Connecticut’s largest lake is an eight-square mile, man-made reservoir where people come to enjoy fishing, take a boat out onto the water, swim, and relax on the beaches. The lake is deep enough to allow scuba divers to explore what was left beneath the waters when the reservoir was filled. The land around the park is home to golf courses, picnic areas, and a marina. Both Squantz Pond State Park and Pootatuck State Forest border part of the lake. They’re both excellent areas for walking and hiking. Cadigan Park, on the other side of the lake, has tennis courts and picnic areas. Book your Candlewood Lake vacation rental today. Properties include cottages with private access to the lake, as well as charming cottages within walking distance of the lake. Check out the most quaint and relaxing spots in and around Candlewood Lake.

1. New Fairfield, Connecticut

New Fairfield is one of the towns that borders the lake. It contains part of Squantz Pond State Park, where you can hike the park’s several trails, walk, canoe, kayak, or take a motorboat from the launch. If you’re a scuba diver, you might want to investigate the habitat beneath the waters. Explore the colonial houses in the New Fairfield Historical District. For meals, go to Main Moon Chinese Restaurant or Olde 37 Patio & Grill, where your burger bun is branded with the restaurant’s logo.

2. Danbury, Connecticut

Beautiful Danbury is the home of a spiffy railway museum as well as a historical society tucked away in a historic house. You’ll find a less homely house is the mansion that dominates Tarrywile Park. Shop at the Danbury Fair Mall and the Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market, and take the kids to a hockey game at the Danbury Ice Arena. Nature lovers will enjoy hiking and sightseeing in the Bear Mountain Reservation and the Ives Trail Greenway. Vacation rentals include lakeside cottages with private docks and breathtaking views.

3. New Milford, Connecticut

Found on the banks of the Housatonic River, New Milford has a park called Lover’s Leap. Besides the “leap,” which is a beautiful lookout over the river, there are well-marked hiking trails and interesting ruins. The park is also dog-friendly. Take the kids to the Children’s Movement Center or the Hobby Hangout, then do some bowling at DolrBill’s Bowling & Family Entertainment Center. Numerous restaurants include Yokohama if you’re hungry for Japanese, Ristorante Lucia if you want Italian, and Alpenhaus if you have a yen for German.

4. Roxbury, Connecticut

The former home of Marilyn Monroe is still the home of the Maple Bank Farm, which is a great place for the kids. Come in the summer to pick your own blueberries, and come in the fall to pick apples. Explore the mine shafts and smelters at Mine Hill Preserve, then have a hearty American meal at Mamie’s.

5. Woodbury, Connecticut

If you think Connecticut isn’t wine country, think again. Woodbury is proud of its wine trail, and one place you should visit is Woodbury’s Walker Road Vineyards. If you’re in the market for antiques, go to Mill House Antiques or Canfield Corners. In the winter, have snowy fun at the Woodbury Ski Area. If you’re passionate about gardening, don’t miss Glebe House Museum and The Gertrude Jekyll Garden.

6. Waterbury, Connecticut

The vacation rentals in and around Waterbury include farmhouses with gardens, well-tended lawns and roomy driveways and garages. Venture forth to visit such delights as the Seven Angels Theatre and attend a play or two. Take the family to the Mattatuck Museum Arts and History Center, and don’t miss the astonishing Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Eateries include Sultan’s Turkish Restaurant, Frankie’s Hot Dogs, and Nino’s Trattoria.

7. Naugatuck, Connecticut

Located east of the lake, Naugatuck is the home of the Naugatuck State Forest, an unspoiled wilderness that offers an abundance of trails, stunning scenery, and wildlife. North of this forest is the smaller, dog-friendly Whittemore Glen State Park Scenic Reserve which has jogging and walking trails. If you or your family members like golf, visit the Hop Brook Golf Course.

8. Brewster, New York

This New York town lies about 14 miles west of Candlewood Lake and has a bunch of farms for the kids to visit, including the Tilly Foster Farm Museum. This farm not only has animals to pet but a rock n’ roll museum full of memorabilia. Green Chimneys Farm and Wildlife Center and Salinger’s Orchard Farm Market and Bakery are also places to see. For fine dining, head for the Arch, which serves both European and American cuisine. For good Irish pub fare, pop into Kelly’s Corner.

9. Bethel, Connecticut

The kids are sure to love the Sky Zone Trampoline Park in this little town. They may love the Toy Room with its great selection of toys even more. As with Brewster, farms abound, including the Blue Jay Orchards. This is an apple orchard, and you and your family can pick your own fruit in the fall. If you are indeed coming in the fall, go to Wolfpits Nature Preserve to gasp at the beauty of the fall foliage. Eateries in Bethel are plentiful and include Della Francesca, Nardelli’s Grindr Shoppe, Sprouts Vietnamese Cuisine, and Royal Fish and Chips.

10. Patterson, New York

Vacation rentals in this New York town a bit less than 13 miles from Candlewood Lake include farmhouses in the midst of hunt country, to bungalows, to cottages with private pools tucked into the woods. Go kayaking through the Great Swamp Wildlife Management Area or the Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area in the summer, and ski and snowboard in the winter at Thunder Ridge Ski Resort.