the grounds.

6. Essex Stream Train and Riverboat -- Essex

Of course the only place in America where you can ride a steam train and a riverboat one right after the other is right here in Connecticut.

7. Gillette Castle -- East Haddam

William Gillette, a famous actor known for playing Sherlock Holmes, built and lived in this stone castle on the Connecticut River. It's an adventure to find the tricks Gillette hid in his home, including mirrors placed at just the right angles to see around corners. The grounds and hiking trails are just as fun as going inside the castle.

8. Ocean Beach Park -- New London

It's a beach, pool, and waterpark all in one!

9. Elizabeth Park -- Hartford

America's oldest public rose garden is located right here in Hartford, Connecticut!

10. Bushnell Park -- Hartford

This park in Downtown Hartford is filled with flowers, fountains, and even a carousel!

11. Lyman Orchards -- Middlefield

Lyman Orchards offers pick your own fruit, seasonal corn mazes, a golf course, and the best apple pies.

12. Rocky Neck State Park -- East Lyme

Rocky Neck on Long Island Sound offers not only the beach but walking trails through the woods, camping, and picnic areas.

13. Florence Griswold Museum -- Old Lyme

I'm not a big fan of museums, but I recommend this one! Florence Griswold's house and grounds are home to beautiful artwork, gardens, and little fairy homes!

14. Mark Twain House -- Hartford

This historical landmark is where Mark Twain lived in his adult life, and has been kept virtually the same.

15. The Board Room -- Middletown

Bored this summer? Grab $5 and a friend and head down to the Board Room on Main Street for a night of board games.

16. Wild Bill's Nostalgia Center -- Middletown

Rest in Peace, Wild Bill.

17. Mystic Seaport -- Mystic

Mystic is home to the largest maritime museum in the country. Browse the old shipyards and the historic shops.

18. Athenian II Diner -- Middletown

Grab a milkshake at this 24 hour Greek diner on Washington Street in Middletown.

19. Vecchitto's Lemon Ice -- Middletown

It's not summer unless you've gone to Vecchitto's at least once.

20. Durham Dairy Serve -- Durham

This barn-style ice cream counter on Main Street, Durham is pretty much the best ice cream place ever.

Cover Image Credit: Jack McConnell

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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'Culling' The Bullsh*t; Taking A Deeper Look At The Antibiotics In The Livestock Industry

You want the truth? Here it is.

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As many people have seen around the internet, one of the hot topics is having cattle or other livestock antibiotic free. This has lead to a movement that is not only incorrect with their basic information, but they are hurting family farms across the nation. This stems from the idea that antibiotics contaminate meat products and will affect the consumer. In this article the main points that "justify" the antibiotic culture will be broken down and simplified. I hope by the end of reading this you will be more knowledgeable about this subject, and will make the best decision for you and your family.

1. "If you don't specifically buy antibiotic free meat, you will buy meat with antibiotics in it."

The FDA has control check on the processing line when livestock is processed. This means that the likelihood of any "antibiotic filled" animal to make it through is slim to none. If by chance a ranch or feedlot gets flagged by FDA, they will be fined with a bill in the thousands. This type of flag will make it difficult for that ranch to ever sell livestock in the normal market again. This is only one of the incentives for ranch owners to stay in the clear.

2. "Antibiotics are used to promote growth"

This statement is false. Antibiotics are used to treat an illness. Yes an animal might gain weight after treatment. But that is because when we are sick we tend to not eat as much. Once you start to feel better, it stirs up your hunger. Antibiotics are and have never been used to promote growth.

3. What happens to the animal on an antibiotic free farm when it gets sick.

Let's do a comparison example. If your child got sick what do you normally do? Take them to the doctor and if he prescribes a medication for them you would provide the correct amount to treat the illness. This is the same way with the livestock industry. Most antibiotics and medication in general are a prescription based. Therefore, a vet will need to sign off on the treatment of the animals. While most ranches will treat the illness and move on, antibiotic free farms need to move that animal off site to another ranch. Some of the time they have a secondary place where those treated animals go to live out their life. Not treating a sick animal is inhumane.

These are only a few of the antibiotic free lies that surround the livestock world. And I am not saying for someone to completely change their beliefs over one article, what I am saying is do your research. From both sides of the argument. Then base your final decision from what you have learned. The agriculture industry has many that oppose that will use fear-tactics to push their agenda. And although we are not a perfect industry, we are a very important part of society. And we hold high standards for ourselves because of that.

Thank you for reading,

if you have a suggestion of what I should talk about next leave a comment.

-Chrystal B.

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