Getting the flavor of...Connecticut’s picture-perfect coast

Along Connecticut's coast you will find salt marshes, tiny islands, and quiet towns like Old Lyme, the birthplace of American impressionism.

Connecticut’s picture-perfect coast

Connecticut’s central coast is a “bit Florida Everglades, a bit Maine coast, but singularly Connecticut,” said Malerie Yolen-Cohen in National Geographic Traveler. Here, along Long Island Sound, you’ll find tiny pink-hued islands, “salt marshes that spread like the Kansas prairie,” and quiet towns cast in the “light that inspired” artists like Gifford Beal. In Stony Creek, sail around the “mauve-tinted” Thimble Islands, some with Victorian-era homes, some “no bigger than a bread box.” In Clinton, paddle a canoe through salt marshes, where you’ll drift among herons, gulls, and cormorants. For lunch, grab a lobster roll at the Lobster Landing, “one of the last authentic lobster shacks in Connecticut.” In Old Lyme, an artists haven considered to be “the birthplace of American impressionism,” pick up a brush at the Florence Griswold Museum, then paint your own masterpiece of the “Zen-serene” Lieutenant River.

Colorado’s Grand Canyon

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Colorado’s “pocket-size Grand Canyon” might not get the attention of its Arizona counterpart, but it’s still a national treasure, said Judith Kohler in the Associated Press. Misleadingly named the Colorado National Monument, this 32-square-mile expanse of high mesas, deep canyons, and “towering red-stone monoliths” is celebrating 100 years as public federal land even as its supporters lobby to have it relabeled a “national park.” Whatever its designation, you can explore its more than 40 miles of trails and marvel at rock formations with such names as Cleopatra’s Couch and Squatting Monkey. At the visitors center, examine the “recently discovered fossilized” footprints of a dinosaur. Hike a 2.5-mile trail to the top of Independence Monument, a 450-foot monolith. Last but not least, negotiate the “twists and turns” of the 23-mile Rim Rock Drive. An “attraction in itself,” the winding road “cuts through nearly 2 billion years of geology.”

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