Discover What Makes Mystic Magical
With its tall ships and historic seaport, boutique shops and trendy eateries, and 3,000-pound beluga whales you can view below water, there’s something for everyone in Mystic. It’s no wonder Mystic is Connecticut’s most popular tourist destination. If you’re visiting from out of town or just want to be a tourist for the day, here are some fun things to do in Mystic, CT.
1. Mystic Seaport Museum – The nation’s leading maritime museum is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, the world’s last wooden whaleship. In addition to climbing aboard historic ships, visitors can explore a re-created 19th-century coastal village where blacksmiths, coopers, printers and shipwrights are hard at work. You can also tour a working restoration shipyard; it’s where the Mayflower II was restored to seafaring standards before returning to its berth in the harbor. It won’t be here long though. It’ll depart Mystic in May, bound for the 400th anniversary commemoration of the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock.
2. Mystic Aquarium – Explore indoor and outdoor exhibits showcasing more than 300 species of aquatic life, including beluga whales, penguins, sharks, stingrays, sea lions and other sea creatures. Kids of all ages love getting their hands wet when touching sharks, stingrays and crabs. You can also see training and feeding sessions, and learn how to help protect our oceans at daily trainer talks.
3. Olde Mystick Village – Built in the early 1970s, this 1720-style Colonial village, complete with village green and duck pond, attracts visitors from all over the world. Locals and tourists alike come to browse and buy in the more than 30 shops offering handcrafted gifts, high-fashion jewelry, souvenirs, homemade fudge, kites and more. Award-winning restaurants, ice cream and donut shops offer bites to satisfy every taste.
4. Mystic Museum of Art – Visitors can view over 250 works from prominent American artists, including several Connecticut-associated names. Exhibits change frequently throughout the year. In addition, there’s a full slate of classes, lectures, family events and off-site programs to participate in. Located on Water Street, the museum offers scenic views of downtown Mystic, the drawbridge and Masons Island.
5. Downtown Mystic – Stretching along both banks of Mystic River, this lively downtown is home to more than 80 independently owned shops, galleries, restaurants, bakeries, ice cream parlors and souvenir stores. It’s also the setting for festivals, parades and holiday events throughout the year.
6. Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center – This natural history museum and nature reserve is a great place to experience nature firsthand. You can wander over 10 miles of trails through mixed woods, wetlands and meadows. Birdwatchers and hikers will be in their element.
7. Mystic River Park – If you want a place to relax and watch the world go by, head to the park. It’s a short walk from downtown shops and restaurants, just southeast of the Bascule Bridge. There are benches for sitting, a green for kids to play on, and a boardwalk for people-watching. It’s a great spot to watch ships pass under the drawbridge. There are also concerts in the summer, so bring your dancing shoes.
8. B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill – Established in 1881, this is the oldest steam-powered cider mill in America. You can see the old cider press in action during the fall. Apple cider donuts, fresh-pressed sweet cider, hard cider and apple wine tastings are all on the menu.
9. Mystic Pizza – This restaurant has been a downtown fixture since 1973. Eighteen years later, it became famous as the inspiration for the movie bearing its name starring Julia Roberts. Movie fans can buy memorabilia here, but the feature attraction is the pizza pie. Try the House Special loaded with three meats and three veggies, also known as a slice of heaven.
10. Mystic Revealed Guided Tours – Experience the magic of Mystic with a local guide who brings it to life. Hear the stories of sea captains and rum runners. Learn the history of whaling and shipbuilding. Visit riverside mansions and get an insider’s take on the best spots for eating, drinking, viewing and learning.
If you find Mystic as attractive as we do, why not add StoneRidge to your list of must-see destinations? We can fill you in on more things to do in Mystic, CT. Many StoneRidge residents continue to be active in the community, volunteering at Mystic Seaport, Mystic Aquarium, Mystic Museum of Art, The Mystic and Noank Library, and Denison Pequotspos Nature Center. To learn more about places and activities our residents enjoy, visit our Community Lifestyle page. Then put yourself in the picture with a floor plan that fits your future.