Perhaps it’s irony—or perhaps foresight—that located Connecticut’s  largest university in the region’s most sedate territory. Founded as Storrs Agricultural College in 1893, the University of Connecticut now draws a population of more than 15,000 students annually.
Thankfully Storrs is close enough to Hartford  that many students go there for their fun; the area around the university itself is mostly farmland ranged around the urban centers of former mill towns.
For old-school entertainment, head to the Mansfield Drive-In Theatre (Rtes. 31 and 32, Mansfield, 860/423-4441, www.mansfielddrivein.com , box office 7:10 p.m., $9 adults 12+, $5 children 6–11, free children under 3), an authentic drive-in showing first-run movies alongside a playground and snack bar. UConn students congregate at Huskies (28 King Hill Rd., Storrs, 860/429-2333), a student-y dive with pool tables and drink specials.