One the best parts of living in the New York Metro area is the accessibility to true adventures. On any given day a road trip will take you to Montreal – Philly- Boston- Cape Cod- Hudson, NY – washington D.C. – and… Mystic Connecticut.
Just north of New York City up in the gorgeous New England region, is a town called Mystic. Nestled on the Long Island Sound in Connecticut, Mystic is like something out of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine. You know those pictures which practically narrate a nostalgic essay without a single word.
Mystic, Connecticut also house the largest maritime museum in North America, Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, Mystic Seaport and of course… Mystic Pizza.
I love New England. The trees, the slower pace of life, the commitment to craft and small business and education. It’s pretty ideal.
Mystic,CT is one of our escapes and while there was still snow on the ground this past weekend, our escape was filled with swimming and adventure, beluga whales and my first lobster roll of the season!
All three of us have been pretty stir crazy this winter. So we headed up to Mystic to swim in a hotel pool and visit the aquarium and have some old-fashioned ice cream floats! Since we absolutely love traveling and love our weekend road trips, I wanted to share some tips in case YOU – dear reader - ever find yourself in picturesque Mystic, Connecticut.
Where to Stay:
There are tons of Inns and Bed and Breakfasts which are very quaint. But we needed a pool. While we usually stay at Mohegan Sun because of their amazing selections of restaurants and shops, fun for kids and an amazing pool…they were booked solid this past weekend. So we stayed at the Mystic Mariott Hotel and Spa. The rooms were clean, staff was friendly and pool was clean. Nothing fancy and no bells and whistles but it met my clean standards and of course had a pool!
For dinner : we headed to Mystic Pizza… because when in Mystic! Mystic Pizza, the movie starring Julia Roberts from back in the day, was INSPIRED by the restaurant and none of the restaurant scenes were actually ever filmed in Mystic. Nonetheless, the walls are covered with images from the film and Julia Roberts smile. Matt, Lily and I ordered the Greek Salad and Mystic Pizza. Yum!
The next morning we headed to Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration.
Here is my BIG MONEY SAVING TIP- to save money on the price of admission ( $29/adults $21/kids), stop by the local grocery store BIG Y and sign up for their free store savings card. You save a bundle when you show your BigY card at the aquarium.
The big attraction at the aquarium are the Beluga whales. Mystic Aquarium is a known for their efforts in marine rehabilitation and research. They are a strong force in marine rehab on the long island sounds and beyond. Lily really enjoyed the touch tank, seeing the sea-lion show, petting the sharks, and sting rays.
These fish were genetically modified to glow in the dark. That’s crazy right? There even was a button which turned the lights off and on.
Housed in the exploration center is a Titanic exhibit. Lily was fascinated by this exhibit since she has heard about the Titanic but never been at an exhibit. She got to crawl inside a submarine, read facts about the titanic, watch a handful short clips on titanic mystery and recovery. It was fascinating for this adventure girl of mine.
Thomas wasn’t quite sure what was going on. He maybe noticed the fish around him but was much more interested in chasing around the other kids at the aquarium.
The beluga whales were impressive and just gorgeous. We had a close encounter with one of them which was just the amazing!
After a morning at the Aquarium we headed to Captain Daniel Parker Inn for lunch. What a treat!
The Captain Daniel Parker Inn is off the main drag in Mystic Ct. We came upon this spot while researching where to stay and the Inn kept popping up but the lack of a pool for our stir crazy kiddies, kept us from staying there. Matt and I might have to run of on a getaway sans kinds!
I was so intrigued by the Inn that we decided to lunch, which ended up being the best decision! You MUST stop by and have some yummy grub off their menu.
Lobster Roll with Onion Rings.
Crab panini with sweet potato fries
I had a Lobster roll… and it did not disappoint, Matt has the Crab and Avocado Panini and Lily had the best meal of all.
Truffle shaved mac and cheese with 3 cheeses.
She had a side order of the Truffle Mac and Cheese – 2 cheeses and shaved truffles! ( in case you don’t know, this junior foodie of mine drizzles truffle oil on practically anything! so when a truffle mac and cheese is on the menu… she must!) It was her first time eating shaved black truffle. How fancy!
It was too windy and cold to walk around this past weekend but we love strolling around town and visiting all the shops – Mystic Toys is so great, the ice cream shoppe – closed for the season- is a MUST and make sure to take pictures on the small bridge.
I can’t wait to go back when it’s warmer!
Hope you take time in your life to travel… it’s enriching in so many ways. We love to travel and sometimes a quick roadtrip is the best kinda *zing* one needs to hit the refresh button!