50 Miles Are Plenty for a Great Holiday Weekend

You can stay local and still have fun

Summer is almost over! While the season technically ends on Sept. 21, Labor Day weekend is usually considered the unofficial end to summer.

This year, with the holiday falling on Sept. 7 -- almost a week later than usual -- and with many schools already back in session, it looks like many people are opting to stay close to home, according to AAA.

The auto club predicts that 39.1 million Americans will travel about 50-miles.  So, we decided to see what you can do within 50 miles of Hartford that won't break the bank?

Our top pick: Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford. It's about 50 miles outside of Hartford but you will feel a world away with the panoramic views of Long Island Sound.  You can fish, picnic, get a tour of the mansion or just fly a kite. You'll pay a small fee to get inside the park but it is definitely a hidden gem.

And if you have kids and promised them that you'd hit the water park this summer but the weather didn't co-operate, you can still hit Coco Key Water Resort in Waterbury.  The indoor water park is located at the Holiday Inn. According to the Web site, "the forecast is 84 degrees and tropical." Depending on the day, you go, you'll spend between $29 and $39 for day passes.  You can also stay overnight just be sure to mention the Labor Day weekend package.  You can also check out the combo package with Quassy Amusement Park.  The amusement park is located in Middlebury and it's open from 11a.m. to 6 p.m.

If you are done with amusement or water parks, maybe the Peabody Museum is more your style.  It's located at Yale University and you can get a personal view of dinosaurs like Triceratops, Stegosaurus and "Brontosaurus" in the Museum's Great Hall. The good news is that you will only pay $7 for adults and $5 for children between age 3 and 18. 

It ;ooks like that will leave just enough money to grab a pie (or two) at The Original Frank Pepe Pizzeria. Of course, you have the Wooster Street location as well as three others in Manchester, Uncasville and Fairfield.

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