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10 great and fun things to do in Mystic Connecticut

Cruising off Rathbun's Square 500x250 - Argia Mystic Cruises - Mystic, CT
Argia Mystic Cruises

12 Steamboat Wharf Mystic, CT, 06355 Phone: 860-536-0416

Explore New England's coast aboard a romantic sailing ship

Return to the romantic Age of Sail aboard the 81-foot schooner Argia. She is a US Coast Guard-inspected vessel and one of the last sailing ships in New England. We're docked in Mystic, Conn., and sail in Fishers Island Sound, a calm, protected body of water, from June 26th to mid-October. Bask in the sun on our spacious wooden deck while we explore the seafaring village of Mystic, the surrounding islands, and historic lighthouses. Delight in quirky sea stories of the area, told by the crew and Captain of Argia. Feel free to bring your own picnic and beverages. Wine and beer are permitted. Enjoy a half-day cruise, or experience the romance of the sea at twilight with a sunset sail.
Becky Thatcher 500x250 - Essex Steam Train & Riverboat - Essex, CT
Essex Steam Train & Riverboat

One Railroad Avenue Essex, CT, 06426 Phone: 860-767-0103 Toll-Free: 800-377-3987

A Connecticut River adventure by train and boat

Gather family and friends for a sightseeing adventure aboard the only steam train and riverboat connection in the United States! This 2½-hour narrated journey explores the nature and beauty of the Connecticut River Valley, designated as one of “the last great places on Earth” by The Nature Conservancy. View historic sites such as Gillette Castle and the Goodspeed Opera House. Excursions begin and end at the historic 1892 Essex station. Rain or shine.
Pool The Spa at Norwich Inn Norwich Connecticut
The Spa at Norwich Inn

607 West Thames Street Norwich, CT, 06360 Phone: 860-425-3500 Toll-Free: 800-275-4772

Pampering as high art

Get away for the day, overnight or to celebrate something festive. This shrine to relaxation is set in a historic Inn in bucolic surroundings. 42 country acres hold perennial gardens, spring-fed ponds, century-old oak trees, a reflecting pool and an oversized deck welcome you to the spa and inspires a sigh. Thirty-seven treatment rooms offer sauna, steam, hot tub, salon, plus signature services from facials and massage to hand and foot therapies, and even tarot card readings. There’s a fitness center and indoor pool and activities to enhance your health and stimulate the senses. Enjoy special packages including Day Spa and Overnight Spa to Rejuvenation and Personal Escape Packages available on Sunday nights of holiday weekends at a small upcharge.
Beluga Whale 500x250 - Mystic Aquarium - Mystic, CT
Mystic Aquarium

55 Coogan Boulevard Mystic, CT, 06355 Phone: 860-572-5955

Discover the area’s top tourist destination

From hands-on interaction with the likes of sharks, stingrays and reptiles to interactive exhibits that make learning about the ocean planet so much fun and even exclusive opportunities to meet animals up-close, it’s no wonder Mystic Aquarium is amongst the most popular destinations in New England. Explore indoor and outdoor exhibits where thousands of animals including whales, penguins, frogs, fish and more act as ambassadors for their wild counterparts. Learn how you can help protect our ocean planet at one of the daily trainer talks and be sure to experience a complimentary sea lion show. Plus, encounter animatronic dinosaurs that practically come to life in ‘Jurassic Giants’! Enjoy special events, activities and more throughout the year that make Mystic Aquarium a destination worth revisiting often. SEA more at MysticAquarium.org.
Ivoryton Playhouse in CT
Ivoryton Playhouse

103 Main Street Ivoryton, CT, 06442 Phone: 860-767-7318

A full roster for great theater for 2018

The Ivoryton Playhouse is a unique theatre with a rich cultural history. Built in 1911, the Ivoryton Playhouse is the oldest, continuously running, self-supporting summer theater in the nation. Some of the great names of from the stage and screen have appeared at Ivoryton Playhouse including Katharine Hepburn, Marlon Brando, Groucho Marx and Tallulah Bankhead. Today, the Ivoryton Playhouse produces a year-round, professional season of award winning musicals, comedies and dramas as well as summer children’s theatre and many special events.
Bluefish Girls 500x250 - Black Hawk Party Boat - Niantic, CT
Black Hawk Sportfishing

