It's our second edition of Gothamist's travel content, Gothamist Getaways. Four times a year, we'll have a week of posts featuring looks at travel, food, products and tips—near and far—for making your trips more enjoyable. So sit back, dream of your next journey and let us know if you have any hints for us—email

You finally get a break from the city, only to find yourself stuck in traffic on I-95 in Connecticut. As you stare at a sign for gas, food and lodging, you wonder how far the food or gas really is from the exit. Here’s a list of spots off of I-95 that are minutes from the exit. You can use them as a place to take a break on a long haul trip to New England or make them a day trip destination.

There is a Pez Museum! (Pez)

Exit 3: Bruce Museum
Originally built as a private home, this Greenwich Museum has exhibits on art, science and natural history. Peruse the permanent exhibits including The Earth’s Minerals and Community Connections. Starting July 12th, the museum’s exhibit Being, Nothingness and Much, Much More: Roz Chast, Beyond the New Yorker, which will include around thirty works from the New Yorker cartoonist.

Exit 41: PEZ Visitors Center
I’m one of the few people who can actually admit to attending a PEZ Convention. It was held in a hotel in Stamford, long before the PEZ Visitors Center opened in Orange, Connecticut. PEZ fans will enjoy a trip to the PEZ Visitors Center where they can learn about the history of PEZ and check out the collection of dispensers. There’s a five-dollar admission fee, which includes a two-dollar credit to use on merchandise, a PEZ lanyard and the chance to win a PEZ dispenser. Although this isn’t a factory tour (it’s just a visitors center), if you head there on a weekday, you can see the PEZ factory in action.

The Thimble Islands (Daniel Hartwig/Flickr)

Exit 56: Thimble Islands Boat Tour
Take a boat tour of the Thimble Islands, a series of islands on the Long Island Sound. Treasure hunters should take note; Captain Kidd may have buried treasure here. You don’t get to step foot on one of the private islands on these boat tours, but the stories of the Island’s history and the views are well worth the twelve dollar admission. There are two popular narrated boat tours and both depart from the dock in Stony Creek, Ct.. Hop aboard the Sea Mist or Captain Bob’s Volsunga IV.

Exit 72: Book Barn
In a world of Kindle, Nooks and Ipads, Book Barn is a destination to for folks who still find joy in printed books. If you have a stack of books you keep promising yourself you’ll sell to The Strand, take them to Book Barn’s Immigration Table.

There are CATS (Stephen W./Foursquare)

Those in search of the store’s latest acquisitions of used books can look at Ellis Island, where Book Barn houses books too new to be shelved. The old farm has small buildings around the property filled with everything from romance to mystery books. For those who love literary fiction, the section is well stocked. I’ve walked away with $1 Kate Atkinson book and located out of print paperbacks amidst their stacks. In addition to the cats that sun themselves at Book Barn, there is also a small petting zoo with goats. Once you’ve picked out your books, don’t forget to take free cookies, located by the register.

Alison Lowenstein, Gothamist Getaways editor, is the author of NYC guidebooks, and travel articles for National Geographic Traveler, Newsday, NY Daily News,, etc. When she isn’t planning trips, she enjoys jogging around the streets of NYC. Despite her athletic pursuits, her favorite food is the donut. You can find her on Twitter at @cityweekendsnyc.