NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Labor Day is right around the corner and if you are looking for a place to bring the family for a weekend get-away, look no further! Travel expert, Micaela Guzy, stopped by our studio this morning to share five destinations within driving distance of Connecticut that feature family fun, sustainable activities.
- Narragansett & Block Island, Rhode Island (1hr & 45 mins drive)
- Fisherman’s State Park: Minutes from the Block Island Ferry and the Port of Galilee, mini golf, shopping and salt water beaches including the family-friendly Roger Wheeler State Beach, Fisherman’s State Park offers a range of camping options. ab. Fisherman’s State Park also has tennis courts and a playground on the premises as well as hot showers (75 cents for three minutes). Campground options and pricing include:
- Full hook up (electric, water and sewage): $20 in-state, $35 out-of-state
- Partial hook up (electric, water): $18 in-state, $25 out-of-state
- Tent (no hook up): $14 in-state, $20 out-of-state
- Nearby-Roger Wheeler State Beach has a children’s playground and lifeguards on-duty from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm and also hosts a Naturalist Program. Children of all ages can learn about sea life, participate in educational programming like coloring activities.
- Block Island’s Nature Conservancy Wildlife Preserves: The Nature Conservancy named Block Island is one of 12 “Last Great Places” in the western hemisphere. This special designation highlights the island’s abundance of rare plants and animals and the community’s unique support for conservation. Today, nearly half the island is permanently protected for people and nature. It remains a wildlife hot-spot, providing habitat for many plants and animals that disappeared from the rest of southern New England decades ago. The Conservancy’s Block Island Program maintains over 2,000 acres of habitat, offers hands-on discovery programs, and supports groundbreaking scientific research in the Great Salt Pond.
- The Hodge Family Wildlife Preserve: View migratory songbirds, the state-endangered northern harrier, and the Block Island meadow vole can be found here. Children will enjoy The Upland Scavenger Hunt, which is held every Wednesday at 9:00 AM, and locate all sorts of species special to Block Island. Meet at the Hodge Preserve parking lot on Corn Neck Road. (Parents must attend.)
- You can also check our special events running all summer like twilight magic-hour walks and beach-clean up.
- Block Island’s Clay Head Preserve: View the northern harrier, state endangered barn owl and the state endangered yellow-crowned night heron.
- Block Island’s Fresh Swamp Preserve: This preserve protects federally endangered American burying beetle and is a feeding area for the state endangered barn owl.
2. Mystic, CT (1 hr drive from New Haven)
- Visit the Last Wooden Whale-ship in the World The watercraft collection at Mystic Seaport is the largest of its kind in the United States, preserving our country’s maritime history. View the Charles W. Morgan is a national landmark. It is the last of an American whaling fleet that numbered more than 2,700 vessels. Built and launched in 1841, the organ is now America’s oldest commercial ship still afloat. At the port there are many rare and historic boats you can climb aboard, such as the Sabino steam ship which offers rides
3. Rockport, MA (3hr drive)
- Seal Watching or Lobstering with Loblolly Seal Cruises. Up until Columbus Day weekend in October, you can go on a personalized tour to see Seals or go lobstering off the coast of Rockport, Massachusetts. The cost for the cruises are $75 per person for the first 2 people and $50 per person for the remaining. Children under 12 are $35 They can only take 6 guests (limited by the Coast Guard). They keep their distance to not disturb the natural habitat of the Seals. Lobster trips are the same price. When lobstering the guest can keep 1 lobster if we catch anything. Seal trips are the most popular. We also do custom trip. the cost varies on these trips. We will most likely see seals, sea birds nd lighthouses. It is personal private tour so we can do most things that the guest want to do.
4. Montauk, NY (4hrs away)
- You might not think of Long Island for a quick getaway but it’s not that far away! You can drive your car onto the ferry at Bridgeport, CT for a one-hour boat ride to Port Jefferson, Long Island. From there you can drive two hours to Montauk.
- Deep Hollow Ranch: The Birthplace of the American Cowboy and the oldest working ranch in the U.S.A. Offers beach and trail rides, ponies and camp. From beginners to advanced, you will ride through acres of cattle grazing land since 1658 while learning the history of the land on horseback via the Trail Guides. On the tour you can view the third house ever built on Montauk in the 1700s, used by the ranch tenders. The 1.5 hour ride on the beach and trails for 8 years old or older ($85). 6 and older get a 30-min ride ($45) walk ride) goes a little into the county park ride and on the ranch. They can pet goats and see the chickens on the ranch. Open year round open. Pony ride $10.
5. New Paltz, NY (2 hr drive)
- Mohonk Mountain House offers all-inclusive family vacation with three daily meals and almost all activities. Rates start at $700/night two queen beds for a family of four. The hotel has an extensive energy saving and recycling program, and green initiatives that preserve the land and educate people. The Junior Naturalist Program for kids ages 4 – 12 offers hands-on experience with nature through animal tracking (deer, rabbits, squirrels, etc.), tree identification, fossil hunts, and animal and plant identification walks.
- The Teen Programming for kids ages 13 – 17 includes activities like rock scrambles, disc golf, tomahawk throwing, tennis clinics, and hikes.
For more information go to OhThePeopleYouMeet.com