The smell of salt air and a Coastal New England seaport town always do it for me. They’re full of charm and beauty but there’s something special to me about Mystic, Connecticut. We typically venture to Mystic every few weeks, and it’s the perfect day trip, especially seeing as we can’t venture too far in the midst of all things COVID. Every time we go we like to try something new. Summertime can be a bit touristy, but nonetheless I love it there. Here are a few of our favorite spots when visiting.
Mystic Aquarium is one of my favorite aquariums. As a family, we have a membership here and often come to visit the Beluga whales, penguins, and my daughter’s favorite, the manta rays. The space is open and inviting, and there are tons of activities for kids of all ages. I learn something new every time we come and think it’s worth a visit. Check their calendar of events, as they are always hosting great educational activities.
Right next to the aquarium is the Olde Mistick Village. It’s a bit touristy for my taste, but there are a ton of fun shops to explore and it’s very stroller friendly. There’s also a selection of restaurants if you’re looking to grab food close to the aquarium. We typically grab a coffee at Vault Coffee Roasters. If you need to feed the sweet tooth, Franklin’s General Store has some amazing fudge.
Explore the Mystic River for FREE! Mystic Seaport Museum is another great spot and they offer an array of free and priced out ways to get on the water. You can take a waterfront cruise or rent a rowboat or pedal boat too. The museum itself is great especially if you have kiddos who love boats. They also have a quaint little historic village with great shops and quick eats too.
I can’t shop downtown Mystic without popping into the Blue Horse Boutique. Looking for traditional smocked dresses, unique baby and kids outfits, or the perfect ensemble for the next family photoshoot? This boutique is your spot. They don’t make kids clothing stores like this anymore and this spot is truly a gem.
Sip and Eat
Sift is this great French-inspired bakery offering artisanal bread, pastries, and all kinds of savory items. Everything is baked fresh daily and their ingredients are all locally sourced. Chef Adam Young was even named The Food Network’s pastry chef of the year in 2018. The chef’s start baking at 2:30 AM and they have an exploratory window where you can watch them make the magic happen. I love the ham and cheese croissants and clearly Fira’s favorite is the sprinkle macaroons.
I’m a shoo-in for great locally roasted coffee and love to help support local cafes and bakeries. We sometimes pop into Lis Bake Shop and grab a coffee before heading to the dock to look at boats or renting a kayak by the docks.
If you’ve got time and want something a little more upscale with the best farm to table food, Oyster Club is a must-try. The menu changes daily as it’s based on what’s in season and locally available. They have one of the best happy hours too. This is a family go-to spot for us in the summertime, and would be great for a Mystic Girl’s Trip!
For something a bit more family-friendly and comforting, we love the Engine Room on Holmes Street. Sometimes I need the space and no judgment of having a baby that’s finding her voice. The food here is fun and comforting and the atmosphere just feels good.
Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream is located just across the bridge in downtown Mystic. Grab a cone of this delicious homemade ice cream and hang out on the bridge overlooking the Mystic Harbor. Grab a Sticky Fractured Finger or the Island Coconut Coffee and sit and watch the bridge go up and down and try and name all the boats sailing by.
If you’re looking to explore a bit this summer, Mystic has so much to offer!