The Book Barn; the most
   unique Book Store anywhere!

You know how we all sometimes take for granted some of the true local treasures we have right in our own backyards? Well so is the case with our local “Book Barn” right here in Niantic, CT. Often, when guests come to stay here at the inn they may be thinking of venturing out to Mystic Aquarium or Seaport or maybe finding their way to one of the many vineyards located here in Southeastern CT. However, many guests are also looking for recommendations for the really unique, fun and interesting things to do locally for a morning or afternoon.

Book Barn 001

One option that has become a bit of a New England legend is just fantastic and again is located right here in Niantic (just 1 mile from our inn). You can literally spend hours here. Take in the fresh air, take some time to relax and curl up with a book and be transported to a place away from the stresses of everyday life. Worth a trip for all ages! Explore away at The Book Barn!!

Book Barn 002

Financial success has given owners Randi and Maureen White the freedom to also transform their store into a tool to get kids excited about reading. They believe in a make it fun while they’re young approach. It doesn’t matter whether the kids are there primarily for the playground or the animals, Randi asserts: “Deep down inside, they’re associating that good time with being at a bookstore.” The place really does have an enchanted feel to it.

Book Barn 006

This southeastern Connecticut “book-shop” has grown over the past 2 decades and now spreads across four locations, which is understandable, given that the barn alone couldn’t handle the 500,000 plus volumes on hand. Bring a book to sell and find your next treasure among the fiction, nonfiction, children’s, and rare volumes on offer.

Book Barn 003

What started as a room with a couch and three bookcases has grown into a sprawling complex of themed buildings. No doubt about it, this is a wonderland for book lovers. The Book Barn is spread out among five locations in Niantic, CT. At the main Book Barn (yes, a real Barn!) at 41 West Main Street there is more than enough to engage you. Everything is well-organized. Most hardcover books are available at a bargain price of $1 – $4 and there seems to be quick turnover, so this is a place where frequent visits are rewarded.

This whimsical store attracts some serious book lovers, too. It’s become a pilgrimage site for bibliophiles across the region — including anyone looking to purge their old collections and stock up on cheap paperbacks. Many even make a day of it, spreading out on the lawn for a lunchtime picnic. Owners estimate that they buy at least a thousand books a day and sell about a quarter-million a year.

Book Barn 004

For those of us of any age, who enjoy a book on paper, you will find it here. There are folks that have visited it many times and almost always leave with a treasure. It’s just fun to visit and many return visitors to the Book Barn, plan time to come back to just hang out and read in one of the outdoor gardens in cozy seating areas. The ambience is so laid back and friendly and is conducive to simply hanging out and enjoying your books.

Quirky jokes and kitschy junk have a way of finding permanent homes at The Book Barn. This is a creative spot to visit and the water elements, decorations (whimsical and not) are just charming as you meander through the numerous buildings of books by genre. It is charming and quirky with goats, flowers, odd statues and signs, and the cats. Make sure you look for the cats! They even have a guide to find the cats on the property that boasts biographies for each feline. There is a pen holding two pygmy goats (the store’s most popular residents), Randi explains, “One day some friends just showed up with some goats in the back of their truck … That’s just the way things work here.”

Book Barn 005

And, not least of all, the staff is helpful, very knowledgeable and pleasant.

The Book Barn, 41 West Main St., Niantic, CT. 860-739-5715; bookbarnniantic.com
2nd location: The Book Barn Downtown, 269 Main St., Niantic, CT. 860-691-8078
Open 7 days per week (but closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day)
Hours: daily 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Our Top 10 Things To Do in Mystic Country this Summer

The weather has warmed, our inn is looking amazing and we are ready for the busy summer season here in Niantic, CT. If you’re still looking to make summer vacation plans and wondering what there is to do in the area, we put together a list of popular summertime things to do in our Mystic Country region. So, without further ado, our Top 10 Things To Do while visiting the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina are:

# 1 – Visit Mystic Seaport
Mystic Seaport

Mystic Seaport — The Museum of America and the Sea — is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Explore American maritime history first-hand as you climb aboard historic tall ships, stroll through a re-created 19th-century coastal village or watch a working preservation shipyard in action.

Yes, Mystic has so much to see and do and we find that most of our guests who have never visited the area are very interested in visiting Mystic Seaport. And why not, it is truly one of New England’s most cherished treasures.

Click here to read more about Mystic Seaport

# 2 – Take a Day Trip to Block Island
Block Island Southeast Lighthouse

Thousands of years ago, a glacier left rolling hills and ponds behind, forming what is now known as Block Island.
Block Island features 17 miles of pristine beaches, protected by lighthouses and spectacular bluffs, and surrounded by rolling roads and winding paths.

