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Visiting CT in July - Tips?

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Visiting CT in July - Tips?

Hello!

We're are coming to visit CT July 21-25, and we were wondering if you have any tips on what to do? We'll be staying in New Haven, and we're interested in going to a beach, boating, and to see different towns (possible relocation). We would appreciate any ideas you may have. Thank you!

CT
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1. Re: Visiting CT in July - Tips?

First off, why are you staying in New Haven? I'd advise you to relocate. If you must stay in NH, hire an armed guard. I'm not kidding. I am a CT native who grew up in and around NH and know first hand what it's like. I have friends who are cops in NH and surrounding towns and even THEY move out of town. Plus, depending on where you'd like to go, highway traffic is horrendous so you could spend much of your time here stuck in your car.

CT has very little publicly accessible beachfront - everything is privately owned. The only place around for a public beach is in West Haven (borders NH to the west). They have a boardwalk (not like Atlantic City's Boardwalk with a capital B - but rather just a walkway along the water) and a few miles of beachfront. WH's beaches are very crowded in the summer and are the only reason to ever go there ( I grew up there and left at the first opportunity). There is Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven - but it's New Haven. Don't be there after dusk without your armed guard and Hammonasset Beach and State Park in Madison, about 30 minutes east of NH. Hammonasset, though, is very crowded in the summer.

As for relocating, there are some nice towns far enough away from the cities - Branford and east along the shoreline to East Lyme, Colchester, New Milford, New Hartford, just to name a few. Good restaurants, but none of them have any good rib joints, though, so head over to the Montgomery Inn and stock up before you come!

I now live in NIantic, a borough of East Lyme. Very nice town. Right on the shore, 2 mile boardwalk on Niantic Bay (again, just a walkway and not a "Boardwalk"), a town park overlooking the water, and a little downtown that I can only describe as like being on Cape Cod, only without the tourists (thank God!). Good schools, an active, involved community. There are many street festivals through the year (including the weekend before you arrive) and we're only an hour from Providence, Hartford, or New Haven. http://www.eltownhall.com.

Speaking of Providence, I'd fly into there (PVD) instead of Hartford (BDL) if you plan on spending most of your time in the eastern part of the state. I think Delta flies direct from CVG to PVD.

New London (15 minutes east of Niantic) holds an annual Sailfest each July (this coming weekend) http://www.sailfest.org/

The casinos are close by - Mohegan about 20 minutes and Foxwoods about 35. Foxwoods is the largest casino in the world, and I think Mohegan is #3. To give you some scope, the Venetian in Las Vegas has 120,000 sq feet of gaming space - Mohegan has 300,000 and Foxwoods has 340,000. Both have excellent entertainment and dining options. You can have a great time at either without even stepping foot in the casinos. Truth be told, I prefer Mohegan. Before they built their hotel they knew they needed a draw to get people to go there vs the then much larger Foxwoods (which had a hotel) so they threw their money into their dining and entertainment, and it paid off. They even have on-site, secured, supervised child care so Mom and Dad can go and see a show in peace and have a civilized dinner.

http://www.mohegansun.com/

http://www.foxwoods.com/

Mystic Seaport is about 30 minutes away. http://www.mysticseaport.org/

Here are the major newspapers for some more ideas:

New Haven Register - http://www.nhregister.com

Hartford Courant - http://www.ctnow.com

New London Day - http://www.theday.com

Connecticut Post (Bridgeport area) - http://www.connpost.com

If you give me some more idea of what you're looking to see, do, spend (CT isn't cheap) I can offer some more and better suited suggestions.

Hartford
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2. Re: Visiting CT in July - Tips?

Despite the previous post, New Haven is not that terrible. Although some might prefer a suburban setting New Haven has some great restaurants, musuems, Yale ,some very nice neighborhoods and on Wooster Street the best pizza in the world . One visit I'd suggest is to Stony Creek, about a 20 minute ride from New Haven on 1-95 east. Get off at exit 56 turn right towards the shore. The are excursion boats that take you on 50 minute tours of the Thimble Islands.

CT
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3. Re: Visiting CT in July - Tips?

