Best Places for Dining, Shopping, and Sightseeing Near Mystic CT
Travel Guide by Glori Law
There are an incredible number of things to do year round in the Mystic area. We constantly update this guide based on our own experiences and with feedback from our guests, who now total over 120 rentals. We have gotten a good idea of what is worthwhile and what isn't. Our goal is to provide visitors with ideas and descriptions that will help to make their visit memorable. We don't get any favors, freebies, gifts etc. from any of the sites we mention.
To the left is the steamboat Sabino that is the oldest wooden, coal-fired steamboat in regular operation in the U.S. Built in 1908 in East Boothbay, Maine. It still has the original engine! It leaves from the Mystic Seaport and cruises up the Mystic river right in front of our house
River Tavern/Chester is a farm fresh restaurant that is worth the hour trip. I would suggest going early and touring the delightful little New England town of Chester first. Chester is a storybook New England town with cute shops old buildings and of course The River Tavern. Their food is all exceptional , but you have to have the fig pudding, which may the best dessert I have ever had! You need to order it when you order lunch or dinner as it takes about an hour to prepare! A fantastic restaurant! Make reservations before you go there. This is just up the road from the Essex Train so would be two activities you could combine.
Eastern Point Beach is located in Groton. It is a difficult destination in the summer as it is small and crowded, but a fantastic place to go Fall through Spring. This is a great place to go to see lighthouses , crashing surf on rocks and an occasional submarine rising from the water. Another wonderful place to take pictures. While you are there check out The University of Connecticut Avery Point campus which is just a few hundred yards to the east of Eastern Point. This small campus has to be one of the most unique and beautiful in the country!
It is difficult to not want to take a picture of just about everything in the Mystic area. My advise is to never leave the house without your camera. I have already pointed out some of my favorite places for photography, (see our web); Noank, Stonington Fishing Docks, Farm on Cove Road, Watch Hill beach near Ocean House and Taylor Swift's house, Eastern Point Beach, Stonington Borough, but the sunsets at our house are the best!.
There is a short ride I always bring our visitors on that goes around the river and affords a beautiful view of the Seaport from across the river. To take this drive go over the drawbridge and make your first right after the area that is being rebuilt . Stay on this road and keep taking rights until you get to River Road. The streets before River Road have interesting architecture and the historical society has marked all the house with signs saying who built them, the date and what these peoples professions were in the town. Make a right on River Road and you will meander until you get to Old Mystic. There is a beautiful pond filled with lilly pads on the left and a waterfall on the right just before River Road ends. Make a right and go about a couple hundred yards, make another right on to 27 and you will be heading back to Mystic. This is about a 15 minute trip without pictures and a two hour one with stops at all the spectacular spots!
River Road is a great bike ride, although I would suggest you ride to the end of River Road and backtrack to Mystic that way, as 27 gets very busy near the I 95 interchange and it is not that interesting there anyway.
Fields of Fire Adventure Park is located in Mystic about 4 miles from the house. It is a 50 acre ariel climbing park. Would be perfect outing for kids nine or older. They also have night climbing.
Ocean State Job Lot is this areas Ollie's or Big Lots, but little better. Have found so much great stuff at this place. They have an incredible food selection. There is a biscotti company near our home in Pittsburgh that sells good, but expensive biscotti. I found our favorite chocolate flavor of that brand here for a fraction of the price. I now buy it in Connecticut to bring back to Pittsburgh! They have great art supplies, sunglasses, sometimes dishes, picnic ware, carpets, seasonal stuff, etc. You never know what will be there. These are stores all over, but the closest are in Groton and Westerly. I love this place!