If you have never been to Block Island and enjoy outdoor activities and exploring new places, then Block Island beckons. You’ll find that ‘Block’ is a special destination in so many ways. You’ll take a high speed ferry and find that this little island is a terrific place to explore. Whether you enjoy a laid-back beach day, a vigorous bike ride or a simple day of shopping and lunch, it’s all just a short walk from the Ferry dock. Consider visiting the iconic and beautiful southeast Lighthouse and breathtaking bluffs.

Getting out to ‘Block’ is so easy and affordable! The high speed ferry leaves several times a day from the New London Ferry dock which is just 15 minutes away from the inn!

Click here to read more about Block Island

# 3 – Visit and Picnic at one of our local Wineries
Wineries

If you enjoy unique wines, tranquil settings and an overall relaxing day, we recommend visiting one of the several local wineries on the southeastern CT shoreline. We also recommend that you take a lovely picnic to enjoy at the winery. We can’t begin to tell you just how many of our guests enjoy this recommendation. Most of the local wineries are within a 30 minute drive from our inn, and some of them offer entertainment.

Click here to read our BLOG post about Connecticut Wineries

# 4 – Visit Watch Hill and “The Ocean House”
Ocean House Rhose Island

This charming village is nestled along the shore of Block Island Sound in the southwest corner of Washington County, Rhode Island. Watch Hill is situated on a peninsula that is nearly surrounded by ocean, further adding to its awe inspiring beauty. Outdoor activities in the area include rowing, swimming, ocean sailing, fishing and hiking. Additionally, local shopping and fine restaurants combine to make this a favored resort area. Did you know that this is where Taylor Swift chooses to make her summer getaway?

Click here to read more about Watch Hill

Perched high on the bluffs of Watch Hill, Rhode Island, Ocean House is an iconic New England seaside resort. Ocean House welcomed guests for 135 years, but as with many historic hotels, over time, neglect took its toll. The Ocean House was closed in 2003 when it was deemed beyond feasible repair. In 2004 a new structure replicating the original exterior design was conceived. Today, this much-loved beach hotel has been recreated to convey the romance of its storied past and the rich character of Watch Hill, Rhode Island.

Click here to read more about the Ocean House

# 5 – Take a Sailboat Cruise aboard the 81′ Schooner Argia
Mystic Schooner Argia

We can’t begin to tell you just how special it is to take a sailboat cruise aboard the 81′ Schooner “Argia”. Step aboard the traditional sailing ship ARGIA for a relaxing sightseeing cruise. Enjoy a leisurely cruise down the Mystic River and smooth sailing in Fishers Island Sound. Beautiful views of lighthouses, islands, and historic homes await you as the gentle lapping of the water and the smell of salt air surround you. Day cruises are available for 2 ½ hours at morning, afternoon or sunset and are very reasonably priced.

Click here to read more about the Argia

# 6 – Bike through our local Beach Communities
Bike Riding along the Beach

So, who doesn’t like a bike ride along beautiful coastline and looking at everything from beaches, beautiful birds, boats, waterfront estates, houses and bungalows. Here in Niantic we have some beautiful seaside bike routes as well many others fit for every kind of biker. Whether leisurely or intense we have ideas to share with you here at the inn.

Click here to read more about our ‘Bike-inn’ by the Sea package 

# 7 – Spend a day at our local Beach!!!
CT shoreline beaches

Overlooking Niantic Bay is McCook’s Point Park. The park consists of a beautiful bluff between two white, sandy beaches. On the bluff, there is a green lawn shaded by copper beeches, perfect for picnics, games or quiet contemplation.

From the Point, you can see Fisher’s Island, Plum Island, and Orient Point across Long Island Sound. McCook’s Point beach, on the west side of the bluff, and Hole-in-the-Wall beach, to the east, provide plenty of room for sunbathing and swimming.

Here at the inn we provide beach passes and all of the beach gear you could possibly need for a day of fun in the sun.

Click here to read more about Niantic Beaches

# 8 – Visit one of our favorite outdoor dining spots
Lobster in the Rough

Outdoor dining is on everyone’s mind during summer on the CT shoreline when the sun comes out and temperatures warm. Visitors and locals alike scramble to occupy every breezy patio and waterfront restaurant in sight. To help you score the most coveted alfresco tables, we’ve identified some of our guest favorite restaurants with outdoor seating. Below are just some of the favorite outdoor/waterfront dining spots.  Please feel free to call us (860.739.0331) or email us (info@innharborhill.com) with anyquestions about these or other restaurants in the region:

The Back Porch
Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock
Skipper’s Seafood
Ford’s Lobster
S&P Oyster Co.
Main Street Grille
The Black Sheep

# 9 – Explore the areas Antique & Boutique shops
Antique Shops

Is your “inner collector” eager to scout out vintage artifacts?
Antique shops can be a treasure trove of undiscovered delights, whether your passion is industrial art, 19th century glassware, estate silver or nautical kitsch.

