The town the region’s named after. Home to the tall ships of Mystic Seaport and New England’s only beluga whales at Mystic Aquarium, the town of Mystic is one of Connecticut’s most visited destinations. Shop one-of-a-kind shops downtown (with its landmark Bascule Bridge) or at the quaint Olde Mistick Village. Or rent a boat or kayak and get out on the Mystic River.
Nestled along the Mystic River, downtown Mystic exudes New England charm. The historic Bascule Bridge welcomes visitors driving down Main Street and is a sight to see when it rises (40 minutes after every hour during the summer) to let boats pass. The streets are lined with nearly 60 restaurants, eateries, boutiques and shops.
Mystic Seaport—known as The Museum of America and the Sea—is the United States’ leading maritime museum. Visitors can explore American maritime history first-hand as they climb aboard historic tall ships, stroll through a re-created 19th-century coastal village, take a voyage on the Mystic River or watch a working preservation shipyard in action. The museum also boasts the world’s last wooden whaleship, the Charles W. Morgan.
A favorite of families is the Mystic Aquarium, New England’s hands-on aquarium. The Aquarium offers unforgettable animal encounters, fun interactive experiences and dynamic learning opportunities for people of all ages. Sea lion shows, beluga whales, touch tanks and African penguins make it a special place, while deep-sea exploration exhibits make it one-of-a-kind.
Located across from the Mystic Aquarium, Olde Mistick Village allows visitors to stroll down beautiful lanes and enjoy shopping in distinctive buildings designed to represent an 18th-century colonial New England village. The shopping destination boasts 50 unique shops, eateries and a luxury movie theater and is known for their signature food festivals and holiday events.
Mystic is also filled with ways to enjoy getting out on the water. Historic ships, cruises, charters, sailing or canoeing—Mystic offers many boating adventures. In addition to the historic vessels at Mystic Seaport, Mystic is home to the Argia, an 81-foot schooner that sails from May to mid-October and is available for public sails, private charters and sunset cruises. Kayaks are also available as are historic boat tours of the Mystic River.
Mashantucket Pequot Museum
No visit to the Mystic area is complete until you visit the award-winning Mashantucket Pequot Museum, where you will experience an immersive, eye-opening journey through time exploring a vibrant American Indian culture. The largest indigenous museum in the world starts with a descent into a glacial crevasse; and then, discover the thrill of a caribou hunt and walk through a fully replicated 16th century Native American village, or explore the outdoor gardens and trails in the farmstead.
End your visit with lunch at the café, and taste authentic native cuisine such as snapping turtle soup, smoked salmon salad, venison skewers and blueberry slump.
Visit www.pequotmusuem.org for hours and directions.