A charming seaside village on the beautiful Long Island Sound Mystic, Connecticut is a historic village which is not a municipality of its own but rather part of the cities of Groton on the west bank and Stonington on the east bank of the Mystic River.
Mystic has been the leading seaport in Eastern Connecticut, and the story of Mystic’s nautical heritage is told at The Mystic Seaport which is the nations’ largest maritime museum. Mystic Seaport has many well preserved historical ships and a beautifully recreated 19th century village with over 30 New England trade shops and business from the 1800’s with living history educators who explain the roles of each of the different buildings in the early fishing community.
The buildings are not recreations – they are authentic historic buildings that have been transported to Mystic Seaport village from locations around New England. Explore the various maritime trades these buildings housed like coopers and shipsmiths, woodcarvers and riggers. Browse through the village shops and take a horse and carriage ride down the street that takes you back in time with living history educators, musicians and storytellers.
Mystic Seaport is one of the premier maritime museums in the world with over 500 historic watercraft. It is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels including the 1841 whaleship the Charles W. Morgan which is the oldest merchant vessel in America. Its tall masts have been a distinctive part of Mystic’s shoreline for years. The Charles W. Morgan has been hauled out for repairs that can be seen in the ship restoration shipyard where tools and construction methods of the mid 1800’s are being carefully employed.
Other historic vessels at Mystic Seaport include the square rigger Joseph Conrad, the L. A. Dunton a fishing schooner, and the Sabino steamboat. The Seaport also has a major research library, a large gallery of maritime art, a diorama of the town of Mysitc in the 19th century and the Treworgy Planetarium.
The village is also home to one of the nation’s finest aquariums,The Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration which is a major New England tourist destination. It is renowned for its concern with marine life rehabilitation, research department, and its popular beluga whales and playful sea lion shows.
The Mystic Aquarium has plenty of hands on experiences for kids where they can touch sharks and rays. The Penguin Exhibit has over 25 African penguins you can view above and below water where you can get an up close look at them socializing and swimming. Walk through the atrium with over 1200 beautiful Australian birds.
The jelly fish room has brightly lit tanks that show what remarkable creatures these are pulsating rhythmically swimming the current in the tanks. At the Nautilus theater, visitors can follow the deep-sea explorations of Dr Robert Ballard in real time as they happen.
The combination of Mystic’s ocean front living on the beautiful Long Island Sound and the shops and nautical heritage that makes it a popular destination spot makes Mystic one of Connecticut’s best cities for your home and family.