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Litchfield Hills, Connecitcut

 Connecticut

Connecticut is a place of beauty with rich rolling landscapes and dainty villages. There are many hiking and biking trails and antique shops. This state is just a short drive from New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and eastern Pennsylvania which makes for a great getaway for the people of New England. The history in Connecticut is very rich and interesting, this is one of America's oldest states. Visitors can see the lives of past inventors, war heroes, authors, poets, and key leaders in African American history. Connecticut is famous for its lighthouses which have called to travelers for many centuries. All throughout the summer visitors flood to the lighthouses to observe amazing views of the city.

Connecticut is surrounded by Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York. The first settlers in Connecticut was a Dutch man named Adriaen Block. and they made a short lived settlement where the present day Hartford is at the confluence of the Park and Connecticut Rivers. However, the first major settlements were by the English in the 1630's. In 1654 the Dutch left their fort due to the flood of English settlers. The very first English settler came to Connecticut in 1633 and settled at Windsor and in 1634 he settled in Wethersfield. It was in 1636 when the large body of settlers came in one large group. The name Connecticut came from the Mohegan word quinnituqut which means "place of long tidal river", the name was officially adopted in 1959.

The flag of Connecticut is laid on a blue field that has a white shield with three grapevines, each of the vines have three bunches of purple grapes on them. The vines represent the first settlements of English people who started to move from Massachusetts during the 1630's. The grapes stand for a metaphor of the settlements that had been transplanted. The flag was officially adopted in 1897. Connecticut's motto is "He who Transplanted Sustains Us" which is written on the white ribbon strung across the bottom of the flag. Connecticut is a great place to visit with many cities to enjoy. There are plenty of museums, aquariums, zoos, lighthouses, NASCAR racing, beaches, and much more to enjoy.  


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The Ocean Beach Park in Connecticut

Attractions in Connecticut

     The Mystic Aquarium Institution for Exploration first opened on October 6, 1973 and was first operated by a privately owned company known as Mystic Aquarium, Inc. It was in 1975 when the first Beluga whales arrived at the aquarium. In 1976 was when Sea Island opened which is a home for Stellar and California sea lions and harbor, gray and fur seals. The exhibits of the aquarium consist of Beluga Whales, African Penguins, Sea Lions & Seals, Fish & more, Challenge of the Deep, Return to Titanic, Exhibits in Action, Deep Sea 3D, and Marine Theater Show. The Aquarium also does research and Veterinary services for the animals. 

The Ocean Beach Park is a family fun place to splash around and have fun. There is a splash park for children under the age of eight, then there is the ocean that is ready for the adults to enjoy. Everyone can also enjoy the Olympic size swimming pool with a triple water slide. The pool has award winning lifeguards that are always on duty for the visitors safety. This park also has other rides, mini golf, and a Family Fun Center that includes a video arcade for the kids. There is a playground for the kids as well and a health club for adults to workout. The park also has a nature walk and observation deck so visitors can enjoy the natural beauty. Of course the park also has restaurants, a food court, and ice cream stands. There is always something for the family to do at this park.

The Dinosaur Place is of course a great place for kids to visit and while they are having fun they will learn many different things about dinosaurs and fossils. There are indoor activities, outdoor activities, special events, birthday parties, group visits, and even online activities. The indoor activities include hands on exhibits, fluorescent displays, bead room, geodes, minerals & fossil gallery, and a gift shop. The outdoor activities include a "MAZE" asaurus, Dino Trails, Monty's Playground, and the Splashpad. The Special Events include things like a Dinosaur Festival, Bead Classes, Bead Contests, 12 Dinosaurs of Christmas, and much more depending on the time of year. There are different birthday packages for the parents to choose from if they are wanting to book a party which include "Dino" mite Dinos, Precious Princess, Rags to Riches, Radical Rocks, Gems & Jewels, and Outdoor Adventure. This is a great place to spend the day with the family no matter the occasion.

The New England Air Museum is located at the Bradley Airforce Base and is a great experience for the whole family. This museum has something for everyone even kids to enjoy while visiting. Visitors are allowed to get into the planes and ask questions about the functions and get the feeling of how it feels to sit in a jet plane. There are also peddle planes for the kids to sit in and peddle around in just for fun. The New England Air Museum also has Group Tours available for all ages and last for about 2 hours. There are also other tours available such as youth tours, audio tour wand and maps, adult tours, and summer programs as well. As for the exhibits, there are Major Exhibits, Collections, Research Library, and Restoration Projects.


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Submarine at the Submarine Force Museum in Connecticut

Things to do and see in Connecticut

The Submarine Force Library & Museum is the home of the USS Nautilus and is located right on the Thames River in Groton, Connecticut. This museum holds and maintains the world's finest collection of submarine artifacts. This is the only submarine museum that is operated by the United States Navy. It is also the only submarine museum that is the primary repository for artifacts, documents and photographs that relate to U.S. Submarine Force history. The collection in the museum have over 33,000 artifacts, 20,000 important documents and 30,000 photographs. The library part of the museum has references and research that all relates to the history of U.S. Submarines and is open for anyone who is looking for information on submarines or the history of submarines.

The Stepping Stones Museum for kids will be celebrating its 10th birthday in 2010. It will celebrate by building a 22,000 square foot "green" expansion. The museum was given the title of America's Top 50 Children's Museums. At the Stepping Stones Museum for Children there are interactive exhibits, educational programs and fun for the entire family. There are four main galleries in the museum, a toddlers only gallery and over 100 hands on activities. The people of the museum understand that children learn best by doing, this is the reason all the exhibits and programs are designed to promote activity and investigation. Some of the activities include the children building race cars and learning about momentum, learn about whirlpools and the water cycle, and they role play as scientists who study tropical rainforests and conservation.

The Beardsley Zoo is home to more than 300 animals that represent mostly North and South American species. This is a great place to visit for the whole family or even just for a solo trip. Visitors can learn about the endangered and threatened species such as Siberian tigers, the Amur, Andean Condor, Ocelot, Red Wolf, Andean Bear, Maned wolf, and Golden lion tamarin. People can also visit the South American rainforest with free flight aviary, after that they can visit the prairie dog exhibit with "pop up" viewing areas. There is also a New England Farm that has goats, cows, pigs, sheep and many other barnyard animals. The zoo also has special activities for kids such as great local hikes, scavenger hunts, image gallery, animal facts, and more.

The Railroad Museum of New England is an educational and historical place for the family to visit. The museum is a non profit corporation and was first founded in January of 1968. The museums mission is "to establish an interpretive facility where the story of the region's rich railroad heritage can be effectively told." The collection in the museum is very extensive with New England's rolling stock which includes all types of locomotives, passenger cars, freight cars, and cabooses. The museum also holds many of New England's railroad artifacts that date back to the 1840's and runs to the present day. Visitors can also set up to go on train rides while at the museum as well.