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Things to do in Waterbury

  • Mattatuck Museum Arts and History Center Mattatuck Museum Arts and History Center Waterbury, Connecticut
    The museum was started in 1877 as the Mattatuck Historical Society to save the history of the area known as Mattatuck, which is a ten town area around the city of Waterbury.  During the 1960s, the mission was expanded to include all the works of the state's artists.  The Mattatuck is unusual in that it showcases artists and sculptors that were born or lived in Connecticut; going from the 18th through the 20th centuries. These include such great artisans as; John Trumbull, Kay Sage, Abe Ajay, Yves Tanguy, Alexander Calder, Arshile Gorky, Frederic Church, Peter Poskas, Erastus Salisbury Field and John Frederick Kensett. It also features the cultural and commercial successes of the city. Included is the 15,000 piece collection of buttons, that was given to the museum by the out of business Button Museum that was run by the Waterbury Button Company. The museum started giving self guided tours of the downtown area that showcases the distinct architectural styles in 2008. It features a regional history exhibit with interactive models, historic movie shorts and oral histories that goes through the past and present of the city and areas within New Haven county. The center helps the continuing artistic achievements with the state's biennial, that's open to artisans that have a residence or studio in the state. This contest gives products and gift certificates from the area's businesses. The museum got national attention in 1999, when a skeleton was found in a closet of a structure that was being refurbished, found in 1910, and thought to be from the 18th century, and they named him Larry since it was written on its skull. It was on display in a glass case up to 1970 when it was taken out of view. Then, an investigation by the African-American Historic Project Committee found that the skeleton was actually that of a slave named Fortune; who had died in 1803 and a special display was given in honor of Fortune that showed the lives of African-American slaves in that era.

  • Glebe House Museum & Gertrude Jekyll Garden
    This historical house was built in the 18th century and offers that visitor a small idea of what the Revolutionary War period in Connecticut was like. The farmhouse is furnished with the belongings of the Reverend John Marshall, his wife Sarah, and their nine children who lived here during that tumultuous time. In those days, a glebe was the farm land that was part of the benefits of a rural clergymen's income. If the reverend lived in the town, it would have been called a vicarage or rectory, but if it was in the country on land, it was known as a glebe house. The first Episcopal pastor was John Rutgers Marshall of New York City and he came with his wife and family in 1771. At the end of the war, John and his family had lived through a terrible oppression that was part of being an Anglican during that period, when they were assumed to be loyal to the king; whether they were or not. Some weeks after the end of the war, a number of Episcopalians met undercover in the glebe house to decide on a huge decision, to help build a new nation, while still being loyal to their religious heritage. They elected the Reverend Dr. Samuel Seabury to become the first bishop in the new land, hoping that the church and government would stay separated, and that religious tolerance would be allowed in the new country. The home was constructed in 1750, and is architecturally unique in that it has a gambrel and salt box roof. When the Marshalls left the house, it became the property of a silversmith named Gideon B. Botsford and his family. He lived and worked at the house, with his wife and eight children into the mid 19th century. By 1920, many owners and families had lived at the house and it was in desperate need of renovation. While a decision was being made to tear down the home, the Seabury Society for the Preservation of the Glebe House came to its rescue and started the refurbishing process, getting period furniture and raising money to make it a museum. In 1923, it was finished under the direction of William Henry Kent, a pioneer of early American decorative arts working for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. It is one of the earliest historic house museums in the nation. The museum opened in 1925 and was a great success. The next year, world famous horticulturist designer and writer, Gertrude Jekyll, from England was brought in to make an old fashioned garden that would showcase the new museum. Gertrude had a great influence in gardening and its designs, and many consider her to be the greatest gardener of the century. Though the garden is small compared to the some 400 others that she created in England and the states, it is beautiful with its 600 feet of classic English style blended with border and foundation plants and flowers, including a stone terrace and private rose allee'. It is most unusual that the garden she planned never came to fruition in the 20s, and the idea was actually forgotten until the late 1970s when the plans were found. The garden was begun in 1990, and is in the process of being finished the way it was designed and planned.

