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Mystic Connecticut Things to Do: What to Do in Mystic CT

Looking for things to do in Mystic CT? As much as I love New York, it’s also nice to escape the city for a few days. On my quest to find the perfect getaway close to New York City, I discovered the town of Mystic, Connecticut. This small town is just three hours from NYC and is the most adorable place I’ve visited in the States so far. So, if you want fun things to do in Mystic CT, here’s my ultimate guide of what to do in Mystic Connecticut.

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

Where is Mystic, CT?

If you’ve never heard of Mystic CT, I don’t blame you—I hadn’t either. Until I realized that I had (kind of) since Mystic became famous after they filmed the movie Mystic Pizza there in 1988. I didn’t realize it was a real place until I began looking for things to do in the area. If you’re a fan of the film, visiting is a must. I mean, what’s cooler than eating pizza in the same place that Julia Roberts once was?

One thing I quickly became aware of when I arrived in Mystic Connecticut was that there’s so much more to the town than pizza. In this roundup of Mystic things to do, I break everything down and highlight the best things to do in Mystic CT, where to stay, and where to eat and drink.

How to Get to Mystic CT From New York City

The beauty of Mystic, Connecticut is it’s very convenient to travel to from New York! You can drive like I did or take a train directly from New York’s Penn Station. Another option is to take a bus ride from NYC to Mystic

Mystic Seaport Museum The Museum of America and the Sea Mystic CI things to do in Mystic CI

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 
Best Mystic CT ToursClick here to check out the top Mystic CT tours
Best Mystic CT Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Mystic CT
Best Mystic CT Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Mystic CT

Ultimate Guide to Mystic: Things to Do Mystic CT

Wondering what to do in Mystic CT? There are surprisingly so many fun things to see and do! I went mid-week during the “off-season” for two nights and could have easily stayed a week. Here are a few of my favorite things to do in Mystic Connecticut.

Take a Walk

The first thing you should do when you get to Mystic, CT is take a walk around the town. There’s a nice ice cream shop on the main road where you can enjoy a scoop while watching the drawbridge rise and lower (if you’re lucky). Visiting Mystic CT feels like stepping back in time, in a good way. The town is full of interesting independent shops where you can buy everything from loose tea to army supplies!

North American Adventures | The Ultimate Guide to Mystic | What to do in Mystic CT

Visit the Mystic Seaport Museum

The Mystic Seaport Museum is probably the most famous attraction in Mystic, CT. It will cost you $30 to enter, but you could easily spend a full day exploring. In addition to all the amazing wooden boats you can look through, the museum often hosts themed days. You can’t visit Mystic Connecticut without touring the Mystic Seaport Museum.

Shopping Mystic CT

As I already mentioned, there are some amazing Mystic seaport shops where you could spend a small fortune. Four shops I have to mention are Mystic Knotwork, Main Street Soap Emporium, Salt, and Marine Consignment of Mystic. I spent at least an hour poking around the Marine Consignment store—it’s the place to go if you want to try sailing.

North American Adventures | The Ultimate Guide to Mystic | What to do in Mystic CT


From May until August, you can book a half-day or sunset cruise on an 81-ft Schooner. This was at the top of my list of things to do—sadly, I visited in April, so I was a bit early. If you visit Mystic CT in May, you should make the sunset cruise with Argia a priority.

North American Adventures | The Ultimate Guide to Mystic | What to do in Mystic CT

Check Out the Olde Mistick Village

I found this place while hunting for donuts—it’s a small retail park just outside the Mystic CT city center. There are lots of shops and places to eat throughout Olde Mistick Village, making it perfect for an afternoon trip.

Go Wine, Beer or Cider Tasting

For all of you hard cider fans out there, Mystic Connecticut is home to the only steam-powered cider mill in the US. You can book tours, demonstrations and, most importantly, tastings! This is seasonal and only available from the end of August through December.

If beer is more your thing, you need to visit Mystic’s only brewery, Barley Head Brewery. Open Thursday to Sunday all year round, they have an impressive selection of delicious rotating beers.

There are also some vineyards located just outside Mystic, CT. The closest is Maugle Sierra Vineyards—they offer tours and tastings, and host fun seasonal events.

