Southington, Connecticut, in Hartford County, is a small but charming town nestled between two mountains.
It spans the Quinnipiac River and is home to over 43,000 inhabitants, including those from the small villages of Plantsville, Milldale, and Marion.
The town is home to the nation's oldest theme park, which remains famous today.
Also known as the "Apple Valley," Southington has many orchards and farms, offering visitors free tours and farm-related activities.
At the same time, you'll enjoy many outdoor activities and museums that detail the town and Hartford County's rich past.
Read on for the best things to do in Southington, Connecticut:
Immerse Yourself in Nature at Crescent Lake
Crescent Lake spans over 56 acres covering the towns of Southington and Plainville.
You can visit this peaceful lake along Ledge Road and enjoy its serene environment, perfect for some time outdoors.
If you're looking for a nice place to pass the time or enjoy various outdoor activities within Southington, this lake is the perfect place you must visit.
It has a 2.3-kilometer looped trail meandering the lake, ideal for hiking.
At the same time, you can find your best spot around the lake for some fishing or birdwatching sessions.
Don't forget to spend some time at Crescent Lake and enjoy its sceneries and outdoor activities.
Travel Back in Time at Barnes Museum
Barnes Museum once served as the official residence of the Bradley-Barnes family, a wealthy and influential clan in Southington back in the day.
This house now serves as one of the town's numerous museums along North Main Street.
The museum has gorgeous Greek Revival architecture, which is well-preserved up to this day since its construction back in 1836.
Barnes Museum is a charming historical attraction you shouldn't miss, especially if you're a historical enthusiast.
Visiting this museum allows you to discover over 150 years of rich history.
Enjoy a guided tour inside the house and see its original furnishings, rooms, hallways, and sections, allowing you to experience New England's lifestyle back in the day.
Indulge in Good Food and Drinks at Hop Haus Southington
Hop Haus Southington is one of the town's best places to unwind after a stressful day.
You can visit this watering hole/restaurant along West Main Street.
It's best known for its casual and upbeat atmosphere, perfect for those who want to chill and enjoy the company of locals or friends.
It serves top-notch craft beer, cocktails, and a menu for short orders.
You can choose from its indoor or patio dining area to spend your afternoon or night.
Hop Haus Southington has been serving the town since 2014 and remains one of the best places to enjoy good food, drinks, and company.
Have a Blast at Lake Compounce
Long before Six Flags or Disneyland, Lake Compounce was one of the nation's most popular amusement parks.
Remarkably, this amusement park along Enterprise Drive remains a famous family destination.
This theme park provides an extraordinary experience.
It's like visiting a museum where you'll see and experience its famous rides, which have entertained thousands of visitors since 1846.
Lake Compounce has undergone many restorations and upgrades to keep its rides and attractions safe and fun for everyone.
With that in mind, it's a must-visit place upon your arrival to Southington.
When you're inside, don't forget to ride its famous 1927 wooden coaster, "Wild Cat."
Also, try the famous boulder dash, ranked among the world's best wooden rollercoasters according to the Golden Ticket Awards.
Of course, dozens more attractions and rides await you in this famous theme park, so don't miss it during your stay at Southington.
Celebrate with the Locals the Apple Harvest Festival
The annual Apple Harvest Festival happens every September.
It gathers thousands of locals and visitors to Southington from various parts of Hartford County.
This festival is one of the longest-running and most significant events in the Northeast.
It features exciting and fun-filled events celebrating Hartford County's bounty: the apples.
Hundreds of booths feature food, artwork, handicrafts, drinks, apparel, and other products from around Connecticut.
At the same time, it has dozens of activities for adults and kids.
One of the festival's highlights is the five-mile race you can join to complete your experience.
Schedule your visit to Southington in September to catch the Apple Harvest Festival!
Harvest Apples at the Karabin Farms
Karabin Farms showcases the simple rural life of Southington's locals.
You can visit this working farm along Andrews Street and enjoy its famous apple-picking activity every harvest season.
This farm is known for its two-and-a-half-month-long apple-picking activity, which locals and visitors love to return to yearly.
Pick as many apples as you want, such as Honey Crisp, Fuji, Macoun, Yellow Delicious, Red Delicious, and plenty more varieties.
At the same time, Karabin Farm has other products, such as vegetables and fruits, farm-raised meats, and freshly picked flowers for sale.
Bring your family to this farm and experience the simple joys of farm life!
Pet Cuddly Goats at the Bradley Mountain Farm
Bradley Mountain Farm is a 200-year-old dairy farm along Shuttle Meadow Road.
It's listed in the National Historic Places to preserve its history, which dates to 1813.
Today, the farm is a popular events venue and tourist attraction in town.
It's ideal for a wholesome activity with your family while exploring Southington.
Upon arriving at the farm, you'll be greeted by its cute and cuddly goats, which you can pet and feed.
You and your loved ones can enjoy various activities like yoga, painting, soap making, and walking tours throughout the farm.
At the same time, you can check the farmstead, which offers a fascinating historical side trip.
With all that in mind, don't miss the chance to have a unique farm experience at the Bradley Mountain Farm with your family.
