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Thames River Heritage Park – Explore Heritage Sites

Heritage Sites Connected by Water Taxi Starting in June

The Thames River Heritage Park is not a conventional park with fixed borders. Instead, it’s a framework that draws together heritage and contemporary sites, neighborhoods, commercial districts and institutions on both sides of the river.  The park offers four anchor sites connected by water taxi: Fort Trumbull, Fort Griswold, The Submarine Force Museum  and Coast Guard Museum, scheduled to open in 2018.   Here are just a few of the many cultural attractions you can explore during a visit to the Thames River Heritage Park:  New London Historic Waterfront District, Whale Oil Row and Ledge Lighthouse in Groton!

The water taxi which begins on mid June operates on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only website here.  There are three water taxi stops – in New London, at City Pier (home of Mystic Whaler Cruises featuring lobster excursions)  in the Historic Waterfront District and at Fort Trumbull, or in the City of Groton, at Fort Street. The water taxi runs in a loop from 10 AM to 9 PM!

Why we love it:  The water taxi offers a fun way to get from one side of the river to the other!  Plus, the taxis are actually military boats that tie-in well with the park’s theme. 

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Wheeling City Tours – Dine and Glide!

Departs Every Thursday Just in Time for Dinner

Here’s a fun way to discover New London – by Segway!  Choose a route, hop on and on you’re on your way.    Pick the Downtown tour and you’ll glide around Waterfront Park, Downtown New London and Fort Trumbull, enjoying views of New London, Groton, Thames River and Long Island Sound.   With the Beaches option, you’ll glide  along New London’s beaches, through Ocean Beach Park along the boardwalk and nature trail, and past New London Harbor Light – Connecticut’s oldest and tallest lighthouse!    Select the mouthwatering Taste of New London tour (our personal favorite!) and your taste buds will jump for joy!   Departing every Thursday starting on June 23rd, this tour includes stops at Dev’s on Bank, (the famous) Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock, Berry’s Ice Cream & Candy Bar and Hot Rod Cafe.   When you book your this tour, be sure to upgrade your lobster roll to an even bigger one for a few bucks more.   Now, this is our kind of tour!

Why we love it:  A yummy way to explore a coastal community in Connecticut!

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Mystic Seaport – Historic Fun by the Water

A Maritime Treasure in Connecticut

Visit Mystic Seaport and you’ll be immersed into the area’s  seafaring past.  Explore a living history museum – a recreated 19th century village made up of historians, musicians, storytellers and craftspeople like shipsmiths and woodcarvers, visit galleries that chronicle over 300 years of maritime living, discover one of the world’s only preservation shipyards,  see historic tall ships and boats such as the Charles W. Morgan, the world’s last surviving wooden whaleship and so much more.

With a children’s museum that provides kids hands on opportunities to learn what it was really like to be a sailor back in the day and aplanetarium where kids of all ages can learn how about celestial navigation, Mystic Seaport is a wonderful experience the teaches and inspires us to further protect our ocean planet!    With year around activities and lectures, make Mystic Seaport a “must do” while your exploring coastal Connecticut.    Be sure to break for a lobster lunch or enjoy this favorite crustacean for dinner at a nearby seafood restaurant.   Yum!

Why we love it: Offers a fabulous journey back in time. It’s all about man’s connection to the sea and how we can learn from the past and preserve our future.   Totally inspirational.  

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Stonington Old Lighthouse Museum – History in a Charming Town!

See Three States From the Top!

For more than 170 years, this modest stone citadel — a lighthouse tower attached to a dwelling  — has stood at the entrance to the harbor of Stonington, Connecticut’s only port facing on the Atlantic. Now regarded fondly as a durable symbol of a seafaring  past, in its working years it performed the valuable service of guiding ships across treacherous Fishers Island Sound.

In 1927 the Society opened it as a lighthouse museum, the nation’s first. Visitors may climb the 29 circular steps and a short ladder to reach the top of the tower, which looks over three states. There is also a perfect place for picnics on the grassy lighthouse grounds, which face across Little Narragansett Bay toward Watch Hill and Napatree Point, Rhode Island.

