The only things I knew about Connecticut before visiting on our east coast road trip came from watching Gilmore Girls growing up, which took place in the fictional Connecticut town of Stars Hollow. I knew that this was a place that had history, plenty of people with old American money, Yale, and some beautiful scenery. Having a car meant we were able to explore this small state with great ease during our time there, and there’s still plenty to see should we ever get the opportunity to revisit! We arrived in Hartford around lunchtime which was perfect because we had worked up an appetite and had our food destination chosen and mapped out. We found this place on that amazing sandwich list that led us to two amazing sandwiches in Hawaii and in Colorado, so we went off with high hopes to J’s crab shack for a Lobster Roll, something that screams New England especially to someone who grew up landlocked. The place was busy with a diverse crowd of people enjoying their seafood plates, we ordered and sat down next to a massive tank of bright fish and one massive eel who was probably judging us for eating his aquatic friends. The lobster roll was packed with fresh meat, warm and drizzled with butter and lemon. Simple yet unforgettable, a total treat.
A five-minute drive away was Mark Twain’s House and Museum. Before even entering you can just tell that the house is truly something special. Beautiful windows encased in colourful brickwork, wood in shades of brown and purple, and an elegant porch wrapping around to the entrance. We chose to join the “historically acted” tour where we were told we were being transported back in time. The Twain house was up for auction and we were all being given a tour of the house by Twain’s dear friend the Reverend Joseph Twichell. Our guide was amazing and for a solid hour did not break character, telling the story of the house and of Twain and his family with convincing personal insight. We loved it and seeing this kind of historical reenactment makes an experience like this all the more memorable!
A stunning place and well worth visiting if you’re in CT
Since we visited Harvard in Boston we figured we should take a quick stroll around Yale. The campus was surrounded by beautiful wooden houses painted in shades of pastel and the campus itself had some truly beautiful gothic-style buildings! I imagine that in the summertime when the trees are covered in green the campus is even more stunning. While Yale is nowhere near as old as Oxford or Cambridge it is definitely a place with history, and has turned out plenty of famous American actors, lawyers and politicians. Although sadly we didn’t see any of them visiting while we were there. Maybe if we find ourselves there again we’ll run into Meryl Streep on her way to an alumni event.
Quiet wintertime campus
We received a tip from a friend Liam and I made when we met in Rome who was from Connecticut. We were told that Frank Pepe’s Pizza was not to be missed. And after seeing a few of the thousands of positive reviews they had and that they’ve been voted “best pizza in America” previously we knew we had to go. There was one just five minutes away from Yale. We showed up at about 5 and got one of the few remaining tables. We ordered two pizzas, a classic margarita and a meat feast pizza and Oh. My. God. They were absolutely perfect. The bubbled singed crust, the flavorful tomato base, the cheese and toppings. It was all perfect. By the time we left about an hour later several regulars had come and gone, greeting the cashier by name and picking up their pizza giving their best to the staff, a baseball team came in to celebrate a win, and a line was steadily growing out the door. This place is an institution and I’ve gotta say if we lived in Connecticut I’d be tempted to get it all the time!
We ended the night arriving at our Airbnb which was a lovely log cabin tucked away in the forest surrounded by lovely views, horses, dogs and some adorable cats including a small black cat the family was fostering who decided to come into our room and spend the night watching Bob’s Burgers with us. Really couldn’t have asked for a better day visiting a new state together ❤️
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