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From high-toned hotel bars like l’Escale at the Delamar Greenwich to friendly neighborhood dives like the Dutch (they say Eugene O’Neill drank there), Connecticut abounds with great places to have a quick one or to hang out and sing with the band, such as Griswold Inn and Redding Roadhouse. We simply can’t pick just one—can you?
The Cask Republic
New Haven, (475) 238-8335 (thecaskrepublic.com)
New London, (860) 442-3453 (dutch-tavern.com)
Eli Cannon’s Tap Room
Middletown, (860) 347-3547 (elicannons.com)
The Half Door
Hartford, (860) 232-7827 (thehalfdoorhfd.com)
Essex, (860) 767-1776 (griswoldinn.com)
Washington, (860) 868-6633 (gwtavern.com)
Greenwich, (203) 661-4600 (lescalerestaurant.com)
Redding, (203) 938-3388 (reddingroadhouse.com)
Glastonbury, (860) 430-9989 (rooftop120.com)
Historic Home: Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum
Wethersfield, (860) 529-0612 (webb-deane-stevens.org)
History buffs will have a field day exploring the 18th-century homes that make up the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum in the historic district of Old Wethersfield. Beautifully preserved and lovingly restored, the 1752 Joseph Webb House, the 1770 Silas Deane House and the 1789 Isaac Stevens House depict New England life from a bygone era. Whether your interest lies in the architectural history of the state, the march of the American Revolution or the serene beauty of a 1920s colonial revival garden, there’s something here for everyone.
Museum (art): Yale University Art Gallery
New Haven, (203) 432-0600 (artgallery.yale.edu)
What a difference $135 million can make. When the Yale University Art Gallery reopened in December following the completion of its extensive renovation, visitors were greeted with a completely reimagined space—nearly 70,000 square feet of it—and more than 4,000 objects from the permanent collection on view. Now spanning three buildings along a block-and-a-half of Chapel Street, the museum houses extensive collections of both contemporary and classical art from all over the globe. Best of all, admission to this world-class museum is free to everyone.
Museum (culture): Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center
Mashantucket, (800) 411-9671 (pequotmuseum.org)
Descend into a glacial crevasse surrounded by whistling wind and cracking ice. Stroll through a breathtaking diorama of a 16th-century Pequot village complete with trees and wigwams. Observe the havoc wrought on Native peoples by the arrival of European settlers. Get a glimpse at what life is like for the contemporary Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. It’s all here at the tribally owned and operated Pequot Museum, a stunning testament to the rich cultural history and enduring spirit of Native Americans in the Northeast.
Museum (science): Connecticut Science Center
Hartford, (860) 724-3623 (ctsciencecenter.org)
Your teacher was right all along—science is cool. That’s the conclusion you’ll reach after spending a day with the Connecticut Science Center’s 150+ hands-on exhibits on topics such as space exploration, alternative energy and the science of sports, sight and sound. Designed with the young (and young-at-heart) in mind, visitors can experiment, build, touch and play their way to a better understanding of the science all around us. And, when your budding scientists are all worn out, grab a seat in the 3-D theater for an immersive cinematic experience. Sea Monsters, anyone?
Museum You’ve Never Been To: Historic Ship Nautilus
Groton, (860) 448-0893 (ussnautilus.org)
When was the last time you were in a real-life submarine? Since 1986, the USS Nautilus, the world’s first operational nuclear-powered vessel, has been docked in Groton and welcoming visitors aboard for a glimpse into life far under the ocean waves. The self-guided tour takes you through the torpedo room, the officer staterooms, the control room and the crew’s mess, which are just as they were when the Nautilus was in service. No gimmicks here—just pure history presented simply to honor an extraordinary ship and the men who sailed it into history.