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"Leaf Peeping" and Fall Festivals in Mystic Country
 
MYSTIC Country, CT -- Fall in Mystic Country is a great time to visit: fewer crowds, lots of family festivals, creepy Halloween haunts and yes, plenty of stunning scenery.   So when weather turns crisp and you reach for that LL Bean sweater, come to Mystic Country where you can relax, enjoy seasonal delights and leaf peep by boat, foot or car. 
 
Located just a few hours from Boston and New York, Mystic Country is a nearby destination that is home to popular attractions including Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, Mystic Seaport, Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun.  For more information on the region including special packages and a calendar of events, check out www.mycoast.com.
 
Scenic Drive: Mystic Country is filled with fantastic fall foliage drives. Here is one suggested itinerary. 
Stonington to Old Mystic
This short but bucolic drive includes charming New England homes, scenic river views and popular fall attractions.  From Route 1A in Stonington. Continue north towards Mystic. Cross the Bascule Bridge. Take second right onto Pearl Street. Go straight through stop signs and continue to River Road. Make a right and take to the end. Make right at light. You are in the center of Old Mystic. If you take a left at the next stop sign, you go deeper into Old Mystic. If you make a right onto Route 27, the road brings you back into Mystic. Points of Interest: Mystic River, Bascule Bridge, Clyde's Cider Mill, Olde Mistick Village, Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, Seamen's Inne, Mystic Seaport - Museum of America and the Sea.
 
Additional drives can found at http://mycoast.com/Directions/ and click on scenic drives.
 
Best Mystic Country Hiking Spots: With more than 20 Connecticut and Rhode Island state parks and more than 100 miles of hiking and biking trails all within easy reach, selecting just one hiking spot is difficult. Following are two suggestions:
 
* Bluff Point State Park in Groton, CT offers a three-mile loop of rugged trails with expansive water views, overlooking Long Island Sound.   Great for biking, too.
 
·* Mount Misery in Voluntown, CT, is located in Pachaug State Forest, which features 1.7 miles of trails. A climb by foot or car to Mt. Misery Overlook, the highest point in the vicinity with an elevation of 441 feet, provides a breathtaking view of the fall foliage.
 
Fall Festivals
           
August 25-28 : Schemitzun, North Stonington, CT
From buffalo burgers to venison tacos to tasty Fry Dough, you can eat authentic Native American cuisine to your heart's content at one of the largest pow wows in the country.  Miner Farm, Wintechog Hill Rd., North Stonington, 10 a.m. -- 11 p.m. Call 800-224-CORN for more information. 
 
September 9-11, Taste of Mystic, downtown Mystic, CT
Over 30 local restaurants line Cottrell Street in Historic Downtown Mystic, each offering a unique and delicious taste of their specialty.  Last year?s goodies ranged from honey cilantro shrimp to pad Thai with chicken satay and so much more.  This year features the Mohegan Sun Oyster Open where oyster shuckers, who will travel from as far as Maryland, will shuck 24 oysters each and be judged on both the speed and quality of their shucking.  For more information, contact the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce at 860-572-9578.
 
September 16-18: Boats, Books and Brushes with Taste, New London, CT
Bring your appetite when you set sail for a unique literary, arts, maritime and food event, on New London, CT's historic waterfront. The festival invites visitors to Author's Row for readings and book signings by well-known writers including Luanne Rice and William Zinsser and chefs as well. Enjoy an art show and sale, learn about maritime history and listen to live music and storytellers. Sailing and boating enthusiasts tour the U.S.C.G. Eagle and other Tall Ships® at City Pier.  For more information, call K&M Productions at 860-437-8025.
 
September 24: Festival by the Sound, Avery Point Campus Groton, CT
Festivities will showcase Avery Points maritime history with interactive exhibits. Roving swashbucklers as well as fencing demonstrations, mock battles and food vendors will be featured. For more information, contact the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce at 860-572-9578.
 
October 7: Harvest Moon Festival, Mystic, CT
A local celebration to welcome the fall season in the Mystic River Park. Live entertainment, activities for children and delicious food. Enjoy looking through telescopes provided by Mystic Seaport Planetarium at the night sky. For more information, contact the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce at 860-572-9578.
 
October 7 -10 and 14-16: 15th Annual Walking Weekends, various locations in the Quinebaug-Shetucket Heritage Corridor
More than 100 free, guided walks including tours of working farms, historic sites and cemeteries.  For more information, call 860-963-7226.
 
October 8-10:  Sea Festival, Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT
A perfect New England combination: cool sea air and hot "chowda." Add spectacular fall foliage and amazing waterfront views, and you've got one unforgettable Columbus Day weekend.   For more information, contact 888-973-2767.
October 8-9: Annual Harvest Festival, Jonathan Edwards Winery, North Stonington, CT
Celebrating the grape harvest.  Food vendors, local artisans, live music, grape stomping contests, pumpkin painting, hayrides, raffles, and wine! For more information, 860-535-0202.
 
October 15-16: Fall Wine & Food Festival, Stonington Vineyards, Stonington, CT
This annual Wine and Food Festival celebrates the harvest. Enjoy the day by tasting wines, sampling the treats of local vendors and listening to a live band play while relaxing with a picnic.  Tours are also available. For more information, contact 800-421-WINE.
 
