See Connecticut in One Day

Connecticut has been one of few states in the American East that I haven't had a chance to visit. Although it's literally located o...

Connecticut has been one of few states in the American East that I haven't had a chance to visit. Although it's literally located on the outskirts of New York City, my paths have never crossed the Connecticut state line before. So when the right opportunity came to either explore New York City again, or to go see some other places, I picked Connecticut without further hesitation. Actually, for those visiting New York City, Connecticut is a perfect day trip which blends everything New England has to offer: the ocean, rolling mountains, coastal villages, covered bridges, and old colonial buildings with wooden window shutters.

Below is my list of places I've managed to visit in one day. My only regret is that I didn't have time to see Hartford, a capital of Connecticut with its beautiful skyline and an impressive state capitol building. But there should always be a 'next time', right?

1. Beautiful Beaches of Milford. 
Whether you're a hard-core beachgoer, or, like me, just love the ocean, Milford with its spacey sand beaches is the place to go. 
Cottages (or due to the size very much can be regular houses) dot the shoreline. Old and new - they follow the conventional style of New England.

2. City of Bridgeport. 
Bridgeport is the largest city in Connecticut. It is rough and rigid. You can see and smell it right from the highway.
Similarly to other heavily industrialized cities, Bridgeport economy declined in the middle of the 20th century and has never fully recovered since then. I can tell that the city is poor, there are signs of this everywhere - trash on streets, abandoned buildings, homeless people, nails, spa and hair salons downtown, windows grates, etc. Many streets in downtown were closed by police due to what it looked like a graduation ceremony and I could not even park my car and take pictures.
Bridgeport, as its name suggest, is a big sea port.
Bridgeport is not your usual tourist destination, but what I liked about this city is the shell picking on the seashore. You can find all sorts of shells - different shapes and different colours.

3. Yale University. 
Yale University was founded back in 1701 when no United States existed which makes it one of the oldest schools of higher education on the continent.
According to Wikipedia, Yale University has an impressive list of its alumni. Among them - five U.S. Presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 20 living billionaires and many heads of state. In addition, Yale has graduated hundreds of members of Congress and many high-level U.S. diplomats, 57 Nobel laureates, etc.
I was wondering why Hebrew is used on the University's coat of arms. Apparently, Hebrew was one of the classical languages taught at Yale along with Greek and Latin, and students (obviously, children from wealthy families) were supposed to learn it to be able to read Old Testament in original. 
Yale University is such a nice place to walk and hide from the cruel summer heat under the old trees' canopy. 
What I liked the most about Yale University is the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Despite its age (54 years), the building has a very contemporary look. 
But you've got to be inside to truly experience this unusual and magical place.
I can't attest how rare these books are, but they are definitely old. Imagine this place in early 1700s with no Internet and easy and fast connection to the rest of the world. Reading books was the only way for most of the people in remote North America to learn, discover, experience that huge and unknown outside world.
"The Dead Should Be Raised" is written on the entrance to the cemetery.

4. Tiny Village of Cornwall Bridge. 
Leaving the hustle and bustle of big cities like Bridgeport and New Haven (where Yale University is located) was such a delight for me. I was not planning to stop at Cornwall Bridge as I was driving through the Appalachian Mountains region, but I could not resist its charm and beauty. 
You don't have to be a telepathist to guess what draws people to the village - of course its bridge! 
New England is famous for covered bridges and Cornwall Bridge across the Housatonic River is one of the most famous ones.
I don't really get those covered bridges, to be honest with you, yet people like them, so here we are. But the village was definitely worth the stop. Nestled in the valley surrounded by green mountains, it was one the most stunning places I've visited that day in Connecticut.
A stone fence, exactly like in England.

5. Kent Falls State Park. 
Small, but extremely picturesque cascades and waterfalls located in the west side of Connecticut. 
It was a bit crowded, maybe because it was on a weekend, but as you hike up the trail, the number of people you see or hear decreases with each step.
There are a few lookout points to get the best views of the falls.
Not only did the park allow me to stretch my legs a little bit, but also it was a perfect conclusion of my trip to Connecticut.

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