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  • Holy Land USAHoly Land USA Waterbury, Connecticut
    For over twenty years, the Holy Land USA attraction that is set on the side of a bluff that looks out over the city of Waterbury, Connecticut, continues to decay and fall apart; but still locals and those looking for the unique come here to discover the hidden mysteries that still abound. It is a miniature replica of the holy city of Bethlehem, that has fallen into terrible need of renovation and repair. With piles of junk, eerie tunnels, blown out structures and incredible stories of horror, gang murders and something weird about an order of nuns; the ruins attract many visitors, day or night. In the strange ruins, there are two disturbing phenomena's that continue to occur. Both are very disconcerting to the residents that view the strange lights, but they still occur without rhythm or reason. The first, and most visible to all, is the tall high tech steel cross that can be seen by all for many miles, especially when it lights up the night. Some bizarre joke is that Christ was electrocuted on the cross; but the other strange occurrence is the huge Hollywood style sign that lights up the night with "Holy Land USA". This attraction originally opened in the early 1950s, on the rocky side of Pine Hill, when a lawyer and evangelist named John Greco had a profound vision from God, or as many believe a broadcast message that was also heard by the creator of Alabama's Ave Maria Grotto or Iowa's Grotto of Redemption or any of the other 20th century divine creations. Well, John was able to get hundreds of volunteers to built the small city with discarded materials like plywood, chicken wire, tin siding, fragments of religious statuary and cement, turning it into grottos, dioramas to educate and the structures of the city. It soon became a tourist destination for many in the 1960s and 1970s, at one time having 44,000 people come in a year. It became a must for church groups and pilgrims, with a huge parking lot now growing over with weeds, shrubs and small trees, also the remains of a gift shop and other out buildings. It was all set on a 17 acre plot, but soon enough a steady drop in attendance happened until it finally closed a couple of years before Greco died, in 1986, when he was 91. In his last will and testament, he gave it all to the Religious Teachers Fillipini of Bristol. During the following years, an order of nuns tried to keep it up as much as possible, as the white rocks that line the entrance are freshly painted. Yet the park overall has continued to decay thanks to the elements, hooligans and scavengers. The nuns have refused any help, even by preservationists and other well meaning groups, however, a troop of Boy Scouts trying to get their Eagle badges were allowed to restore the Hollywood style sign in 1997 for their community service badge, and in 2008, the tall cross was taken down and replaced with a newer version that will light up the night as always. The park's future is undetermined, and although considered a landmark, especially on I-84, no one knows for sure. The Brass Mill Center is a recent 150 store mall that exudes money, is close by and there are rough looking neighborhoods that surround the Pine Hill area full of possible juvenile delinquents or vandals. Many of the old buildings seem like they were pulled out of the ground and thrown on top of others and the huge fiberglass Bible is gone; the Garden of Eden is stripped bare and the Catacombs entry way has been blocked up with a church pew. No one in their right mind should go down there according to many in the area anyway. And sadly, all the statues have been decapitated, and the real photo of the Christ exhibit is only a warped and weather stained sheet of plywood, that does bear some resemblance to what many feel He would look like. Each year, more and more of the park rots away, although the nuns still control it. It hasn't been open since 1984, and the nuns discourage anyone from visiting there, yet many come up to the gate, park their car and walk around the gate so they can go exploring, destroying or just plain vandalizing. A grim reminder of what this society continues to do to anyone's vision of a better world; or personal property.

