The Ultimate Guide to Mystic CT

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Looking for things to do in Mystic? 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 found Mystic in Connecticut. This small town in Connecticut is just 3 hours drive from NYC and is the most adorable place I’ve visited in the states so far. So if you are wondering What to do in Mystic CT here is my ultimate guide to Mystic.

Where is Mystic?

If you have never heard of Mystic I don’t blame you. I haven’t either. Until I realized that I had! Mystic became famous after they filmed Mystic Pizza there in 1988. Although I didn’t even realize it was a real place until I began looking into things to do there! So if you are a fan of the film, visiting is a must. I mean what could be cooler than eating Pizza in the actual place Julia Roberts made the film.

One thing I quickly became aware of when I arrived in Mystic was that there is so much more to Mystic than pizza! In this guide of things to do in Mystic, I have broken it down offering you suggested things to do, where to stay in Mystic as well as where to eat and drink.

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

Ultimate Guide to Mystic – What to do in Mystic CT

There are surprisingly so many things to do in Mystic CT. I went mid-week during the ‘off season’ for 2 nights and I could have easily stayed a week. Here are a few of my favorite things to do in Mystic.

Take a Walk

The first thing you should do when you get to Mystic is to take a walk around the town. There is a nice Ice Cream shop on the main road where you can get yourself a scoop while watching the drawbridge coming up and down (if you are lucky). It felt a little bit like stepping back in time visiting Mystic, 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

This is probably the top large attraction in Mystic. It will cost you $30 to enter but you could easily spend the full day here! As well as having lots of amazing wooden boats you can look around they often have themed days. You can’t visit Mystic without visiting the Mystic Seaport Museum.

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They do have an aquarium but as they have animal shows I am unable to advocate it due to my stance on animal cruelty.

Shopping in Mystic

As I already mentioned Mystic has some pretty amazing independent shops. I could easily have spent a small fortune there! Four shops I have to mention though are Mystic KnotworkMain Street Soap Emporium, Salt and Marine Consignment of Mystic this really cool boat year second-hand shop. It looks like a bit of a junk shop, but it is also a lot of fun! I spent at least an hour poking around in there. It is also the place to go if you want to go sailing.

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

Go Sailing

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 just a little bit early. If you visit Mystic 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



Visit the Olde Mystic

I actually found this place while hunting for donuts! It’s a small retail park just outside of the main town. There are lots of shops and places to eat. It’s worth the visit just to go and look around the rather interesting toy shop…

Mystic CI things to do in Mystic CI

Go Wine, Beer or Cider Tasting

For all of you hard cider fans out there Mystic has 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 until December.

If beer is more your thing that you need to visit Mystics only brewery Barley Head Brewery. Open Thursday to Sunday all year round they have a selection of constantly changing beers on offer in some pretty nice glasses.

There are a whole host of vineyards close to Mystic. The closest is Maugle Sierra Vineyards who offer tours, taking and also have lots of special events throughout the year.

Make the most of ‘happy hour’

There are plenty of places to enjoy ‘Happy Hour’. in Mystic. I was pretty impressed with Chapter One. We ordered 4 pints of Hard Cider and it only cost us $8. Coming from NYC where you can’t even get a bottle of water in some places for that I wish my body would have allowed me to drink more than 2 pints!

Visit Mystic Pizza

There is a reason this is in the things to do section rather than the places to eat section. To be blunt, the pizza just isn’t that great. It is somewhere you kinda have to go, but at the same time, there are so many amazing places to eat in Mystic that you don’t want to waste a meal there. We just shared a pizza at lunchtime, but to be honest we were more interested in getting photographs that eating pizza.

Mystic Pizza CI things to do in Mystic CI

Have an Early Night and Watch Mystic Pizza

It really does have to be done! The place I stayed at was incredible. The bed was huge and to be perfectly honest I could have happily just stayed in my room for the 2 days watching TV with the fire on. My advice is to enjoy happy hour, grab a takeout Mystic Pizza and head back to your hotel to watch it on Netflix!

things to do in Mystic

Where to Stay in Mystic

The Whalers Inn

As far as I’m concerned there is only one place to stay in Mystic and that is The Whalers Inn. I’m normally a budget backpacker but every now and then I like to treat myself to a little luxury. And what a treat staying here was! Just take a look at my room!

Mystic CI things to do in Mystic CI

I had a corner room looking out over the river and part of downtown. A huge TV, fire, and the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. The pillows were like sleeping on clouds. Can you sense my gushing? Well, that’s how I felt staying there and I haven’t stopped since I got back. I think I’ve convinced my Mum and most of her friends to take a trip there soon.

The Whalers is referred to as the heart of Mystic and you can see why! The building itself is 125 years old. It was converted into a hotel in the 60’s and has recently been remodeled. I don’t know what it was like before the remodel but now it’s pretty great.

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’s Fist keyring to the old-fashioned details in the rooms like the clock, telephone, and radio. It feels like such loving care has gone into the decor.

The charm doesn’t stop there though, the staff was equally as lovely. From the warm welcome, we received to the afternoon cookies in the lobby by the fire. It really doesn’t get much better than this.

The breakfast was also pretty good and available until 10 am in the restaurant which is part of the main building.

Unfortunately, I was unable to take time off work and I had to teach. It’s always a worry for me about the internet when I’m away. Although I did have my TEPPY I didn’t need it as the WiFi was strong.

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

Where to find the best food in Mystic

If you are a food lover then Mystic is the town for you! It was the first thing we were told about arriving in town. Mystic is foodie heaven! With an abundance of independent restaurants serving locally sourced food, the only problem you are going to face is not having enough time to eat in all of them!

For a full list of restaurants visit This is Mystic


Red 36

My number one choice is Red36 this place is food heaven! I always try to be critical when I’m reviewing anywhere but honestly I don’t know what to say other than the food was delicious, the service was impeccable and the view was spectacular. It is waterfront dining at its best.

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


All of the food is locally sourced and the menu changes frequently, and did I mention they have a happy hour? Considering the quality prices also didn’t break the bank considering how good the food was. I think our total bill was just over $100 and I was so full I thought someone may have to carry mine out of there!

Be warned you will need to book a table in advance! I went mid-week during the offseason and it was packed. If you want a waterfront view let them know as they book up fast!

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

Here are a few other recommended options:

Brunch at Rise

Burger and Bourbon at Engine Room

Chapter One (they have a good happy hour)

Oyster Company

Eat in a treehouse at Oyster club

How to get to Mystic from New York City

The beauty of Mystic is that it is so easy to get to from New York! You can drive like I did. They also have an Amtrak station! So you can take the train direct from Pen Station. It is also an option to take the bus. If you can I would recommend driving so you can visit neighboring Stonington too.

 The Ultimate Guide to Mystic CT


Final Thoughts

We really did have an epic time in Mystic and I 100% recommend paying a visit if you are in the area. My Mum has already booked her stay at The Whalers Inn!

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!