{Photo Credit: Jeremy D’Entremont, New England Lighthouses}

We love it:   A quintessential New England experience!

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Argia Sailing Cruise – Lobster Roll Picnic on Water

Embark on a Half Day or Sunset Cruise

Explore the seafaring village of Mystic, Connecticut, so rich in maritime history, and the surrounding islands from the spacious wooden deck of the sailing ship, Argia.  Relax as you sail by scenic coastlines and lighthouses or help the crew hoist and trim the sails aboard this elegant schooner. Each cruise includes complimentary snacks and lemonade. You may also bring your own beverages and food – coolers and cups are available (and this is perfect to bring along your own lobster rolls for a picnic on the water!)

The interesting departure and return schedule coincides with the historic Mystic River Drawbridge schedule – which opens twice for Argia with every cruise.

We we love it:  Plenty of gentle ocean breezes as you sit back and soak up the sunshine!

Fresh Facts:

  • Seasonal:  May-Mid October
  • Reservation Required
  • Seating for 49 Passengers
  • Schooner Wharf
  • 15 Holmes Street, Mystic, Connecticut  06355
  • (860) 536-0416
  • www.argiamystic useful source.com

Captain Stannard House – Close to the Shoreline

Quintessential New England

Built in 1872 by Captain Stannard, this grand house stands halfway between Boston and New York, the two largest ports/cities on the East Coast at that time; and on the Long Island Sound, known worldwide for safe anchorage. In later years, the house was converted to an inn, tavern, hotel and seafood restaurant.  Then in 1971 a fire destroyed it and eventually the house was rebuilt and re-opened as the Captain Stannard Bed & Breakfast Country Inn.

With an 80 foot covered porch, well manicured lawn, and 10 charming guestrooms featuring private baths and with names significant to Captain Stannard, this inn is a gem. Located just a block away from Westbrook Beach and close to the finest seafood and lobster restaurants such as Bill’s Seafood, you’ll enjoy what this cozy bed and breakfast has to offer!

Why we love it:  The have 3,000 square feet of indoor eat and play areas. 

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Oyster Club – Marvelous in Mystic

Farm and Sea to Table

Your taste buds will come alive when you visit this casual, fine dining restaurant.
Located in historic, downtown Mystic, Oyster Club offers an inviting menu that change daily based on the seasonality and availability of locally harvested foods task management system.  Order the lobster roll prepared with local, hand picked lobster meat, butter poached with crispy shallots, apple butter, lemon and parsley with seasoned fries!  A favorite dish bursting with flavor, this roll will not disappoint.

Venture onto the shaded outdoor deck known as The Treehouse and enjoy sea breezes and nice views of the Mystic River!  Here, you’ll want to slurp oysters and sip on signature cocktails as you sit back and soak up the atmosphere.

Why we love it:   They offer New England classics prepared with a twist!

Fresh Facts:

  • Open Year Round
  • Treehouse Open Seasonally
  • Lunch: Friday and Saturday, Dinner: Thursday – Sunday
  • Sunday Brunch
  • Reservation Suggested
  • 13 Water Street, Mystic, Connecticut
  • (860) 415-9266
  • www.oysterclubct.com

 

 

 

David Burke Prime – Mondays are Lobster Nights!

Let the Good Times Roll!

Located in the Foxwoods Resort Casino complex, David Burke Prime is an excellent choice not only for deep flavor steaks but for succulent seafood, too!   Every Monday at David Burke Prime enjoy a 3 course lobster feast for just $39.  Appetizer selections include lobster bisque, lobster dumplings, and lobster tacos. Entree choices include lobster carbonara, Kung Pao-style lobster, or steamed or roasted lobster.   With the expertly prepared food, the upscale atmosphere and the attentive service, everyone is a winner at David Burke Prime!

Why we love it:   Aside from the lobster, they feature a  5,000 plus-bottle wine tower. 