Make the Most of “Happy Hour”

There are plenty of places to enjoy happy hour in Mystic. I was pretty impressed with Chapter One Mystic—we ordered four pints of hard cider, and it only cost us $8. This was such a shock coming from NYC, where everything is overpriced!

Grab a Slice at Mystic Pizza

There’s a reason the Mystic Pizza shop is in the “things to do in Mystic, CT” section rather than “places to eat.” To be blunt, the pizza just isn’t that great—while the location is worth visiting, don’t waste a meal there. Mystic CT is full of delicious restaurants with better lunch options. We shared a pizza at lunchtime when we visited but were more interested in taking photographs than eating the pizza.

Mystic Pizza CI things to do in Mystic CI

Have an Early Night in and Watch Mystic Pizza

Watching Mystic Pizza in Mystic, Connecticut is a must! The place I stayed in Mystic was incredible with a huge bed, TV, and fireplace. My advice is to enjoy happy hour, grab a takeout slice of Mystic Pizza, and head back to your hotel to watch the movie.

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Where to Stay in Mystic CT

The Whalers Inn

As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one place to stay in Mystic, CT and that’s The Whalers Inn. I’m normally a budget backpacker but occasionally enjoy treating myself to some luxury. Staying here was such a treat—just look at how beautiful it is!

Mystic CI things to do in Mystic CI

I had a corner room overlooking the river and part of downtown. The bed was so comfortable I probably could have stayed in it the whole two days. I’ve been gushing about this inn to everyone and think I’ve convinced my Mum to visit with some of her friends.

The Whalers is referred to as the heart of Mystic CT, and you can see why! The building itself is 125 years old and was converted into a hotel in the 60s, though it was recently been remodeled.

Mystic CI things to do in Mystic CI

For me, the real beauty and charm of The Whalers Inn in Mystic is the attention to detail. From the monkey fist keyring to the old-fashioned room details like a clock, telephone, and radio, it feels like great care was taken when designing the hotel.

The charm doesn’t stop there, as the staff was equally as lovely. From the warm welcome we received at check-in to the afternoon cookies hosted in the lobby by the fire, the experience was unforgettable.

Breakfast was also pretty good and available until 10 a.m. in the restaurant, which is part of the main building.

You can read about the history of The Whalers Inn here.

Where to Find the Best Food in Mystic CT

If you’re a foodie, Mystic Connecticut is the town for you. The first thing I was told upon arriving in town is that Mystic is heaven for food lovers. With an abundance of independent restaurants serving locally sourced food, the only problem you’ll face is not having enough time to try them all.

For a full list of restaurants visit This is Mystic.

Red 36

My number one restaurant choice is Red 36 Mystic CT. I always try to be critical when I’m reviewing destinations, but, honestly, I don’t know what to say other than the food was delicious, the service was impeccable, and the view was spectacular. Red 36 Mystic CT is waterfront dining at its best.

View from Red 36 Mystic CI things to do in Mystic CI

All of the food comes from local farmers and artisans, and the menu changes frequently—did I mention they have happy hour? Considering the quality, the prices are also reasonable. I think our total bill was just over $100, and I was so full I thought someone may have to wheel me out of there!

Be warned that you will need to book a table in advance. I went mid-week during the off-season, and it was still packed. If you want a waterfront view, let the restaurant know in advance, as they book up fast.

View from Red 36 Mystic CI things to do in Mystic CI

Here are a few other restaurant recommendations for Mystic CT:

Best Things to Do in Mystic CT: FAQs

When is the Best Time to Visit Mystic, Connecticut?

The best time to visit Mystic is during the late spring, summer, and early fall. These seasons offer pleasant weather for outdoor activities and allow you to fully enjoy the town’s natural beauty and waterfront. However, Mystic is charming year-round, with cozy winters and festive holiday seasons.

Can I Explore Mystic On Foot?

Yes, Mystic is a walkable town, especially in the downtown and waterfront areas. You can stroll through the historic district, along the Mystic River, and through Olde Mistick Village. Many attractions, shops, and restaurants are within walking distance of each other.

What Are the Best Family-Friendly Things to Do in Mystic, CT?

