(Illustration by Wes Rand / June 8, 2012)

Diana's Pool

One of the must-see attractions in eastern Connecticut is Diana's Pool in Chaplin, along the beautiful Natchaug River. This fishing, kayaking and hiking spot is also popular as a destination because of its sheer beauty. An almost rite of passage for University of Connecticut and Eastern Connecticut State University students during the warmer months, folks from all over the state and beyond can be found there enjoying this natural marvel. (Diana's Pool is on Route 198 in Chaplin. Swimming is officially prohibited. Small parking area on Diana's Pool Road, overflow in the Chaplin Fire Department lot).

Rusty Lanzit, Chaplin

Lots To Do In Hartford

When friends from New Zealand, Japan and Sweden stay with us in Farmington, we make sure to spend a day (or days) in Hartford, our fine, small capital city, before we travel to other parts of the state. We do a historic tour of the Capitol, Old State House, the Isham-Terry or Butler-McCook houses, city hall and the Connecticut Historical Society. Then, we often spend an evening dining in the city before a Broadway show at the Bushnell or an event at Riverfront, with a walk down to the Colt building when possible. Finally we also work in time to walk through Bushnell Park, stopping at the carousel and the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch. Our foreign friends all compliment this neat little city we call Hartford.

Bev and John Perotti, Farmington

Intimate Music

One of my frequent recommendations to friends and family is the various small music venues in the Simsbury area. Nothing beats the intimacy of a cozy 100-seat room with amazingly talented (and often unheralded) performers singing only a few feet away. If you haven't experienced the multitalented singer-songwriter Liz Longley at the Beekley Memorial Library concert series in New Hartford, or the incredible guitar playing of Laurence Juber (former lead guitarist of Wings) at Bridge Street Live in Collinsville, or the unparalleled fiddle mania of Martin Hayes at the Celtic Music Series at the University of Hartford, or the insanely gifted world-class guitar playing of Frank Vignola at the Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton, you are missing some unforgettable entertainment.

Gary Berman, Simsbury

Steep Rock Park

I grew up in Woodbury and from there we rarely ventured to Connecticut's shoreline. We were more apt to head into the northwestern part of the state. My brother's Eagle Scout project, a galvanized steel-lined outhouse, found a place in Steep Rock Park in Washington Depot. Steep Rock remains one of my favorite places to hike. There's a wonderful vista of the fall foliage from atop a hill, there is a big railroad tunnel to walk through and there are ruins remaining of buildings that used to house young women visiting from New York City: http://steeprockassoc.org/.

Also along the Shepaug River is Mine Hill in Roxbury, there are several protected mine shafts, remains of a village, and a blast furnace that is in great condition. http://www.roxburylandtrust.org/minehill.html

Berkshirehiking.comalso contains good information for both of these sites.

Deirdre Roberts, Middletown

Theaters Everywhere

Visitors to the state should be made aware that we have the best theater entertainment outside of Broadway in the nation. In addition to the Goodspeed Opera House, there is always something at the Ivoryton Playhouse, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hole in the Wall Theater, the Little Theatre of Manchester at Cheney Hall, Westport Country Playhouse, Yale Repetory Theatre and on and on.

And make certain that all visitors, especially with young children, visit Dinosaur Park in Rocky Hill. Add in the Mark Twain House in Hartford, a must-see curiosity.

Richard Milne, Rocky Hill

Beach Bar

Connecticut is revolutionary, and yes, we have many historic sites to enjoy. Along with the casinos and all that. But we also are lucky enough to have a stunning coastline, and even luckier to have a beach bar/ music venue/ fun-time place for anyone with a pulse — the Pavilion on Sound View! Generations have spend summers on the beach in Old Lyme making memories. This spot deserves attention. And frankly, Connecticut should have more areas like it! Areas where the sole purpose is to enjoy life.