Fresh Facts:

  • Open Year Round
  • Lunch, Dinner
  • Reservation Suggested
  • Foxwoods Resort Casino
  • 350 Trolley Line Boulevard, Mashantucket, Connecticut 06338
  • (860) 312-8753
  • www.davidburkeprime.com

Old Lyme Inn – Tucked Away and Charming

History Circa 1856 with a Modern Twist

The Old Lyme Inn is located on historic Lyme Street in beautiful Old Lyme.  The essence of a small New England town, Old Lyme is home to wonderful museums, specialty shops, beaches and leisure activities.  The Inn is situated almost exactly between Boston and New York City and a lovely spot to enjoy the Connecticut coast.

This charming and historic Inn offers a fantastic restaurant (they have lobster rangoons on the menu) and jazz.  Originally, the main building was constructed circa 1856 by the Champlain family and the estate remained a working farm until the Connecticut Turnpike construction began in the early 1950s.  Today, much of this historic landmark has been renovated – be sure to stay in the lovely modern rooms.  Old Lyme is the perfect stop for experiencing the beautiful CT shoreline, foliage during the fall season, specialty shopping and locally-driven restaurants.

Why we love it:  A great base to explore Connecticut

Fresh Facts:

  • Open Year Round
  • 85 Lyme Street,  Old Lyme, Connecticut 06371
  • (860) 434-2600
  • www.oldlymeinn.com

14 Lincoln Street – Nestled on Connecticut Shoreline

A Lovely Respite Tucked Away by the Shore

With just four guest rooms, 14 Lincoln Street, in the historic seaside community of Niantic, is a truly private escape with personalized, impeccable service.  The Inn is a lovingly restored 1800s church with soaring pressed tin walls and ceilings, lavish moldings and dramatic up lighting. The Inn is cozy yet airy and almost a storybook stay in summer.

Each guest room has a private bath with Jacuzzi tub, a flat screen television, Wi-Fi, and the best of modern amenities. The rooms have inviting beds piled high with pillows and lush comforters.  In cooler months, sip wine by the fireside on a plush overstuffed leather sofa. Enjoy tea and homemade scones in the “Secret Garden” patio surrounded by soaring specimen trees, abundant perennial filled gardens or take a short stroll to Main Street with charming shops, eateries and three pristine beaches!

Why we love it:  Located in a charming New England village nestled on Niantic Bay.

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Mermaid Inn of Mystic – Walk to Everything

Delightful Bed and Breakfast

An enchanting 1843 Victorian, the location of this hidden gem is within walking distance to the little downtown area and the Seaport Museum.  Downtown Mystic is completely charming and only adds to the great getaway this Inn has to offer.  A full gourmet breakfast is offered each morning to set the stage for a lovely day.

A perfect lobster themed day at Mermaid Inn of Mystic?  After a relaxing morning, stroll to town and browse unique shops in the quaint town area. Have a lobster roll lunch at one of our favorites, Captain Daniel Packer Inne or choose another great spot! Head back with a full belly and settle in on the Mermaid Inn porch for the afternoon  – it offers a great view of the Mystic River.

Why we love it:  A local artist transformed each uniquely decorated guestroom!

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Ford’s Lobster – Locally Caught Seafood

A Lobster Shack with A View! 

Visit this low frills local landmark on the Mystic River at Haring’s Marine for fresh seafood and incredible views of buoys, boats and beautiful sunsets!    Open most of the year, Ford’s Lobster offers outdoor seating right on the docks.  (Hello seagulls and salty air!)  All the food is cooked outside during the warmer months and when the air chills, everything moves inside where it’s casual and cozy!

With lots of choices for a scrumptious meal, let’s talk about lobster!  Choose from the hot or cold lobster roll, the steamed lobster with drawn butter for the purist at heart, and the Lobster Bomb or the Lobster Bisque Bomb –  made with tons of  lobster meat topped in thick and delicious lobster bisque.   Bring your own beer or wine – and remember to drink responsibly.