Mystic is an ideal destination for families. You can explore the kid-friendly exhibits at Mystic Seaport Museum or enjoy a day at the beach. Many local attractions cater to families and offer fun and educational experiences.

USA Travel Guide Planning

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in USA?

I strongly recommend using Bookaway. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in USA?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a lot of options!

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack. 

The Ultimate Guide to Mystic CT

Final Thoughts: Fun Things to Do In Mystic CT

We had an epic time in Mystic CT and I 100% recommend paying this charming town a visit if you’re in the area. From visiting the Mystic seaport shops to enjoying food and drinks at Chapter One Mystic, you’ll have an incredible time. My Mum has already booked her stay at The Whalers Inn—I hope you’re inspired to as well! Don’t forget to save this guide to the best Mystic CT things to do before planning your trip.

This post was proofread by Grammarly.

Rick Kollmeyer

Monday 11th of June 2018

Claire, thanks for writing such a great article about our town! I'm happy that you have discovered that it is not just a summer destination anymore. Lots going on year round.

Hey, I just wanted to clarify something - Amtrak to Mystic is from Penn Station, not Grand Central. There are options from Grand Central (MetroNorth to New Haven and then you can switch to the Shoreliner, but that will only get you to New London (20 minute or so Uber to Mystic).

Rick Kollmeyer Adore, "Worldly Treasures for the Home" in Downtown Mystic

Claire Summers

Thursday 12th of July 2018

Rick! Thank you so much for this. I will update the article now. Really very helpful of you :-)

Marie Tyler Wiley - your local Coldwell Banker Realtor &???‍♀️?‍♀️❤️???

Tuesday 15th of May 2018

I was trying to spell check what I sent and it just zipped it off before I had never pressed “send “ The best place to get the kayaks is that Blue Heaven at the end of Cottrell Street next to Mystic shipyard.

The woman Who owns it Laura Kronholm is wonderful she’s this earthly nature loving woman - Who also sells her products all natural organic suntan lotion etc. because we’ve all learned that the suntan products on the shelf are killing our oceans.

Claire Summers

Tuesday 15th of May 2018

OK, now I'm even sadder as I need her suncream in my life. It's hard to find eco-friendly suncream I could have stocked up!

Marie Tyler Wiley - your local Coldwell Banker Realtor &???‍♀️?‍♀️❤️???

Tuesday 15th of May 2018

Oh my God you forgot one of the most important places in Mystic - and experience that you cannot get anywhere else and that is blue Haven kayaks at the end of Cottrell Street. You rent a kayak and you literally float along in the Mystic River (not down the middle thank you very much ??) The views from floating along the Mystic River are undeniably some of the best views in the world it just makes you feel so special to be in a place like this it’s entirely relaxing and you get the most bang for your money! Trust me check it out Mystic and a kayak is the absolute bomb it’s just the best !

Claire Summers

Tuesday 15th of May 2018

AHHHHHH that sounds amazing! I went there a few weeks ago and it was still pretty cold so that's probably why I missed this. I'll do an edit soon and add this in on your recommendation though for sure. That sounds amazing!!! Thank you so much :-)


Tuesday 15th of May 2018

I live in Mystic and I HIGHLY recommend Pizzetta. It’s still in downtown but so much better than Mystic Pizza. To be honest, Mystic Pizza is still only in business because of tourists. The best ice cream is Mystic Drawbridge and the best place for drinks is either Red 36 or the Engine Room. As far the aquarium goes, they do more rescues and rehabs than anything else. They are first and foremost about taking care of their animals. It’s truly a wonderful place to visit and learn about marine life. I’m glad you enjoyed your time in my little town! ?

Claire Summers

Tuesday 15th of May 2018

Thank you so much for your comment, Tory! Great to know where to get good Pizza and Ice cream. Good to get your perspective on the aquarium too. I'm sure they do some really great work. I love Mystic and I'm sure I'll be back soon!


Tuesday 15th of May 2018

What a great article have been to Mystic many times and it was love at first sight.I live in Ohio so I don’t get there enough,it’s a 12 hr drive and pain to get there by plane.I truly would love to live there.Thank you,Amy???⛵️

Claire Summers

Tuesday 15th of May 2018

I know I felt the same way too. It's such a lovely place. I'm already looking forward to going back!