Sailing from the Niantic Bay Marina Niantic, CT, 06357 Phone: 860-448-3662 Toll-Free: 800-382-2824

Spend a special day or evening on the water

Board a great party boat with an experienced skipper and fish for striped bass, bluefish, porgies, sea bass, blackfish and other delicious food from the sea. Serious fisherman sail on the "Captain's Choice," trips scheduled for the best fishing time and circumstances. Enjoy a night bass trip with no crowds or tangles or a special seal watch, sunset, fireworks and/or nature cruise with science field trips also on the menu. Plan a private day charter of 15 or more and night charters of 12 for your next party or celebration. You can bring your own gear or rent rod and reel. New to fishing? The experienced crew will ensure you have a great day on the water. But do bring your lunch. Then catch your dinner. Reservations are not required and the parking is free.
Harbor View - Stonington Borough Merchants - Stonington, CT
Stonington Borough Connecticut

Go fishing, climb up to the top of a lighthouse, or sit back and watch the sun set

Dotting a mile-long peninsula, this charming seaside village welcomes visitors with a variety of activities from kayaking and paddleboarding to reenactments of the 1814 Battle of Stonington to great shopping and dining. Visit beautiful DuBois Beach at the tip of the peninsula, enjoy a picnic or concert on the lawn of the Old Lighthouse Museum (where you can climb the steps for a fabulous view after exploring maritime artifacts) or tour the Capt. Nathaniel B. Palmer House, once home to the discoverer of Antarctica. At Dodge Paddock, walk around a salt marsh meadow with ocean views; or take a short nature walk along the harbor with amazing views; go sport fishing; or just enjoy a spectacular sunset over the harbor.
The Dinosaur Place at Nature's Art Village CT Great Things Oakdale CT
The Dinosaur Place at Nature's Art Village

1650 Hartford-New London Tpke. (Rt. 85) Oakdale, CT, 06370 Phone: 860-443-4367

Big fun at The Dinosaur Place!

The Dinosaur Place at Nature's Art Village offers a 60 acre outdoor adventure park with over 40 life-sized dinosaurs spread among a mile and a half of pristine nature trails. Children will love getting lost in the a”MAZE”asaurus and playing on Monty’s playground featuring the SpaceNet, a 15 foot tall three-dimensional swinging, vibrating, climbing web. During the summer, cool off in New England’s largest SplashPad. Indoor adventures await in Discovery Depot at Nature’s Art Village where guests can dig for gems, pan for “gold” and unearth dinosaur bones. Bring a picnic or enjoy great food at the Cobalt Café and other locations. Plan an indoor or outdoor birthday party, scout, school or recreational group outing.
The Spa of Essex Massage Essex CT
The Spa of Essex

63 South Main Street Essex, CT, 06426 Phone: 860-767-7796

Royal pampering washes aches away

You will be treated like royalty at the Spa at Essex, where experts perform seemingly magical therapies and treatments on sore muscles, tired skin and drooping spirits. When you enter the property, you are greeted with warmth and bundled into comfortable robes and overstuffed chairs (including chairs for two) while you wait for treatments like massage, facials, manicures and pedicures, makeup and more. Innovation treatments bright aging or troubled skin. Couples, mothers-to-be, and gentlemen can enjoy refreshing and energizing treatments for their particular needs. Customers exclaim over the cleanliness of the indoor and outdoor spaces, which include a sunny patio with a fountain. Specials like the flower facial and the South Seas body treatment with tan will bring you back over and over.
Reasons to Cheer - CT Wine Trail
Connecticut Wine Trail

26 reasons to cheer

Did you know the Connecticut Wine Trail is one of the most scenic and fastest growing wine regions in the country? Each of the 26 wineries and vineyards offers an unrivalled taste of Connecticut-grown grapes and true New England winemaking. More travelers today are looking for an authentic down-on-the- farm experience that Connecticut’s Wine Trail offers in abundance – along with an almost unlimited range of fine wines. Born in microclimates, taste and savor the distinct differences in each varietal. Along the way, you’ll meet dedicated farmers, passionate winemakers, and the beautiful places kept that way by people who care.
View from Above 2 - Foxwoods High Flyer - Mashantucket, CT
Foxwoods HighFlyer

