10/07/2011 05:59 pm ET | Updated Nov 27, 2011

Connecticut Fall Foliage: A MapQuest Guide

Connecticut fall foliage features brilliant hues and spectacular scenery. The changing colors of leaves in autumn is one of nature’s most beloved rites of passage -- and makes for one of the most popular and inexpensive getaways for families. As part of LeafQuest -- a MapQuest series helping leaf peepers across North America find easy and rewarding destinations -- here are three recommended spots for viewing Connecticut fall foliage. — Staff

Mystic Country

Mystic, Connecticut, earned some degree of fame as the setting for the Julia Roberts hit film Mystic Pizza, which played on some of Mystic's quirky qualities. The area is indeed charming, and a wonderful family destination, with a well-known seaport and aquarium. It's also an ideal place to take in the beauty of autumn. Apple, maple, bass and beechwood trees abound in all their autumn splendor. Start your quest at B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill, a steam-powered mill and a National Mechanical Engineering Landmark. More than just another delicious producer of cider and other fall treats, the official Connecticut tourism website notes that Clyde's is the "last steam powered cider mill remaining in the United States and the oldest producer of hard cider, since 1881." It's a Nutmeg State tradition to sip Clyde's cider -- now being produced by a 6th generation of Clydes -- while admiring the radiant red and yellow leaves on the mill's grounds. Only adult visitors can sample the hard cider, but all visitors can take home the local honey, jams and freshly sapped maple syrup as a tasty reminder of their day out.

B.F. Clyde's Cider Mill, 129 N. Stonington Road, Mystic, CT 06355 | Get Directions

Lake Waramaug State Park

If New England is considered the quintessential spot for viewing fall foliage, then Kent, Connecticut, may have a legitimate claim to the best foliage in the universe. In 2010, Yankee Magazine named Kent as the top foliage town in New England, citing the "profusion of crimson and gold that leaps off the Litchfield Hills." It was also named "Favorite Foliage Town" in 2011. And few places in Kent are as idyllic -- and as renowned for basking in astonishing autumnal colors -- as Lake Waramaug. The Connecticut State Department of Energy & Environmental Protection notes, "When vivid fall foliage is mirrored in the unrippled lake surface, the park becomes a mecca for sightseers and photographers."

30 Lake Waramaug Road, Kent, CT 06777 | Get Directions

Connecticut Route 169

Few would think of Brooklyn as a leaf-peeping hotspot. But the town of Brooklyn -- ensconced in Connecticut's Northeastern "Quiet Corner" -- has a historic green listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which makes it an ideal New England destination in autumn. Route 169 goes north from Brooklyn into Massachusetts, passing through Woodstock and the picturesque Pomfret. Make sure to see the latter's two-mile-long Pomfret Street Historic District, also on the National Register of Historic Places. Here, the red-, orange- and yellow-draped woodlands and rolling hills add to the charm of the Georgian and Colonial Revival architecture of the homes and buildings.

Brooklyn Green, Brooklyn, CT | Get Directions

A mix of beautiful photographic and video images of fall foliage in the Nutmeg State.

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Want other great fall-foliage destinations? Check out more LeafQuest.

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