Just ninety miles long by 55 miles wide, CONNECTICUT is New England’s southernmost state and the most influenced by New York City; thousands of commuters make the trip each day, and many of the opulent mansions are owned by Wall Street bankers. As a result, tourism here is of a sophisticated sort, with art galleries, vineyards, historical houses, museums and increasingly eclectic cuisine on offer, while the state’s lesser-known natural offerings along the densely populated coast make for some pleasant surprises.

The coast is studded with enticing small towns, from the colonial charms of Mystic and Stonington to hip New London and intellectual New Haven, home of Yale University. Further inland, the state capital at Hartford is a real surprise, with a gradually regenerating downtown and a trio of attractions.

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