If you are lucky enough to enjoy Southern New England during the end of July (in 2015, through July 26th), you might want to put Buttonwoods Farm Sunflower Festival on your To-Do list. They grow 14 acres of sunflowers and the proceeds benefit the Make a Wish Foundation of Connecticut. While it is free to visit the farm, there is a fee for hayrides, delicious homemade ice cream, and incredible bouquets of fresh-cut sunflowers. You have to see it to believe it.
If you are in the neighborhood of Buttonwoods Farm in Griswold, CT, in July or August, I also highly recommend a visit to Maple Lane Farms for the best blueberry picking in the East! I know, it’s a bold statement, but, berry picking is my thing, so I do not make this statement lightly. If you think you know a better blueberry, please share your valuable information!
I am going to reveal some insider information here. When you drive into Maple Lane Farms, the parking lot is on the right. Pick up your berry buckets, and then, cross the road to the secret blueberry patch. The farm has more blueberry bushes than they need, so they do not spray the secret patch across the road. This is where you will find the most amazing blueberry bushes, practically growing wild; the paths are overgrown with tall grass and there are large divots to navigate. You will also find lots of insects crawling around (remember, no spray) and birds flying about. It is quite an adventure … and totally worth it! There is a picnic table in the shade, beautiful stone walls, and raspberry and black currant picking, too. Enjoy!
Check out my beautiful Paleo Blueberry Fruit Crisp Recipe.
A Unique Landscape
Bluff Point State Park, in Groton, CT, is “the last remaining significant piece of undeveloped… Connecticut coastline.” Perhaps you are wondering why I would consider a state park a secret? I have lived within 100 miles of this park my entire life, and didn’t know it existed… and hiking is one of my favorite activities. I found out about it recently, when my sister was visiting CT and she asked some locals for a recommendation for a nice hike. They told her that Bluff Point was a secret. Sorry Connecticut! I just have to share about this beautiful place.
So, what is so special about Bluff Point? There are hiking trails through the woods with a view of the ocean. Growing up in Rhode Island (The Ocean State), I have enjoyed many hikes along the bay, and numerous walks in the woods, but rarely do these two terrains meet in such a lovely way. Particularly on a hot summer day, the coolness of the shade of the trees combined with the ocean breeze, is simply delightful. The trail ends at a sandy beach (great for picnicking) and a boulder covered bluff. My children enjoyed the day as much as I did; walking along the honeysuckle-lined trail, playing in the sand, and climbing on the boulders. Free to visit.
Where is your favorite secret place in Southern New England? Please share. Perhaps it will become one of mine.