Destinations

Northwest Connecticut encompasses the following communities: Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Barkhamsted, Bethel, Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Bristol, Brookfield, Burlington, Canaan, Colebrook, Cornwall, Danbury, Derby, Goshen, Hartland, Harwinton, Kent, Litchfield, Middlebury, Morris, New Fairfield, New Hartford, New Milford, New Preston, Naugatuck, Newtown, Norfolk, North Canaan, Oxford, Plymouth, Prospect, Redding, Ridgefield, Riverton, Roxbury, Salisbury, Sharon, Seymour, Sherman, Southbury, Thomaston, Torrington, Waterbury, Warren, Washington, Washington Depot, Watertown, Winchester, Wolcott, and Woodbury.

Time Zone

Northwest Connecticut is in the Eastern U.S. time zone along with New York and Montreal; 5 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time and 6 hours behind Western European time.

Taxes and Gratuities

The sales tax in the State of Connecticut is 6.35%. The lodging facility sales tax is 15%. Tipping is customary in Connecticut; for very good service a 15% to 20% tip is appropriate.

Currency Exchange

If you are coming to Connecticut from abroad it is best to use major credit cards or to buy US dollar traveler's checks before leaving home, or upon arrival in the US.

Tips

In-season and holiday weekends should be reserved in advance. You may have to reserve well ahead for a special country inn or bed & breakfast room if you wish to stay during fall foliage season. In the off - season mid-week rates maybe in effect, please inquire when making your reservations.

Telephones and Area Codes

Connecticut has two area codes, 860 and 203. To make a toll call, whether between area codes or within the same area code, dial 1 plus the area code and the seven-digit number. For directory assistance within the same area code, dial 411. For directory assistance outside your area code dial 1- (203 or 860) - 555-1212. The operator (dial 0) can tell you the area code of any given town.

Climate

Despite New England's reputation for rugged climate, Connecticut weather is relatively mild. Average high and lows by month:

January:   35/18
February:  36/19
March:     46/28
April:     59/38
May:       70/48
June:      79/57
July:      84/63
August:    81/61
September: 74/53
October:   64/42
November:  51/33
December:  38/23

Seasons and Geography

Northwest Connecticut has four distinct seasons, each with its special charm.

Spring: The mixture of warm days and cold nights is the perfect and necessary combination for "sugaring off." This is the time of year when farmers collect the sap from sugar maples and boil it down to make maple syrup, candy, and spread. Spring is also one of the best times for whitewater canoeing and kayaking on the Housatonic and Farmington Rivers. Another favorite spring activity is a visit to one of the many nurseries and a stroll through beautiful display gardens.

Summer: The pastoral countryside, cool mountain lakes, laurel covered slopes and pine-scented forest glades have made the Litchfield Hills a resort area for more than a century. In Northwest Connecticut a refreshing breeze cools the warm, often hot summer days and pleasant evenings. Lake swimming, picnicking, hiking on the Appalachian Trail, fishing, and biking are just some of the summer pleasures that abound in the area.

Fall/Indian Summer: Beginning in September through late October the days are crisp, clear and sunny; the evenings are cool. Our rolling hills and river valleys are alive with the activity of the harvest, which culminates in fifteen of the State's Country Agricultural Fairs. During the first three weeks in October our bucolic countryside and colonial villages are transformed into a palette of brilliant colors.

Winter: Snow transforms the Northwest Connecticut into a Currier and Ives painting -- with church steeples soaring above a filigree of bare branches, village greens powdered with snow, colonial homes garlanded with pine boughs and candles gleaming in windows etched with frost. This is a favorite time for skiers to visit the area because the Northwest Connecticut's Litchfield Hills has Connecticut's largest downhill Ski Area, Mohawk Mountain (860-672-6100) in Cornwall, Ski Sundown in New Hartford (860-379-9851), and Woodbury Ski & Racquet in Woodbury (203-263-2203), as well as miles of pristine trails for cross country skiing. Another outdoor activity is Eagle Watching in Southbury.

Clothing

In Northwest Connecticut, casual comfortable clothing is the norm although you might want to bring one or two fairly nice outfits for special evenings out. Rain can come at anytime of year so you may want to pack a small umbrella. In Spring and Fall a mid-weight sweater is recommended for the daytime and heavier dress may be necessary in the evening. In the summer light cotton clothing is best and a light sweater or jacket for evenings. In the winter, wool and heavy clothing is necessary.

Public Holidays

Jan. 1: New Year's Day
Jan. 15: Martin Luther King Day
The third Monday in Feb.: George Washington's Birthday
The last Monday in May: Memorial Day
July 4th: Independence Day
The first Monday in September: Labor Day
The second Monday in October: Columbus Day
November 11th: Veterans' Day
The fourth Thursday in November: Thanksgiving Day
December 25th: Christmas Day