Why we love it:   It’s a local hotspot.  Plus, Ford’s (renamed Ferriera for the movie) was seen in, “Mystic Pizza”!

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Mystic Whaler Cruises – Lobster on A Tall Ship!

Enjoy A Lobster Dinner Aboard a Schooner

Venture out on the Mystic Whaler, a 110′ tall ship, and help the Captain and crew sail this majestic vessel along lovely Long Island Sound.   Departing out of New London on most weekends, this hands-on excursion is a delightful 3 hour experience. Bring a bottle of wine and dine on fresh chowder, succulent lobster, cole slaw and dessert as the salty air washes over you!

Why we love it:  It’s a romantic, maritime experience!

Fresh Facts:

  • Seasonal
  • Reservations Required
  • Limited Schedule
  • Sails from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
  • 35 Water Street, New London, Connecticut 06320
  • (800) 697-8420
  • www.mysticwhalercruises.com

 

Mystic Aquarium – A Fun Family Day Trip!

Home to the Rare Blue Lobster

Founded in 1973 to serve as a living laboratory and major public exhibit, Mystic Aquarium offers visitors the opportunity to “sea”  fish and invertebrates from around the world!   Step beyond the entrance gates and you’ll encounter New England’s only Beluga whales, sea lions, seals and a bunch of other species like the penguins, sharks and even Jelly fish!

Open daily, Mystic Aquarium offers a number of indoor and outdoor exhibits and a wonderful, interactive Discovery Lab – where you can check out the rare blue lobster!  Accordingly to those in the know – only one out of two million lobsters is blue.

Why we love it:  Here, it’s fun to explore. And at the Penguins Cafe – you can grab a burger, fries and sustainably sourced seafood!

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The Steamboat Inn – Close to Everything!

Mystic’s Only Waterfront Inn

Located in downtown Mystic by the river, The Steamboat Inn offers 11 luxury rooms – all charming, cozy and many with sweeping panoramic views and fireplaces.  Wake up each morning and enjoy a delicious full breakfast – served with locally roasted coffee. Be sure to try Diana’s Delectable Muffins!

Open year round, the Steamboat Inn offers a romantic and yet family friendly stay.  Walk to shops and and restaurants serving lobster (yum!) or take a short drive to other popular attractions including Olde Mistick Village, Mystic Seaport, and Mystic Aquarium – where you’ll find an incredible lobster exhibit!   Arriving by boat?  The Steamboat Inn offers dockage and for those arriving by car – enter the parking lot at 9 Water Street where you must take a ticket to enter.  Parking is complimentary for guests.

Why we love it:   It’s nautical flavor! The Valiant room offers dock chairs for enjoying the Mystic River.

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Costello’s Clam Shack – A Favorite in Noank

Droolworthy Lobster Rolls Are a Mainstay Here!

Located at the mouth of the Mystic River in the Noank Shipyard, Costello’s Clam Shack serves up several seafood food favorites including whole belly fried clams and lots of lobster!   The sister restaurant of Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough down the street, Costello’ s Clam Shack offers an amazing Hot Lobster Roll prepared with a 1/4 pound of pure lobster meat drenched in melted butter, a Lobster Salad Roll with almost a 1/4 pound lobster meat lightly dressed with minced celery added for crunch value and the Whole Steamed Lobster served with fresh drawn butter and cole slaw!  Yum.

Open for lunch and dinner, this two level clam and lobster shack offers plenty of outdoor seating overlooking the water and live entertainment during the warmer months.    Casual and fun – you’ll love what Costello’s has to offer!

Why we love it:  A lively summer spot!

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Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock – Rolls With a View!

A Popular Take-Out Restaurant at the Water’s Edge

Located at Shaw’s Cove in New London, Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock is a seasonal take-out restaurant where seafood lovers can sit back and enjoy an authentic New England experience.   A little hard to find but worth the adventure, Captain Scott’s is situated between the railroad tracks and an active marina and boat yard. A narrow shack with plenty of outdoor seating, Captain Scott’s offers and amazing lobster bisque, hot and cold lobster rolls and steamed lobsters that you can crack into!