Brookerme,

Is New Haven that terrible? Compared to CT's other larger cities, no. Compared to the rest of this state, yes. There are some wonderful small neighborhoods with character but, on the whole, I cannot recommend New Haven to anyone, especially if they're considering a move to CT. Even the charming neighborhoods around the Yale campus are no longer safe at night and some, unfortunately, have the same amount of roadside trash, noise, and other quality of life nuisances as do other not so charming NH neighborhoods. The once beautiful and now dilapidated homes along Howard Avenue, or the Edgewood Park area, are a heartbreaking sight. Even the area around the Green and the Three Churches in broad daylight isn't what it used to - or could - be. No, Brookerme, New Haven is not that terrible, but it is far from being the best impression I'd like to leave guests from out of state with.

It's interesting, though, how you defend the city "despite the previous post", yet you recommend leaving it and heading to Branford's Stony Creek for a boat ride in a non-New Haven area. Why not send them instead to New Haven harbor for an excursion, say on the S/V Quinnipiack?

www.schoonersoundlearning.org/siboat.html

Stockholmaren,

One other resource you can try is Connecticut Magazine.

http://www.connecticutmag.com. In it you'll find rankings for cities and towns, restaurant guides, a calendar of events and many other resources. As are Brookerme's, my opinions are just that - my opinions - formed after being born at Grace-New Haven Community Hospital and living and working 36 of my 41 years in and around the city. With the short amount of time you have here I hope you can get out of New Haven (as we've now both suggested) and see as much of this New England state as you can. Just stay off of I-95 at rush hour, else all you'll see is the car in front of you! Oh, and if you like to hike, head for Hamden and the Sleeping Giant.

…state.ct.us/stateparks/…sleepinggiant.htm

Newington, CT
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4. Re: Visiting CT in July - Tips?

I lived in New Haven (Westville section) from the age of 8 'til about 23. That was about 13 years ago. Leaving New Haven was the best thing. Cannot imagine raising my children there, having them attend the public schools, etc.

We actually still have ties to the area (Westville), but only for a lil while longer. We're going to be selling my grandfather's house, he passed away in May. Once the house is sold, there will be no reason for us to go back to New Haven. Good riddance.

Rhode Island
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5. Re: Visiting CT in July - Tips?

I recommend Rhode Island beaches over any in Connecticutt, with Narragansett Beach being the best overall. CT beaches all face Long Island Sound and, as such, are not as clean, and most of the time, have limitted wave action. Narra. Beach (~$5 to park and ~$4 to get on beach pp) is long and flat with surfing at it's southern most end, boogie boarding in the middle and a long expanse of much more deserted beach as you walk north up to the Narrow River which is very warm and full of fish. Something for everyone. RI's south coast beaches which are all very nice with open ocean currents tend to have a rather sudden dip that makes the waves crash down on your head with more force. Narra. Beach is approx. 2 hours east of New Haven on Rt. 95. Next best would be Scarborough State Beach (south of SE-facing Narragansett Beach) which has most of those aforementioned qualities, but slightly colder due to its facing the ocean more directly.

The Indian casinos (Foxwoods - Exit 92 I think off Rt 95 - is the largest IN THE WORLD, Moheghan Sun is more to our liking) are east of New Haven but don't go from noon friday through Sunday night as it is just too crowded. Mystic, CT has an interesting seaport and a great aquarium. Newport, RI has mind boggling mansions, see the Breakers if you only have time for one (~3 hours east of New Haven: Rt 95 east to Rt. 138 east over Jamestown and Newport Bridges.).

Boston...
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6. Re: Visiting CT in July - Tips?

Thank you for all your responses!

First, the reason we’re staying in NH is because we have a friend who recently moved to the Westville neighborhood, so we can stay at her place. Otherwise we probably wouldn’t stay in NH, but we hope to get around in the state and see as much as possible of it.

As far as beaches, would you recommend that you go to something like Hammonasset or Scarborough State Beach on a Monday or Tuesday in order to avoid the crowds? It sounds like the same goes for the casinos. Anything you would recommend that you can do during the weekend that’s not too crowded?

