Monday, September 22, 2008

Survey Time

As you may have noticed, it's time for our annual readers' choice restaurant survey.

We also have a new FIRST survey, the results of which we will publish in an upcoming issue of the magazine (or on this website). This time, we're asking three questions:

1. What's your favorite Connecticut holiday tradition? Is it going to Bethlehem to get your Christmas cards stamped? Visiting the Fantasy of Lights at Lighthouse Park in New Haven? Welcoming Santa as he comes ashore in the Rigging Parade in Essex? As anyone who lives here knows, there's lots of holiday fun to be had all across the state.

2. What is your favorite Connecticut tourist attraction? Do you like to swim with the whales in Mystic? Roll the dice at the Mohegan Sun? Look at the dino skeletons in the Great Hall at the Peabody Museum in New Haven? Connecticut may be small, but there's plenty to do here.

3. Who is your favorite Connecticut author? Stewart O'Nan? Luanne Rice? Amy Bloom? Sandra Boynton? When it comes to literary excellence, this state is an embarrassment of riches.

Anyway, take a few minutes and let us know what you think. As always, we look to our readers to tell us what the best things are about this state.

Monday, September 8, 2008

FIRST Survey: Leaf-Peeping

Is it almost fall already? The calendar has turned to September, the kids are back to school, the NFL has kicked off its season and the nights have gotten chillier. If you look closely, you may have noticed that a few trees have already began their transformation, tinges of yellow visible as they prepare for the spectacular fall foliage that we've all come to enjoy each year here in Connecticut.

Since it is nearly that time, we recently asked visitors to to tell us some of their favorite places to view fall foliage. Here are a few of the top responses:

"Litchfield County" - An all-encompassing destination, including the towns of Litchfield, Washington and Cornwall, as well as "the rolling hills" and "the northwest corner."

Lake Waramaug, New Preston - Nothing like the beauty of changing leaves reflected in a scenic lake -- if you can point a camera and shoot, you're instantly an artist.

The Route 8 corridor - Suggestions here included stretches through The Valley -- Shelton, Seymour, Waterbury, etc. -- as well as past the Naugatuck State Forest and near Torrington and Northfield.

Connecticut State Parks - Sleeping Giant in Hamden, Castle Craig in Meriden's Hubbard Park, Mount Riga in Salisbury, Macedonia Brook in Kent, and Avon's Talcott Mountain were among the numerous state parks suggested for great viewing.

Route 154 - A tour alongside the Connecticut River through such picturesque towns as Essex, Higganum and Old Saybrook is always highly recommended. Lots of great places to stop and shop or eat along here, too!

"My own back yard" - Sometimes the best place to enjoy the fall foliage is from the comfort of your own home . . . of course, until you have to rake.

If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to share!