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Mystic Seafarer's Trail is available in the following Connecticut and Rhode Island shops and: Online as e-book or paperback: ( Amazon ...

Monday, December 9, 2013

Lisa's Guide to Mystic

Are  you or someone you know visiting Mystic this summer? For my guests coming by train, plane or boat, I offer them the following sample itinerary:

"10 things to do in Mystic without a car"
1. Follow the Mystic Seafarer's Trail map (on foot or on a borrowed Mystic Community Bike) to the 7 Wonders, where along the way you will find several attractions, shops, restaurants, kayak rentals and unique boat & walking tours (be downtown at noon or 6 pm to enjoy the bell tunes played by the big white church on the hill); 2. Watch boats from all over the world go through the drawbridge at 20 minutes to the hour; 3. Visit Mystic & Noank Library to grab assorted trail maps, a beach read from their free books section, a great view of the Mystic River Valley, and a chance to place a piece in the group puzzle; 4. Stroll through Olde Mistick Village to the Tourist Info Center to find fun brochures and discount deals, then watch the duck drama at their pond or a movie at Art Cinemas where they proudly serve real butter with their popcorn; 5. Wave to the friendly beluga whales and clap at the antics of the sea lions at Mystic Aquarium; 6. Spend a day (or two) exploring and finding adventure at Mystic Seaport; 7. Relax in the country surroundings of the historic 1717 Denison Homestead and tour the home of one of Mystic's earliest families; 8. Embark on the trails maintained by the Nature Center; 9. Swim in the Mystic River at William's Beach Park; 10. Find peace on Enders Island where you can leave a written prayer in the three-sided seaside chapel, visit St. Edmund's very old, withered arm, stroll through spectacular gardens, and buy island-made jams and jellies with names like "Fire and Brimstone" hot pepper jelly.

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From News 8, Connecticut Style: “You don't have to fly halfway around the world for adventure. National Geographic lists Mystic as one of the top 100 “adventure towns” in America. If that isn't incentive enough to get you there, maybe the Mystic Seafarer's Trail will. This book combines travel, history and humor, including seven wonders.” See images of "The 7 Wonders of Mystic" on News 8 interview with author Lisa Saunders.


How to get to Mystic and what to do:
Getting here (by car, ferry, boat, bus, train or plane): http://www.mystic.org/getting-here.

If you are flying in, the following airport in Rhode Island is probably the easiest. You may then consider taking a shuttle to the Amtrak station in Providence:


T.F. Green Airport (PVD)
, RI
401 737 8222
Amtrak
(800) 872-7245
Daily service is available between Providence Station 

Providence Shuttle
(401) 737-2868
2000 Post Road
Warwick, RI 02886
Daily service (in season) between T.F. Green Airport and ...Providence AMTRAK station
2000 Post Road


How easy it is to get around Mystic? Easy to walk and bike. Parking is not always easy downtown but you can park on side streets and at the Arts Center on Water St.

What is the atmosphere like? It's a quaint seaside village.

What are the main attractions in Mystic?   Mystic Aquarium, Mystic Seaport,  Olde Mistick Village, and the historic downtown village where the drawbridge goes up and down during sailing season.
Fun stuff to see and do: Just follow my Mystic Seafarer's Trail map, which is based on my book, Mystic Seafarer's Trail. You will find major and minor attractions along the way in addition to places to eat, boat or bike.

Welcome Centers
  • Mystic & Shoreline Visitor Information Center Olde Mistick Village, Mystic, CT 06355, 860-536-1641, mysticinfocenter@yahoo.com, mysticinfo.com
  • Also, contact: 
  • Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce: 860-572-9578, mysticchamber.org
Helpful websites:


  • Mystic, CT
  • Historic New London
  • Luv Downtown (NL, Niantic, Norwich, Mystic, Pawk., Westerly (R.I)
  • Mystic Country

  • Weather--Mystic weather is never right, even though the Weather Channel loves to come here to film upcoming hurricanes beside all the tall ships. But if you want a rough idea, go to: http://www.weather.com/weather/today/Mystic+CT+USCT0129 (Even when it's pouring rain or the fog is so thick you can barely see, the weather on my phone says it's sunny.)

    Bike Sharing (free bikes available with a deposit--but you should reserve as soon as possible during the tourist season. The bikes hibernate in the cold months so do check the website for availability). Visit: Mystic Community Bikes, Mystic, CT: http://mysticcommunitybikes.org/
    Info: mysticcommunitybikes@gmail.com, (860) 245-8150.

