Hartford Area Scenic Drives - Connecticut Scenic Drives


These are pleasant drives all year long. But they really come alive in the fall, when brilliant rusts, oranges, reds and golds cloak the trees along the town and city streets, as well as quiet rural lanes. There's no need to travel far to the north when this fall display is close at hand. Just follow these routes, or create a route of your own

Hartford Region Foliage Loop
Take I-91 to Exit 26 and approach Old Wethersfield via Marsh St. At the village center go left onto Main St. for about a mile where it crosses Rt. 99 (Silas Deane Highway) and becomes Wells Rd. Continue for two miles on Wells Rd. which becomes Cedar St. at the Newington town line. Proceed through Newington center to the junction of Rt. 173 (Willard Ave.) and take a left. Stay on Rt. 173 South until you take a left onto Rt. 287 East (Kobbins Ave.), continue to Rt. 5/15 (Berlin Tpk.). Turn left (briefly) onto 5/15 North then right onto Rt. 287 East (Prospect St.). After 2 1/2 miles, go right onto Rt. 3 South (Maple St.) then left onto West St. Follow West St. to end, take a left onto Rt. 99 North (Silas Deane Highway) in Rocky Hill. At the intersection of Rts. 99 and 160 (Glastonbury St.) turn right onto Rt. 160. Proceed to the Rocky Hill/Glastonbury Ferry, across the Connecticut River. Deporting the Ferry follow Ferry Lane. Take a left onto Tryon St. and a right onto Water St. to a left onto Rt. 17 (Main St.). At the island fork in the road, bear left on Main St. and continue north about I 1/2 miles to Glastonbury center. Close the loop by fuming left onto Rt. 3 South to rejoin 1-91.

Points of Interest
Glastonbury - Museum on the Green, Audubon Society of CT - Holland Brook
Newington - Kellogg-Eddy Museum, Enoch Kelsey House
Rocky Hill - Dinosaur State Park, Academy Hall Museum
Wethersfield - Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, Buttolph Williams House, Keeney Memorial Cultural Center

Fall Fairs/Festivals
Glastonbury - Annual Antique Show on the Green (Aug.), Apple Harvest Festival (Oct.), Antique Show at the High School (Jan. 1 )
Newington - Memorial Day Parade, Mill Pond Extravaganza (July)
Rocky Hill - Ferry Park Festival (Sept.)
Wethersfield - Cornfest (Sept.), Lantern Light Tours (Oct.), Old Wethersfield Craft Fair (Oct.)

Hartford City Foliage Loop
Take I-84 to Exit 48A or 1-91 to Exit 29A (Capitol Region). Bushnell Park is located between Elm and Jewell Sts. adjacent to the State Capitol grounds. This park was among the first parks in the nation to be conceived, planned and built with public support by an American city for its citizens. It contains over 600 trees, some over 100 years old with 125 varieties. From this park take Gold St. to Main St. Go right onto Main St., straight to Charter Oak Ave. Continue to Van Dyke Ave. Take a left onto Van Dyke Ave. and continue straight to Charter Oak Landing. (Riverboat Cruises operating Labor Day through Oct. 22, Sat. & Sun. only.)

Points of Interest
Ancient Burial Ground
Butler-McCook Homestead
Carousel and Bushnell Park
Civic Center
Company One Theater
Connecticut Historical Society
Elizabeth Park
Hartford Jai-Alai
Hartford Stage Company
Lady Fenwick Cruises
Legislative Office Building
Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe Houses
Medical/Dental Museum
Museum of Connecticut History
Old State House
Real Art Ways
State Capitol
State library
The Hartford Exhibit
Wadsworth Atheneum

Fall Fairs/Festivals
Connecticats Annual Show (June) Kid'rific (Sept.) Festival of Lights (Nov.) Festival of Trees (Dec.) Annual First Night (Dec.)

