The must-visit destination in this corner of New England is the revitalized university city of New Haven , home to Yale  and its many fine museums. The jewel in its crown is the highly acclaimed Yale Center for British Art . After a day or two in New Haven, give yourself another two or three days to drive down the coast.
Along the way, take in several other fine museums, including the Big Top extravaganza of the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport , and the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk . Alternatively, drive the other way, up the coast from New Haven to the sleepy town of Stony Creek, where you can tour the magical Thimble Islands  by kayak or cruise ship.
The Gold Coast was also once home to the artists of the American Impressionist movement. Several sights chronicle their time here, including the beautiful Weir Farm National Historic Site . In the northwestern part of the state, the Litchfield Hills  are lacking in formal attractions, but that shouldn’t stop you from spending several days driving up and down the hilly back roads, especially if it’s foliage season. A good place to start your trip is Litchfield Green , a quaint country green surrounded by many historic buildings.