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Winter trips to take in New England

By Kathleen McWilliams
On November 26, 2012

With winter break around the corner and a month of free time not too far away, it's time to think about taking some winter themed day trips. The winter weather is a perfect way to experience New England for the first time, and even if you've lived here all your life there are endless possibilities for fun, new experiences. With the proximity of Vermont and Upstate New York, ski resorts are plentiful, and for those with a smaller budget or less adventurous spirit, there are a plethora of places to ice skate or take a scenic winter hike. For the less outdoorsy types, New England is home to lots of interesting museums and attractions that won't break the bank and will keep the winter spirit alive. These excellent and affordable day trips are perfect for stormy and clear winter days alike and are sure to keep the cabin fever at bay.
Winter is the outdoors enthusiasts' dream season with endless possibilities for outdoor entertainment. Although a day of skiing at Okemo Mountain or Killington in Vermont can be a bit expensive for students, a half day pass is quite affordable running between $35 and $40. On top of this deal, often offers exclusive deals on ski tickets taking up to 40 percent off the original price. With this kind of discount, a full day of skiing in Vermont is possible on a student budget. To further decrease the cost, pack a lunch and snacks and gather a group of friends to split transportation costs.
For those who don't like skiing, a fresh dusting of snow is the perfect time to go for a long hike. After fresh snow, it is best to avoid steep slopes or rocky terrain, so pick trails that are relatively less treacherous. The Devil's Den in Weston is a nature preserve maintained by the Nature Conservancy composed of over 1700 acres of land and home to 20 miles of trails. The Pent Trail and The Laurel Trail are relatively flat trails that wind through the beautiful Fairfield County scenery. The preserve is busy on beautiful sunny days, but always peaceful and quiet given its size. Another excellent hiking location found locally, is the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center in Mystic. The trails are flat and explore diverse New England landscapes, ranging from Coastal Marshes, woodland forest, and ponds. A cover of snow or even clear winter weather compliments the scenery and makes it a great place to day trip to during the winter. On top of the 2.3 mile trail, the Nature Center also offers exhibits of owls, raptors, and peregrine falcons, which makes it an excellent destination no matter what the weather has in store.
Indoor attractions are frequent and plentiful in the New England area and many are locally accessible from UConn. The Peabody Museum in New Haven boats many exhibits including dinosaurs, evolution, mammals, space and botany. The decently sized museum currently hosts an exhibit on American Food Culture, as well as its numerous permanent exhibits. The U.S. Coat Guard Museum located in New London is another wonderful attraction where one can peruse the museum as well as a stroll the academy grounds to catch a glimpse of the Coast Guard life. Not too far from the U.S. Coast Guard Museum, resides the U.S. Navy Submarine Force Museum in Groton. This museum in home to 330,000 artifacts and allows you to board the U.S.S Nautilus, a retired submarine.

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