After leaving Hartford for one of our many day trips, we got on CT-2 on our way out of town. We eventually got on CT-85 south as it connects with Interstate 95 near New London. A busy seaport city and point of entry for the northeast part of the United States. New London straddles the Thames River and is the halfway point between New York City and Boston. The city has a strong whaling industry and is home to the United State Coast Guard Academy and is home to the New London Naval Submarine Base.
Our actual destination was the town of Mystic, a short ten miles past New London. Mystic is a seaport city located on the Mystic River. As the name implies the town does have a mystical quality to it. Even to the state of Connecticut as it is not a legally recognized municipality. It has no independent government and exists only as an historic locality. Mystic is governed by the towns of Groton and Stonington.
Mystic is now a popular tourist destination in New England. The Mystic Seaport is the largest maritime museum in the US and has a huge collection of ships and over 60 original buildings that have been used to recreate a 19th century seafaring village. Its most famous ship is the 1841 whaling ship Charles W. Morgan, the world’s oldest surviving merchant vessel.
A seaside town, such as Mystic, is bound to have some great seafood. While there are many restaurants in town, the best one we found had to be the Sea View Snack Bar. There was nothing fancy about it, but it had the best location and the best view of any restaurant in Mystic. We walked up to the snack shack and ordered a sea scallop dinner and shrimp dinner. The scallops practically melt in your mouth. The dining room consists of a covered canopy with picnic tables. There is nothing better than eating fresh seafood with the cool breeze blowing in your face.
Besides the rich maritime history, the great seafood, and beautiful beaches, Mystic may be more famous for its local pizza place. They Mystic Pizza restaurant is famous not for its pizza, but as the location for the movie of the same name. Julia Roberts starred in the 1988 comedy and at the time the restaurant was not named Mystic Pizza, but changed its name to capitalize on the movie. The restaurant can be found in downtown Mystic and although we never ate there, I did hear that the place does have good pizza.