Tag Archives: newengland

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.

Travel Today: Newport, Rhode Island

It’s no secret that Newport, Rhode Island is one of my favorite places in New England. We would move there if we could, but luckily it’s a short enough drive that we can visit at any time. It’s the perfect place for a day trip, an overnight, or a long weekend getaway. Condé Nast Traveler named Newport the Best Walking City in the United States – I’m not surprised. Who doesn’t love walking along Newport’s cobblestone streets?

Where to Stay

Gurney’s Newport

  • Early morning coffee at For Five Coffee.
  • Brunch at Tillie’s (order the house-made croissants and the egg breakfast!)
  • Get your second cup of coffee (or tea), and enjoy a walk along the grounds of the resort – make sure to visit the lighthouse and Cornelius and William (Gurney’s adorable goats!)
  • A drink at the Pineapple Club (May through September)
  • Dinner and wine at Scarpetta (extensive wine list, and delicious spaghetti!)
  • A nightcap and a cheese board at the Regent Lounge

Highlights: Cornelius and William, the ice skating rink (mid-December through the end of February), a full-service spa, indoor and outdoor pools, and cozy sweatshirts at the gift shop!

Newport Marriott

  • Coffee from Plank Bar
  • Brunch at MainSail (a la carte or buffet)
  • Drinks and small plates at Skiff Bar
  • Dinner at The MainSail

Highlights: Indoor Pool, Full-Service Spa

Up next: Hotel Viking 

Favorite Spots

Flat Waves Food Shack (Middletown, Rhode Island) for a little taste of aloha in New England. This is one of our go-to stops on the drive into Newport!

Liberty Donuts for made-to order donuts, delicious coffee, ice cream, and breakfast sandwiches. Get the warm Liberty Donut and a coffee – you won’t be disappointed. When you’re done, take your coffee and walk around the Long Wharf Mall.

Shopping up and down Thames St. and Bowen’s Wharf

Museum of Newport History and Shop (great books and gifts) – you can spend so much time just walking around this shop!

Kilwins Chocolate and Ice Cream

Newport Vineyards for dinner or a cheese board at Brix Restaurant, wine and beer tastings, and shopping in their on-site wine shop! (Check out the chalk drawings around the vineyard created by their in-house artist!)

Visit the International Tennis Hall of Fame

Tour the mansions

Visit the Newport Cliff Walk

Ryan Family Amusements (arcade)

Grab breakfast at the Corner Café

Enjoy a cheese board and a drink (or brunch) at Bar and Board Bistro

Audrain Automobile Museum

National Museum of American Illustration

The Redwood Library — this library is steeped in history, and it’s a must-see for anyone who loves books and libraries as much as I do!

Newport is ideal for a family getaway, or for a romantic overnight – it’s the first place that comes to mind when people ask where to go for a night away. It’s just about 2 hours from Boston, and just under 4 hours from New York City. It’s the perfect place for a change of scenery and water views, for inspiration, and a place to clear your head. I love that New England destinations are great for summer and fall getaways, and also for cozy winter ones. If you’re looking for travel spots, I would add Newport to the list.

Just a tip: It’s less expensive in the winter months, and also less crowded — it’s always a good time of year to visit Newport!

What are some of your favorite spots to visit in Newport?

Newport Lighthouse Gurneys