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Sundae Drivers Can Follow Eastern Connecticut's "Ice Cream Trail"

Does your family scream for ice cream? If so, head directly to Eastern Connecticut. That New England region, which includes all the charms of the Mystic area, is pouring it on thick for ice cream lovers - "it" being hot fudge, caramel and butterscotch.

Here's the scoop: The region has created an official "Ice Cream Trail" - perfect for helping families to find the best spots for locally produced, often homemade, ice cream while enjoying all of the attractions found in that area.

The region has even created an official brochure, titled Follow the Ice Cream Trail: Sundae Drives, that represents a playful guide to 35 of the area's best ice cream parlors - a "crème de la cream" of sorts. The brochure, which is available in both print and online at www.mysticcountry.com, also offers tips on attractions and activities nearby.

For example: mix a tasty trip to Canterbury Cones with a visit to the nearby Burgess Brook Alpaca Farm. If the trail takes you to Ice Cream Shoppe in Old Lyme - now in its 99th year in business - couple your trip with a visit to the Florence Griswold Museum nearby to enjoy the American art as well as the lovely gardens and grounds.

For families, the Ice Cream Trail is the cherry on top of the scrumptious banana split of activities Mystic Country has in store for families. Located in eastern Connecticut, Mystic Country is a colorful destination that blends classic New England seascapes and scenic rolling hills with rich cultural heritage and sophisticated, top-flight entertainment. For more information on this area, visit www.mysticcountry.com.

The great state of Connecticut also provides a wealth of parks, beaches, historical and recreational activities, and other attractions for year-round family getaways. Here's just a short sampling of the many attractions available in this region:

* Visit the Olde Mystick Village in Mystic, offering 60 specialty shops in an outdoor setting. Afterwards, let the kids loose at Mystic's Children's Museum, where kids can dress up as sailors and "swab the decks" while parents take photos. For those parents wishing for a bit of Las Vegas in New England, the newly opened MGM Grand Foxwoods is nearby.

* Take the kids to Dinosaur Crossing where they can learn about fossils, gems, and even pan for gold.

* The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk features two exotic animal exhibits and a variety of other attractions. Through September 1, kids can see an eight-foot albino alligator at the Great White Alligator exhibit. Scientists estimate that only 44 of today's 5 million American alligators are albino.

* Visit Quassy Amusement Park in the lower Litchfield Hills area. The Park is celebrating its centennial as one of only eleven remaining "trolley parks" in the United States. Kids will love many of Quassy's modern attractions, such as the Saturation Station water park and the playland's newest addition, the "Galleon" Pirate Ship ride. Many of the Victorian Era period buildings still stand, however, and classics like the Tilt-a-Whirl and the Grand Carousel still remain family favorites.  

For more information, call 1-888-CTvisit (1-888-288-4748) or visit www.ctvisit.com.

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