A few friends recently asked for recommendations for Mystic so I thought I'd share with you what I shared with them. Hope you're inspired to visit and try some new things!
For me, a day trip always starts with a good breakfast so when you roll into town, head straight for RISE. Their menu uses locally sourced, quality ingredients and their breakfast menu is available all day. Challah bread French toast, buttermilk pancakes, brisket hash, breakfast sandwiches and omelets using local, fresh eggs. Is there any better way to start the day?
Lunch options here are endless and you can't really go wrong. In the mood for a burger and some classic New England fare? Try Chapter One Food & Drink, located the heart of downtown, just past the Mystic Drawbridge. Craft beer on tap, weekend brunch, live music and a New England-inspired menu with everything from clam chowder & lobster rolls to dry-aged NY strip steak.
Looking for a quick bite AND delicious food:
> Mystic Market always delivers. Grab some of their sandwiches, house-made salads & baked goods to share and throw out a blanket along the river for a picnic. This place is fast-casual--you order at one counter, pick up from the other--so it's also perfect for families who need a quick in & out.
> The Sea View Snack Bar is iconic Mystic; it's been around for over 40 years! It's got a great spot right in between the Seaport and Mystic Aquarium, and the outdoor seating has beautiful water views. The menu is full of your coastal comfort faves--scallops, clams, calamari and classics like hot dogs and milkshakes.
For a locally-made pint, head to Barley Head Brewery, a "nano-brewery" where the beer list changes every week. Many of their ingredients are locally-sourced, including right from the brewer's home garden.
Looking for a bit of adventure?
> Fields of Fire Adventure Park is an aerial park and high ropes course. They offer five courses with different levels of difficulty with over 76 obstacles and 14 zip lines--each course takes about 1/2 hour to complete (your ticket gets you 3hrs of climbing). For a super unique experience, plan this for last and experience the Park at night and climb under the lights. Don't forget your sneakers--no flip-flops or open-toed shoes allowed. Ages 7+.
Photo Credit: Fields of Fire Facebook
> Drive your own mini, 2-person power boat down the Mystic River on Mystic Boat Adventures boat tours. See Mystic's infamous landmarks like the Drawbridge, Seaport, Fishers Island Sound, wooden sailing ships and local lighthouses. The tour are 3 hours, with stops at local beaches. They provide a small cooler with two bottles of water for each boat but you can also stash away some snacks or sandwiches to eat while cruising around. Tours are available from the end of May through mid-October.
Photo Credit: Mystic Boat Adventures
Yes, all that shoreline is beautiful but if you're craving some treelines and greenspace, Coogan Farm and its parent organization, the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center are a combination wildlife sanctuary, natural history museum, educational facility and trail site. Grassy meadows, old stone walls, trails through wooded forest, open pastures, local flora, wildlife--they've got it all.
The Nature Center has a lot of great environmental education programs and hikes for all ages. The hiking trails are part of an interconnected system on land owned by the Denison Homestead and Avalonia Land Conservancy. Open 7 days a week, year round. Trails open dawn til dusk.
Photo Credit: This is Mystic