Thursday, May 31, 2012

Little Known Facts About Well-Known Attractions in Connecticut

For years I had been visiting Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, enjoying the Mansion, the gardens designed by renowned Beatrix Farrand, and just strolling around the spacious lawns leading down to Long Island Sound. I thought I knew everything about this park.Then I discovered that just a few steps from the mansion, although hidden from view was an endearing pet cemetery with names and dates of deceased family pets.

Recently, I got to wondering what other destinations had treasures that visitors might not know about. For instance, residents spend many hours each summer at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison without being aware of the wonderful picnic area right across the street from East Beach. Just in back of the Nature Center, tables sit on a green lawn near the Friendship Pond and Butterfly Garden.

Speaking of scenic picnic areas, when you visit Gillette Castle, do you drive straight up to the castle without knowing or being aware of the lovely pond on the right just past the entrance? The summer is especially pleasant when the pond is blooming with pink, fuchsia and white water lilies. Picnic tables are plentiful.

How about the two very distinctive museums in Connecticut that are free and practically within steps of each other on Chapel Street in New Haven. Yale University Art Gallery is the oldest university art museum in the Country and Yale Center for British Art is in possession of the most comprehensive collection of British art outside of the United Kingdom.

All this information and more are in Cruising Connecticut with a Picnic Basket, a day tripping and picnic book with recipes. The 3rd Edition has just been released this month. Check it out on my website

Oh, and if you want to visit the pet cemetery next time you're at Harkness, send me an email at and I’ll let you know the exact location.