Family owned and operated and named after Captain Thomas A. Scott who  arrived in New London in 1871 to build Race Rock Lighthouse in the Long Island Sound, Captain Scott’s is a seasonal favorite.  In addition to serving the best lobster rolls on the Connecticut coast, Captain Scott’s dishes out steamers, fried whole belly clams, scallops and hamburgers and chicken tenders for the landlubbers.   It’s all good.

Why we love it:  This place is an all around summer sizzler!

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Inn at Harbor Hill Marina – Waterfront Lodging

A Lovely Bed & Breakfast In Niantic

Open year round, The Inn at Harbor Hill Marina is situated on a hilltop overlooking the marina, docks and the Niantic River.  With two uniquely appointed buildings – the original ‘Main Inn’ and the newly opened ‘Captain Clark House’, this bed and breakfast offers magnificent water views from every room.  In fact, it was recently awarded “Best Water-View Inn” (in Connecticut) by Yankee Magazine, and the “Best of New England” by BedandBreakfast.com – so you’ll want to make a reservation pronto!

Accessible by car and boat, this cozy bed and breakfast offers a classic breakfast buffet with a delicious hot entree each morning.  The Inn at Harbor Hill Marina is within walking distance to restaurants, shops, antiques, a movie theater, the beach and the Niantic Bay Boardwalk – where you can watch fishing boats return to port.  Of course lobster rolls are available in the village and just a few minutes beyond!

Why we love it:  It’s the perfect place for a romantic, seaside escape. 

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The Inn at Stonington – Quintessential New England

An Upscale Inn in the Heart of Stonington Borough

Just a 5 minute walk from the Old Lighthouse Museum – a popular coastal New England landmark and approximately 5 miles from Mystic Seaport – the nation’s leading maritime museum, The Inn at Stonington  offers 18 bright, spacious rooms all designed to provide an intimate and comfortable environment.  With most rooms boasting magnificent water views, you can sit back and watch the lobster boats sail by.
After a sun-drenched day exploring this quaint fishing village, be sure to attend the Inn’s complimentary wine and cheese reception served in the elegant parlor overlooking the water.
Why we love it: It is one of the most romantic inns in Connecticut!
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S & P Oyster Co – On the Mystic River

New England Seafood (lobster) with a Twist!

Situated in Mystic, a 19th century fishing village steeped in maritime history, S & P Oyster Co offers fresh, tasty seafood classics with a modern, South American flair!  With views of the Mystic River Bascule Bridge, this restaurant offers fish and lobster prepared on the fancy side!

Choose from a variety of seafood dishes and cocktails.   Try the Lobster Alfredo made with premium, hand-picked tail and claw meat and the chef’s signature Alfredo sauce.  Tossed with al dente linguine and finished with Pecorino Romano cheese –  this is a lobster pasta you must try. Another treat is the Warm Lobster Roll made with hand-picked lobster tail and claw meat with a Spanish paprika butter and lemon with baby arugula.  Lip-smacking delicious!

Why we love it:  Head to the top floor bar for amazing views! 

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Dog Watch Cafe – Scenic, Waterfront Location

Enjoy Lobster with a View!

Located in beautiful Stonington Borough, directly overlooking Dodson Boatyard, Dog Watch Cafe offers a casual, seaside atmosphere where you can sit back and relax as the salty air wash over you.    Enjoy the spectacular harbor sunsets while you indulge in the lobster salad roll prepared with Jim’s chunky lobster salad served cold on a toasted New England style roll with lettuce or a yummy lobster BLT.   Other seafood menu items include Clams Casino, Sea Scallops, Salmon and more!  Not into seafood?  Dog Watch Cafe offers delicious selections for landlubbers in your party!

Why we love it: They have indoor and outdoor seating.  Local brews and live music on the weekends!

Fresh Facts:

  • Open Year Round
  • Lunch, Dinner
  • 94 Water Street, Stonington, Connecticut
  • (860) 415 4520