Solve the Mind-Boggling Escape Rooms of Escapism LLC
Check out Escapism LLC if you're searching for a thrilling but fun-filled activity with friends.
You can find this popular escape room along Center Street.
Like most escape rooms, expect mind-boggling puzzles and riddles you and your friends must solve before the time runs out.
It has various themed escape rooms to make your experience more exciting.
In addition, each room has unique challenges and puzzles to solve.
Escapism LLC offers an immersive and fun-filled escape room perfect for groups.
Appreciate Local Arts at Southington Community Cultural Arts
The Southington Community Cultural Arts is an art organization solely run by local artists in town.
You can visit its gallery and workshop center along Main Street.
It caters to aspiring artists in town, regardless of age, to hone and showcase their skills in art.
Visiting this place allows you to join fellow artists in a welcoming environment through workshops, art-related events, and exhibit launchings.
Enjoy activities such as art classes, gallery tours, live concerts, and other interactive art events during your visit.
Its gallery displays over a hundred artworks by its member artisans.
Located in one of Southington's historic buildings, the Southington Community Cultural Arts is a worthwhile place for exploring the local arts scene.
Climb Mount Southington
Mount Southington is known throughout Hartford County as a top-notch skiing destination.
The mountain, located southwest of Southington, scales up to 525 feet.
For over 50 years, it's been one of Hartford County's best outdoor destinations.
During spring and summer, the mountain becomes a playground for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy hiking, off-road mountain biking, and sightseeing.
This top-notch ski resort spans over 50 acres of snowy slopes, perfect for avid skiers and snowboarders.
Catch the Latest Movies at Southington Drive-In
Nothing beats the classic drive-in movie experience, especially with your special someone.
Head to the Southington Drive-In along Meriden Waterbury Turnpike to watch movies in the comfort of your car.
This 1950s-era drive-in cinema remains a popular spot for moviegoers in town, especially during summer.
Remarkably, it's one of Connecticut's three remaining outdoor cinemas, making it a worthwhile place to visit.
This outdoor cinema opened in 1955 and temporarily closed in 2002.
However, in 2004, Southington locals voted to purchase the property to reopen the cinema as part of their recreation.
Today, Southington Drive-In is one of the town's most recommended attractions.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Plenty of exciting activities await outside Southington.
Here are some of the nearby things to do in Southington, Connecticut.
See the Ruins of Castle Craig
Castle Craig is a 1900s observation tower that resembles a European castle.
You can visit the ruins of this observation tower eight miles south of Southington via a 20-minute drive.
The observation tower was one of Walter Hubbard's projects which stands on top of the 297-meter-tall East Peak.
Hubbard designed the observation tower from a European medieval watchtower.
However, it strongly resembles more of the Craigellachie Tower in Moray, Scotland.
Visiting this place allows you to learn about the observation tower's history through a dedication plaque you can find at its foot.
At the same time, you'll be treated to a gorgeous view of the Long Island Sound from a distance and Meriden.
Explore the Ragged Mountain Memorial Preserve
The Ragged Mountain Memorial Preserve is famous for its 200-million-year-old basalt ridge that reaches the Massachusetts-Vermont border.
You can visit this outdoor attraction 4.3 miles east of Southington via a 10-minute drive.
The best way to enjoy your visit to this natural attraction is by climbing the 232-meter-tall mountain towering above the Wassel Reservoir.
There are plenty of trails you can traverse to reach the mountaintop.
Exploring this natural area is a magnificent experience as you'll see Connecticut's rich flora and fauna while hiking to reach the mountaintop.
If you're a hardcore hiker, Ragged Mountain Memorial Preserve is part of the 52-mile Metacomet Trail, leading you to the Massachusetts border ridge.
Traverse the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail
Farmington Canal Heritage Trail stretches over 84 miles from Massachusetts to Connecticut.
To enjoy hiking at this famous heritage trail, you must drive 12.4 miles south of Southington, a 22-minute road trip.
This trail opened in 1825 as part of the Erie Canal in New York.
The canal became a vital part of Connecticut and neighboring states in New England.
At the same time, the trail served as a vital roadway back in the day.
Today, it's famous among hikers who wish to explore the region's hidden gems.
You can visit the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail and discover its rich history while enjoying nature's beauty.
See Interesting Items at the Lock Museum of America
Lock Museum of America is an unusual but fascinating place to visit.
It's 12 miles northwest of Southington in Terryville.
The museum is dedicated to the long and fascinating history of locking devices.
It has numerous locks in all sizes and shapes, vaults, safes, keys, and other related devices.
What makes this museum fascinating to explore is its extensive history of locks through its collection, which you can see up close during your visit.
You'll come across a diamond-encrusted lock, a 500-year-old Spanish Armada treasure chest, and other interesting items.
Drop by the Lock Museum of America before wrapping up your Southington travel adventure.
Southington is a charming place in Connecticut with exciting attractions, from amusement parks to museums, ski resorts, apple orchards, and festivals.
Consider Southington your next weekend destination, either by yourself or with loved ones.
Check out these best things to do in Southington, CT, to make the most of your trip!