Every time I tell someone that I went on a trip to Connecticut, I always get the same few questions – “Oh, what’s in Connecticut? Do you have family there?” Surprisingly, no. And there isn’t much sightseeing in Connecticut, either! But, my family and I used to live in Norwalk and Hamden for a few years (I was actually born in New Haven), and we love going back to visit these cities and “sight-see” our favorite places, like restaurants, shopping centers, and even grocery stores!
It’s also conveniently located very close to New York City, so with just a short drive we can spend a few days in the city as well!
The first stop on our to-do list in Connecticut was visit Stew Leonard’s, a grocery store (yes, a grocery store) that my sister and I practically grew up in and loved. If you have ever been here, then you would know the positive and fun environment of Stew Leonard’s. There are singing and dancing machine characters all around the store that honestly make the grocery trip much more enjoyable. We all basically turn back into kids when we walk into the store! (And we definitely get some weird looks from employees..)
During our visit, it only snowed for about an hour one morning, and that’s about it. Connecticut is the most beautiful during autumn, but sadly we visited in winter and all the trees were bare. You can definitely tell that it was the awkward transition phase between autumn and winter, but somehow the scenery was still gorgeous.
The next stop on our list was Calf Pasture Beach. They always hold a bunch of fun outdoor activities for kids, and we spent many Fourth Of July celebrations here when we lived in Norwalk. We took a little walk by the pier until it got super windy and we realized we were definitely not prepared for the cold. This is what happens when you take Californian’s to the East Coast 😂
We started off the next day with an obligatory trip to Dunkin’ Donuts. Obviously, we have these at home now, too, but it feels more genuine on the East Coast. Does that make sense? 😂
We drove 20 minutes to Westport, Connecticut to do some shopping for the first half of the day. Although we didn’t come here very often back then, we always stop by when we visit because the streets are so gorgeous and shopping is obviously a great way to spend your vacation. I’m also obsessed with the red brick on all the buildings!
For dinner, we went to Frank Pepe Pizzaria, which has been our tradition for years. The pizza is delicious, so I would definitely recommend visiting if you have one near you. I’m not even surprised that I forgot to take a picture of the pizza.. What can I say, my appetite’s getting in the way of my blogging.
DAY 3 – New Year’s Eve
We had no idea how we were going to celebrate New Year’s Eve, especially since we were originally planning to go somewhere in New York, but quickly realized it would be way too crowded and a really difficult drive in the traffic. So, we went on a (long) hunt to find a good restaurant nearby in Connecticut!
We finally found The Waters Edge at Giovanni’s, which was literally the perfect place and checked all of our boxes! It’s a banquet hall, but they hold a big New Year’s Eve party every year with a delicious dinner, an endless array of dessert, music, and dancing.
It was really dark, but I managed to take a picture of the donut wall (I have no idea what to call this 😂). There were three full tables of dessert and I wish I had saved more room after the dinner that was equally amazing. But, I didn’t want to stuff myself because, of course, we had to dance our way into the New Year!
We left around 1 am and headed back to the hotel so we could pack up our stuff for our 9 am flight the next day. Definitely didn’t get much sleep that night, but it was still the best way to spend NYE.
That’s all for this travel post! Thank you so much for reading and hopefully I could give you some inspiration for your next trip to Connecticut!
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