Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Connecticut Curiosities

Looking for something other than your standard run-of-the-mill day trip? Try any of these Connecticut Curiosities for something that's fun and a little bit different.

GILLETTE CASTLE An impressive medieval style fortress overlooking the Connecticut River. Built by William Gillette between 1913 and 1919, this castle features many secret panels, a complex system of mirrors that the owner used to spy on guests(!) and even a room furnished to replicate Sherlock Holmes' 221B Baker Street quarters in London. See photo gallery for images. http://dep.state.ct.us/stateparks/parks/gillettecastle.htm

THE FROG BRIDGE in Willimantic is officially known as "Thread City Crossing". Four bronze 11-foot frogs sit on top of giant spools of thread remind passersby of the city's cotton mill history, and bizarre tale of fighting frogs from 1754. This is a kitschy must-see roadside landmark. http://www.kurumi.com/roads/ct/br-frog.html

TIMEXPO MUSEUM in Waterbury (according to their website) tells the story of Timex and its heritage dating back to the 1850's. A (groovy) Time Tunnel leads to ancient mysteries. Magnificent timepieces, hands-on activities and much more. http://www.timexpo.com/

SCIENCE CENTER of West Hartford has tons of stuff to amuse the young and the old alike. From a life size sperm whale model named Conny (who sprouts like a real whale during the summer), the World Weather Window and the Walk-In Kaleidoscope which is not to be missed. http://www.sciencecenterct.org/

THE NUT MUSEUM Old Lyme, is no longer open to the public, but you can still visit her nutty website. http://www.roadsideamerica.com/nut/

DINOSAUR STATE PARK Rocky Hill. Beneath a space-y geodesic dome you will find one of the largest dinosaur track sites in North America. An amazing display of early Jurassic fossil tracks that were made 200 million years ago. http://www.dinosaurstatepark.org/

GUNGYWAMP, Groton. Twenty-four acres of mysterious Bronze Age ruins sit on top of a steep cliff, six miles north of Long Island Sound. This unusual site includes what may have been a ritual altar and a collection of standing stones and a single slab positioned along astronomical lines indicating that the place may have functioned as an ancient stone calendar. http://www.gungywamp.com/

P.T. BARNUM MUSEUM, Bridgeport CT hosts artifacts and memorabilia from the varied and extraordinary life of P.T. Barnum, founder of "The Greatest Show on Earth". Discover The Fejee Mermaid, Barnum's biggest hoax, General Tom Thumb, Clown Alley and more at this unique museum.

Ed & LORRAINE WARREN'S OCCULT MUSEUM Moodus, CT. Display of strange objects that were taken out of circulation by the famed Warrens including a cursed string or pearls that reportedly tried to strangle their owner, and a murderous Raggedy-Ann style doll. By appointment only, and not recommended for children. http://www.warrens.net/emporium.htm

OLD STATE HOUSE, Hartford Museum of Natural and Other Curiosities A calf with two heads, the horn of a unicorn, the "largest Bengal tiger ever seen", George Washington's button! These are just some of the many objects that are on exhibit in the Museum of Natural and Other Curiosities.

MENCZER MUSEUM OF MEDICINE & DENTISTRY in Hartford. Collection includes instruments, equipment, furnishings, and portraits from the last three centuries, representing a painful cross-section of dental and medical history. http://library.uchc.edu/hms/menczer.html

LOURDES IN LITCHFIELD Can't go to the famed religious shrine in France? Take a shorter trip to Litchfield CT instead. www.shrinect.org



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