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
The Fantastic Umbrella Factory
The Fantastic Umbrella Factory is an old hippie enclave straight out of the 1960's. It was my kids favorite day outing when they were young and they still feel like that as thirty year olds. I also love it! It is kind of difficult to explain. There are a series of buildings that sell hippie type clothing , lunch, candles, great ethnic musical instruments. stuff from India and Africa, toys, home goods , arts and crafts, teeshirts, jewelry and much more and this is all set in an overgrown vegetive area that makes you feel you just landed on a tropical island There are ponds with koi and little bridges to cross, an old rotting truck from about 1930 and a fantastic nursery that carries plants you can not find anywhere else. (I go there and spend too much money each year, but bring home some specimen plants that are only seen at our Phipps Conservatory here in Pittsburgh that I can now enjoy in my yard!) So all of this is going on and then you add their animals to the mix that just stroll around with the visitors.. They have all kinds of exotically plummed chickens wandering around as well as ducks and they have emus and goats toward the back of the property in the bamboo forest. There used to be some head shops that were always interesting to try to explain to the girls, which are no longer there , but may make a come back given the new lay of the land!
This truly is a place the whole family would enjoy and a must see while in Mystic. It is about a half hour away. You could stop here on you way to Wickford or Point Judith or combine it with a trip to The Shelter Harbor Inn for indian pudding. I have been to the Umbrella Factory dozens of times and never tire of bringing my friends here for the sheer pleasure of seeing their reaction if nothing else. This on my top five list.