Mystic is a census-designated place in the towns of Stonington and Groton, Connecticut. The town is named after the Pequot tribe of Native Americans, who inhabited this area prior to the 17th century. Before the Europeans settled there, Pequot territory extended from the Connecticut River to the Pawcatuck River to the east. The town is known for its many historical sites, including Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park, the Barley Head Brewery, and the S&P Oyster Restaurant.
Barley Head Brewery
The first thing you’ll notice when you enter Barley Head Brewery is its teeny taproom and tiny brewery. It occupies the basement of a building and seats only thirty people at a time. While it’s small in scale, the brewery showcases its wide range of beers and demonstrates how creative brewers can be by creating unique beers from simple ingredients. In addition to beer, it serves wine from Jonathan Edwards Winery and local, organically grown produce. There isn’t much seating at the bar, so make sure to reserve a table ahead of time.
S&P Oyster Restaurant
The S&P Oyster Company in Mystic CT offers distinctively South American fare that features zesty seasonings and authentic recipes. From the fried oysters to the grilled angus beef tenderloin, this restaurant offers an eclectic mix of food for every palate. The waterfront location allows for a spectacular view of the Mystic River while you dine on delicious seafood.
Fearless Flyers Academy
If you’ve always wanted to learn acrobatics, the Fearless Flyers Academy is the place for you. The indoor school is on the owner’s property in Mystic, CT. Previously, the Peace Nature Sanctuary was a nature zomerkamp for girls. Now, the school is a world-class, state-of-the-art center that teaches acrobatics, gymnastics, and tumbling.
Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park
While in the area, you can explore historic fortifications like Fort Griswold, a former American defensive fortification in Groton, Connecticut. Originally named after the Deputy Governor Matthew Griswold, Fort Griswold played a significant role during the early American Revolutionary War. In fact, this fort was in correspondence with its neighbor, Fort Trumbull, and was often used as a command post.
The Mystic Aquarium is a popular marine animal museum in Mystic, Connecticut. It is home to one of only two Steller sea lion facilities in the United States, and also has the only beluga whales in New England. Its various exhibits include a ray and shark touch pool, African penguins, a jelly gallery, and a dinosaur exhibit, “Jurassic Giants.”
Bluff Point State Park
Bluff Point State Park is a coastal preserve on Long Island Sound that occupies 800 acres. A nature trail winds through a wooded area before opening up to rocky shoreline and windswept coastal marsh. This coastal reserve has over 200 species of birds. There are picnic tables, horseback riding trails, and even a car-top boat ramp. While the bluff is a rocky and secluded place to spend a day, it’s an ideal location for kids to play while parents and grandparents can relax.
Argia Mystic Cruises
If you’re looking for a unique cruise vacation, look no further than Argia Mystic Cruises. Operating from May to mid-October, this company offers day sailing adventures and romantic cruises. The trips last approximately two hours and explore the protected waters of Mystic, CT and the surrounding islands in the Fishers Island Sound. While the cruises include complimentary snacks, guests can bring their own food and beverages to enjoy onboard.
Poet’s Lounge Sailing Charters
Sailing is a popular pastime for visitors to the Mystic area, and Poet’s Lounge Sailing Charter offers sailing on two vessels: the Ericson 39 and the Carib, both Jeanneau Sunkiss 47s. The season typically starts Memorial Day weekend and runs through Columbus Day weekend. While on a charter, you’ll likely hear music from a professional musician. Captain Darin plays guitar during the sailing tours.
Old Lighthouse Museum
When it comes to Connecticut lighthouses, the Stonington Harbor Light is one of the oldest and most interesting. Located on the east side of Stonington Harbor, this mid-19th-century stone lighthouse was taken out of service in 1889, but has survived as a local history museum. You can visit this lighthouse and learn more about the history of Mystic, CT, by exploring its museum.