1561 Asylum Ave.
West Hartford, CT 06117
To capture the most vibrant colors in your family photos, Elizabeth Park provides beautiful backdrops. Elizabeth Park is 102 acres of national historic land in West Hartford. The natural gardens and landscapes give a variety of options such as the rose garden, perennial garden, tulips or open grass. Add water to the picture by posing near Laurel Pond or on the stone bridge. The park is free to all and is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Parking is easy to find when there is not a planned public event and many paths are handicap accessible. Convenient for a public park, restrooms are located in the Pond House Cafe during its business hours.
Hammonasset Beach State Park
1288 Boston Post Road
Madison, CT 06443
With Connecticut being located along the Atlantic Ocean, there are plenty of beaches along the shoreline. Hammonasset Beach State Park is Connecticut’s largest shoreline park. There is over two miles of sand and beach to choose from for your next photo location. The most popular spots are near the boardwalk at West Beach or the sand and rocks of Meigs Point as they jet out to the ocean. Hammonasset has no admission and parking is free on weekdays before Memorial Day and after Labor Day, and select weekends before and after the summer season.
1339 Whirlwind Hill Road
Wallingford Center, CT 06492
Gouveia Vineyards is known for its delicious wine as part of the Connecticut wine trail. If you’ve never visited the vineyard, know that it is loved for more than just the wine. The atmosphere and views keep people coming back for more. It is located atop a hill with surrounding views of Wallingford and neighboring towns. Catch the sunset over the hilltop as you overlook rows of vines full of grapes. Another picturesque spot is the small pond to the left of the parking lot. Gouveia is a popular spot for engagement and family photos. The vineyard tends to be family friendly especially in the warmer months when visitors sit outside to enjoy time with family and friends.
Tarrywile Park & Mansion
70 Southern Blvd.
Danbury, CT 06810
The landscape at Tarrywile Park & Mansion is rich with natural beauty. It has 21 miles of trails decorated with ponds, trees and flowers. While most of the land requires a hike, there are locations closer to the parking area so that you do not have to walk far. Depending on what background you would like in your family picture, select from green grass, open fields, Mountain Laurel hillsides or a rustic barn. Tarrywile is rich with flowers, ornamental trees, a Japanese garden and a variety of trees such as pine cooper beech and Japanese maple. A fan favorite is also Parks Pond. The best part is that there is no fee to enter the park and it is open year round.
32 Reeds Gap Road
Middlefield, CT 06455
Depending on the time of year, you can get creative with photo opportunities at Lyman Orchards. Bring your camera and family to pick your own fruit or pumpkin in the orchard. Photos can be action shots while you laugh and pick your fruit or you can take time out to pose with scenic backgrounds. Lyman Orchard’s seasonal events such as the corn maze is a unique way to get your family in the photo. Browsing around the property at the Apple Barrel and Lyman Homestead, visitors will find colors of green grass and a pond.
Kimberly Ord is a freelance writer and lifetime resident of Connecticut. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.