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
Mystic Bike Rental is located on Route 1 just to the east of Masons Island Road. They have bike rentals and anything you could want for biking gear. They also do repairs if you should bring your own bike and have problems.
Both the surrounding Mystic area and Masons Island are a bikers dream. Route 1 between Mystic and Stonington has a biking lane and drivers are courteous on other roads that do not have bike lanes , as this is a huge and accepted activity in the area. This makes it possible to visit Stonington Borough and all that has to offer by bike. For seasoned riders there are all kinds of scenic backroad rides you can take. I believe you can join organized rides leaving from the bike shop certain days of the week.
Some of our adult visitor friends have ridden their bikes over to Carson's in Noank for breakfast. An easy family ride with children would be to Kitchen Little for breakfast, as that is all on the island. Family bike riding with children is safe on Masons Island. Another great adventure is to ride to Enders Island, which is probably about two miles one way and is an extension of Masons Island is a great destination because there is so much to see when you get there, but there all kinds of other roads to also explore by bike on the island. Some of the areas are quite hilly. A fun ride is down and around the fresh water pond. We have an overhang roof at the front of the house where you can park your bikes out of the weather. This is a highly recommended activity.
See mystic.com Blue Heaven Kayak and Paddle Board Rental is located at 2 Washington Street in downtown Mystic. The phone number is 860 912-4188. I am not sure what their pricing is, but it is near the Seaport and downtown so would be a great way to see the area from the water for even a few hours. If you chose to rent for longer it is a twenty to thirty minute trip to our house, depending on the winds.
The best would be to bring your own kayaks. We have a rack to keep them on near the water. We own two kayak and used to occasionally lend them to renters until the insurance company found out and said we could no longer do that because of liability.
Old Mistick Village is located next to the Aquarium about 12 minutes from the house. It is suppose to be the replica of a 1720's Village. It is very commercial but still lots of fun to visit. I have found I am going there a lot more then I used to because I am liking many of the stores and their prices seem fair for the most part.
It is about 33 shops and 10 restaurants laid out like a little village. Kids love this place because it feels kind on miniature and there are ponds filled with ducks and geese. These ducks also wander all over the sidewalks and occasionally into the stores. Some of my favorite shops are Fun and Easy, Grey Goose Cookery, Mystic Kite Shop, Bestemors, The Franklin General Store, Sticky Situations, and Munson"s Chocolate that have the best chocolate covered frozen bananas ever! I am sure there are many places there I have not discovered. This is where Blue Squid is located, home of the best grilled cheese and cupcakes in town! Vault coffee and Pink Basil are also good.
The Chamber of commerce is located in this area, where you might want to check for discount coupons to places you are going to, like the Seaport and Aquarium. A few times a month they will have art or food festivals around the grounds of the village in tents, so watch for that.
B. F Clyde's Cider Mill is opened from September through December and is a grant place to go to watch cider being made and to bring it home to have in front of our new gas fireplace! They have homemade donuts there that are best eaten immediately when they are hot and also crisp apples for sale. . They also have all kinds of New England food products like maple syrup, honey, etc. There is a place that sells souvenirs and tee shirts as well as other things you don't need. It is a really fun place to go, especially with children. Clyde's was featured on the Food Network. An absolute Fall New England happening and only about ten to fifteen minutes from the house. They sometimes have a fiddling band there. I keep giving these times, but keep in mind the five minutes it takes to get off the island. Everything is really close.