Browse Mystic Country’s array of antique dealers, quaint gift shops, general stores, bookstores, art galleries and specialty boutiques, many of which can be found in CT’s Coastline and Countryside village centers.

FYI: Bargain shoppers will love our numerous outlet stores…

Pack comfy shoes to ensure you’ll have fun every step of the way…
so explore, shop… and come away with that perfect find!

Click here to read more about the Mystic Antiques Trail

#10 – Last, but not least, Relax here at our Inn
Relaxing at Bed and Breakfast

With so much to see and do in the area some of our guests forget why they wanted to getaway in the first place. To relax! But we have found that both exploring the area and relaxing here at the inn can be accomplished all in one trip. So come enjoy the beauty and quaintness of our inn and you won’t be disappointed.

Click here to read more about relaxing at the inn

In closing, we hope that our ‘Top 10’ list gives you some idea of the many things there are to see and do while staying with us. And also note, we have much more info and directions for each and everyone one of these adventures right here at the inn, as well as many other suggestions for things to do. We hope you find our Top 10 Things To Do list helpful in considering a getaway to our inn.
Below are some additional helpful links:

Click here to check “Room Availability”

Click here to view our “Specials & Packages”

Discover Mystic Seaport this Summer

We at the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina love helping our guests figure out fun adventures to go on while they are staying with us. Every summer visitors flock to Mystic Country to enjoy not only our fantastic New England summertime beach experience, but our many interesting activities as well. There are so many different ways to enjoy the Connecticut shoreline such as our scenic beaches, array of restaurants, wineries, shops, hiking paths, museums, and so much more. However, one of our favorite recommendations is to visit Mystic Seaport and Museum of America and the Sea for the nautical history of our beautiful area and America. If you come and see what Mystic Seaport is all about you will find that you can easily spend an interesting afternoon there. Located about 20 minutes from our Inn on the southeastern coast of Connecticut is the jewel in our historic crown – famed Mystic Seaport.
Mystic Connecticut

As the great Age of Sail gave way to steamships and railroads, wooden ships and boats were turned into firewood and the nation’s seafaring traditions began to disappear, three Mystic residents decided to work together to keep the past alive. On December 29, 1929, the papers were signed incorporating the Marine Historical Association, today known as Mystic Seaport. Their dream: create a dynamic, educational institution to preserve America’s maritime culture–and turn the achievements of a past era into an inspirational force for the future.
Post Card Mystic Seaport

Despite the economic conditions of the Great Depression, Mystic Seaport grew rapidly. Donations of log books, photography, ships plans and other maritime artifacts poured into the one-building museum. In 1941, Mystic Seaport acquired the Charles W. Morgan, the country’s last wooden whaleship from the once-great Yankee fleet. Historic buildings from across New England were also moved in to complement the Morgan–and the authentic coastal village area of Mystic Seaport was born.
Mystic Country

Over the next 50 years, Mystic Seaport experienced explosive growth, amassing the world’s largest collections of maritime photography (over 1 million images) and boats (nearly 500), as well as collecting two million other maritime artifacts. And the 1970s saw the creation of the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard, additional exhibition buildings and several new accredited educational programs. The largest recent undertaking was the complete restoration of the Charles W. Morgan which once again sailed the high seas in the summer of 2014. You can visit the ship and see how life was aboard this antique wooden sailing vessel when she was out with a crew searching for whales in her historic past. Currently on display for all to view is the Mayflower II which has been brought down from Plymouth, MA to receive a multi-year restoration. The shipyard is also restoring the oldest steam powered ship the Sabino which is in permanent residence at the Seaport. The shipwrights use many of the traditional historic boat building practices along with current day building applications to ensure the historic nature of the vessel is maintained during their modern day restoration.
Mystic Seaport Entrance

Now, Mystic Seaport is making the history of America’s relationship with the sea even more accessible to all-new audiences. As part of a an extensive expansion plan that includes new exhibit halls and reception areas, the Museum’s state-of-the-art Collections Research Center provides easy and convenient ways for scholars and researchers from around the world to access Mystic Seaport’s renowned archives, via the Internet and integrated databases. It’s just one of many ways this showcase of the past two centuries is preparing for the next one.

