While not necessarily a tourist hotspot, Berlin, Connecticut, is home to stunning scenery and many family-friendly activities.
Notably, these attractions sit along the Berlin Turnpike.
Previously called the Great Swamp Society, this town in Hartford County officially became a town in 1785.
Located right in the heart of the state, Berlin takes pride as the place where the famed Yankee peddler first hit the road.
Using sheet tin imported from England, brothers Edward and William Pattison started a workshop in 1740 to produce pans, tea kettles, and other household items.
When their sales to the local market ran dry, Edward started selling his wares to faraway places, becoming the Yankee Peddler.
Today, Berlin boasts various nature activities with its mountain ranges and rivers.
Additionally, it offers indoor and outdoor entertainment for locals and visitors.
If you want to learn more about this town, here's a list of the best things to do in Berlin, Connecticut:
Discover the Area's History at the Berlin Historical Society Museum
In December 1993, the Berlin Historical Society Museum first welcomed visitors.
For over 25 years, it has featured over 3,000 artifacts showing the significance of Berlin to the growth of the town, state, and nation.
The museum is inside the original Peck Memorial Library, with historical importance in the town of Berlin.
Established in 1829, the Kensington Library Society obtained the funding and property necessary to build a library in 1901.
Henry Hart Peck contributed financially, while sisters Harriet and Fanny Hotchkiss Jones gave a piece of their property.
The Kensington Public Library occupied the building from 1901 to the establishment of the Berlin-Peck Memorial Library in 1989.
The building's original walnut woodwork and enormous fireplace remain intact, adding to the aesthetic appeal of the interior.
Each year, the Berlin Historical Society Museum also features new rotating exhibits.
Bring Your Kids to the Hungerford Nature Center
Hungerford Nature Center is a nonprofit organization aiming to improve education for people of all ages.
Animals and birds of all kinds call this place home.
The center includes an interior exhibit hall, outdoor paths, a farm, and a picnic and play area.
Children can participate in various science-related events and classes throughout the academic year.
Throughout the year, it holds several public events.
There are many different types of animals inside.
Likewise, you can find barnyard animals, including goats, geese, ducks, wild turkeys, hens, and owls outside.
Rescue animals comprise a good part of the population, requiring care once they had undergone rehabilitation.
Admission to the Hungerford Nature Center is free to the general public.
Immerse Yourself in Nature at Ragged Mountain Memorial Preserve
At Ragged Mountain Memorial Preserve, you may experience some of the best climbing and hiking in the greater Hartford region.
This course, rated moderately challenging, usually takes two hours and 29 minutes to complete.
You may run across other explorers here because birdwatchers, hikers, and mountain bikers also love this place.
The ridge rises 150 meters above sea level.
However, the climb turns steep from the Quinnipiac River's east side.
Enjoy breathtaking views over Berlin, Southington, and even some of New Britain at the Ragged Mountain Memorial Preserve.
Go Birdwatching at Lamentation Mountain State Park
On the western side of Lamentation Mountain is a little state park called Lamentation Mountain State Park.
Most people get there through the Mattabesett Trail.
In June of 1935, Miss Marjorie Moore donated the land to the state for use as a park.
In 1936, the property became a state park and has since flourished.
The donor's only wish and goal was the long-term safety of the forest and wildlife, especially the birds.
To that effect, she attached noo restrictions to the gift.
In 1936, the state determined that the area did not suit rapid growth, and nothing has changed since then.
Park founder Leonard Chester entered the uncharted territory of south Wethersfield in 1640.
Then, he got lost in Berlin.
When word got out, the locals went looking for him, shouting and chanting, "Lamentations!" until they located him on a mountain.
Spend the afternoon at Lamentation Mountain State Park!
Check Out the Silver Lake Boat Launch
There is a state boat launch near Silver Lake Shores Road.
The Silver Lake Boat Launch gives access to a 150-acre lake that is great for canoeing, kayaking, and other water sports.
Even though the lake is shallow, motorized boats are welcome to cross the water.
Likewise, the lake allows various watercraft, including boats, jet skis, kayaks, SUPs, and canoes.
The area is also cozy and perfect for relaxing and enjoying the sun.
You may also catch largemouth bass at the Silver Lake Boat Launch.
Stroll around Pistol Creek
This 18-hole golf course closed down in the early 2000s.
However, the town eventually acquired it in 2008 for double the going rate so that the owners wouldn't turn the site into condominiums.
Now called Pistol Creek, you may go for a stroll, ride your bike, or even get a quick workout in this verdant landscape.
The park's concrete trails are easy to navigate and have cute little wooden bridges that take you farther into the garden.
As for distance, the South Path Loop is the longest at 3.2 miles.
The paved cart track is one of the few remnants of the area's previous inhabitants.
Likewise, you can find a mound of twisted metal that the earth is slowly consuming.
You can also spot birds like heron and kingfisher at Pistol Creek.
If you're lucky, you might spot the occasional beaver.
Formerly a clubhouse, Pistol Creek now hosts private functions.
Have a Blast at Berlin Batting Cages
The Berlin Batting Cages opened in 2002 on the site of a former mini golf facility.
Guests can drive go-karts and bumper boats and hit baseballs in the batting cages.
It's the best place to go in Berlin if you bring friends or teenage family members.
Celebrate the weekend with your family by playing some friendly competition on the mini-golf course at Berlin Batting Cages.
Have a Friendly Match at Safari Golf
Berlin is home to Safari Golf, a miniature golf facility that has received accolades since 1985.
