How often, on our way to and from the New England
states, have we crossed thru Connecticut without
stopping to see what that state has to offer? We are
going to explore inland where Mark Twain lived and
along the coastal area to visit a submarine. We will also
enjoy a riverboat excursion, a train journey and, of
course, entertainment with a stage show. The tour
includes 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners. We will
depart Manassas at 6:15 a.m. and Woodbridge at 7:00
a.m. Return time is approximately 8:00 p.m. On the
return, we will stop for a quick fast-food lunch and
dinner later at a Cracker Barrel ($20 gift card).

The Itinerary

Today you depart on your deluxe motor coach for a
scenic drive to the picturesque Connecticut River
Valley. In the afternoon, you arrive at your hotel, the
lovely Hampton Inn in Norwich, CT. Next, it’s on to the
waterfront Connecticut River Museum on Steamboat
Dock, at one time one of the world’s most important
trading centers. Here, inside the original 1878
warehouse building, you experience life as it was in the

old steamboat era, with its superb collection of paddle-
wheel boat replicas, antique navigation tools and rare

packet ship paintings. There will be plenty of time for
lunch and shopping on your own here in historic Essex.
Now, you take a short drive to East Haddam, crossing
over the Haddam Swing Bridge. Here, you dine at the
elegant Gelston Inn, an historic 1853 landmark right on
the Connecticut River. Next door is the famous
Goodspeed Opera House, a magnificent 1878 theater
that has been the first stop for many Broadway-bound
musicals. Tonight, you are treated to a performance of
“Maggie,” a new musical about a mother raising her
family in Scotland. Enjoy!
After a full buffet breakfast at your hotel, you depart for
Essex and take a 12-mile narrated excursion on a
vintage steam train into the heart of the unspoiled
Connecticut River Valley. During your trip, you pass
over wooden trestles that run directly over the
Connecticut River, for magnificent views. It’s easy to
see why so many scenes from Hollywood movies have
been filmed on this antique locomotive, including the
Indiana Jones film “The Crystal Skull” with Harrison
Ford. Upon arrival back at the station, you will be
escorted onto the Becky Thatcher Riverboat for anexciting one-hour cruise. On board, there is a snack bar
for lunch on your own. Later, you end your touring day
with a tour of the estate of one of America’s greatest
authors, Mark Twain. Yes, this beautiful Victorian
mansion reflects the gracious lifestyle of its owner, with
its early indoor plumbing, telephone, and grand study. It
was in this very room that Twain wrote such literary
classics as “Tom Sawyer,” “Huckleberry Finn,” and “The
Prince and the Pauper.” Later, a buffet dinner is
This morning after a full buffet breakfast at your hotel,
you board your motor coach and take a 14-mile drive to
nearby Groton. Here, you tour the wonderful Nautilus
Museum, the only submarine museum in America that
is owned and operated by the U.S. Navy. Located on
the Thames River, this site has been visited by many of
our nation’s presidents and includes 33,000 artifacts,
with scale models and full-sized subs from the 1900s to
the present. Later, you depart with wonderful memories
of Mark Twain’s Connecticut River Valley! A fast-food
stop for lunch will be made as well as a rest stop and
a dinner stop at a Cracker Barrell ($22 gift card).


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