350 Trolley Lane Blvd. Mashantucket, CT, 06338 Phone: 860-312-3597

Ride the skies in a zipline tour that begins on this casino’s rooftop

At Foxwoods Resort Casino, there are all types of adventures to be had, including one that begins on the rooftop! From the top of 32-story Fox Tower, 350 feet off the ground, you can embark on a zipline trip that takes you, at speeds of up to nearly 60 mph, through the Connecticut air and over the treetops to the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, about a mile away. You can head back to the casino on a shuttle that leaves every 15 minutes. (A viewing shuttle leaves the casino every 15 minutes for friends and family who just want to watch.)
Turtle Sub Replica 500x250 - Connecticut River Museum - Essex, CT
Connecticut River Museum

67 Main Street, Steamboat Dock Essex, CT, 06426 Phone: 860-767-8269

Lots to see, but even more to do, at this river museum on Essex Harbor

Learn about the Connecticut River – or sail on it! – when you visit the Connecticut River Museum, on park-like grounds overlooking scenic and historic Essex Harbor. There’s plenty to see, from models of yachts, nautical paintings and history exhibits to the tools used in early fishing, hunting and trapping to a vertical, three-floor river mural that goes up a staircase. And there’s the model of the Turtle, the Revolutionary War submarine. But there’s also so much to do: rent a canoe, kayak or paddleboard and paddle the river’s coves right outside the museum’s doorsteps, go on a winter wildlife eagle cruise to see bald eagles, or cruise aboard the Onrust, a replica of a 1614 Dutch sailing ship.
burgis brook alpacas ct
Burgis Brook's Alpacas Offer a Friendly Welcome

Burgis Brook Alpacas on North Canterbury Road (Route 169) in Canterbury is a full-time farm for raising, showing, and breeding alpacas located on 43 acres of rolling hills and forest. The farm store carries farm-raised alpaca yarn milled in Connecticut as well as hand-woven and knitted scarves and accessories and high quality Peruvian imported garments. Visitors are always welcome, but call in advance to let the farm hosts know you're coming. Hours: Sunday-Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday, 204 p.m. Phone: 860-389-1650.
creamery book bison
Buffalo Do Roam at This Expansive Playground

You don’t need to mosey out to the Dakotas to enjoy the sight of free-roaming buffalo. Creamery Brook Bison Farm in Brooklyn offers guided walking tours where visitors may observe groups of animals, make ice cream and butter, or eat lunch at a picnic area. There is also a 40-minute wagon ride through a working dairy farm and out to the fields to where the buffalo live. Watch the buffalo cows and calves come to the wagon for a snack of hay and grain. Other fun for families includes a farmyard petting area, a stand serving gourmet ice cream, and a gift shop. Call ahead for public hours. Phone: 860-779-0837.
buttonwood farm griswold ct
Farm Makes Wishes Come True

Buttonwood Farm on Shetucket Turnpike in Griswold began as a dairy operation a little more than 30 years ago, and its history has continued to evolve. The farm’s home-made ice cream is served daily from noon or 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. from a modest storefront on the farm. The waffle cones are made from scratch on the farm, too. The farm plants hundreds of thousands of sunflowers and created its “Sunflowers for Wishes” program. The farm gives a bouquet of sunflowers to anyone in exchange for $10 donation, which goes directly to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In 2020, sunflowers are sold July 25-August 2. 860-376-4081.
first light sport fishing
First Light Offers Chance for First Bite

You don’t need to own a boat or even know what you‘re doing to try sportfishing. You can start by finding an experienced outfit like First Light out of Noank. First Light is a fully equipped bass boat that was designed to fish New England waters safely and comfortably. She is outfitted with the latest electronic gear and tackle to provide a productive and exciting fishing trip. First Light leaves her slip at the Noank Shipyard most nights and early mornings in search of trophy stripers. She also stands ready to steam offshore of Block Island or Montauk Point for shark and tuna when feasible. The mission of our Sportfishing at First Light is catch fish and have a good time. For more resources on sportfishing rentals and charters, contact the Connecticut Charter Party Boat Association . 860 344-1698.
skydiving in danielson ct
Skydiving: The Leap of a Lifetime

