Mystic, Connecticut, is a quaint coastal town known for its maritime history, charming downtown area, and beautiful waterfront. With so much to see and do in Mystic, it can be overwhelming to decide where to begin. To help make planning your trip a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of the top things to do in Mystic, Connecticut.
- Visit Mystic Seaport Museum
One of the top attractions in Mystic is the Mystic Seaport Museum. This outdoor museum features a recreated 19th-century seafaring village complete with a shipyard, sail loft, and a variety of historic vessels. Visitors can tour tall ships, climb aboard historic boats, and watch craftsmen at work as they build and repair traditional boats.
The museum also has exhibits on maritime history, including the whaling industry and the development of navigation technology. In addition, Mystic Seaport hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, such as the WoodenBoat Show and the Sea Music Festival.
- Explore Mystic Aquarium
The Mystic Aquarium is another must-see attraction in the area. This world-class aquarium is home to a variety of marine animals, including sea lions, beluga whales, and penguins. Visitors can watch daily feedings and shows, as well as explore the exhibits on marine life and ocean conservation.
The Mystic Aquarium also offers interactive experiences such as the popular “Encounter” programs where visitors can get up close and personal with marine animals like sharks and stingrays.
- Walk Along Mystic River Park
Mystic River Park is a beautiful waterfront park located in the heart of downtown Mystic. This picturesque park offers stunning views of the Mystic River and is a popular spot for picnics, fishing, and boating.
The park also features a small playground, a walking path, and a gazebo where visitors can enjoy live music and other events throughout the summer months.
- Visit Olde Mistick Village
Olde Mistick Village is a charming outdoor shopping village that features a variety of unique shops, restaurants, and attractions. Visitors can stroll along the cobblestone paths and browse through the many boutiques, art galleries, and specialty stores.
The village also has several restaurants and cafes offering everything from traditional New England seafood to pizza and ice cream. Additionally, Olde Mistick Village hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, such as the annual Harvest Beer and Wine Festival and the holiday-themed Winter Wonderland.
- Take a Cruise on the Mystic River
One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Mystic is by taking a cruise on the Mystic River. Several companies offer cruises ranging from scenic sightseeing tours to sunset dinner cruises.
A popular option is the Mystic River Bascule Bridge Cruise, which takes visitors on a tour of the Mystic River and passes through the historic bascule bridge, which was built in 1920 and is still in operation today.
- Tour the Denison Homestead Museum
The Denison Homestead Museum is a historic house museum that offers a glimpse into the life of one of Mystic’s earliest families. Built in 1717, the house has been preserved and restored to its original condition and is now open to the public for tours.
Visitors can learn about the history of the Denison family, the early settlement of Mystic, and the daily life of colonial Americans through guided tours and exhibits.
- Go Wine Tasting at Stonington Vineyards
Stonington Vineyards is a beautiful winery located just a few miles from downtown Mystic. Visitors can sample a variety of wines in the tasting room, which overlooks the vineyard and surrounding countryside.
In addition to wine tastings, Stonington Vineyards also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, such as live music and food truck festivals.
- Visit Mystic Pizza
Mystic Pizza is a local landmark made famous by the 1988 movie of the same name starring Julia Roberts. This family-owned pizzeria has been serving up delicious pies since 1973 and is a must-visit for anyone in Mystic.
In addition to the famous pizza, Mystic Pizza also offers a variety of other menu items such as salads, sandwiches, and pasta dishes. Visitors can dine in the cozy dining room or enjoy their meal outside on the patio.
- Go Kayaking or Paddleboarding
Mystic is surrounded by water, making it the perfect place to go kayaking or paddleboarding. There are several rental companies in the area that offer equipment and guided tours of the Mystic River and nearby coves.
Kayaking or paddleboarding allows visitors to explore the area from a different perspective and get up close to the natural beauty of the coast.
- Attend the Mystic Outdoor Art Festival
The Mystic Outdoor Art Festival is one of the oldest and most prestigious art shows in the country. Held annually in August, the festival features over 200 artists from around the world displaying their work in a variety of mediums.
In addition to the art, the festival also includes live music, food vendors, and activities for children. This free event is a great way to experience the culture and community of Mystic.
- Visit the Mystic River Bascule Bridge
The Mystic River Bascule Bridge is a historic drawbridge that spans the Mystic River and connects the downtown area with the eastern part of town. The bridge was built in 1920 and is still in operation today, opening several times a day to allow boats to pass through.
Visitors can watch the bridge in action from the riverfront or from one of the nearby parks. Additionally, the Mystic River Bascule Bridge is a popular spot for photographers, especially during sunset.
- Relax at Ocean Beach Park
Located just a few miles from Mystic, Ocean Beach Park is a popular spot for families to relax and enjoy the sun and surf. The park features a large beach, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and a boardwalk with a variety of games and rides.
In addition to the water activities, Ocean Beach Park also has several food vendors, a picnic area, and a nature trail for visitors to explore.
Mystic, Connecticut, is a charming town that offers something for everyone. From historic museums to outdoor activities and festivals, there are plenty of things to see and do in this coastal community. Whether you’re visiting for a day or a week, be sure to add these top attractions to your itinerary for an unforgettable experience in Mystic.