*Scroll down for a summary of the Mystic, CT daytrip itinerary.*
I visited my family a couple weekends ago in Connecticut. Since I grew up in the state, I’ve always had a love (craving?) for deliciously fresh seafood. After living in upstate New York, Arizona, and Pennsylvania, I’ve learned to eat as much seafood as possible when in a coastal location (examples include Connecticut, Boston, New Orleans, LA, etc).
The weather was a bit damp – it drizzled every once in a while and stayed overcast most of the day. But it was warm enough to need only a light jacket, and it never rained enough to really need an umbrella. One of the benefits of such wishy-washy weather was the lack of crowds at the tourist destinations.
We started the day off with lunch at Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough in Noank, Connecticut. It’s a casual eatery with super-fresh seafood. Between the four of us, we got:
- lobster bisque
- shrimp and corn chowder
- Blue Point (local) oysters on the half shell
- clams on the half shell
- lobster rolls with giant chunks of lobster
It definitely hit the spot!
After lunch, we walked around Mystic Seaport for a while. This historic village is great to just wander around without any set agenda – you can spend most of a day there or just see the highlights in a couple hours. We got to view an old whaling ship under renovation and an exhibit explaining how the wood for the ships was selected and maintained (I found this the most interesting part – how they selected tree types based on the qualities of the wood, and how they hacked away at it to prepare it for use in the boat).
There was a small school house with an active ‘lesson’ that my mom, a teacher, really enjoyed (sample question: How many states are in the United States? answer: 37… at the time the seaport was in operation!).
After walking around for a while, we had a beer at the tavern – refreshing! – and looked at some exhibits with a variety of types of boats. My brother is into sailing so he really enjoyed it. I was more a fan of the giant model of the whole town of Mystic. It showed the buildings and ports and industries as they existed 100 years ago.
We were starting to get a little hungry, so we went to downtown Mystic for dinner. I highly recommend S&P Oyster Company, located on the river. We got to watch the nearby drawbridge raise up to let large boats through, and then the flux of cars and pedestrians cross after it returned to its lowered position. The dinners at S&P are a little pricey ($8-14 for an appetizer, $20-40 for an entree). But oh boy, are they worth it! We split some appetizers – steamed mussels and prosciutto-wrapped scallops. The dinners were also great – my dad and brother each got juicy, delicious salmon; I got lobster tacos with big hunks of tender lobster; and my mom got a seafood Bouillabaisse jam packed with lobster, shrimp, mussels, and calamari.
We did some window shopping around downtown Mystic before hopping in the car and driving back to my parents’ house. After church the next day, we took my Gram out for lunch at a great diner in Stratford, CT called Marnick’s. We sat on their outdoor patio with great views of Long Island Sound. The dreary weather of the previous day was gone – the sun was out and there was a faint salty breeze… fantastic! My family are somewhat regulars there – and rightly so because the service was friendly as always and the food was delicious. I got my last seafood fix of the weekend with a cup of clam chowder, and had the always-tasty ‘zesty wings’ (chicken wings with the spiciness baked into the coating, rather than tossed in hot sauce).
Finally, to top off an awesome weekend, my brother took me to the driving range to teach me how to golf. There is a gorgeous golf course on my upcoming trip to St. Kitts, and I didn’t want to look like a fool while I was there – so we decided to fit in a brief lesson at Fairchild Wheeler in Fairfield. Clearly I need more practice because I was terrible, and my muscles are still protesting! But it was a great end to a leisurely weekend. The drive back to Pennsylvania was smooth and culminated in a beautiful sunset.
Mystic, CT Daytrip Itinerary
12:00pm: lunch at Abbot’s Lobster, Noank, Connecticut
– get the hot lobster roll (and a milkshake – be aware the milkshakes take a while to prepare)
01:30pm: – Mystic Seaport, Mystic, Connecticut
– you can normally get coupons online or discounts for certain times of day
– visit the old whaling boat renovation and the shop where they do the work, and talk with the guides in each building (school, church, general store, wood worker’s shop, etc)
03:00pm – Stop for a beer at the Mystic Seaport tavern
– visit the tavern during the spring, summer, and fall – it closes sometime in early October
05:00pm: early dinner at S&P Oyster Company, Mystic, Connecticut
– get there early to avoid a wait, get the prosciutto wrapped scallops appetizer (and the chocolate pots de crème as dessert!)
– window shop around Downtown Mystic – if you want to actually buy things in the shops, be aware they may close early on Sundays