Tue. Jun 6th, 2023

Contrary to popular belief, not all northerners are snowbirds who fly south at the first sign of winter. In fact, there are a great number of people who welcome winter with open arms and embrace all that the snowy season has to offer. This is especially true for “nutmeggers” from Connecticut, a state that celebrates winter in a big way.

From new holiday experiences to luxe stays and world-class dining options, exciting entertainment, outdoor adventures, hot spots for sustainable travelers and destinations to unplug in the New Year, Connecticut is packed with a countless array of travel options for this winter and beyond.

Hit the slopes at one of Connecticut’s premier ski resorts including Ski Sundown in New Hartford, Mohawk Mountain Ski Area in Cornwall, Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort in Middlefield and Mount Southington Ski Area in Plantsville. Although these resorts don’t provide the impressive vertical or number of slopes found further north at ski areas in New England, each mountain nonetheless offers plenty of downhill fun for snow enthusiasts.

Go beyond the slopes for a guided UTV tour through the snow at Backyard Adventures in Canaan. Try ice climbing with Ascent Climbing in New Haven. There’s just something about swinging the ice tools and climbing an improbable frozen waterfall or topping out a frozen winter peak. Or try cross country skiing at Winding Trails in Farmington located on 350 acres of majestic forest.

Experience the always popular 14th annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival from Nov. 25 to Dec. 24 where three real reindeer return to the “North Pole on North Street.” Enjoy new holiday experiences including Glow Gardens in Hartford, an indoor light festival and market. Holiday Wish: Follow the Magic in Stamford, is an immersive light-filled walk-through event that transports guests to the North Pole.

Stroll, shop and stay in any of Connecticut’s idyllic and quintessential towns all dressed up for the holidays including Wethersfield, Old Saybrook, Greenwich and Washington. See incredible light displays at Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce in Bristol, Fantasy of Lights in New Haven and Magic of Lights in East Hartford.

For the sustainable traveler, stay at Hotel Marcel in New Haven, the country’s first and only Passive House Certified and net-zero energy hotel; or at Saybrook Point Resort & Marina in Old Saybrook, Connecticut’s first Green Lodging Certified hotel featuring extensive eco-friendly practices. For the traveler focused on self-care, plan a visit to any of Connecticut’s world-class spas including Mayflower Inn & Spa, Winvian Farm or The Spa at Norwich Inn. For the traveler looking to unplug, enjoy a tech-free getaway at Getaway Machimoodus in Moodus featuring 45 modern tiny cabins designed to encourage a technology-free escape, including cellphone lockboxes and no access to wi-fi or TVs.

Unique Airbnb rentals include:

* Cabins: A cozy log cabin in Canaan, boho lake cabin with hot tub & fire pit in New Fairfield, luxury winter retreat in East Lyme or modern geothermal home in New Milford.

* Domes: A vibrant dome home in Cornwall, geodesic dome in the woods in Bethlehem or water forest retreat -octagon in Norwich.

* Tiny Homes: A modern farmhouse in East Lyme, tiny House on a small sustainable farm in Guilford or water forest retreat hiker’s haven in Norwich.

Grab tickets to a holiday theater performance including the world premiere of Christmas in Connecticut at The Goodspeed in East Haddam. The Eastern Connecticut Ballet presents: The Nutcracker at The Garde Arts Center in New London while Christmas on the Rocks is showing at Theaterworks in Hartford.

Indulge in seasonal flavors at new restaurants including Happy Monkey in Greenwich led by Michelin star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Fair Haven Oyster Co. in New Haven, Nômade in Westport, and Terreno in Hartford. Enjoy alfresco dining in igloos at Dockside Brewery in Milford, Toro Loco Mezcaloteca in Farmington or Sign of the Whale in Stamford. Book a culinary farm stay at Husky Meadow Farms in Norfolk including two night lodging, welcome dinner, cooking class, brunch, guided farm tours, hands-on cooking experiences and more.

The alluring flavor of the winter season can be experienced in every nook and cranny throughout Connecticut, with an array of festive seasonal activities designed for visitors and locals alike. If you enjoy winter, you’ll love the Nutmeg State.

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