Let us not forget the War of 1812, spurred on in part by trade restrictions resulting from Britain warring with France. To celebrate its bicentennial, head to New London for OpSail2012, where a fleet of international and domestic tall ships make a stop in the port as part of a national tall ships tour. Led by America's Coast Guard Barque Eagle, the ships are welcomed with a ceremony in Niantic Bay on July 6 (noon-10 p.m.), after which they'll leave for New London Harbor in a Parade of Sail on the morning of July 7, and be visitable at State Pier, City Pier and Fort Trumbull State Park in New London from July 7-9. Live music, eats, events for the family, a sail boat race and fireworks (Saturday night) are more reasons to venture on down.
July 6, noon-10 p.m., Niantic Bay, East Lyme; July 7, 9 a.m.-10 p.m., July 8, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. and July 9, 9 a.m.-noon, Fort Trumbull State Park, New London. See opsail2012ct.org for a full schedule and more info.
The CT.com guide to summer festivals happening around Connecticut.