Waterbury is the fifth largest city in Connecticut and is located about 30 miles to the southwest of Hartford, 22 miles north of New Haven, and 77 miles to the northeast of New York City. In the first half of the 20th century, Waterbury was an industrial powerhouse producing large amounts of brass finishings which led to it being nicknamed “The Brass City”. Since then the factories have quieted and Brass City has taken on a more suburban role to the larger cities of New Haven and Hartford. The city has also embraced its tourism potential by showcasing some of those previously industrial sites.
Your Waterbury RV rental vacation is sure to involve plenty of interesting experience, however, if you’re interested in taking a trip into New York City, the Metro-North commuter rail line has a station in Waterbury that allows for easy access to the Big Apple.
RV Parks Near Waterbury
Waterbury has a sizable number of RV parks and campgrounds. When you book a motorhome rental in Waterbury, you should easily find a site that’s close enough to town and all of the attractions you want to visit.
Gentile’s Campground is only twelve minutes to the north of the city and has tons of activities and amenities including a swimming pool, basketball court, playgrounds, miniature golf and fire pits. A few miles farther down the road is Branchbrook Campground, which has similar amenities and is adjacent to a number of hiking trails at Black Rock State Park. Camping with your Waterbury motorhome rental is also available at Black Rock State Park, but the sites are primitive with no hookups.
The nearest Walmart to Waterbury is in the Naugatuck Valley Shopping Center a few miles to the east. To fuel up your Waterbury rental RV, there’s a truck stop a few miles to the north of the city, and another one several miles to the east on I-84.
Exploring the City of Waterbury
When you book an RV in Waterbury, there’s no shortage of things to do: museums, theaters, great parks, and a few pretty unique attractions.
To get a sense of Waterbury’s culture and history your first stop should be at the Mattatuck Museum. It’s in the middle of the downtown area and showcases some of the best works from local artists and a historical collection that tells the story of Waterbury through the years. Another great museum to visit with your Waterbury travel trailer rental is the Timexpo, with numerous exhibits showcasing the local Timex corporation and the fine watches and clocks that they’ve produced. It’s a little quirky, but also really fun to visit a museum that does such a deep dive into a specific subject.
If you’re looking for a classy night out though, check the schedule at the Palace Theater. The ornate venue is host to stand up comedy, Broadway musicals, and plenty of mainstream entertainment acts. The Seven Angels Theater is another great place to see dramatic performances and they put on over 200 shows a year, so you should be able to catch one no matter what the time of year you take your Waterbury, CT motorhome rental vacation.
You can also step back in time with a trip to Roller Magic Waterbury Skating Center. The wooden roller rink has a DJ, arcade, and skates for rent, transporting you to the glory of the 1970s and the Disco Era.
Getting Outside Near Waterbury
Despite its small size, Waterbury has a few great parks within the city limits and even more impressive ones just a short drive away. When you rent an RV, one of the best things about it is having the freedom to explore the surrounding area too, so be sure to take some scenic drives to see all that the area has to offer.
If you’re looking for a shady park to stroll through, Hamilton Park is probably the closest and one of the best. The park sits adjacent to the Brass Mill Shopping Center and has a few sports fields and excellent green spaces for a picnic. Library Park is also quite popular, with a bandshell hosting special events during the warmer months and a few trails and gazebos to relax in during the rest of the year.
One of the most popular hiking trails in the area is the Whitestone Cliffs Trail inside the Mattatuck State Forest, about twenty minutes north of Waterbury. The 1.7-mile path winds its way through the forest and past the namesake cliffs to reach a height of about 750 feet at the summit where there’s a beautiful overlook. Nearby Black Rock State Park also has a few hiking trails including the Mattatuck Trail that extends from Waterbury all the way to Wigwam Reservoir in Morris, 16 miles away. If you’re up for some light spelunking, there’s the rather shallow Leatherman’s Cave where local recluse, “The Leatherman”, made his home occasionally.