Ready to face your fear of heights? Take the plunge and experience the sensation of floating in a freefall at speeds upwards of 120 miles per hour. At the Skydive Danielson facility in Danielson, qualified instructors lead first-time skydivers into the adrenaline rush of a lifetime: a scenic ride over the landscape followed by a tandem jump from a height of 13,000 feet! Those who leave the Skydive Danielson facility wanting more can sign up for technical classes and receive their license to skydive. 860-774-5867
bird watching at bluff point
Birds from the Bluff

Among its other virtues as a hiking and lookout site, Bluff Point State Park off Depot Road in Groton is a rich resource for bird watchers. Many shorebirds can be seen year round. Along the loop trail watch for various shore birds in the river, mudflats and salt marsh. The tangles of vines along the trail and the beach are other fruitful places to view many species. In the fall American pipits are common and in the winter the Ipswich race of the savannah sparrow is sometimes seen, as well as an occasional snowy owl. Various grebes, cormorants, gulls and ducks are often seen from the bluff.
olde mistick village in mystic CT
Olde Mistick Village for Nostalgic and New Shopping

Olde Mistick Village, at 27 Coogan Blvd. in Mystic, just off Exit 90 of I-95, is a quirky but really fun place to shop, especially as the Christmas season approaches. It is an open-air shopping center set up to resemble a Colonial village, complete with duck ponds, a waterwheel and replica of a steepled New England meetinghouse, where performances and special events take place. Visitors can wander along brick pathways to more than 40 stores that sell gift items from the world over. The meeting house and Victorian gazebo host performances of musicians, dancers, and storytellers free of charge. Open daily, year-round. 860-536-4941.
denison pequotsepos nature center in Mystic CT with VisitNewEngland.com
Meet the Outdoors at Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center

Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center at 109 Pequotsepos Road in Mystic is a nature preserve and learning center with lots of hiking trails and a delightful nature store. Bring your family for a day of walking, birdwatching, nature photography and a picnic. On the 10 miles of hiking trails through woodlands, wetlands, and meadow, you can search for bluebirds, turtles or bullfrogs, admire a summer wildflower garden or simply enjoy a peaceful walk. Wander the Butterfly House and enjoy the tree house. See “Night in the Meadow” in the small theater. Open daily. Trail map. 860-536-1216
vista lounge at mohegan sun
Lounge in an Onyx Mountain

In the heart of the lavish Mohegan Sun is Wombi Rock, a jagged sculpture of onyx and alabaster formed into a three-story mountain with intimate seating areas tucked among it nooks and crannies, all beneath a star-studded dome of sky. Projected on the dome above is changing fiber-optic displays of the sun, moon and stars. At the top, overlooking the gaming floors, is the Vista Lounge, an oh-so-divine bar and perch to see and be seen. Great fun to sit in this crystal nest, enjoy a drink, and watch the casino turn below.
go karts
Arrive, Then Drive! Or Jump!

Supercharged, at 1 Sachatello Industrial Drive in Montville is well-named. At this 110,000-square-foot indoor karting and trampoline park, electric-powered karts speed around an indoor multi-level track. Two tracks offer challenges for all ages and skill levels. All drivers be at least 58 inches tall, and be able to operate the vehicle safely. There is no minimum age requirement. At the 8,000-square-foot, multi-angled trampoline park, everyone can jump for fun or tension relief or just because it feels good. Dream up games of dodgeball, airbag play and basketball. Open daily. 860-444-7700
bluff point state park ct
Bluff Point Beckons to Walkers, Skiers

Bluff Point Coastal Reserve in Groton offers the visitor a delightful mixture of wooded hiking and cross-country skiing trails coupled with spectacular wildlife viewing on Long Island Sound. Because of its Coastal Reserve designation, access to the bluff is by foot or non-motorized vehicle only. The trail to the bluff passes through wooded and open areas until the view broadens as the bluff is approached. Here vegetation is more sparse and diminutive because of wind exposure. Among the plants to be found at the headland are native beach plum, beach pea and red and white shore roses.