All Things Creepy and Crawly
 
October (select evenings): Nautical Nightmares, Mystic Seaport --The Museum of America and the Sea, Mystic, CT
Nautical spirits guide guests along an eerie lantern-lit tour along the Mystic River and visitors hear chilling tales of New England?s historic ghosts, legends and unsolved mysteries. Haunt historic vessels and exhibits, and hear spooky stories of lighthouses and ghost ships. Advance tickets recommended. For more information, contact 888-973-2767.
October 28, 29: Spooky Nature Trail, Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, Mystic, CT
Roam the Nature Center's trails after dark (5:30-9:30) to find fantastical creatures, cackling witches and shimmering fairies. Inside the center, enjoy Halloween games, treats, children's crafts, and visits with live snakes, frogs and salamanders. For more information, contact 860-536-1216.
 
October 30: Lantern Light Graveyard Walk, Norwich, CT 
A 1-hour guided walking tour at dusk led by ghost hunter Donna Kent featuring the Old Norwichtown Burial Ground and the Norwichtown Green. Reservations & lantern or flashlight are required.  For more information, contact 860-886-4683.
 
October 31: Halloween Parade in Downtown Mystic, Mystic, CT

Join the ghosts and goblins in a Halloween Parade through downtown Mystic. Parade begins at the Mystic Art Association and along Route 1 over the bridge to the B.F. Hoxie Fire House.  This free event begins at 6:00 p.m. For more information, contact 860-536-3575.
 
Fall Packages (For additional offers, visit www.mycoast.com.)
 
"Fall Foliage Escape" Package for Two
Mystic Marriott, Mystic, CT

Priced at $259 tax inclusive, the "Fall Foliage Escape" Package is valid Tues-Sat, October 1 through October 31st, double occupancy. Package includes:
* Overnight accommodations
* Complimentary apple cider at the hotel's Starbucks Coffee Bar
* Breakfast for 2 adults and 2 children in the Octagon
* Tickets to the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat Tour, a 2-hour old fashioned steam train and riverboat ride
 
Mystic Country Fall Midweek Specials for Seniors
Inn at Lower Farm, North Stonington, CT, 866-535-9075
Package price is $425 (includes room tax) and is valid Sunday through Thursday. Includes:
* 3-night stay at our AAA 3 diamond rated bed and breakfast
* Gourmet breakfasts served each morning by candlelight in front of the open hearth
* 2 tickets to Mystic Aquarium, Mystic Seaport and Mashantucket Pequot Indian Museum
* Valid for people 62 and older
* Valid Sunday - Thursdays September 6, 2005 through November 17, 2005 (not valid on holiday weekends)
 
"FALL INN LOVE" Package
Inn at Harbor Hill Marina Niantic, CT, 860-739-0331
Offered September and October, Sunday thru Thursday.
Starting at $375 includes:
* Two night accommodations in a water view room
* Breakfast for two each morning in our Bay View Room or on our patio overlooking the marina and gardens
* Complimentary snacks and beverages during your stay
* A boat ride up the Niantic River aboard our 1948 26ft Motor Whaler to admire the fall foliage and all the river's beauty (weather and availability permitting)
* A crisp autumn stroll on our New Boardwalk overlooking Niantic Bay
* Two Harbor Hill Mugs as a memento of your autumn getaway
 
About Mystic Country (formerly Mystic Places)
Mystic Country is an energetic and unexpected destination that combines the tranquility of New England seascapes and scenic rolling hills with the excitement of the nation's most entertaining, educational and cultural attractions-- including Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mohegan Sun, Mystic Aquarium and Mystic Seaport. Stretching 40 miles through southeastern Connecticut and coastal Rhode Island, the region is a convenient escape, located just two hours by car or train from both Boston and New York City and easily accessible from several major airports.
 
For a FREE Mystic Country Vacation Kit, call 1-800-MYCOAST (800-692-6278), or visit us online at www.mycoast.com.
 
Formed in 1992, Mystic Coast & Country Travel Industry Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of the Mystic Country region.

Editor's Note: These events were accurate at press time. For an updated listing of events in Mystic Country visit www.mycoast.com.

 

Related New England fall foliage information:

The best New England fall foliage destinations

Autumn In Maine is ablaze with color and character. Also, plan your northern New England fall foliage itninerary by browsing the Maine Fall Calendar of Events.

Marino Lookout Farm in South Natick, Mass., creates a unique apple picking experience

 

New England travel shopping tip: Stonewall Kitchen, the York, Maine, based company, best known for their award-winning Specialty Foods, also offers a wide variety of gourmet foods and gifts, kitchen and cookware, home decor and garden accessories, and recipes. Always Save 10% Off Product of the Month at StonewallKitchen.com.

Mystic, Conn., and surrounding area lodging list and availability Find great accomodations for your fall foliage visit to Mystic, Conn. Mystic is a sweet seaside town with a great aquarium, myriad shopping opportunities, a sense of history, and the nearby magnificent ocean for you to enjoy.

Make reservations now

 

Connecticut lodging list and availability

Hartford, Conn.

Old Saybrook, Conn.

Westport, Conn.

 

Rhode Island lodging list and availability

Newport, R.I.

Providence, R.I.

 

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