Welcome to Connecticut - Mystic Region - Eastern
Mystic: Maritime history, fine aquarium, dazzling casinos
Mystic, on Connecticut’s easternmost shoreline, and the “quiet corner” of the state, directly north, present a range of imagery for visitors, from 19th-century shipbuilding and sailing at Mystic Seaport to the glitz of the two immense casinos: Foxwoods Resort and Casino at Mashantucket and the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville. In addition to their attraction as giant gaming centers, the casinos also offer fine and diverse dining as well as musical and stage shows by international headliners. For children and families and anyone else interested in Native American culture, the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, near Foxwoods, is a fascinating, multi-media presentation of American Indian life from pre-Columbian times to the present.
Mystic offers children and families a living history museum at Mystic Seaport, consisting of a village, historic ships, and exhibits depicting coastal life in New England in the 19th century. Mystic also offers some excellent dining, and on the edge of town is the Olde Mistick Village, a collection of small shops with unusual and individualized merchandise. Also nearby is the Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, the latter developed in consultation with Dr. Robert Ballard, the oceanographer who found the sunken Titanic. Boating enthusiasts can step into the 20th century with a tour of the USS Nautilus & Submarine Force Museum in nearby Groton.
The city of New London, just west of Mystic, at the mouth of the Thames River, also offers many places of historic interest as well as a lively downtown and a refurbished waterfront, home to the U.S. Coast Guard’s training barque Eagle and well as many sea-themed festivals. History (Colonial) and art (19th century) are alive at Coventry’s Nathan Hale Homestead and at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, which features works of the Connecticut Impressionist movement. Finally, visitors who are in a less-is-more mood can enjoy a leisurely drive along Route 169, designated as a National Scenic Byway.