It’s hard to imagine that the 5,544 square miles of Connecticut once spanned from “sea to shining sea.” But that soon changed when others of the 13 colonies established their own territories, and the “Constitution State” passed the Fundamental Orders that served as the basis of the Constitution of the United States. These and other decisions made at the Old State House, the oldest in the US still in use, had a dramatic impact on the rest of the country. Today, Connecticut is one of those places where you can meander with your cell phone turned off, poke into quaint shops, stroll down brick paved streets, and wander through village greens under lush leaved trees, many dating back to the 1700s when all New England towns were designed around a central green where cows grazed, residents visited and children played. Historic buildings still line the streets, the “green” is clipped and cut and residents still greet each other upon meeting. White church steeples still rise over towns and meandering roads still pass under covered bridges and past traditional white clapboard saltbox houses. In some places, they are interspersed with Victorians, from a later age. After strong representation in the American Revolution, western Connecticut became the hub of the industrial revolution. Yankee ingenuity led to clockmaking, textile production, furniture making, and other manufactures often powered by factories with advanced machinery. When Yankee farmers began migrating to find more land, Irish, English and Italian immigrants poured in to work the factories. The peaceful coexistence still exists today, in a state now known for the production of jet engines, nuclear submarines, and advanced pharmaceuticals.

Connecticut Scenic Byways