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Monday, August 24, 2015

A Love Letter to Coastal Connecticut: Avery Point, Groton

Connecticut can be really hard to describe.  

It's between Boston and New York, but is very different than both.  It is New England, but very different than Maine, Vermont, and some of the other New England States.   It doesn't have a huge city like Massachusetts has Boston, but its also not as small as teeny Rhode Island.  

Connecticut has that amazing coastal small New England feel, without the heavy accents of Bostoners, or the lumberjack types of Maine.  Home to prestigious Yale, the victorious Huskies, a ton of lighthouses, beautiful historic small towns, and a few cities.  The summers can be humid, and the winters can be brutal, but those amazing summer days on the shoreline make you forget about the snow you will be shoveling in a few short months. 

I get sick of trying to describe it in words to me friends out here, so I keep choosing to share CT the best way I know how, with pictures.  

Today's Connecticut photos are at one of my favorite spots.  The University of Connecticut, Avery Point campus.  The campus is open to the public and for a few good reasons.  There is a walking path around the campus that is always busy, and the large mansion always hosts a wedding on summer weekends.  You can take a sailing class, or scuba class (yep, for credit).  It is iconic New England, lighthouses, sailboats, old mansions, and golf courses in one beautiful little spot.  

Lets wander over to Avery Point. 

Tree at Avery Point Campus 
New London Ledge Light, at the mouth of the Thames River, Groton CT

New London Ledge is locally famous for the ghost of an early keeper, nicknamed "Ernie," who allegedly haunts the lighthouse. The Coast Guard crew on duty at the lighthouse, not automated until 1987, reported unexplained knockings taking place at night, as well as doors opening and closing repeatedly, the television turning on and off by itself sporadically, and the unexplained removal of sheets from beds.  Source 

New London Ledge Light,
Walking Path at Avery Point 
Walking Path Avery Point 

Fishing Platform

Branford House Mansion, Avery Point 

How many campus' can say they have a mansion on campus?  Avery Point can.  The mansions on campus combine that old New England charm with the waterfront.  The Branford House Mansion was built in the 19th century and modeled after the famous Newport mansions.  Branford House was originally a 31-room mansion that rivaled those found in Newport. It was built at a cost of three million dollars in 1903 when Groton Savings Bank at the time had $312,738.39. Features included panoramic views of Fishers Island and Long Island Sound, its two-story fireplace, a winding staircase of imported Italian marble, and paneled walls carved by Italian and German craftsmen.  Read more about the mansions history and owner here

Branford House Mansion, Avery Point 

Avery Point Light House 

Avery Point Lighthouse was the last to be built in Connecticut. It was finished in 1943, during World War II, but was not activated until May 2, 1944 due to concerns about possible enemy invasions by sea. The tower’s unusual lighting apparatus consisted of eight 200-watt bulbs showing a fixed white light at fifty-five feet above sea level. Later on, the light was changed to flashing green.
In 1969, the land was returned to the State of Connecticut at no cost, and it became part of the University of Connecticut at Avery Point campus. Given the designation of Building #41 by the university, the former lighthouse building has been used as a physics laboratory and an air sampling station. Source

Avery Point Light House 

Avery Point Light House 

Avery Point is one of the smaller campus' of the University of Connecticut.  While it is quite small, it is the perfect place to study Marine Science.  Where else can you find a campus right on the water, with direct access to the water, research vessels, with sailing and scuba classes, and an incredible view. 

Marine Science Building, Avery Point 

FUN FACT:  I spent three years on this gorgeous campus, walked across this lawn to receive my B.S in Marine Science, and gave the commencement speech in front of students, faculty, friends and family.  

Avery Point is an amazing campus for Marine Science.  Amazing building, labs, and right on the water, we have our own docks and research vessels.  Even the "dining hall" is on a deck overlooking the marina. 

Rankin Lab, Avery Point 

Rankin Lab, Avery Point 

The Rankin Laboratory has been designed to be a unique teaching and research seawater laboratory. The 2,400 square foot wet laboratory can supply up to 250 GPM of seawater through a high-flow pressurized distribution system.  Source

Marine Science Building, Avery Point 

Marina, Avery Point, CT

Coastal Connecticut, New England, you have my heart.


  1. seriously SO much charm! connecticut is on my list when we are back in the US!!


    1. Charm is really a perfect way to describe this area- THANK YOU! You absolutely must visit CT when you are back, can't wait to read that post!


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