Sightseeing Connecticut in Spring: Places to Visit

crocusesAh, Connecticut in the spring!

 

This is the season of:

  • Cherry blossoms
  • Daffodils
  • And tulips

 

The weather is mild and sunny, with rain showers that bring out the brilliance of the blooming gardens. And the many restaurants, shops and cafés here offer shelter from those same rain showers.

 

If you are thinking about a spring trip, Connecticut is an easy drive from NYC.

 

Here are the top places to visit in Connecticut in the spring for sightseeing:

The best places to visit in Connecticut in the spring

From Greenwich to Stonington, and the Long Island Sound to Hartford and the Litchfield Hills, our little state is more diverse than you’d expect.


Infographic design by Stanton House Inn

Starting in our corner, in Greenwich, and spreading outwards across the state, top places to visit in CT in the spring are all over:

Tour Greenwich

Fall in Connecticut is a major draw, and yet spring here is just as lovely.

 

Flowers and flowering trees line the streets. And pleasant sea breezes add to the appeal of a walk in downtown Greenwich.

Greenwich Avenue and Downtown Greenwich

Greenwich Avenue is the place to see and be seen.

 

It’s the place to find luxe boutiques: some local, as well as many global brands. There are plenty of unique finds to make it easy to pack your trunk with more than a few souvenirs.

 

Tired from your shopping spree?

 

Then rest your feet and sip a latte at a café or enjoy a meal at any of the best downtown Greenwich restaurants.

Bruce Museum & Greenwich Historical Society

You can also switch gears and head to the Bruce Museum to find out what’s on exhibit in its constantly changing galleries and displays.

 

If you’re curious about the history of our town, situated on the border between New England and the Hudson Valley, head to the Bush-Holley House.

 

There, the Greenwich Historical Society has curated a gallery displaying the works of artists from the Impressionist artists’ colony centered here. And once the gardens begin to bloom in the spring, you can more easily get a feel for Cos Cob over a century ago.

 

There are also historic sites to add to your itinerary including:

 

  • The quaint, bright red Putnam Cottage, a 17th century home

Greenwich Polo Club

If you want to continue with the posh theme, consider taking in a Greenwich polo club match if your visit is in early June.

 

The drive-up to the polo grounds will bring you past many of the most bucolic, flower-laden roads with some of the largest Greenwich mansions.

Stamford Museum & Nature Center in the spring

lamb in a pastureThis is a very eclectic attraction where you can do everything from spending time on a farm to viewing art at the gallery.

 

You can decide what interests you and plan your day accordingly.

 

This writer is partial to the exhibitions in the Stamford Museum & Nature Center Galleries. Here, paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs and mixed media artworks from 1900 to 1965 are the main focus. Started from the donation of the Shulman collection, the gallery’s exhibits have grown with works by such artists as:

  • Guy Pène du Bois
  • Reginald Marsh
  • Milton Avery
  • Raphael Soyer
  • Robert Gwathmey
  • Max Weber
  • Arnold Blanch from the realist school
  • Even Gutzon Borglum, creator of Mount Rushmore

 

A carefully curated selection of Native American art and artifacts is also on display.

 

Just in case you’re wondering, they adhere to UNESCO’s principles related to cultural property.

 

And there are even more Italian sculptures to admire throughout the grounds.

 

Once you finish strolling through the gallery and grounds, be sure to tour the Bendel Mansion. The finer details of this mansion are irresistible, including:

  • The exquisitely detailed lead-glass windows
  • Elegant archways
  • And lovely views of Laurel Lake

 

You can also take advantage of some great hiking trails nearby. There are plenty of things to do in Stamford, Connecticut, and spring is one of the best times to experience them.

Collect Seashells at Silver Sands State Park

Located in lovely Milford, Silver Sands beach is the perfect place to collect seashells and take in stunning ocean views.

 

The park also features an all-weather boardwalk spanning three quarters of a mile. Even if it’s rainy, grab an umbrella and enjoy the sea air.

 

An added benefit that makes this one of the most popular state parks in Connecticut is the lack of an entrance fee.

 

Milford’s quaint downtown area is great for shopping and dining if you’re in the mood for lunch or a spree. It’s one of the most charming towns in Connecticut, in this writer’s opinion.

Admire the Trees and Architecture at Yale University

The Yale campus is not just for students.

 

Steeped in history, the architecture offers an opportunity for some artsy Instagram posts.

 

Many equate spring in New Haven with Connecticut cherry blossom season. If you visit in May, you might luck out on seeing some of the university’s ancient(ish) cherry trees before the blooms disappear.

 

Be sure to visit the hallowed halls of Sterling Memorial Library on your visit. Here, the stunning detailing of the soaring ceilings feels more like an ancient cathedral than a university library.

 

New Haven’s attractions and activities are worth visiting, regardless of the time of year. But the city swaddled in flowers is a particularly delightful sight.

Springtime places to visit in Hartford, Connecticut

Connecticut’s state capital enjoyed its heyday during the period in which citizens made serious investments in:

  • Parks
  • Tree-planting
  • And general beautification

 

And that work continues to pay dividends for Hartford, especially in the spring.

