Tag Archives: family

Travel Today — Mystic, CT

Mystic, Connecticut is the perfect spot for an overnight or a weekend getaway — it’s great any time of the year, but keep in mind that many of the attractions are outdoors. There are beautiful water views, family-friendly activities and attractions, romantic restaurants, and great coffee shops. There is truly something for everyone!

Where to Stay

Mystic Marriott

  • Early morning coffee at Starbucks right down in the lobby.
  • Breakfast and dinner at Octagon Steakhouse
  • A glass of red at the lobby bar (you can also enjoy apps from the All Day menu)

Highlights: Family-friendly accommodations/dining, Indoor Pool, Full-Service Spa, Updated rooms, lobby, and ballroom (to be completed this fall), small lobby market with toiletries, snacks/drinks, and souvenirs. This hotel is in a great location — it’s a short drive from everything you will want to see in Mystic!

Another great option: The Whaler’s Inn (located right in downtown Mystic).

Favorite Spots

Olde Mistick Village is across the street from the Mystic Aquarium so it’s a great place to go just before or just after visiting — you can re-enter the aquarium so you can always take a break mid-day, as well. This shopping center has lots of small, local shops, and restaurants, including Vault Coffee Roasters.

Vault Coffee Roasters is a cute coffee shop, that also serves delicious Deviant Donuts (Friday-Sunday). They offer classic flavors (we tried the Strawberry Chocolate Frosted), and then a variety of specially donuts. Go early so you can have your pick — they run out quickly!

Mystic Aquarium is a great aquarium that has both indoor and outdoor exhibits including: beluga whales, penguins, seals, sea lions, and smaller exhibits — they have hands-on exhibits, as well. We also loved the dinosaur exhibit (luckily it’s still running — it was supposed to end last winter!) I recommend buying your tickets on the app/computer ahead of time to avoid the long lines — this will save you a lot of time. No matter what you decide to do while you’re in Mystic I would definitely recommend a morning or afternoon at the aquarium!

Octagon Steakhouse at the Mystic Marriott has a good wine list, and delicious food. My go-to dish is the Statler chicken, but there are other great options, including a kid’s menu. At first glance this restaurant doesn’t look kid-friendly, but we all enjoyed our breakfast and our dinner, and they even have kids cups!

Downtown Mystic is one of my favorite areas of Mystic. It has the Mystic Draw Bridge (Mystic River Bascule Bridge), lots of local stores, restaurants, coffee shops,  Mystic Draw Bridge Ice Cream, and a great local book store.

You should definitely visit Mystic Pizza when you’re in Downtown Mystic! You can get pizzas by the slice so even if you’re heading out for the afternoon, you can grab a slice and head to your next destination! The pizza is good, and the staff is friendly. It’s just disappointing that you won’t get to hang with Julia Roberts!

Bank Square Books is one of my favorite bookstores. They have a great children’s section, and an entire wall of journals! You have to stop by when you are in downtown Mystic!

S&P Oyster Restaurant and Bar — just check out the view!

Some other attractions include: Mystic Seaport Museum and Mystic Museum of Art

Mystic is definitely one of our go-to spots in New England — it’s under 2 hours from Boston, and just about 2.5 hours from New York City. It’s perfect for a romantic overnight, or a getaway with friends and family, and it has all you’d want in a charming New England town.

Water Towers

My dad had a fascination with water towers. He loved seeing them in the distance as we drove into small towns, he loved taking photographs of water towers, and he hoped to publish a book or calendar with his photos. He felt like they were symbolic of something, but I don’t remember what that was, I just know he found them to be comforting, and he often would drive to towns just to see them. Me and my mom would always point them out on our drives, and then we would pull over so he could take his photos. The best one is probably the Mickey Ears from Walt Disney World. My dad passed away 7 years ago and he didn’t get to publish his book of water towers, and at this moment I do not know where most of these photographs are, but I think of my dad whenever I see a tall tower in the distance.

During a road trip, when I was a child, we were talking about our passion for writing, travel, and small towns. I mentioned wanting to write a travel book one day… the term “one day” and “someday” have always been a big part of my vocabulary:

“I will do it one day.”

“I want to go there someday.”

“I will write a book one day.”

Even though I can’t snap my fingers and be anywhere, and I can’t always find the time to write, my mindset has shifted. Travel and write today doesn’t mean you will do everything or be everywhere today, it just means that you’re working towards it today. If you want to write, you write, if you want to travel, you plan. Like my motto says: If you’re deciding on the right time to work towards your goals or change careers, the right time to take that next trip, the best time to write that book — the answer is today. Don’t wait. I know others have published water tower books, and anyone can go out there and see them standing beautifully in the distance against the sky, but the photographs you see won’t be my dad’s – and that’s why I’ve changed my way of thinking – don’t do it one day or someday. Do it today.