(Illustration by Wes Rand / June 8, 2012)

Cotton Hollow

Cotton Hollow in Glastonbury is a most beautiful, 80-acre preserve that my father used to take us to when we were kids, and I have never stopped going. It used to be old iron foundries, grist, saw and cotton mills. Long hiking trails, clear water rapids, freshwater springs, old foundations of the mills, and typical New England wildlife resides at Cotton Hollow. On a hot summer day, pack a cooler and head over to the Hollow for some swimming, relaxation and sun; or, on a cool fall day, take a hike through the trails and climb through the old foundations of the mills. Whatever you do at Cotton Hollow, there is just something special and magical — maybe it's the history that lies within, or maybe it's the real New England experience you get from visiting.

Angela Mull, Manchester

Take In A Game

Connecticut has dozens of sporting venues including the University of Connecticut and other colleges, the Connecticut Sun, the Connecticut Whale, the Connecticut Tigers, Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Blue Fish, and the New Britain Rock Cats. When friends and family come to visit me in Connecticut, these are the first things I take them to see. Marketing these sports can help grow their attendance and hopefully lead to their long-term presence in Connecticut.

Brian Stanley, Groton

Satan's Kingdom

Last year we had visitors from Sweden. Out of all the places we took them to, their favorite was tubing at Satan's Kingdom in New Hartford. The most fun was moving along on the tube through rapids with water splashing all around. The tubing ride takes about two hours and is well worth the cost!

Another stop for our Swedish visitors was a drive to Hubbard Park in Meriden. We drove to Castle Craig and then climbed the stairs to the top of the tower. The views on a clear day are amazing.

Lorraine MacDonald, Canton

Cruise The Thimbles

Take the Thimble Island cruise from the village of Stony Creek in Branford. The captain of the cruise narrates the history of the islands and tells very enjoyable tales of the past. I have returned several times after that with my family and friends.

Claire Silverman, South Windsor

One-Stop Touring

Because all major highways criss-cross Farmington, getting here is a given. When they get to Farmington the whole story is right here. Nice old historical town, you got it. A river, sure, farms and international corporate headquarters. Take your pick. Soon to expand, a giant medical complex. Enough! Lets go home and have a drink and supper.

Dick Russell, Farmington