As purists will tell you, the town of Mystic does not really exist; Old Mystic comprises a couple of quaint streets north of the highway, while tourists are drawn to the maritime recreations at Mystic Seaport, a couple of miles south, and its bustling downtown just across the Mystic River. The drawbridge leading downtown is still raised hourly and on request for some magnificent taller ships sailing through.
The area's biggest draw is the Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, exit 90 off I-95 (Jan & Feb Mon– Fri 10am–5pm, Sat & Sun 9am–6pm, March– Dec daily 9am–6pm; adults $24, children 3–17 $18; Tel:860/572-5955, Web: www.ife.org ), home to over twelve thousand weird and wonderful marine specimens, including penguins, sea lions, piranhas, and the only Beluga whales in New England.
Whether you think it's authentic or tacky, Mystic Seaport, also known as the Museum of America & the Sea (daily: April– Oct 9am–5pm, rest of year 10am–4pm; $18.50, children $13; Tel:860/572-5315, Web: www.mysticseaport.org ), is the area's other big draw, where more than sixty buildings house old-style workshops and stores reflecting life in a nineteenth century seafaring village. In the Preservation Shipyard, watch the restoration and maintenance of a vast collection of wooden ships, among them the 1841 Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaling ship in the world.
Historic Inn with seven buildings on two acres, modern comforts and amenities; three blocks to Mystic Seaport Museum.
Better than most NY restaurants *, Bravo Bravo has spent the last 16 years dedicated to exceeding customers expectations. A wall of large windows overlook the main street in Mystic 3 allowing diners to watch the hustle of the world pass by while sipping on oversized martinis or exceptional wines and feasting on creative pastas, fresh fish and home made desserts. Black and white photographs fill the walls of the bar, which flows into a dining room adorn with flickering white candles reflecting in mirrors placed throughout.