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Favorite Things in Connecticut, From Folks Who Know it Well

From state parks to local theater, state legislators share their favorite spots in the state.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy gave the state’s Office of Tourism and Culture a raise, something that many legislators agree was a good thing. After all, the $1 a year that former Gov. Jodi Rell previously allotted the department didn’t go very far.

Now with Labor Day approaching, and people seeking to soak up as much summer fun as possible, Capitol DisPatch asked state legislators to weigh in about their favorite places in Connecticut. Here, in alphabetical order:

State Rep. James Albis, a Democrat representing East Haven in the 99th House. “Having grown up in East Haven, I love the beach. I think Connecticut has some of the greatest beaches.” Albis also loves golf.

State Sen. Toni Boucher, a Republican representing Bethel, Redding, Ridgefield, New Canaan, Weston, Westport and Wilton in the 26th Senate District.

Sitting on stone walls at Weir farm. “It overlooks so much beauty, it’s picturesque, and you can see why artists came to paint here.” The beaches: Sherwood Island, Compo Beach and h. The drives: especially along Route 53 along the Aspetuck Reservoir and along Route 58 to Putnam Park. “We have some of most beautiful scenery,” Boucher said.

State Rep. Larry Cafero, a Republican representing Norwalk in the 142nd House District. Hands down — Bayley Beach in Rowayton. “On a beautiful day with boats and glistening water it’s like you’re on vacation,” Cafero said.

State Rep. Paul Davis, a Republican representing Milford, Orange and West Haven in the 117th House District.  in Madison; Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden and the aquariums in Norwalk and Mystic. “I like the science aspect of it,” Davis said.

State Rep. Kim Fawcett, a Democrat representing Fairfield and Westport in the 133rd House District. Jennings Beach where “a favorite thing to do is walk on the beach in the evening around 6 p.m. or 7 p.m.”

State Rep. John Frey, a Republican representing Ridgefield in the 111th House District. Frey said he has a tough time choosing with so many great places from Beardsley Zoo to the . But for Frey, his heart belongs to Ridgefield: “We’re spoiled here,” Frey said listing Books on the Common, Deborah Ann’s and the as great places.

State Rep. John Hetherington, a Republican representing New Canaan in the 125th House District. He loves Norwalk’s calling it better than in New England.

State Sen. John Kissel a Republican representing East Granby, Enfield, Granby, Somers, Suffield, Windsor and Windsor Locks in the 7th Senate District. Kissel has a penchant for the more pastoral parts of the state. Loves the ride to Storrs calling it beautiful. Likes the Mark Twain House and the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford too.

State Rep. Gail Lavielle, a Republican representing Norwalk and Wilton in the 143rd House District. Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk is a favorite spot and also loves taking a drive to and through Litchfield County.

State Sen. Carlo Leone, a Democrat representing Stamford and Darien in the 27th Senate District. “I’m glad they finally increased the budget from $1 to a nominal budget. Apparently for every $1 spent on tourism we get $3 back, so we should have done this a long time ago,” Leone said. In his district: is “a little gem for us.” Leone also likes the , , Rich Forum, and .

State Sen. Edward Meyer, a Democrat representing Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison and North Branford in the 12th Senate District. Meyer likes the shoreline and the farms, from Hammonasset Beach State Park to paddling a canoe to Faulkner Island that lies off the coast of Guilford. He loves the Durham State Fair and the growing art community of Killingworth. “Within Connecticut we find lots of fun choices,” Meyer said.

State Rep. Kim Rose, a Democrat representing Milford in the 188th House District.  Rose enjoys taking her camper to East Haddam on the weekends. She also “always loves Gillette Castle and local theater.”

State Rep. John Shaban, a Republican representing Easton, Redding and Weston in the 135th House District. Shaban likes hiking in Devil’s Den and sailing on Long Island Sound, sometimes to the Thimble Islands off the coast of Branford.

State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, a Democrat representing Westport in the 136th House District. “You don’t have to hop on a plane to go to some exotic location,” Steinberg said. He likes , which he said is underused by Westport residents. He calls Compo Beach a true blessing. And Steinberg has a “warm spot” for Lake Waramaug, it’s where he proposed to his wife. Steinberg said he wants to further explore the northeast part of the state because he’s amazed and impressed by how diverse the state is in terms of geology and topography. 

State Rep. Terrie Wood, a Republican representing Darien and Rowayton in the 141st House District likes to rent a kayak at Downunder Kayaking in Rowayton right on Five Mile River. Downunder has classes of all kinds, including SUP ( Stand up Paddling).  Wood calls this, "a really great spot." She also likes dining by the water at Sails, or . A bit farther afield, Wood likes to Visit Hammonsett State Park in Madison where she enjoys the "gorgeous long walking beaches." And Wood recommends taking advantage of Lyman Orchards in Middlefield for all kinds of things to do.

State Rep. Diana Urban, a Democrat representing North Stonington and Stonington in the 43rd Senate District. Urban loves the Mystic Aquarium where she said she can sit for hours watching the sting rays and the new jellyfish exhibit.

 

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