What to do and see in Durham, United States: The Best Places and Tips

July 20, 2017 Darwin Bolte

Durham is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States. Durham is a former farming village on the Coginchaug River in central Connecticut. The population was 7,388 at the 2010 census. Every autumn, the town hosts the Durham Fair, the largest volunteer agricultural fair in New England.
Restaurants in Durham

1. Sleeping Giant State Park

Hamden, CT +1 860-424-3000
Excellent
67%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 266 reviews

Sleeping Giant State Park

A beautiful spot to view the autumn foliage.

Reviewed By Paul M - Germany

I've been heading out to the Sleeping Giant near New Haven in Connecticut for the past few years. It's a great place to walk and hike, and if you want it a little tougher, you can veer off the prepared routes and make the going as tough as you like. Just make sure you're wearing some sturdy shoes. There are plenty of steep inclines, and a wonderful old quarry to rummage around. You can spend hours (days) exploring this massive nature reserve with its very own micro-climate. I just wish that the people who take their dogs in there would adhere to the regulations and keep them on the leash. Regardless of where you go these days, you come across selfish, irresponsible, ignorant people who think that rules and regulations don't apply to them. This is especially the case in the USA where so many people believe that they have the right to do whatever they want, regardless of the law. They ruin it for the rest of us. Cycling is also not allowed in the Sleeping Giant, but people do it anyway. Shame on them!

2. Kidcity Children's Museum

119 Washington St, Middletown, CT 06457-2817 +1 860-347-0495
Excellent
71%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 142 reviews

Kidcity Children's Museum

Imagination play for kids from 1 to 8 and their favorite grown-ups. Picked by Yankee Magazine in 2012 as the "Best Indoor Adventure" in New England!

Reviewed By Little_PC - Cromwell, Connecticut

We had friends with four small children come for the weekend. We invited our daughter and our granddaughter too. We have lived in the Middletown area for over 40 years and this was our first time visiting Kidcity.
We all had a blast! There was so much to do and the kids loved all the hands-on exhibits. It was my husband's 66th birthday and he loved it just as much as the children did. It was not crowded either, since it was a sunny day. That is the best time to go.

3. Lyman Orchards

32 Reeds Gap Rd, Middlefield, CT 06455-1122 +1 860-349-1793
Excellent
57%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 199 reviews

Lyman Orchards

Set on 1,100 scenic acres in central Connecticut, we're a year-round destination for great food, wholesome family fun and beginner and championship public golf. Established in 1741 and now in its 9th generation, Lyman Orchards is recognized as the twelfth oldest family owned business in the USA. Shop in the Apple Barrel market for fresh farm produce and award-winning Hi-Top Apple Pies; enjoy picking fresh fruits in season, and golf on our two 18-hole championship courses, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., and Gary Player; or learn the game of golf or improve your stroke at our new Golf Center and Apple Nine course. One visit and you'll see why Lyman Orchards is "Connecticut's Sweet Spot!"

Reviewed By Gloria H - Fairfield, Connecticut

This was our first time going apple picking here. They have an attendant that gives out plastic bags(located in a booth). They had all kinds of apples and bosc pears to pick. They have a very large orchard with names displayed at the beginning of the row. We picked Macintosh and Cortland apples. We also picked bosc pears. They also had a pumpkin patch. My granddaughter had a lot of fun getting the fruit off the trees. All the fruit was in excellent condition. After we finished we checked out at the booth and paid for the fruit. I plan on returning in late Spring to pick strawberries, blueberries and later on peaches.

4. Connecticut River Expeditions - RiverQuest

Route 82/Bridge Road, Eagle Landing State Park, Haddam, CT 06438
Excellent
96%
Good
4%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 66 reviews

Connecticut River Expeditions - RiverQuest

View the scenic lower Connecticut River aboard the friendly, intimate, eco-tour vessel RiverQuest. As we cruise south on our Daytime Excursion, we'll see Goodspeed Opera House, Gillette's Castle. Light narration provided on local history, flora and fauna and other areas of interest. Other cruises: Sunset/Evening (may go north or south), Foliage, Eagle, Private Charters (company, family, birthday, etc). Leave from Eagle Landing State Park, Route 82, Haddam, CT. For schedule, prices, info see website.

