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WARM UP TO WINTER AND THE HOLIDAYS WITH A CONNECTICUT SHOPPING EXPERIENCE

With a Sprinkling of Tradition and Dash of a Modern Twist, Enjoy a Packaged Weekend Recipe to Finding that Unique Treasure for that Special Someone on "The List"

HARTFORD - November 16, 2005 - Thanksgiving is almost here, and with it, comes the "official" holiday shopping season. Holiday shoppers looking to escape the masses that storm the malls every holiday season can take advantage of a number of enjoyable shopping alternatives in Connecticut. The entire state is celebrating winter and the holidays offering welcoming and fascinating attractions, events and activities which encourage visitors to get in the holiday spirit!

Jazz bands, outdoor concerts, carolers, jugglers, decorated trees, festive décor, roasting chestnuts, holiday cookies, and gingerbread houses are on-hand to delight and entice visitors to Connecticut's retail districts this holiday season. Festivities are scheduled for weekends throughout December and can be found at www.CTvisit.com.

The following are packages available in Connecticut throughout the holiday season: 

  • Leave the hustle and bustle behind, and fulfill that never-ending holiday gift list while also making sure your holiday stress level stays in check. Arrange a stay at the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa in downtown Stamford where one can indulge in a luxurious weekend getaway, and take advantage of the hotel's oversized heated indoor pool and the brand new Agora Spa. Shopping aficionados will want to take advantage of the city's annual Antiques and Artisans Center, which features over 130 dealers, offering unique and original crafts. The "shopping package" includes overnight accommodations, breakfast for two in Allie American Grille restaurant, drinks at Northern Lights Lounge, and transportation to the antique shops. Package prices start at $149 weekdays to $265 weekends. For reservations, call 203-357-9555.
  • The "Ultimate Holiday Shopping Package" in New Haven invites shoppers to literally shop till they drop; and then provides energizing snacks and foot massages to get them moving again. Perfect for true shopaholics, this package includes: Overnight accommodations and full American breakfast at one of 15 participating hotels, Holiday Welcome Shopping Gift Bag filled with shopping related items including "on-the-go snacks," coupons, discounts and more; $50 Parcxmart Card to be used at participating stores or restaurants as well as at parking meters, lots and garages. Packages start at $129 plus tax (based on availability and double occupancy). Package also includes 20% discount on Amtrak to the destination. Offer valid November 1 - December 31, 2005. For further information or to make reservations, contact the Greater New Haven Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-332-STAY.
  • The holiday season is truly about being with loved ones. So for those seeking a more intimate and romantic holiday getaway, look no further than the Connecticut Shoreline. The Inn at Harbor Hill Marina has created a romantic "Winter Escape & Return" package for visitors of Mystic Country and The Quiet Corner. 

    The two-night package starts at $355/couple, including tax. Get cozy with a 2-night stay at the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina, an award-winning waterfront bed & breakfast on the Niantic River, with a fireside candlelit breakfast each morning overlooking the view of the Niantic River. Package includes: two tickets to one of several popular local attractions: Mystic Seaport, Mystic Aquarium, the Mashuntucket Pequot Museum, the Florence Griswold Museum or the Connecticut River Museum; a $50 gift certificate valid for dinner at a choice local restaurant; a welcome bag with discount coupons to local gift and boutique shops and to nearby Tanger and Clinton Premium Outlets; and a bottle of chilled champagne and chocolate truffles in room upon arrival. Enjoy complimentary snacks and beverages throughout your stay. Plan a return visit to the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina with these incentive offers: Book a Valentine's getaway before you checkout and receive a 20% discount on your next stay valid from now until February 28, 2006; or receive a $50 gift certificate off regular rate, valid thru June 15, 2006, excluding holidays, and is transferable. For more information or to reserve your room, call 860-739-0331 or reserve online at www.innharborhill.com.
  • Spend a weekend in Norwalk, with great shopping and live Jazz at the historic Silvermine Tavern. Rates for two starts at $245 and includes a Saturday night in one of the charming guest rooms, a delicious dinner surrounded by museum quality folk art, live jazz in the cocktail lounge, and award-winning Sunday Champagne Brunch. Norwalk's shopping scene includes the historic district of SoNo, with eclectic boutiques, art galleries and outlets as well as home, garden and marine retailers. A shopping experience in Norwalk would not be complete without a scheduled trip to discover unique gift shop items at the Maritime Aquarium, Stepping Stones Museum for Children and the historic Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum. For more information or to reserve your room, call 203-847-4558.
  • Historic New Canaan will play host to this year's first New Canaan Holiday Stroll December 2-4, 2005. This festive weekend comes packaged with an overnight stay at the Roger Sherman Inn, a charming New England landmark renowned for providing a truly unique guest experience. The stay at the inn includes flowers by Ivy Lane, a bottle of champagne, and a continental breakfast. Additionally, the Holiday Stroll package includes truly decadent services from Le Spa New Canaan - voted best new day spa by Westchester Magazine. Enjoy a Parisian Facial, a special lifting and firming facial, and the "Raindrops Massage, an exquisite and relaxing massage with the best aromatherapy customized to the individual. The total cost for the Holiday Stroll Package is $380, a 25% discount if items were purchased a la carte, for reservations call 203-966-4541.

For further information about the holiday celebrations in Connecticut and the special holiday packages, the 52 Getaways to Connecticut, restaurants, resorts, country inns, B&Bs and other places to stay in Connecticut, please call 888-CTvisit (888-288-4748) or log on at www.CTvisit.com. Connecticut offers visitors a multi-faceted wealth of attractions, historical, cultural and recreational activities, diverse and beautiful natural landscapes, parks, beaches and wilderness sure to fulfill any getaway need.

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