7 Activities You MUST Do in Connecticut Before Summer Ends
With the summer winding down, you may be anxious to squeeze in as much summer fun as possible before the temps start to drop and the days get shorter. Lucky for you, there are plenty of excursions to enjoy without leaving the state! Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or looking to explore a scenic area of Connecticut you’ve never been to before, we hope these suggestions will inspire you to turn off the Netflix and get outside to enjoy the gorgeous weather while we’ve got it.
Farmington River Tubing Farmington, CT
One of the best summer activities in CT is somewhat of a hidden gem – many who’ve lived in the state their entire lives don’t know that you can go tubing down the beautiful Farmington River. Farmington River Tubing is a scenic 2.5 mile river ride that is relaxing at parts and thrilling at others. The price includes rental of a specially designed river tube, a lifejacket, and transportation from the end of the river back to the parking lot. Tubing is the perfect activity for groups large or small and is a refreshing way to enjoy Connecticut. You don’t even have to worry about the temperamental New England weather, because they’re open in nearly all weather conditions. Find out more at about Farmington River Tubing here.
Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park Portland, CT
If you haven’t been to Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park yet, you’re missing out on something truly unique. This adventure park is located in an old brownstone quarry in Portland, CT and is home to 14 zip lines, a slide, cliff jumping, swimming, kayaking, and much more. It also offers a wide variety of water activities, inflatables, and rope swings, providing outdoor experiences for people of all ages that you can’t find anywhere else. Brownstone offers a full day of fun for only $36 dollars and is a great place for birthday parties and group outings.
Storrs Adventure Park Storrs, CT
Another thrilling excursion worth checking out is the Storrs Adventure Park. Located just 10 minutes away from the University of Connecticut (did someone say UCONN Creamery?), the adventure park offers ropes courses and zip lines through the trees. The ticket price includes 2-3 hours of climbing, plus a 40-minute orientation. The experience is designed for ages 7 and up, but the park also offers special events for people of all ages. Make sure you check out their Glow in the Park nights, when the whole park comes alive with colorful lights, laser shows, and music. It is an enchanting experience that is sure to delight!
Mystic Boat Adventures Groton, CT
If you haven’t made it down to the Connecticut shoreline yet this summer, now’s your chance! Mystic Boat Adventures is a boat rental company that allows you to rent your own boat and ride down the Mystic River. It’s a great way to explore Mystic while enjoying scenic views of the shoreline and is perfect for those with a thirst for adventure. How many people can say they’ve driven their own boat down the Mystic River? If you’re looking for a full day of fun in Mystic, also make sure to check out Mystic Seaport, Mystic Aquarium, and Mystic’s lively downtown.
Berkshire Balloons Plainville, CT
For a truly once-in-a-lifetime summer experience you definitely want to look into Berkshire Balloons. For anyone who has ever dreamed of going on a privately charted hot air balloon ride, this is your chance. The experts at Berkshire Balloons will take you on a breathtaking, early-morning journey above Plainville. If you’re afraid of heights but still want to enjoy the beauty and excitement of watching hot air balloons soar over the Connecticut countryside, check out the Plainville Fire Company Hot Air Balloon Festival on August 24, 25 & 26. The weekend-long event offers food, hot air balloons, and entertainment including a fireworks show and is a great way to wrap up the summer. (check out a video of PTSMC Plainville at last year’s Balloon Festival here)
Gillette Castle State Park East Haddam, CT
Gillette Castle is a memorable (and free!) destination located in East Haddam, CT. This impressive estate was built by actor William Gillette in 1919 to replicate a medieval castle. Situated above the Connecticut River, the castle offers gorgeous panoramic views and scenic hiking trails. You can tour the castle for a low ticket price but you can explore the castle grounds and enjoy the museum for free. You can also take a ride across the Connecticut River on the Hadlyme Ferry.
Scoot & Paddle Milford, CT
Kayak and paddle board rentals are a unique and affordable way to enjoy the shoreline this summer. Located in Milford, CT, Scoot & Paddle offers paddle board, bike, and kayak rentals to explore the coastline. Pricing starts at $20/hour and includes all necessary equipment. Whether you’ve never kayaked or paddle boarded before or you’re just looking for an excuse to get down to the shore, Scoot & Paddle is not your average trip to the beach.