This 18-hole course, located on a hilltop, features enormous greens amid gushing waterfalls, winding streams, and carefully manicured shrubs and perennials.
Miniature golfers will appreciate the attention to detail that has gone into this course overlooking the Berlin Turnpike.
The course has arranged fairways on terraces, outlined by life-size sculptures of giraffes, elephants, gorillas, and lions.
While having fun, you may take advantage of several photo ops, including a trip beneath a waterfall.
You may cool off with an ice pop or a frozen treat after your game at Safari Golf.
Swing Your Clubs at Timberlin Golf Club
Timberlin Golf Club is a hidden treasure, a top-tier 18-hole municipal course in Berlin, Connecticut, at the foot of Ragged Mountain.
The Al Zikorus plan, built in the '70s, has earned renown for its undulating topography and beautiful vistas of the surrounding farms.
Architects Doug Smith and Stephan Kay started renovating the course, worth $2,000,000.
They completed the project in 2006.
They remodeled and redesigned 50 preexisting bunkers and constructed 12 new bunkers as part of the project.
With a par 72 design and a challenging 6,733 yards from the championship tees, Timberlin Golf Club is an excellent course for golfers of all skill levels.
You can apply for several types of memberships at Timberlin, from Junior to Senior.
Likewise, you can apply for membership to one of the largest Men's Clubs in the state.
Timberlin Golf Club features a golf course, a golf shop with PGA pros for staff, golf lessons, and a restaurant.
Solve the Puzzles at Team vs. Time
Your team will have 60 minutes to explore, discover new artifacts, and gather clues to solve a series of riddles to escape at Team vs. Time.
Each of the four rooms in Team vs. Time has a compelling backstory and great production quality, immersing you in its historical or magical setting.
Different competitions present teams with other challenges, ranging in topic and complexity.
Recover a mystical spellbook, or foil a conspiracy to usurp the queen.
Otherwise, survive a time when the mafia dominated the streets or stop the Black Death's spread.
As you and your teammates solve puzzles and figure out hints, you'll feel like you're on a movie set.
Enjoy Local Beer at Coles Road Brewing
In 2020, Coles Road Brewing launched its nano-brewery and taproom near the Berlin Train Station.
Coles Road Brewing is easy to spot thanks to its brick structure with black awnings and a pleasant terrace.
The warm and welcoming atmosphere makes it easy to feel at home as soon as you step through the door.
At Coles Road Brewing, you may choose from a wide array of beers in cans and crowlers.
If you want to try them before you buy, the bar also offers free samples.
Chill and Drink at the Truck Bar – Berlin
Truck Bar is a new bar, entertainment center, and pizzeria with a retro truck and gas station motif.
Play family-friendly games like cornhole, classic video games, and pool tables at this fun hangout.
Two rusted trucks serve as a background for the stage.
Dozens of cornhole boards line the vacant floor space.
Meanwhile, the bar has the feel of an antique Sinclair station.
The restaurant's focal points include a rusty blue GMC pickup and a Mobil pump repurposed from a gas station in Higganum.
It also has a pizza oven designed like the rear of a fire truck, and a massive Sunoco sign mounted on the wall.
The Truck Bar hosts live performances every other month by Southern and country musicians.
Beyond the stage is the restaurant, which revolves around the wood-fired pizza oven at Square Peg Pizza.
Across the bar are two private party rooms styled after a truck yard.
Grab Art Supplies for Your Kids at Michaels
If you're traveling with your kids, the last thing you want is to bore them.
Keep them busy by giving them kid-friendly craft kits from Michaels.
Find Michaels at Berlin Turnpike, Berlin.
Browse popular creative materials, including needlework tools, paper, wood, and fabrics.
You may also check its party supplies for weddings and birthdays, storage options, and decorative accents for the home.
Check out pumpkins, garlands, wreaths, Halloween decor, and more, along with other seasonal necessities.
Bring Home Souvenirs from Good Cause Gifts
In 2009, a group of concerned parents in Berlin set out to find opportunities for their disabled children to join their local community.
Located inside Futures Inc., Good Cause Gifts is a social enterprise.
Futures Inc. is a nonprofit promoting the value, inclusion, and acceptance of people with disabilities.
This goal should help them realize their full academic, occupational, and social potential.
This friendly souvenir shop has all the cool stuff you or your friends might want.
Good Cause Gifts offers fair prices, and an excellent selection.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Hike the Metacomet Trail
Berlin lies along the Metacomet Ridge and has an abundance of historic volcanic landscapes that provide excellent trekking.
The Metacomet Trail's reputation for ruggedness and charm surprises people, given its proximity to major cities and the ease of access.
You can find the trail in Simsbury, Connecticut, 27 minutes from Berlin.
Then, you can see numerous historical and geologically significant locations along the path.
Besides the peaks of Talcott Mountain and the Hanging Hills, the area contains waterfalls, stunning cliff faces, and forests.
You can also find marshes, lakes, the river flood plain, farms, important historic sites, and more.
Berlin's Parks and Rec Department has issued in-depth itineraries for the Metacomet Trail.
The most impressive part of the hike is crossing the Hanging Hills to Hubbard Park's Castle Craig, a castle-like observation tower on East Peak.
Berlin, a suburb of Hartford, isn't your typical vacation hotspot, but it should show you a good time.
It's a nice change of pace from the hectic pace of larger cities.
Plan your trip today and discover the best things to do in Berlin, Connecticut!