Thanks for the tips about towns. It helps a lot to hear from a local what’s good and what’s not. But no good ribs place huh? There has to be one somewhere, isn’t there?

One more question, do you have any thoughts about the universities in CT? I know some about Yale and UConn, but that’s about it. I’m thinking of going back for grad school (MBA, financial mathematics, or IT), so I would like to hear your thoughts on those as well. Thanks again for your informative responses!

Taiyuan, China
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7. Re: Visiting CT in July - Tips?

New Haven isn't much different than any other city I have lived in in terms of safety. There are bad areas, noise etc. just like anywhere. I lived there two years and liked it (and never was attacked), but I like small cities and didn't have kids in school.

Since you will be in that area check out if there will be a free concert on the New Haven green while you are there. Also, try the pizza. Not everyone likes it, but personally I think the thin, charred crust pizzas are fantastic.

If you can get into Yale for the MBA, do. It's a fantastic program and the people are nicer than you might think. Otherwise, there are lots of schools in Connecticut and the state system offers grad program around the state at places like Central/Western/Southern/Eastern Connecticut State Universities.

Trivia: someone recently picked Storrs as the safest place in America in terms of natural disasters.

CT
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8. Re: Visiting CT in July - Tips?

Rhode Island does have great beaches but I think you'd spend far too much time getting there and back, since you've only a few days here. Stick with Hammonassett Beach and go during the week. Weekends there, and anywhere, will be crowded. The casinos are always crowded, more so if a big name act is playing or, in the case of Mohegan, if the Connecticut Sun have a home game.

You have unlimited options for the weekends, indoors or out. That's the great thing about CT. Live music, theater, restaurants, museums, galleries, county fairs, historical locations, sporting events, wine tasting and winery tours, hiking the Appalachian Trail, biking trails, kayaking, river rafting and tubing, sailplane and hot air balloon rides, dinner cruises by train or boat. Pretty much anything you'd want. And you can get to all of them within 60 to 90 minutes.

Some of the lesser known (outside of CT anyway) attractions are:

Lake Compounce, the oldest continously operating amusement park in America, which is in Bristol (about an hour from NH). You can't miss it - just look for the massive ESPN campus and turn left.

http://www.lakecompounce.com/

Beardsley Park Zoo in Bridgeport - http://www.beardsleyzoo.org/

Mystic Marine Life Aquarium - http://www.mysticaquarium.org/

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History - http://www.yale.edu/peabody/

The Mark Twain House & Museum -

http://www.marktwainhouse.org/

As for schools, there are many. Yale, UCONN (with satellite campuses throughout the state) the state University system, Wesleyan, Fairfield University, Connecticut College, the University of New Haven, the University of Hartford, Trinity College, just to name a few.

Hartford
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9. Re: Visiting CT in July - Tips?

Good news: Uncle Willie's, one of CT's best BBQ places recently moved to q new location in Westville. Check it out www.newhavenindependent.org/archives/food/

If you get up to Hartford you can compare it to Black Eyed Sallies downtown or The Cookhouse- right off the highway in East Hartford.

Enjoy.

Rhode Island
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10. Re: Visiting CT in July - Tips?

As for grad school, there are many, many fabulous choices in New England so you need to narrow your search down to type and location, city vs. rural, private vs. state-supported. Boston is loaded with great ones in the city, Boston College and Harvard, of course. Outside of Boston are great smaller business schools, Babson and Bentley. The larger state schools are all accredited, a consideration in this highly competitive bisiness environment. URI and UCONN are both located in the country - beautiful settings. URI is better located with respect to accessibility to other things. Conn. also has Yale (in New Haven), Conn. College, etc. I am biased toward URI though, we went there and my daughter got a full scholarship to pharmacy school there.URI is unique in that it is a reasonable cost, being a state school, yet has the most cosmopolitan population of any state school in the country at 40% out of state, which gives it more of a private school feel. The new College of Business building is state of the art. Don't even consider any MBA program that doesn't incorporate international business issues into its program. Every discipline needs it, engineering, journalism, etc. not just business.

Good luck.

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