Over spring break we visited Mystic, CT for the first time. It was easy to get to (about 1 min off I-95), family friendly and a lot of fun. I would highly recommend visiting. It could be a quick 1 hour rest stop on road trip north or south on 95, a quick overnight trip or a place to visit for a few days. We were there for 2 nights really enjoyed it! Here’s a bit about the trip and 10 things I would recommend:
Mystic, Connecticut Top 10
1. Mystic Seaport: We had a wonderful time at Mystic Seaport. This is definitely a place we will visit again. I’m not sure what I was expecting before we visited but definitely not the big, wide open, beautiful “village” we saw when we entered. For someone traveling with an active toddler that likes to run wild, Mystic Seaport was perfect. For two little girls that love exploring, Mystic Seaport was a huge hit. There’s a lot of open space and no cars. There are boats to climb on, big ships to see and a Children’s Museum.
The Children’s Museum is actually a little house that kids can play in: a full play kitchen, a boat, bunks and a room of beautiful wooden toys. We could have spent all day in that little house. Even Miles (12m) loved it.
I was really impressed with the food options at Mystic Seaport: beer at the lunch spot, food you can take and eat outside, a coffee shop and more. There was honestly so much to see and do that I feel like we could have spent many more hours there. When we go back, I will leave a full day for the Seaport. Be sure to check out their website to see all the different things going on the day you will visit.
3. Downtown Mystic: This was my favorite area of Mystic. It feels very New England. There are great shops, places to eat and boats to see. See below for our favorite places to eat there.
4. Old Mystic Village: Old Mystic Village is adjacent to the aquarium’s parking lot. There are lots of little stores and places to eat. There’s a great toy shop there! There are also ducks walking around and places to sit outside. It was a great place to go after the aquarium.
5. Mystic Playground & Park: We found the cutest little playground right near downtown. We stumbled upon it while looking for parking. It’s the Mystic River Park Playground and it’s right across from Mystic River Park. We ended up taking the kids there before dinner to burn off some energy and then in the morning when they were up long before any of the local attractions opened up!
It’s a great playground and fully fenced in. Mystic River Park is also nice for kids. It’s right on the river and there are plenty of boats to see. There’s also a huge open lawn to run on. Miles liked this little spot he could stand at to watch the boats while his siblings ran wild.
Lodging in Mystic, CT:
6. Inn at Mystic: There are a lot of hotels right off the Mystic exit, across from the Aquarium. There are also some great inns closer to downtown. We stayed at the Inn at Mystic and really liked it. It’s close to the aquarium and also the downtown (kind of in the middle). It’s set high on a hill, so the view is lovely! They have an awesome, easy breakfast that is included. The room was spacious and fit us all. I would recommend requesting a room without a fireplace if you have little kids because many of the rooms have one. It was the perfect location to quickly and easily get to everything we wanted to see and do. There’s also a pretty, grassy area on site with some great rocks for climbing. The staff was really friendly and helpful too.
Places to Eat in Mystic, CT:
7. Pizzetta: A friend recommended this place for pizza. It’s down the street from the famous Mystic Pizza (where the wait is typically quite long). It was amazing. From tasty apps, to drinks to some of the best pizza I’ve ever had. I would highly recommend it for families. Also – look at the specials. We went during their “happy hour” and ALL food was 1/2 off. 6 of us ate (a lot) and drank for about $30.
8. Engine Room: Awesome farm to table restaurant in Downtown Mystic. The food and drinks were great and it was family friendly.
9. Ice Cream: Downtown Mystic there are two great spots. Mystic Drawbridge Ice-cream is popular and often a long line. We found ice cream that was just as tasty right across the street at Mystic Sweets. They also have excellent fudge!
10. Ice Cream: in Old Mystic Village try Mango’s Homeade Ice-cream. It’s delicious and you walk up to a window to order it. My kids got a kick out of that.
Mystic, Connecticut is a great place for families. It’s so easily accessible from I95, small enough to see in 1 night but plenty to do for a few days. We saw all of the above in 2 days/2nights. I would highly recommend a visit!
Disclosure: We were not compensated for this post. We did receive a room for the purpose of review in addition to tickets to some of the places mentioned. As always, all opinions are our own.