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Downtown Mystic, Conn., is a "Must Sea" Destination

Downtown Mystic CT area
Mystic, Connecticut. Photo by Joan Hurwitz.

by Eric Hurwitz. Page updated on 6/5/18

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Downtown Mystic CT, in southeastern coastal Connecticut, doesn't have the perfectly manicured look of some high-end, polished New England travel destinations, but then again, sea captain towns were never meant to be that way.

Although downtown Mystic has seen a growing amount of trendy shops, it doesn't take away from the strong traditional look and feel of this short stretch of "Main Street USA." There's the local toy, book, ice cream and coffee shops, and a true, picturesque seaport feel with the huge Mystic Drawbridge in the middle of town that's an attraction by itself, a public boat launch and Mystic River Park with a nice, walkway by the water.

Mystic Drawbridge in Mystic, Conn.
Mystic Drawbridge.

Dowtownn waterfront park in Mystic, Conn.
Downtown waterfront park in Mystic.

It's all so real, even Mystic Pizza (56 West Main St.), a famous tourist destination made famous by the movie of the same name -- but at heart, still a "local" restaurant-bar serving some really great pizza -- some of the best we have tried in New England..

At Mystic Sweets and Ice Cream Shoppe (7 West Main St.), crowds gathered inside and outside this old-fashioned place -- the latter where families watch the Mystic Drawbridge go up and down. It's an amazing, old-fashioned destination for homemade chocolates, fudge, ice cream, gelato and retro candies.

Mystic Sweets and Ice Cream Shoppe in Mystic, Conn.
Mystic Sweets and Ice Cream Shoppe.

Many visitors feel truly connected to Mystic by enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of an authentic New England coastal downtown. You can even take a boat cruise here through Argia Mystic Cruises (Tel. 860-536-0416), as a refreshing alternative to browsing the downtown shops...

Boat in downtown Mystic, Conn.
Day sails in Mystic.

Downtown Mystic is a place where Finer Line Gallery (48 West Main St.) can peacefully co-exist with the Mystic Army Navy Stores (37 West Main St.) and the Harp and Hound Pub (4 Pearl St.). The eclectic mix, however, never sells out to the trendy crowd as its historical roots and preservation of old-time nautical buildings, homes and businesses are firmly in place. Hopefully, Downtown Mystic will stay that way, forever.

Downtown Mystic, Connecticut

Downtown Mystic.

When in downtown Mystic CT, absolutely make sure to visit:

Mystic Seaport, a "living history museum consisting of a village, ships and 17 acres of exhibits depicting coastal life in New England in the 19th century"; the very large and fascinating Mystic Aquarium; and Olde Mystic Village, with its 1700s New England look that features "more than 40 quaint 'shoppes'."

Visit the Mystic County Web Site for more information on Mystic and surrounding areas: http://www.thisismystic.com


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