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Local Restaurants in Waterbury
  • San Marino Ristorante Italiano
    This old style Italian restaurant has been a favorite in Waterbury for over 35 years, serving the best Italian food in the state. The menu is very extensive and we shall offer some of the delicious cuisine; soups include; French onion, pasta & fagioli, chicken escarole and soup of the day. Appetizers include; bocconcini caprese which is fresh mozzarella & sliced tomatoes with fresh basil, sun dried tomatoes, spices & extra virgin olive oil; zucchini flowers are dipped in seasoned egg batter and pan fried, served with garlic bread; fried calamari is served with marinara sauce; steamed clams are simmered in a fresh broth of onions, garlic, parsley & herbs; broccoli rabe & grilled sausage is grilled sweet sausage and sautéed broccoli rabe with garlic and oil; crostini di lamb is petite lamb chops marinated with aged balsamic vinegar & pure honey, lightly breaded and broiled; clams casino is stuffed with peppers, onions, bread crumbs and bacon; escarole & fagioli is sautéed escarole and beans sautéed with garlic and oil; shrimp coconut is fried with a coconut crust and served with fruit. Family style platters; fried seafood platter is with scallops, calamari, shrimp and smelts; platter of broccoli rabe & sausage, fried calamari, clams casino & mozzarella en carozza; platter of fresh mozzarella & sliced tomatoes, prosciutto, roasted red peppers & stella cheese; platter of sautéed baby artichokes, roasted red peppers, sautéed portabella mushrooms, grilled eggplant & garlic bread. Old world offerings; suffrito; baccala, potatoes & hot peppers; tripe; or polenta. Salads include; Caesar, crab & cucumber, baby arugula, onion & tomato; grilled calamari; wedge salad; and grilled sea scallops salad. Pasta and entrees are served with garden salad with choice of housemade dressings; bleu cheese, oil & vinegar, creamy Italian, vinaigrette, parmesan peppercorn, honey dijon and thousand island. Pasta; spaghetti and meatballs; penne veneziano is with sausage, broccoli rabe, roasted red peppers, hot peppers, garlic and oil; gnocchi Bolognese is potato pasta with ground pork, beef and vegetable tomato sauce with a touch of cream; chicken and broccoli Alfred served over fettuccini; penne arrabiata is with sweet and hot peppers, olives, capers, onions, mushrooms, plum tomatoes and fresh basil sautéed with extra virgin olive oil. Pollo & vitello; chicken marsala is chicken breast sautéed with mushrooms and onions in a marsala wine sauce served with fettuccini; grilled chicken with broccoli rabe; veal parmigiana is breaded veal cutlet topped with mozzarella cheese and house sauce; veal Godfather is medallions of veal, mushrooms, prosciutto, mozzarella cheese & red peppers in a marsala wine sauce served with garlic mashed potatoes; veal Claudio is veal medallions dipped in egg batter topped with prosciutto and mozzarella cheese, sautéed in lemon, white wine and butter served over spinach. Pesce; baked scrod topped with bread crumbs, white wine and butter, served with fresh veggies; shrimp san Marino is egg batter dipped jumbo shrimp topped with prosciutto & mozzarella cheese finished in lemon white wine and butter.

  • Diorio Restaurant & Bar
    The legend began in the 1920s when Rocco Diorio opened his fine restaurant to create memorable dining experiences for the residents of Waterbury. They have a marble bar, acid etched mirrors that show the history of Waterbury, tin ceiling and the most magnificent mahogany bankers booths. The menu offers antipasti; calamari is quick fried calamari tossed with sliced cherry peppers, spicy marinara and melted gorgonzola cheese; shrimp Angeline is jumbo shrimp wrapped with bacon, melted fresh mozzarella and balsamic reduction; shrimp cocktail is jumbo shrimp with house tangy horseradish cocktail sauce; bruschetta is grilled Tuscan bread topped with diced plum tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic and parmesan cheese; crabcake is crispy herb encrusted lump Maryland crabmeat, over field greens & roasted red pepper chipotle remoulade; scallops is pan-seared Macadamia nut encrusted scallops drizzled with a coconut rum sauce. Raw bar offers; clams, oysters, or shrimp. Salads include; mozzarella caprese is fresh mozzarella, vine ripe tomatoes, basil pepper infused EVOO; classic Caesar is crisp romaine greens, Diorio's creamy anchovy dressing, shaved Pecorino Romano cheese, garlic house made croutons; mixed green salad is with baby field greens, radicchio, sliced red onion, Diorio's house vinaigrette and crumbled gorgonzola cheese. Minestre; soup of the day, lobster bisque. Pasta offered; linguini with clams is penne pasta, mixed mushrooms, pancetta, peas, onions with a marsala cream sauce; shrimp scampi is jumbo shrimp baked with butter, white wine, lemon, fresh herbs, garlic, peas, plum tomatoes, herbed pistachio crumbs over capellini; rigatoni ala vodka is rigatoni pasta with a vodka plum tomato cream sauce; gemelli & sausage is gemelli pasta, spicy sliced Italian sausage, sun dried tomatoes, mascarpone cream sauce. Pesce offered; fish of the day; salmon is fresh Norwegian salmon horseradish mustard glaze; scallops risotto is diver sea scallops with a creamy mushroom and cranberry risotto, drizzled with a fresh citrus confit; Chilean sea bass is pan-seared sea bass served with chef's daily choice of topping. Dalla Griglia offered; ribeye steak is grilled 18 ounce; filet mignon is grilled 10 ounce; steak au poivre is pan-seared pepper encrusted 14 ounce New York strip, Jack Daniels & peppercorn demi reduction; land and sea is grilled 10 ounce filet with jumbo shrimp stuffed with fresh Maryland lump crabmeat and drawn butter.

