Matthew shows the treasures of Montville - WFSB 3 Connecticut

20 Towns in Twenty Days

Matthew shows the treasures of Montville

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Matthew Campbell visited Montville for 20 Towns in Twenty Days (WFSB) Matthew Campbell visited Montville for 20 Towns in Twenty Days (WFSB)
MONTVILLE, CT (WFSB) -

Montville is one of the most visited towns in the entire state.

Visits are usually confined to the borders of the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino.

There's a lot more than money to be won in Montville.

Four villages, Uncasville, Oakdale, Chesterfield, and Mohegan make up this town of 20,000.

“It's like one happy unit here in this area. Everyone is like family,” said Rayna Reynolds of Montville.

Many days start at the iconic Herb's Country Deli where homestyle meals are cooked up by friendly, neighborhood faces.

Nestled into his corner spot, you'll often find Herb himself, greeting the regulars.

“I don't think I want to do anything else,” said Herb Plotnik, owner of Herb’s Country Deli.

Herb came to Montville with his truck in the 50s and delivered produce door to door. That eventually transitioned into the family-run, diner-style restaurant and country store that’s there today.

The homemade signs, the pies, and the famous Rueben have made this a legendary stop for 45 years.

“This menu is basically the original menu from day one. We've had stuffed English and a special omelet with pepperoni and cheese and nothing's changed,” said Ellen.

After getting ready for your day at Herb's, you might want to rev your engines up at Supercharged Powered by Mohegan Sun.

The half-mile indoor track also has a trampoline park. It's been open for a little more than a year and has brought families from all over the country, like the Claxton's from Alabama.

“My daughter in law has been here before and she has raced the go-karts and jumped so we decided we'd bring the guys out and have fun,” said Robin Claxton.

Once inside, anyone taller than 58 inches can take a zero-emission electric go-kart on the track and navigate the sharp turns.

They're so quiet, sound effects actually had to be added to each vehicle, but the squealing tires are the real deal.

Montville is also home to two dinosaur destinations.

The for-profit Dinosaur Place and another, a not for profit.

It's the Wells Dinosaur Haven, located right in Jeff Wells' three-acre backyard.

“I just happen to have a yard full of dinosaurs that I began to build in 1981,” said Jeff Wells.

Fiberglass is the main source and all of them are handmade by Wells.

He even decided to get a job at Electric Boat to help him hone his skills. He stayed there until retirement.

“What they taught me, I applied here,” Wells said.

His biggest passion project was a life-sized T-Rex.

Standing at 18 feet tall and 42 feet long, it took twenty years to make.

“That's very much like a submarine where you go in there,” said Wells.

You can find the one of a kind exhibit on Route 32, right across the street from the sun.

Wells says people from all over have checked this out, including celebrities like Avril Lavigne, who stopped by during some downtime before a performance.

There's no admission, all Wells asks is that you sign the guest book. 

“It's a very quiet thing, it's like a little secret club, all you have to do it show up,” said Wells.  

Another place locals love to go is Nino's.

Locals say this pizzeria represents the new generation. Sharing space with the powerhouse Pepe's, Victor Lawrence shares what separates the two.

“There's nowhere else in town that has New York style hand-tossed pizza. We work very hard to maintain a high quality,” said Victor Lawrence, Nino’s manager.

While millions from around the world will continue to flow through the walls of Montville’s main attraction, some faithful players are vowing to expand their horizons beyond the Sun.

“I thought that the area here was mostly the casino and it was built around that arena,” said Sharon Zapolski from Enfield.

There is much more to Montville and the people are the ones who make it special.

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