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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

With the weather turning a warmer corner, living in Connecticut whether seasonally or full time certainly means that at one point or another you have thought, “What is there to do in Connecticut?” The reality is there are a lot of things to do if you are looking in the right place and are open to trying some new things. Here I will provide some day trip ideas all around the state to fit everyone’s summer plans.

For the vibes: Buttonwood Farm in Griswold

I plan to head to Buttonwood Farm this summer as every year around the end of July they have their huge sunflower farm in bloom and rumor has it the farmmade ice cream is to die for. There are 14 acres of over 300,000 blooming sunflowers each year, and the event typically benefits the Make-a-Wish Foundation where you can cut and take home sunflowers for $3 each. This may not take a full day, but at least from where I live in Farmington, CT this is a bit of a drive. Explore the nearby Hopeville Pond State Park or Pachaug State Forest to spend some more time outside!

For the Hiker: Falls Village

Driving through the Northwestern Hills of the state is always very beautiful, and it is full of little mountains! To explore a waterfall, head to Dean’s Ravine Waterfall and to work up a sweat check out Lions Head via the Appalachian Trail or try the tallest mountain in CT, Bear Mountain! This is a big to do on my summer bucket list this year as I have been hiking for a good chunk of time and I am ready for a challenge. If you want to get involved in something very niche and unique, there is also the nearby race track at Lime Rock Park that hosts events for car enthusiasts and anyone looking for something different. After my trip to this area, I plan to eat at Mountainside Cafe, which looks like it has the most delicious brunch!

Coastal Adventure: Mystic

A list of day trips in Connecticut would not be complete without mentioning the beautiful coastal village of Mystic. My family comes here frequently as it is one of the best parts of the state year-round. In the summer, enjoy waterfront restaurants Downtown or a popular Red 36. Adventure Mystic also offers kayak/paddleboarding rentals starting from the mouth of the Mystic River and going into the greater Long Island Sound. It’s on my bucket list of summer activities to do. You can rent by the hour, couple hours, half day, or full day. The Olde Mistick Village includes cute little boutique shops for all things mainstream and niche, and the next-door Mystic Aquarium is arguably the best in New England (and the beluga whales are oh-so-cute!). For foodies, Deviant Donuts and Coffee in the village shops release a new menu of specialty donuts each week. Sift Bake Shop is another must-visit, Hallmark movie-famous bake shop originating in Niantic, and the pastries are the best I have ever had. They also have sandwiches and salads for lunch along with desserts and cookies!

Beach Bumming: madison

For me as soon as the weather goes above 70 degrees, the urge to be in the water and lounging on the sand is a dominant distractor against my day-to-day work. Down by the shore, Madison is home to the Hamnonasset Beach State Park. This is a very popular destination in the summer along with Rocky Neck State Park when a lot of the surrounding towns have more private beaches for the residents. You can camp here and the beach stretches nearly two miles to accommodate its visitors. There is also a really cool nature center on site called Meig’s Point if you ever get tired of sitting on the beach. Public bathrooms and concessions are available along with ample parking. Madison is also home to the best fried seafood in the state, which is the iconic Lenny and Joe’s Fish Tale with the carousel! For the shopper, the Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets are also within a 15-minute drive away.

Have a wonderful summer! Hopefully, this list inspires your warm-weather adventures.

Hi! My name is Jessica (she/her/hers) and I am from Farmington, CT. I am currently an English and Secondary Education major at the University of Connecticut. In my free time, I love reading, baking, hiking, yoga, painting my nails, and listening to music.