Waterbury, Connecticut, is a hidden gem in the middle of New England. With its long history, wide range of cultures, and beautiful natural landscapes, Waterbury has a lot to offer visitors of all kinds.
Whether you’re interested in history, adventure, culture, or food, this charming city has something special for everyone. In this article, we’ll talk about the 10 must-see places in Waterbury and give you helpful advice on how to choose the best things to do while you’re there.
10 best things to do in Waterbury, Connecticut
1. Holyland, USA Ruins
- Address: 60 Slocum St, Waterbury, CT 06706
Our trip starts at the mysterious Holyland USA Ruins, a place with a lot of history and a lot of questions. It used to be a religious theme park, but now it’s in ruins and looks like something from another world. This site is hauntingly beautiful and has a lot of historical value, which will draw in history buffs and photographers. The Holyland USA Ruins are a must-see if you’re interested in history and want to take photos that aren’t like any other. Check out the site at different times of day to see how the light changes.
2. Brass City Raceway and Axe Throwing
- Address: 458 Chase Ave, Waterbury, CT 06704
The Brass City Raceway is the best place to go to get a rush of adrenaline. Put on your gear and your helmet, and race your go-kart around the track. If you want a different kind of adventure, try your hand at axe throwing. It’s a fun and unique way to show off your skills. Brass City Raceway is a great place for people who like to try new things, but if you’re traveling with kids, you should check if there are any age or height limits for go-kart racing.
3. Black Rock State Park
- Address: 2065 Thomaston Rd, Watertown, CT 06795 (near Waterbury)
Black Rock State Park is just a short drive from Waterbury. It is a natural playground for people who like to be outside. Explore the hiking trails, have a picnic by the lake, or go for a swim in the clean water. This is a great place for an adventure-filled day trip. Plan to go to Black Rock State Park in the spring or summer to get the most out of the outdoors and the water.
4. Palace Theater
- Address: 100 E Main St, Waterbury, CT 06702
The Palace Theater is a historic place where you can see a wide range of performances, from Broadway shows to live music concerts. Check the schedule to see what’s going on while you’re there, and enjoy a night of fun. Popular shows often sell out quickly, so check the theater’s website or call ahead to make sure you get tickets.
5. Mattatuck Museum
- Address: 144 W Main St, Waterbury, CT 06702
The Mattatuck Museum is a great place to learn about the art and history of the area. Their impressive collection of artworks and artifacts tells us a lot about Waterbury’s long history and unique culture. There are sometimes special exhibits at the museum, so be sure to ask if there are any temporary displays or events going on while you are there.
6. CT Virtual Reality Arcade
- Address: 920 Wolcott St, Waterbury, CT 06705
If you are traveling with your family, the CT Virtual Reality Arcade might be a good place to stop. It’s fun and immersive, so kids and adults can enjoy it together. This makes it a great way for families to spend time together. Even though you can just walk in, it’s best to check the arcade’s schedule and book your preferred time slot in advance, especially during busy times.
7. Waterbury Green
- Address: 1 Chase Ave, Waterbury, CT 06704
Waterbury Green, a central park in the middle of the city, is a great place for a relaxing day trip with the family. This park has something for everyone, whether you want to have a picnic, watch people, or just enjoy being outside. You might want to go to Waterbury Green in the morning or early evening when it’s less busy and more peaceful.
8. Shack ‘n’ Awe
- Address: 945 Wolcott St, Waterbury, CT 06705
At Shack ‘n’ Awe, you can eat burgers and hot dogs that will make your mouth water. It’s a restaurant in the area that’s known for its tasty comfort food. During lunch and dinner, Shack ‘n’ Awe can get busy, so plan your visit or call ahead if you want to order food to go.
9. Easter Island Statue
- Address: 100 E Main St, Waterbury, CT 06702
Find something unexpected in Waterbury: an impressive copy of the famous statues on Easter Island. Take a few photos to remember the moment and give your trip a unique twist. The Easter Island Statue is close to the Palace Theater, which makes it easy to see both places on the same day.
10. Abandoned Fairy Village
- Address: Woodward Ave, Waterbury, CT 06705
Explore the mysterious Abandoned Fairy Village, which is hidden in a forest. Here you’ll find a collection of tiny fairy houses and figures that will spark your imagination and take you to a world straight out of a fairy tale. If you get up early, you might want to go to the Fairy Village in the morning, when the forest is quiet and soft sunlight fills it.
Tips for Choosing the Perfect Activities
Before we dive into the top attractions, here are some tips to help you tailor your Waterbury experience to your interests and preferences:
- Identify Your Interests: Take a moment to consider your interests. Are you passionate about history, seeking outdoor adventures, looking to immerse yourself in culture, traveling with family, or simply a food lover? Knowing your preferences will guide your activity choices.
- Consider the Season: Think about the time of year you plan to visit Waterbury. Some activities, such as hiking and outdoor events, may be more enjoyable during specific seasons. Check the local weather and event calendars for the best experience.
- Read Reviews and Recommendations: Tap into online resources like travel forums and social media to read traveler reviews and recommendations. Hearing about others’ experiences can provide valuable insights into which activities align with your interests.
- Consult Local Resources: Reach out to the Waterbury tourism office or explore their website for up-to-date information on attractions, events, and any special offers. Local experts can provide valuable insights into hidden gems.
- Plan Your Itinerary: After identifying your interests and gathering recommendations, create a rough itinerary. This will help you organize your days effectively and ensure you make time for the activities that matter most to you.
frequently asked questions (FAQs) about visiting Waterbury
What is Waterbury, Connecticut, known for?
Waterbury, known as the “Brass City,” is historically recognized for its significant contributions to the brass industry. Today, it’s known for its cultural attractions, historical sites, and outdoor adventures.
What are the best times to visit Waterbury?
The best times to visit Waterbury are during the spring and fall when the weather is pleasant, and outdoor activities are enjoyable. However, each season has its unique charm, so plan your visit based on your interests.
How do I get to Waterbury, Connecticut?
Waterbury is accessible by car via Interstate 84. Bradley International Airport in Hartford is the nearest major airport, approximately an hour’s drive away. There are also Amtrak and bus services that connect to Waterbury.
Are there any family-friendly attractions in Waterbury?
Yes, Waterbury offers family-friendly attractions like the CT Virtual Reality Arcade, Waterbury Green for picnics, and the Easter Island Statue for unique photo opportunities.
What are some must-visit historical sites in Waterbury?
History enthusiasts should explore Holyland USA Ruins and the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception for a glimpse into the city’s rich history.
Are there outdoor activities near Waterbury?
Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy activities at Black Rock State Park, including hiking, picnicking, and swimming. Brass City Raceway also offers go-kart racing and axe throwing for adventure seekers.
Where can I find cultural experiences in Waterbury?
Immerse yourself in culture at the Palace Theater, which hosts Broadway shows and live music concerts. The Mattatuck Museum is another cultural gem showcasing regional art and history.
What dining options are available in Waterbury?
Waterbury offers a variety of dining options. Shack ‘n’ Awe is known for burgers and hot dogs, while the city has diverse eateries ranging from Italian to international cuisine.
Are there any tips for planning an itinerary in Waterbury?
Yes, start by identifying your interests and checking the season for specific activities. Read traveler reviews, consult local resources, and create an itinerary to make the most of your visit.
In conclusion, Waterbury, Connecticut, is a destination that caters to a wide range of interests and preferences. By following the provided tips for choosing the perfect activities, you can create an itinerary that ensures your visit is tailored to your desires. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an adventure seeker, a culture lover, a family traveler, or a foodie, Waterbury has something special in store for you.