Best Outdoor Stores in Connecticut

June 11, 2011 4:00 AM

Whether it’s summer, winter, spring or fall, there’s always something to do outdoors. But the key to a successful trip is preparation. These are the places to go to get you ready.

rei logo Best Outdoor Stores in Connecticut


71 Raymond Road
West Hartford, CT 06107
(860) 233-2211

At REI, they understand you love to get outside and play, and they know first-hand the importance of quality outdoor gear. What began as a group of 23 mountain climbing buddies is now the nation’s largest consumer cooperative. They design their own line of award-winning REI brand gear and clothing. Whether you’re new to outdoor adventure or a seasoned pro, they gladly share the enthusiasm and tailor products to the trails, slopes and waterways where we play. This new store, located in the beautiful Blue Back Square, is easy to get to and has two floors to explore all your outdoor needs. There’s also a location in Norwalk. REI also offers classes for beginners to learn things and for more experienced people to advance their knowledge. Visit their Website for Connecticut locations, hours and directions.

cabelas Best Outdoor Stores in Connecticut


475 East Hartford Blvd. North
East Hartford, CT 06118
(860) 290-6200

Like all of these stores, Cabela’s has everything you need to suit you up for whatever your next outdoor excursion may be. But it is so much more than an outdoor store. Located right next to Rentschler Field, this store attracts people who are just looking to take their kids out for the day. With a massive aquarium filled with native fish, kids are entertained while you look for that certain something you need – whether it be fishing, camping, hiking and more. You’ll walk in and never want to leave. Cabela’s is a leader nationwide in outdoor gear. Store hours: Mon.–Fri.: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sat.: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sun.: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

logo LLBean Best Outdoor Stores in Connecticut

L.L. Bean

75 Evergreen Way
South Windsor, CT 06074

L.L.Bean has been a trusted source for quality apparel, reliable outdoor equipment and expert advice for more than 95 years. Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, the company has grown from a one-man operation to a global organization. Headquartered in Freeport, Maine, L.L. Bean has expanded to the one-time catalog-driven retailer to opening stores, one of which is located in the beautiful Evergreen Walk in South Windsor. Like the others, this massive store has everything one is looking for and if you can’t find it in the store, they’ll help you order it online. For store hours, visit Website.

EMS Best Outdoor Stores in Connecticut

Eastern Mountain Sports

1459A New Britain Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06110
(860) 561-4302

With seven stores around the state, Eastern Mountain Sports, or EMS as it’s better known, is one of the most popular stores when it comes to outdoor planning. This one in West Hartford is located minutes from Westfarms Mall. Whether you’ve been buying your outdoor gear or this is the first time you’ve heard of EMS, the goal is to help you experience what they call MNTN life. No matter what your favorite outdoor activity is, they have the gear, apparel, and advice you can depend on. In addition to top national brands, they also offer their own EMS apparel and gear designed to perform in the unforgiving, ever-changing weather of New England. For hours, locations around the state and directions, visit the Website.