Spice things up with a visit to the Nutmeg State. Connecticut has multiple personalities, from coastal charm to city culture to country chic. In Essex board the 1920s-era Essex Steam Train for a rhythmic, 9-mile-an-hour ride across tidal marshes to Deep River, then transfer to a Mississippi-style riverboat for a leisurely cruise on the Connecticut River. You can dine in elegance on the Essex Clipper dinner train (1 Railroad Ave., 860-767-0103, 800-377-3987, www.essexsteamtrain.com). In Hartford, the Mark Twain House is an ode to Victorian ostentation. The 19-room mansion designed by the firm of Louis Comfort Tiffany features ceilings decorated with silver and gilt stenciling meant to imitate inlaid mother-of-pearl and wallpaper embossed and painted to look like tooled leather. The sleek stone visitors center, with Twains aphorisms carved into the walls, includes a Ken Burns film and museum (351 Farmington Ave., 860-247-0998, www.marktwainhouse.org). In the Litchfield Hills, on the border with New York, youll find luxury lodgings, gourmet restaurants, and perhaps New Englands preeminent nursery, White Flower Farm. Its a lush catalog come to life, with its football-field-size Christopher Lloyd border of 3,000 bulbs, perennials, shrubs, trees, and annuals; five acres of display gardens; signature Blackmore & Langdon tuberous begonias; and seasonal events such as Tomatomania in May (167 Litchfield Road, Morris, 800-503-9624, www.whiteflowerfarm.com).