Farmington Valley Foliage Loop
Take I-84 to Exit 39. Proceed to the center of Farmington (junction of Rts. 4 and 10). Follow Rt. 10 North. Turn left on Rt. 44 (Albany Ave.) to Rt. 10 (Avon Old Farms Rd.). Continue North to Route 309 (Farms Village Rd.). Take Rt. 309 to a left onto Rt. 179. Follow Rt. 179 to a left onto Rt. 44. Follow Rt. 44 to a right onto Rt. 177 (Lovely Rd.). Follow Rt. 177 to a left onto Rt. 4 . Continue to the center of Farmington where Rts. 4 and 10 intersect. Follow Rt. 4 to a right onto Rt. 218 to Main St. Follow Main St. to I-84.

Points of Interest
Avon - Farmington Valley Arts Center, Avon Old Farms School, Riverdale Farms. Horse Cavalry Museum
Canton - Canton Historical Museum, Gallery on the Green, Roaring Brook Nature Center
Farmington - Stanley-Whitman House, Hill-Stead Museum, Unionville Museum
Simsbury - Tulmeadow Farm, Heublein Tower, Phelps Tavern Museum
West Hartford - Sarah Whitman Hooker House, Noah Webster House and Museum, Science Center of Connecticut, Museum of American Political Life

Fall Fairs/Festivals
Avon - Annual Open Horse Show (June)
Burlington - Annual Summer Festival (July)
Canton - Annual Strawberry Festival (June), Annual Firemen's Jamboree (June), Lobsterfest (Aug.)
Farmington - Antique Weekend (June & Sept.), Craft Fair (July), Farmington Horse Show (July), CT River Powwow (Aug), Annual "Dickens Of A Christmas" (Nov.)
Simsbury - Annual Dance Performance (June), Annual 4th of July Celebration (July)
West Hartford - Annual Teddy Bear Picnic (June), Annual CT Antique Show (Oct.)

East of the Connecticut River Foliage Loop
Begin in Hartford, take I-84 East to Exit 60. Go left onto Rt. 44 toward East Hartford. Continue West on 44 to Rt. 5. Turn right onto Rt. 5 North. Approximately one mile north of the Bissel Bridge turn left onto Chapel Rd. Turn right onto Main St. through South Windsor to East Windsor Hill. Travel east on Rt. 194 to Rt. 74. Take Rt. 74 to Rt. 83 North. Take Rt. 140 East to Crystal Lake (just past Rt. 30 jct.). Return to Rt. 30 South. Take Rt. 74 East to Tolland. Take 1-84 West to Exit 66. Left at ramp end, left onto Tunnel Rd., left onto Lake St. to Rt. 85 South. Turn right onto Rt. 94 West. Proceed to Rt. 83. Travel on Rt. 83 to Hartford Rd. Turn left on Hartford Rd to Keeney St. and entrance to Rt. 384. Travel West on Rt. 384 to 1-84 to close loop.

Points of Interest
Andover - Townsend Cemetery, David Burnab Farm
Bolton - Fish Family Farm
East Hartford - Huguenot House and Goodwin One-Room Schoolhouse
Ellington - Nellie McKnight Museum, Johnny Appleseed Farm
Hebron - Gay City State Park
Manchester - Lutz Children's Museum, Cheney Homestead, Firemen's Museum
Marlborough - Old Country Store, Century Cemetery
South Windsor - Wood Memorial Library and Indian Museum
Tolland - Hicks-Stearns Museum, Old Tolland Jail, Benton Homestead

Side Trips
Vernon/Rockville - Walking Tour of Historic Rockville

Fall Fairs/Festivals
East Hartford - Fall Festival, CT River Duck Race (Oct.)
Ellington - Vol. Fire Dept. Annual Lawn Party (Sept.)
Hebron - Annual Gala Maple Festival (March), Hebron Harvest Fair (Sept.)
Manchester - Craft Art Show (June), Independence Day Celebration (July), Band Shell Concerts (June, July, Aug.), South Windsor - Wapping Fair (Sept.)
Tolland - Artist Harvest (Sept.)
Vernon - Rockville Festival (Sept.)

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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