Lamb San Marino Waterbury, Connecticut


Coco shrimp San Marino Waterbury, Connecticut


Broccoli Rabe San Marino Waterbury, Connecticut


Spaghetti & Meatballs San Marino Waterbury, Connecticut


Baked Scrod San Marino Waterbury, Connecticut


Gemelli & Sausage Diorio Waterbury, Connecticut


Fried Calamari Diorio Waterbury, Connecticut


Clams Diorio Waterbury, Connecticut


Macadamia Encrusted Scallops Diorio Waterbury, Connecticut


Hertz Car Rental Waterbury

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  • Railroad Museum of New England Railroad Museum of New England Waterbury, Connecticut
    The railroad museum was started in the 1960s, but the trademark and name were taken in 1987. The museum operates the Naugatuck Railroad between Waterville and Thomaston and was the result of deciding what the goals and vision of the Connecticut Valley Railroad Museum were. They were the ones that started the Valley Railroad in Essex and operated the steam train excursions through the state, or at least the western half. The museum was given the chance to develop the old New Haven rail line from Waterbury to Torrington that was owned by the state's DOT. It all came to fruition in 1996, when the present Naugatuck Railroad started a tourist scenic train that went over the 20 miles of the original track that was opened in 1849. These excursions run a few days each week during the summer months from the historic train station at Thomaston, that was built in 1881. It takes about 75 minutes to go the track, going between the Thomaston Dam and Waterville, with a shuttle that often goes from East Litchfield to Torrington. In the fall and winter, there are special trains that run with the train participating in the Day out with Thomas program, sometime in August. The museum has a large number of engines and rolling stock from the New England era, with over 80 full sized railroading equipment. Some of the railroads that have contributed to the museum are the New Haven, Boston & Maine; Maine Central; Rutland and Bangor & Aroostook. There are many smaller items that are part of the museum, like railroad corporate records, signals and other items. Volunteers come to run the trains and keep the engines and other rolling stock in good condition, plus a program that lets the public run a locomotive for an hour for a small fee that is called Engineer for an Hour.

  • Palace Theater
    The Palace Theater was part of a $200 million redevelopment in the city of Waterbury, that reopened in 2004 as a culture and tourist destination with a historic flavor. It is a beautiful majestic theater that is reminiscent of by gone days and opulent decor that graced these marvelous vestibules of comedy, music and drama. It is a remarkable venue for dinner and theater and is set up to handle such affairs. They can accommodate many different sized groups, from 20 to 500, and a maitre'd, catering, vendors and other needs can be met. It is the biggest performance stage house in the state and can seat over 2500 people. There is an orchestra and mezzanine level, as well as an orchestra pit that seats 26 musicians. They have group ticket sales, subscription tickets and single tickets that will bring into the world of magic with plays, ballets, singers, comedies, off Broadway shows, musicals, stand up comedians, food and wine tastings and more.

