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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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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A Gap Year Was Just What I Needed

Taking a year off between high school and college was the best thing I could have done for so many reasons.

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Everyone around me was buzzing with excitement about their acceptances to their dream university and I didn't feel the same. I was accepted to every school I applied to, but none of them felt right. At my high school, if you didn't go to college, you would have been deemed a failure and that is not what I wanted my reputation to be. When the day came, I sat down at a computer to accept my admission to a college. I was in a panic mode, and I knew that's not what I wanted. I had no idea what I wanted to do, and I had no idea if that was where I wanted to be, so I exited the website and came up with a plan.

After graduation, I boarded a flight to Denver, Colorado. I was alone on a plane going 1,000 miles west to a place I've never been. In a short amount of time, I knew I had made the right decision.

I spent eight months in the Rocky Mountains learning how to do the "adult thing." I worked 40+ hours a week in freezing temperatures and a ton of snow, making ten dollars an hour. In a resort town, ten dollars is not a lot of money. I lived on Wonder bread and eggs, I cooked on my hotplate on the top of my mini fridge. I was shown what it's like to work for the things I want, and it taught me to appreciate everything I've always been handed so easily, and that was something I really needed.

Throughout my adventure, I met so many different people in all different stages of life. I think that's the most important aspect of my entire trip. By working and living with people young and old, I learned different skills, living habits, and ways of life which I am forever grateful for. These people had shown me more about life in eight months than I had learned in my entire life, and without this experience, I would have never been introduced to half of the things I was introduced to.

I hiked 14,000-foot mountains, watched the X-Games in Aspen, attended endless concerts, and became a better snowboarder by having the chance to do it every day. Without my friends and taking this leap, I would have been sitting in a classroom wondering what I could have been doing instead. Because of taking time off, I am now back in class, able to focus on my work and doing better than I ever have before.

The most important part of my gap year was finding myself. I proved to myself that I am strong and independent, and I can achieve any goal I set as long as I work hard and have fun along the way. Before I left, I had no idea what I wanted to do or be. Upon my return home, I realized I needed to go to college to receive a higher education to better myself. Having a full-time job and being out in the real world helped me to narrow down what I really want to be and what I want to achieve for myself. I learned how to truly live and that there is no set path I need to take because this is my own life to create.

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