Reviewed By Jd707700

We absolutely loved this river tour! We took an afternoon tour that lasted approximately 2 hours. Our guides and captain (the owners) were amazing and very knowledgeable tour guides, providing so much information on history and legends of the river homes and islands and are incredibly knowledgeable about the local wildlife, and are avid bird watchers. It shows they love what they do. They are very kind, gracious and wonderful people who (it is apparent) love what they do. Their boats are not only part of their business but an integral part of their lives. Initially, we looked at other boat tour options in the area and couldn't be happier that we made this selection over other choices. It was a great calm, relaxing and fun day with the family. We all enjoyed this tour, especially my elementary and high school age kids and the tour was easily accessible to an elderly handicapped family member. A portion of the RiverQuest boat is covered and surrounded by windows if you want to stay out of the sun. During the tour you can move between the front and the back of the boat for easier viewing; space and passenger load permitting. You can bring food or beverage on the boat during some day tours, to enjoy during your trip and they even provided some binoculars for us to view wildlife up close. Departs from a local park that has a lot of space for picnicking, boat and bird watching. Very well done and very reasonably priced! I would recommend this tour to anyone.

5. Chatfield Hollow State Park

Route 80 West, Killingworth, CT 06419 +1 860-663-2030
Excellent
63%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 83 reviews

Chatfield Hollow State Park

Reviewed By Y0ungSter - Dallas, Texas

This state park has multiple trails to hike. The Covered Bridge trail was a moderately difficult trail with changes in elevation, rocks and roots. Scenery was nice, plenty of spots to get back on the park road, sit for a while or use the porta potty. A great place to picnic or swim too. Nature Center is only open on weekends and holidays.

6. Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park

161 Brownstone Ave, Portland, CT 06480-1855 +1 866-860-0208
Excellent
44%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
4%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 146 reviews

Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park

Reviewed By parsinc2 - West Springfield, Massachusetts

They have zip lines, swimming, slides, climbing ropes....etc....etc. You can bring your own food and drinks, I would suggest bringing a chair to sit in. What' s not to like about this place. I SHALL return..LOL Great place....thank you

7. Gouveia Vineyards

1339 Whirlwind Hill Rd, Wallingford, CT 06492-2727 +1 203-265-5526
Excellent
53%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
3%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 297 reviews

Gouveia Vineyards

Reviewed By imsupafly - Middletown, Connecticut

Nice way to impress a date on the cheap! Bring a blanket and picnic basket. Great sunset views among the rows of grapevines, although you will share it with many others including families with children running amok having a good time picnic. We did the tasting with souvenir glass, comparable to other wineries, a bit rushed through though.

8. Hubbard Park

999 W Main St, Meriden, CT 06451-2622 +1 203-630-4259
Excellent
52%
Good
39%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 175 reviews

Hubbard Park

Reviewed By Rita S - Brevard County, Florida

Very pretty Park - large wooded areas, hiking trails, picnic tables, grills, duck pond, fishing, swimming pool, tennis court, covered gazebo, band shell, swings & playground. Something for everyone. Well maintained and clean. Many trees, shrubberies and flowers. Sunny & shady spots. Popular place. Lots of parking available. Enjoyable outing.

9. Millers Pond State Park

1 Foot Hills Rd, Durham, CT 06422-1705 +1 860-663-2030
Excellent
58%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
14%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 7 reviews

Millers Pond State Park

Reviewed By Voiceover - Durham, Connecticut

This place could be a destination state park. Instead, it is an unprotected hangout for city folk who don't care about cleaning up after themselves - dirty diapers, condoms, used drug paraphernalia. The spot is pristine with clear water and beautiful surroundings. My advice is to stay away. Far away until the State of Connecticut has enough money to make this the park it should be. That will be never.

10. Rosabianca Vineyards

1536 Middletown Ave, Northford, CT 06472-1065 +1 203-208-1211
Excellent
61%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 33 reviews

Rosabianca Vineyards

A family-owned and operated winery located in a quaint, rustic, restored barn in Northford, CT. We no longer can allow parties over 10 people (NO PARTY BUSES OR LIMOS). Wine tastings are $11. This includes our signature glass along with 2 white wines, 2 red wines and a wine of your choice. You can also purchase wine by the bottle or the glass. Please keep your parties to 10 or less. We have a small tasting room and limited parking, please carpool if possible. No pets are allowed on the property.

Reviewed By BillL64 - Glastonbury, CT

I don’t mind paying a premium for CT grown products and a number of wineries buy or grow their grapes elsewhere but I do mind overcharging. You can get much better Italian produced wines at much lower prices at any decent liquor store.

$22 to $32 is very pricey for Italian style wines that are not Barolo.

It would be great if the overlords of the state allowed the wineries, distilleries, and breweries to sell packages food like crackers, cheese, or fruit to at least make these places a destination.

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