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SUMMER'S NOT OVER YET!

Special Offers, Festivals, Theater, Wine Tours and More Highlight the Transition to Fall in Connecticut

HARTFORD --- August 18, 2005 -- However hot the summer has been, the future, alas, holds snow and ice. So, for all those who want to put the brakes on time, Connecticut is the place to be. Special offers and weekend getaways, world-class theater and other cultural events, festivals, winery tours and lobster dinners are just some of the ways to keep the carefree fun of summer alive.

There's no better time than late summer to set off on the Connecticut Wine Trail, a network of 14 wineries throughout the state that offer tastings, tours and purchases. There are seven vineyards in the leafy, colorful Litchfield Hills in northwestern Connecticut, many of which even stage family events, with pony rides, hayrides, live music and more. Add in the 14th Litchfield Harvest Festival on September 24-25 (860-742-5137) for all the ingredients of a perfect weekend escape.

The other vineyards and wineries in Connecticut include Stonington, Clinton, Wallingford, Lisbon, Colchester and Pomfret, and they, too, offer a season of special harvest season activities, tastings and tours. For more information about all Connecticut's wineries, visit www.ctwine.com.

Other special events and activities that will help keep the spirit of summer alive include numerous professional theater productions, including the Elm Shakespeare Company's outdoor production of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" in New Haven through Labor Day (203-393-1436) and "The Boy Friend," an all-time favorite musical directed by the famous Julie Andrews at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam through September 18 (860-873-8668). And, when the moods strikes, pay a visit to Long Wharf Pier in New Haven along the way for a lobster dinner served onboard the tall ship "Quinnipiac" through September (203-865 1737).

Two festivals worth mentioning are the Trumbull Arts Festival, September 18 on the Town Hall Green (203-452-5065), and the Stratford Harvest Festival, September 25, on Paradise Green, with juried crafters, attic treasures, food, music and children's activities (203-378-1020). Finally, with the end of summer come the corn mazes of Connecticut. In addition to the larger four acre maze at Lyman Orchards in Middlefield (860 -349-1793), the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry has one that combines fun with American history (860-742-6917).

From historic B&Bs to modern, brand-name hotels and resorts, special offers on guest accommodations throughout Connecticut add to the pleasure of stretching summer as far as it will stretch. The turn-of-the-century Queen Anne Inn in New London (860-447-2600), for example, is the ideal place to stay during the city's Boats, Books & Brushes with Taste Festival (September 16-18), a unique gathering of authors, musicians, story-tellers and chefs on the city's waterfront.

For those seeking a late August getaway, Connecticut's "Quiet Corner" in the northeastern part of the state features a "Sweet Summertime" and a "Garden Getaway" package. In addition to two nights accommodations at participating Quiet Corner Inns, the package includes a dinner voucher at a choice of several outstanding restaurants, a gourmet picnic, and, in the case of the "Sweet Summer" package, a wine tasting at Sharpe Hill Vineyard in Pomfret, and complimentary waffle cones at We-Lik-It Farm. The "Garden Getaway" program includes discounts at area garden centers, a gardener's welcome gift and admission to the Lavender Labyrinth at Quintessential Gardens at Fort Hill Farms. Available through August 31, the packages are priced from $395 based on double occupancy. Call 860-974-3622 or visit www.quietcornerinns.com.

Other special offers on accommodations include:

  • A Labor Day package at the Westbrook Inn B&B, Westbrook, including a $40 discount on the third night of a three-day stay and valid September 1-5 (800-342-3162)
  • A Romantic Weekend Getaway at the Harbor House Inn in Old Greenwich, valid through September 5 and including two nights in a room for two, continental breakfast, use of bicycles and beach passes. The package is $358 per room (203-637-0145)
  • A "Great Special for Friends" package at the Spa at Grand Lake in Lebanon, valid September 9-18, featuring a 10% discount on two night stays when two friends share a room (860-642-4306). The hotel is an all-inclusive destination health and fitness spa, with three meals a day, accommodations and use of all facilities.
  • A Romantic Getaway at the Old Riverton Inn in Riverton, valid through October 1 and featuring overnight accommodations, flowers, candy and a split of champagne in the room, candlelight dinner for two and complimentary breakfast starting at $185 (860-379-8678)
  • A 20% Senior Discount at the Arc de Roses Bed & Breakfast in Warren through October 31. Rates start at $184 per room plus tax (normally $230 per night) for a two night stay and includes breakfast. Guests must be 65 or older to qualify (860-868-7179).

For further information about 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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