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The Top 10 Can’t-Miss Scenic Drives in Connecticut

Here's what you need to know...
  • Connecticut has a diverse range of geographic landscapes that you can enjoy with a scenic drive through the state
  • Each scenic drive features unique sights and sounds to the landscapes for you to enjoy
  • Drivers should take extra safety precautions when driving on Connecticut roads during the cold weather season
Connecticut covers a very small geographic area, but it encompasses many types of landscapes. This includes miles of coastlines as well as rivers, lakes, hills, valleys, mountains, and much more.

While many of the most beautiful areas of the state are protected parklands, you can enjoy incredible views of the landscapes with a scenic drive across some of the more common routes in the state.

Connecticut is a state that enjoys all four seasons and that displays these seasons beautifully in different ways. With this in mind, each season brings with it a unique and gorgeous experience for you to enjoy.

However, driving in the winter months requires extra safety strategies if you want to avoid an accident. Make sure you have the best coverage before you go on your adventure with our free comparison tool above!  If you are planning to explore Connecticut with a scenic drive, consider some of these top routes.

The Top 10 Scenic Drives in Connecticut

#1  Route 27


Length of Route: 3.21 miles
Highlight: Old Mystic

When you travel on Route 27 between U.S. 1 and Route 184 in Stonington, you will pass through a scenic area of Old Mystic that is worth exploring with a slow drive. This is the most scenic way to travel to popular Mystic attractions such as the Mystic Seaport and the Mystic Aquarium.

Touring these attractions should be included as part of your day’s plans, so give yourself a full day to drive along Route 27 and explore all that it offers.

#2  Route 146

Length of Route: 12 miles
Highlight: Salt marshes, forests, seascapes

You can enjoy a leisurely scenic drive on Route 146 from Guilford to the heart of Stony Creek. This is a relatively flat route that offers expansive views of the marshes and seascapes.

Some people even ride their bike along this route because there is usually minimal traffic.

You can travel straight through, or you can stop at shops and restaurants in both towns to get to know more about the areas.

Some people even ride their bike along this route because there is usually minimal traffic. You can travel straight through, or you can stop at shops and restaurants in both towns to get to know more about the areas.

#3 Route 8

AdobeStock_50511601-1600x1600Length of Route: 67.36 miles
Highlight: Naugatuck River, Litchfield

Route 8 is a long stretch of highway that begins in Bridgeport in the southern end of the state. It runs almost due north through the Massachusetts border and transitions into Massachusetts Route 8.

This scenic road takes you by the Naugatuck River as well as through numerous small towns. These towns include Litchfield, Beacon Falls, Seymour, and others.

While this four-lane highway is ideal to simply cruise on when you are looking for an open expanse of the highway to drive on without hindrances, it is also a great place to spend the day on when you want to get out of the car frequently and explore the sights.

#4  US-7

connecticut-1319264_1920-1600x1600Length of Route: 308 miles
Highlight: Housatonic River State Park, Canaan

US-7 is a long and scenic road that runs for 308 miles from Norwalk to Highgate Springs, Vermont. Approximately 78 miles of the highway passes through Connecticut.

The Connecticut stretch of the highway takes you through the Housatonic River State Park and the scenic small town of Canaan.

You will also pass through several covered bridges and drive through the back country of the Litchfield area.

#5  Merritt Parkway

Length of Route: 37.3 miles
Highlight: Numerous decorative bridges

Merritt Parkway runs mostly through the Greenwich area and surrounding areas in Fairfield County. It is most well-known for its numerous decorative bridges and overpasses that are featured periodically over the length of the road.

This road is notably listed as a National Scenic Byway, is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is one of America’s Most Endangered Places.

#6 Route 169

Length of Route: 32 miles
Highlight: Beautiful architecture, excellent fall foliage

Route 169 is located in northeastern Connecticut, and it connects Lisbon with North Woodstock. Along the route, you will find more than 175 historic places that are worth exploring.

Incredible historic architecture is on display in several small towns. If you plan to drive along Route 169 in the fall months, you will be in for a true treat because the fall foliage includes deep orange, red, and yellow hues.

#7 Connecticut 63

Length of Route: 52.57 miles
Highlight: New Haven and Litchfield

Connecticut Route 63 runs in a northwest-southeast direction and connects New Haven with Connecticut.

While many people commute along this road every day, it is also an excellent road to take a scenic drive on when you have free time.

It takes you through several small towns that have notable points of interest, and you can also admire the incredible natural beauty of sweeping landscapes in the more rural areas along the route.

#8 Route 149

Length of Route: 11.7 miles
Highlight: Connecticut River, Moodus River

Route 149 originates in East Haddam as the Main Street in town, and it travels along the same route as the Connecticut River for a stretch.

Farther along, it connects with the Moodus River, and the road passes through the East Haddam Historic District.

There are ample opportunities for you to stop along this short route to enjoy natural sights as well as to explore shops and restaurants.

#9 Route 49

rural-road-1612167_1920-1600x1600Length of Route: 21.91 miles
Highlight: Wooded country road, small towns

Route 49 is a gently curving, two-lane road that takes you through the towns of Stonington and Voluntown. The road provides you with incredible views of valleys and farmlands as well as forests and rolling hills.

Most of the way, you will encounter very few places to stop, so this is an excellent route to take when you simply want to hop in the car and cruise down the road.

#10 Route 154

norwalk-2019875_1920-1600x1600Length of Route: 28.24 miles
Highlight: Colonial houses, Long Island Sound

Route 154 is a truly stunning road to drive along, and it provides you with incredible urban and coastal views. One section of the road takes you through Old Saybrook, where you will see historic Colonial homes that have been impressively maintained over the years. You can

One section of the road takes you through Old Saybrook, where you will see historic Colonial homes that have been impressively maintained over the years. You can also drive along the coastline to take in natural views of the beach, marshes, and sound.

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Scenic Drive

AdobeStock_92667966 (1)-1600x1600Regardless of the length of your road trip, it is important that you take a few steps to prepare for your drive. After all, you need to ensure that you and your vehicle are prepared for anything that may happen while you are on the road.

– Have the Essentials

Consider creating a list of essential items that you need to have in your car, such as an emergency kit, a first aid kit, and blankets.

– Have Your Vehicle Inspected

You also need to get a vehicle inspection and a vehicle maintenance service before you set off down the road.

– Have the Right Coverage

Your road trip is the ideal reason for you to review and update your auto insurance policy. In fact, you should compare your auto insurance coverage every six months to ensure that you are properly insured at all times.

Price is always a concern when you are shopping for auto insurance, but you should not make a buying decision based on price alone.

You also need to focus on the customer satisfaction rating for different car insurance companies as well as their financial strength. Using the Internet is a great way to research insurance companies in each of these areas.

– Understand the State Minimums

Understand the state’s minimum legal coverage requirements, and this includes:

  • $20,000 per person for bodily injury coverage
  • $40,000 per accident for bodily injury coverage
  • $10,000 per accident for property damage liability coverage

If you fail to maintain insurance on a vehicle in this state, you may be fined, and you may also be imprisoned for up to three months.

Remember that you are required to maintain valid auto insurance at all times. If you are caught operating a vehicle in Connecticut without the proper auto insurance coverage in place, you may be fined up to $1,000.

– Consider Increasing Policy Limits

Remember that you are legally responsible for paying for any damages that you cause that exceed your coverage amounts. Because of this, some people do buy more coverage than what is required.

In addition, keep in mind that liability coverage does not pay for any of your own car repairs or other related expenses.

You may need to purchase collision or comprehensive insurance if you want your insurance policy to pay for your own expenses.

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