Al gets bored if we don't do something once in a while so after a little research, I found Ravine Gardens State Park about an hour and 15 minutes away. Several different roads can take us there so we went one way and came back another.
The park is not easy to find, our GPS took us to a road that was blocked so we had to regroup. Thanks to Waze we were able to reroute. Once you get to the park it is still confusing. If you want to get a lot of exercise you can park outside the gate and then fill out an envelope and pay $2 per person to enter. You can, though,, drive in and park near the visitor center or just drive around the park in a 1.8 mile loop.
As you go through the gate there is a payment box, you get an envelope out, put in $5 per car and take the tab to hang on your mirror. Bathrooms are in the visitor center and also along the loop and the Court of States are worth a look. It is anchored by an obelisk dedicated to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was the WPA begun by the president that created the park. Connecticut's flag was easy to see and identify.
Driving around is the ideal way to see everything. Parking is available throughout the park at points where you will want to stop. Note to parents, you can walk into the ravine, this is much safer than driving or walking the rim. I didn't see any barriers except on the overlooks so an active child could get into trouble pretty quickly.
If you enjoy a little excitement, there are two suspension bridges that you can walk across.
To be honest, the azaleas were already getting to the end of their beauty. They must have been very early this year due to the warm winter. I was able to get some pretty shots and I found a butterfly that was so pretty I couldn't resist getting out my longer distance lens.
We spent a little over an hour driving around and walking to some of the overlooks. We were not able to find the water wheel so I guess we will have to go back next year, maybe in early February.
If you get hungry, Angel's Dining Car is a historic and fun place to grab a bite to eat.