avis discount rental car Waterbury

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  • Mountains UnlimitedMountains Unlimited Waterbury, Connecticut
    Mountains Unlimited Whitewater Adventures seems to say it all. They are an adventure club comprised of licensed professional guides and outdoor sports lovers that travel the world looking for adventure wherever they might find it. From the western US, to the heights of the European Alps, this group has outings all year long in the quest for adventure and thrills that will last a lifetime. The groups are always small and the price is also, which neither affecting the great exciting fun that they have, and make sure that you have. Their whitewater excursions are noncommercial and the members pay only what is needed for expenses. The majority of the trips are guided to protect the people and equipment, but some are self guided with guides coming to ensure that all safety measures are met. Membership includes discounts for most outdoor equipment for boating, climbing, biking, inflatable boats and kayaks. The local rivers in the Waterbury area are the Bulls Bridge Gorge that is 8 miles going through Kent with class IV-V rapids that are considered to be some of the most difficult in the east. Another is the Housatonic River that is anywhere from 7 to 10 miles that goes through the historic hills of northwestern Connecticut with class I to III rapids. The Dryway is on the Deerfield River, and is a class IV rapids that continue with non-stop action and excitement. The rapids at Split Rock, Dragon's Tooth and the Labyrinth must have teamwork between the guides and paddlers to survive the treacherous trip. The Zoar Gap family rafting outing is along the Deerfield River that is more tuned to families and groups that just want to have a great time of rafting.

  • The Country Club of Waterbury
    In the twilight of the 1890s, the sport of golf was beginning to take hold of the Americas, and the city of Waterbury was involved also. In 1896, the West End Golf Links were being played as they sat along side the Naugatuck River. The 9 hole course had been designed by Waterbury local son Arthur Fenn and was enjoyed by both women and men that played the course. The Waterbury Golf Association was started in 1899, and less than ten years later had evolved into the Country Club. It was during that same year, that a 26 year old Scotsman had come over to this country and settled in Boston; he was Donald J. Ross. The club was incorporated by 1907, and the founding members had decided on a 200 acres pastureland for their new course to be laid out. In 1927, they hired the noted golf architect Donald Ross to design a first class 18 hole course that combined the first 9 holes with the new acreage. It opened in 1928 and has become the cornerstone for the club's tradition.

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  • Silas Bronson Library
    The library serves the needs of its 108,487 residents, with a grand collection of 256,509 books, 6300 CDs, cassettes, records and other audio materials plus 7500 DVDs, VHS tapes and other video materials. Terminals are available for the public use, with a staff of 37, 17 that are accredited librarians and numerous volunteers. There is a branch library, that handle the 238,806 visitors with the main library, and expenses are about $230,000 a year. These visitors check out over 340,000 items and 42% belong to children. The library started in 1868 with a donation by Silas Bronson, a merchant living in the city and a great philanthropist. This name is one that shows up often in the early history of the city of Waterbury, and since its beginnings, it has strived to promote education, dispense information and to continuously make a difference in the moral and cultural heritage of the city. It is 53,000 square feet of modern information and technological resources and has been in its present building since the 1960s.

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  • Timexpo Museum
    This museum is devoted to the history of Timex watches and it precursors going back to the late 1850s in Waterbury, Connecticut. It is found today in the Brass Hill Commons with an Easter Island statue that connects to the archaeology display. It is 14,000 square feet with 8000 square feet devoted to the main two exhibits; archaeology and Timex. Waterbury has been known for many years as the brass city, although a decline in the clockmaking industry occurred and the building it now sits in is a former brass mill, and the offices of the Scovill Manufacturing Company. The Timexpo museum contains exhibits that go back to the start of the Waterbury Clock Company which was in 1857. Timex was the corporation that took over the Waterbury Clock Company and the museum highlights the most important times of the company's history. There is a great display about the U.S. Army commissioning the company in 1917 to create wristwatch replicas of the Yankee pocketwatch for the soldiers that were going overseas. Although the museum is not limited in the area, since it also contains some versions of the local history, including letters from Mark Twain, when he lived in nearby Hartford. Also included is the many displays that are concentrated on the travels of settlers across the oceans. The museum was approved in 1999, and opened in 2001, with an overall cost of almost $5 million, and the Naugatuck Valley Development Corporation gave a half million and Timex the remainder. With the final cost rising to $5.45 million, the Development company and the Connecticut Department of Economic Development and Community Development giving $2 million.

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May 12, 2011