 

Some top things to do in Hartford, Connecticut, in the spring include:

Ride the Carousel at Bushnell Park

This unexpected surprise brings back memories with a classic merry-go-round you can ride on weekends.

 

The beautifully restored carousel is a vintage 1914 ride located in Bushnell Park. An ancient Turkey Oak shades the 24-sided pavilion without blocking the views of the State Capitol.

 

If you aren’t interested in taking a spin on one of its magnificent 48 hand-carved wooden horses, you can simply enjoy the view. Watch as the lovely carousel spins its riders around on a charming journey back in time. This nostalgic experience comes complete with music on the Wurlitzer band organ.

tulips

Elizabeth Park in Bloom

On the National Register of Historic Places, Elizabeth Park covers over one hundred acres. Explore the lovely formal gardens and have lunch at Pond House Café. The lovely green space includes picnic areas ideal for sunny spring days. You can also time it right to see the park’s loveliest blooms including:

  • Greenhouse tulips, daffodils, and annuals in early-to-mid March
  • Garden daffodils in early-to-mid April
  • The Robert A. Prill Tulip Garden in late April into early May
  • And the Perennial Garden, Iris Garden, and Herb Garden peaks in late May

 

Right before summer arrives, you can also see the stunning display in the Park’s rose and rock gardens.

West Hartford

Many consider West Hartford a quintessential New England town.

 

Its walkable streets are worth a day of exploring, dotted with:

  • High-end boutiques
  • Galleries
  • Cafés
  • And restaurants

 

Every step speaks to the town’s rich history, with charming attractions such as:

A spring road trip to follow the Connecticut River

The Connecticut River leaves northern New England and winds its way towards Long Island Sound. It stands as a silent guide to cities like Hartford and small villages and local gems including:

 

Goodspeed Opera House

This historical theater has won two Tonys, with musical productions that are sure to entertain. Sitting along the riverbank, this iconic landmark is a stunning feat of architecture and features two theaters to take in a show.

 

Gillette Castle State Park

Mimicking the look of a medieval fortress, this castle by William Gillette is a stunning homage to American craftsmanship. It’s one of the most unique attractions in all Connecticut.

 

Thankful Arnold House Museum

This 18th century home is located in Haddam, boasting a gambrel roof and bell-shaped profile. It offers a glimpse into the life of the Widow Thankful Arnold.

 

Chester-Hadlyme Ferry

Take a five-minute ride across the river on the ferry if you’re heading to Gillette Castle. This old ferry line has been running since the colonial era. And it offers unique views of the Connecticut River, plus easy access to the cute town of Chester.

 

daffodils blooming at one of the best places to visit in connecticut in the springComstock Bridge

Because after all, a visit to Connecticut isn’t complete without driving across a covered bridge.

 

Arrigoni Winery

Whether you want to sample wine, beer, or cider, this is the place to wet your whistle on your journey. It’s without question one of the best wineries in Connecticut.

 

These are just a few destinations you can reach by following the river. There’s a reason the National Geographic called the Connecticut River Valley one of the last great places in the world.

 

Saybrook Point

Finish your riverside road trip in lovely Saybrook Point on the Long Island Sound. Experience the pure enjoyment of a true coastal town with:

  • Refreshing coastal breezes
  • And lovely views of the river and surrounding sounds

 

While it’s still too cold to swim for most, Harvey’s Beach is one of the best beaches in Connecticut. It offers a lovely place to stroll, take in the sunset, or enjoy a picnic. You can also walk “The Loop” along the scenic waterfront of Old Saybrook, with its:

  • Historic homes
  • Mature trees
  • And a deep sense of history

See a Show at The Kate

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is the place for live entertainment. And an added benefit is it’s in a building celebrating a century-long history.

 

The legacy of Katharine Hepburn, this state-of-the-art theater offers a diverse arts and culture program. Regular productions include plays and ballets.

Mystic Aquarium and Maritime History

Get up close and personal with creatures of the sea at this world-class aquarium. Located in charming Mystic, Connecticut, you can see it all from seals to beluga whales and sharks to penguins. While in Mystic you can also visit the Mystic Seaport Museum to tour four National Historic Landmark vessels.

 

The most famous is the Charles W. Morgan, the oldest commercial ship in the U.S. and the last wooden whaleship in the world. Explore 19 acres along the Mystic River and the 19th-century coastal village.

 

While anytime of year is ideal for visiting Mystic, it is without question one of the best places to visit in Connecticut in the spring.

Find even more things to do in Connecticut in the spring and summer

cherry blossoms on a lawnRegardless of where you land, a springtime visit to Connecticut is sure to delight the senses.

 

Some activities are particularly special in the spring, like wandering Connecticut hiking trails.

 

Keep exploring our website for more guides on visiting Connecticut, either in the spring or anytime of the year:

 

And be sure to download a free copy of the Connecticut Travel Guide for all of the most unique attractions, activities, and things to do here.

 

We hope you enjoy wherever the road takes you this spring!