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11 days in southern New England, base in Milford, CT

Oslo, Norway
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11 days in southern New England, base in Milford, CT

I'm visiting Conneticut in June 15th, with my wife and (then) 7 months old baby. We are arriving/leaving from Newark airport. We have 11 full days. We are visiting the baby's grand dad, who lives in Milford, CT, and are using his appartment as a base for our vacation. We will rent a car at the airport and drive to Milford, and keep the car for the whole time.

My wife and I have been to New York City before, so we have seen the usual sights. We want to visit NYC, and think that we want to do this by train from Milford (only 1,5 hr train ride directly into Manhattan). Maybe we will do this one day (with the baby) and one night (without baby). So we will have 9 days to do other things. I think that maybe 2-3 of these days will be used in Milford: get a tour of the local sights with our relative, and just relax. So we have approx 6 days to fill with other activites.

We like the following:

- big cities is ok, but we usually get fed up after one day (max two days)

- we can do our shopping in NYC or on malls on-the-go to other places

- we enjoy beeing outside and physically active, in nature. Trekking. Since we have our 7 months old baby with us, it's a bit restricted what we can do. But for example bike riding could be fun, and the baby can sit in a trolley. Are there some suitable bike paths/roads?

- we want to be some at a beach, maybe take a boat ride in the Long Island Sound (to Long Island, worth it?)

- we like small towns, with local food restaurants

So, with Milford, CT as a base, what can you recommend us to do? We can drive to Boston, but then we probably should book a hotel. Cape Cod is a long car ride, is it worth to go here? How is the "inland" Connecticut, worth checking out? What about Rhode Island and Providence?

Edited: 12 February 2014, 14:22
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1. Re: 11 days in southern New England, base in Milford, CT

I'm partial to the CT river valley but from East Haddam south (on both sides) there are nice little towns with good places to eat and enjoy the day. East Haddam has Gillettes castle state park (on a hill over the CT river) take a tour of the castle, tour the grounds and trails and pack a lunch to sit and enjoy. Devils Hopyard State park has a nice waterfall to enjoy during the summer as well as some decent hiking. Down by Milford you can look into a Thimble Island cruise out of Branford to see a little of the LI Sound.

There is also a high speed ferry out of New London to Block Island that makes for a really nice day trip. There is a really good trail system on the island and bikes can be rented once you get out there. You can even take the train to NL, the terminal is right next to the ferry.

For a family friendly beach you can go to Hammonasset. If you want to have a beer while you at the beach there is Sound View in Old Lyme, but with a 7 month old I would say venture there during the week. The weekends are very packed and depending on the amount of alcohol can get rowdy.

A nice family friendly thing to do in the summer is also minor league baseball game, there are quite a few teams all throughout New England, and one right in Bridgeport.

Also Providence in a lot of circles tends to be looked down on for tourism compared to Newport or the shore of RI, but I think that if you are in to really good food you can't find a better deal in all of New England then on Federal Hill

MA
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2. Re: 11 days in southern New England, base in Milford, CT

If you are looking for beaches, Cape Cod has really nice ones, especially further out on the Cape Cod National Seashore. But, it would not be a day trip, you would need to at least book one night in a hotel there, maybe two. School ends for the summer right around the date of your visit, so that is when Cape Cod will start to get busy. Try not to drive to the Cape on a Friday afternoon or back from the Cape on a Sunday; that is when the roads are the most crowded and Cape traffic is at its worst. Newport would also make a nice overnight and a bit closer than the Cape. Newport, Rhode Island has a couple beaches as well, though smaller than the Cape. In Newport, you can do Cliff Walk, which is a beautiful Cliffside walk with the ocean on one side and the backs of the gorgeous Gilded Age mansions (which you can visit on a guided tour) on the other. You can also follow Ocean Drive, which has magnificent rocky ocean views. Downtown Newport has lots of restaurants and shops, but in the summer, it is touristy.

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3. Re: 11 days in southern New England, base in Milford, CT

Thank you for good advice! I really liked the baseball game idea! It also seemed nice to do a day trip to one of the islands, and maybe a cruise along the shore to the smaller islands...

I think we will drop Cape Cod, because it is a long car ride and probably deserves more than one night. But maybe we go to Boston and book a hotel for one night.

Follow-up questions:

1. Anyone know of a place to rent bikes and a child carrier for bikes? And are there areas with cycling paths/roads or regular roads with little traffic in beautiful scenery in Connecticut?

2. Other tips on "typical American" things to do (like going to baseball game)?

MA
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4. Re: 11 days in southern New England, base in Milford, CT

One of the things we do in the summer is visit the pick your own berry farms:

http://www.pickyourown.org/CTsouth.htm

They'll be picking strawberries in mid June.

For food: visit Pepe's Pizza and Sally's Apizza, both on Wooster St. In nearby New Haven, CT. Both been around for years and a long-time rivalry. Also, in West Haven, CT (even closer to Milford) is Jimmie's of Savin Rock, right across from the beach, has been there for years, nice views, OK seafood ( as long as you don't expect gourmet) and you can walk on the beach after your dinner.

Also, local farmer's markets should be opening by mid June. Visiting the farmer's market on a Saturday is a

popular activity for families where I live and there are always lots of parents pushing strollers!

Edited: 17 February 2014, 13:36
MA
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5. Re: 11 days in southern New England, base in Milford, CT

Here is a list of farmer's markets in CT:

http://www.ctnofa.org/FarmersMarkets.htm

Milford, Ct
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6. Re: 11 days in southern New England, base in Milford, CT

Enjoy your time in Ct, I live in Milford and here a are a few things that might be good. Bridgeport Bluefish Baseball is our home team in Bridgeport. You can also take the Ferry out of Bridgeport to Port Jeff, great town, places to eat, and shop and also a great beach. You can rent a bike right in Milford at Scoot and Paddle call not sure about baby seats. I would travel north up 95 and hit Stonington and or Mystic. Wonderful places to see and do in both towns, there is a Seaport, and Acquarium in Mystic. Mystic Pizza after the movie, Stonington many vineyards and shopping, also a lighthouse. In Orange, Ct for a quick bit of history is the Pez factory. Right in North Haven you can go to Sleeping Giant and Hike to the top where there sits a castle. You can travel 95 N and hit Essex Steam train and boat plus the town is very quaint with cute shops and restaurants. Enjoy and hope this helps

7. Re: 11 days in southern New England, base in Milford, CT

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