    Kayak Rentals: Call ahead to Marine Consignment in Mystic (15 Holmes St.): 860-245-0588. They rent kayaks for easy placement in the Mystic River. http://marineconsignment.com/


    Coffee: Green Marble Café and Bartleby's in downtown Mystic, and Starbucks near Olde  Mistick Village. Another place may have just opened in Olde Mistick Village.

    Jogger/walker? One close, scenic spot is through or beside Elm Grove Cemetery (a garden cemetery along Mystic River at site # 4 on my Mystic Seafarer's Trail map) on Route 27 (Greenmanville Ave.) heading toward downtown Mystic. Another popular spot is River Road (near site #7 on Mystic Seafarer's Trail) with its scenic views of the tall, old ships docks at Mystic Seaport.

    Restaurants, places to stay, more things to do: Visitor Info

    What are the 7 wonders (located on Mystic Seafarer's Trail map)?


    1.Mystic Seaport’s Whaleship, Charles W. Morgan—the last wooden whaleship in the world
    2.Mystic Aquarium’s “Crowns.” Outdoor structures look like they belong to a massive King Neptune. Designed by famed international architect Cesar Pelli (designed Britain’s tallest building, etc).
    3.Elm Grove Cemetery Arch--colossal arch leads to scenic garden cemetery shaped like an elm tree.
    4.Mystic River Drawbridge (seen in film, Mystic Pizza), historic 1922 bascule bridge has seesaw design

    5. Hanging Gardens of Enders Island-maze of rock hedges, archways & St. Edmund’s withered arm
    6. Mystic Depot Welcome Center (inspiration for American Flyer’s “talking” toy train stations made in the mid-1900).  
    7. Mystic Pizza Restaurant, inspired 1988 Mystic Pizza movie) starring Julia Roberts and debuting Matt Damon (whose only line, "Mom, do you want my green stuff?" was said while eating lobster).



    “7 Wonders  of Mystic” * &  other wonders


    1.      
    *Mystic Aquarium’s “Crowns” outdoor structures--appear as belonging to King Neptune. designed by famed international architect Cesar Pelli (designed Britain’s tallest building, etc).
     2.       Olde Mistick Village duck pond (where Gloria the cranky goose reigned)

    3.       Mystic & Shoreline Visitor Information Center

    4.       *Elm Grove Cemetery Arch--colossal arch leads to scenic garden cemetery shaped like an elm tree.

    5.       *Mystic Seaport’s Whaleship, Charles W. Morgan—the last wooden whaleship in the world

    6.       *Mystic River Drawbridge (seen in film, Mystic Pizza), historic 1922 bascule bridge has seesaw design

    7.       Captain’s Row (Gravel St.) & River Rd—views of captain homes, ships & nature

    8.       *Mystic Pizza Restaurant, inspired 1988 Mystic Pizza movie) starring Julia Roberts and debuting Matt Damon (whose only line, "Mom, do you want my green stuff?" was said while eating lobster).

    9.       Captain Daniel Packer Inne (feel like a character in Moby Dick)

    10.    Mystic Railroad Swing Bridge (will it close in time for next train?)

    11.    Portersville Academy, 1839 schoolhouse (C)

    12.     Record-breaking Cape Horn rounder, Captain Joseph Holmes (#77 private home)

    13.    Union Baptist Church (chime songs at 12 & 6 p.m.)

    14.    Mystic & Noank Library -Voted 8th Wonder (Emily the Library Cat buried there)

    15.    Octagon house (#8 private home)

    16.    Captain Peter E. Rowland, maker of record-breaking run on famous clipper, David Crockett (#10 private home)

    17.    Gold Rush Captain Sisson (#12 private home)

    18.    *Mystic Depot Welcome Center & Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce (inspiration for American Flyer’s “talking” toy train stations made in the mid-1900).   

    19.    *Hanging Gardens of Enders Island-maze of rock hedges, archways & St. Edmund’s withered arm

    20.    Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center

    21.    Denison Homestead Museum (built 1717)

    22.    Captain Palmer House (discovered Antarctica on Mystic-built sloop, Hero)

    23.    Stonington Lighthouse Museum (Stonington Historical Society)

    24.    Amelia Earhart’s Wedding site (private  home on Church St.)

    25.    Latham/Chester Store (Earhart wedding plaque)

    26.    Sylvan Street Museum (Noank Historical Society)

    38.    Carson’s Variety Store (locals have eaten there for over a century)

    55.    Cannon Square (War of 1812). Seen in movie Hope Springs with Meryl Streep

    B. Mystic Community Bikes (free bike use)

    C. Mystic River Historical Society

    Be sure to consider following these popular trails:
    Our area is currently working on another trail around and across the Thames River. See: Thames River Heritage Park

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