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Taking in the Sights, Sounds and Arts in Southington

Southington may seem like an average New England town, but the community has a lot to offer. Looking for a local "day out" before school starts on Aug. 30? Let Southington Patch help.

Nestled on the southern end of the Farmington River Valley just 20 minutes from Hartford, a bustling town with 42,000 people and a classic southern New England feel.

For a town with a reputation as one of Connecticut’s “bedroom communities,” Southington sure has a lot to offer in the way of entertainment, arts and summertime activities. From family activities at Lake Compounce and one of four local parks to spending the day shopping to a bustling downtown that includes countless restaurants, shopping activities and arts, there is plenty for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Embarking on a trip to the downtown Southington area, one will find the area bustling with foot traffic, especially on a summer weekend afternoon. Center Street is home to numerous boutiques and specialty shops. Visitors can enjoy their favorite cigars at , pick up a unique souvenir at or make their own beer and wine at .

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Of course, no visit to the downtown area would be complete without a stop at the , where caretakers provide a beautiful and newly renovated outdoor garden to accompany displays showing off 200 years of history.

The museum is constantly changing displays with the seasons, showing off a seemingly endless number of artifacts. Museum caretaker Marie Secondo and her staff will provide guided tours on request, complete with a history of both the museum and town.

But the biggest draw to downtown Southington remains the countless dining and nightlife spots that make the community a popular stop on Friday and Saturday night. Patrons flock to popular dining locations including , and and congregate at nightspots including , or for live entertainment and drinks.

Looking for something a little more family friendly? You may be better served with a trip along the West Street corridor.

, part of the Palace Entertainment family of parks, is the oldest, continuously operating amusement park in North America. Located at the Bristol town line, across from ESPN studios, the park has been in operation since 1846 and offers both amusement rides and waterpark attractions.

Just a short drive away, offers opportunities for visitors to enjoy driving ranges, batting cages and more. , located next door, also provides a more playful experience for amateur “golfers” and children of all ages.

For those seeking a more appropriate nighttime activity, why not take in a movie and enjoy a retro experience at the . The drive-in's are offering movies each weekend, all summer long. to see a full schedule of upcoming showings. 

With 36 square miles, perhaps Southington’s most captive attractions lie within the countless number of opportunities to spend time with nature, however.

In the northeast corner of town, provides boating opportunities, trails and picnic opportunities that would satisfy nature lovers of all kinds. Residents and visitors can rent kayaks and canoes to take on the water, fish along the dams and lakeside spots or just enjoy the view of an orange sky at sunset.

Across town at , the ski resort may be sleepy in the summer but it’s natural beauty remains stunning and the trails attract residents year-round who want to get in touch with nature.

The community also boasts five miles of , which lead from Curtiss Street on the north end through downtown Southington and Planstville and straight through to the Cheshire town line. On any given day, countless rollerbladers, bicyclists, walkers and runners fill the trail. 

With so many opportunities in one area, be sure to plan your summer day trips and weekends accordingly. Of course, once you’ve had time to take in the sights and sounds, don’t forget to share your thoughts and reviews in our Southington Patch directory.

Happy summer!

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