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A Visit to the Harkness Memorial State Park in Connecticut

In May of 2011, we were very excited to visit the Harkness State Park in Connecticut. The park and botanical gardens are made up of a sprawling 230 acres located on the Long Island Sound. It was a gorgeous sunny morning in spring, and one of the most peaceful and beautiful places I’ve visited. It’s surrounded by trees bursting with color, green grass, vibrant dandelions and plenty of seating areas.

One of the things that really struck me was the cherry blossom trees. The pale pink flower petals and delicate shapes were breathtaking. In fact, there are trees in all shapes, sizes, height and colors. It was a feast for the eyes.

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Another beautiful sight was the beach and coast with fine white sand covered with shining sea shells. Part of the shore is covered with massive rocks that are continuously showered by the waves. It offers a gorgeous view, the horizon, cerulean water, and the Thames River estuary. At the beach, a group of ducks was getting ready for a morning swim. They looked as if they were in a playful mood!

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Birds were in nesting season near the ocean. I really felt like I was getting in touch with nature, and it put me in a peaceful, relaxed state of mind. One of the highlights of the visit was the Harkness mansion.

It was once the estate of Edward Harkness, heir to an oil fortune, but was left to Connecticut in 1950, therefore becoming part of the State Park system. It’s listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Built in 1906, the mansion has 42 rooms and a plethora of history. I always love to imagine what historical homes might have been like in their prime; how people might have lived there and what the walls might have seen.

These days, the mansion is a favorite for special events and weddings, due to its sheer beauty and the surrounding gardens. The narrow path next to the mansion runs by a tower and Italian, Oriental and cutting gardens. The field next to the mansion was bursting with white flowers; a truly beautiful sight.

May 9, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Going Places | No comment

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