Fun festivities for spring break in Connecticut

A group of students hiked in Devil’s Hopyard State Park, one of the many fantastic hiking areas in Connecticut. A fun activity to engage in during spring break is hiking and visiting Gillette Castle. Photo by Maggie Chafouleas/The Daily Campus

Spring break is quickly approaching, and for many of us, it may look far different than the standard break festivities. However this doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Believe it or not, there are many things to do in the small state of Connecticut… you just have to look hard enough. I’ve rounded up a few activities that will cater to all different sorts of people: foodies, nature-lovers and those who just want to bask in the sun. 

Visit Gillette Castle and Hike 

Gillette Castle is a well-known area for most Connecticut natives. It’s exactly what it sounds like: the castle of a man named William Gillette. Located near Lyme, Connecticut, it’s surrounded by sprawling acres of beautiful land that are regularly maintained by the state (it’s now a state park).  Not only are there beautiful views of the Connecticut shoreline, but there are also trails that lead to the water that visitors can hike. It’s the perfect activity for a warm spring day.  

Try New Deli’s  

If you love food, especially sandwiches, then this will be right up your alley. Take a trip to Greenwich and stop by Rinaldi’s and Villa Nuova. Rinaldi’s is a classic Italian-American deli that specializes in the most delicious sandwich combinations you’ve tasted in a while, I promise. I usually order The Bruin with Cones: chicken cutlet, bacon, mozzarella, homemade barbecue sauce and cones (which are essentially mashed potatoes formed into balls and then fried). Come on, you can’t say that doesn’t sound delicious. Villa Nuova is similar, but on the more authentic side. I would recommend the Marco Polo panini: prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and pesto. It doesn’t get any better. I swear, you won’t be disappointed. 

UConn students hike in Devil’s Hopyard State Park pre-COVID. There are many ways to get out in nature during spring break, including going camping in Hammonasset State Park in Madison, Connecticut. Photo by Maggie Chafouleas/The Daily Campus

Vibe at a Vineyard 

If you’re over 21, vineyards or breweries are always a great option. Sipping on a delicious drink under the sun never sounds like a bad idea. There’s tons in upstate Connecticut where there’s plenty of farmland, some being Brown Vineyard in Litchfield and Cassidy Hill Vineyard in Manchester. Depending on the place, you could even turn it into a picnic with a yummy charcuterie board or any snacks of your choosing. It’s also the perfect excuse to dress up and chat with friends!  

Go Camping  

For all the nature-lovers reading this, camping is the perfect way to spend a couple days of spring break. Hammonasset State Park located in Madison has acres of land that are designed for campers, plus the addition of grills and the beach. Gather up a couple of your friends or family members, pack the coolers and get on the road. The most precious thing about camping is that it brings you down to earth and reminds you that all you need in life is good food and good company. 

Pizza Tour 

Lastly (and possibly the best) is a PIZZA TOUR!!! (If you’re from New York, you may want to skip this part). I will admit, I do believe New Haven is the pizza capital of the world. My personal favorite is Pepe’s, but it may not be yours! Visit Wooster Street in New Haven and stop by all the iconic pizza places: Sally’s, Pepe’s, Modern and Bar. Each has their own unique touch and trust me, all are delicious.  

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