Visiting and strolling through Mystic Seaport takes you back in time as you wander through this reconstructed authentic coastal village with appropriate character actors giving enlightening demonstrations of a life past. The Museum’s exhibition halls are brimming with permanent and changing exhibits that offer rare glimpses into other eras and cultures, including restored vessels, figureheads, ship carvings, and vintage photography. Each exhibit and art gallery at Mystic Seaport offers a unique perspective of our nation’s history with the sea and voyages on the water.

There are many rare and historic boats you can climb aboard at Mystic Seaport. Even better, they also have several you can ride aboard or self-pilot. Take a waterfront tour aboard one of their launches, charter a sail aboard one of the historic sailboats or spend the day relaxing underneath a historic catboat’s billowing sail. Rent a classic wooden rowboat or sailboat and explore the river firsthand. Before you leave Mystic Seaport be sure to see the Museum from this entirely different vantage point!
Mystic Seaport at Night

If you can plan ahead you may want to coordinate your visit with one of the Mystic festivals like the chowder or lobster fest or the holiday Lantern Light tours at Mystic Seaport. It’s the great events and places like these that make coming to Mystic Country during the summer or any time of year such an excellent choice for a vacation getaway. While there are so many places in our Mystic Country region to choose from, consider staying with us at the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina. Our beautiful waterfront B&B is like a home away from home. Each morning join us for a delicious breakfast and end your days relaxing with other guests and exchanging stories of what you have done that day. Summers in Mystic Country are a very popular choice so please call us and speak to one of our fantastic team members and we will be happy to help you plan a wonderful vacation trip.

CTs Quiet Corner ~
    the perfect autumn day trip

About an hour north of our inn, in the Northeastern corner of Connecticut, is what is known as the Quiet Corner. The Quiet Corner is much more rural and country-like than our inns southeastern CT waterfront location and is especially noted for its rural and rustic small towns, great antiquing, unique dining options, boutique shopping and vistas like no others. Getting there is just one of the highlights as we send our guests up Route 169, a 32-mile National Scenic Byway which runs north-and-south through the region.

Route 169, a 32-mile National Scenic Byway

Route 169, a 32-mile National Scenic Byway

The Quiet Corner has been written about as a great place to visit by numerous travel writers in several well know publications such as Yankee Magazine, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Connecticut Magazine, Worcester Living and more. While that part of our state is beautiful all year long, it is most popular during fall foliage season when blazing autumn colors draw leaf peepers from all over the world.

Why visit the Quiet Corner you ask? Well, we personally think it is as beautiful as any place one could visit during the autumn season, and one of the best places anywhere to view the beauty of autumns fall foliage. With its winding and stonewall flanked scenic roads, rolling hills, old faded red barns and farmhouses amid fields of corn and hay, well simply put, its the quintessential New England setting. Without a doubt, it is one of our most recommended Day Trips during the autumn foliage season (i.e., from late September thru October).

Beauty surrounds you

Beauty surrounds you heading to the Quiet Corner of CT.

As you head up to the northeast hills of Connecticut via Route 169, it becomes very clear why this corner of our state is called the Quiet Corner. Few visitors to Connecticut ever get to experience the old-fashioned ways of the state’s “Quiet Corner” where sparsely populated towns seem a world away from the rest of the state. The Quiet Corner has a reclusive allure: people who use to leave New York City for the Litchfield Hills; now seek the uninterrupted tranquility of the Quiet Corner.

As you begin your day trip passing through the town of Lisbon you cant help but notice weathered-clapboard homesteads around every bend. Continuing up Rt. 169 youll see tons of stone walls and never ending fields as you come into Canterbury. Here youll find the Prudence Crandall Museum that honors a courageous white woman named Prudence Crandall who was ahead of her time when she educated African American girls from 1833 to 1834 before a club-wielding mob brought an end to her school.

The  Prudence Crandall Museum

The Prudence Crandall Museum

Continuing your journey you will eventually come to Brooklyn, CT, which was settled in the 1600s and is known for their famous Brooklyn Fairgrounds, site of the oldest agricultural fair in the country. For a special treat, visit The Golden Lamb Buttery, a 1,000-acre estate just off Route 169. Enjoy a late-afternoon hayride or relax with a cocktail while sitting on their deck overlooking the lake, and their roaming and meandering stone walls. In our opinion, they are one of the most unique restaurants in the state, and if you can get a reservation, try their roast duckling, a house specialty thats so tender it falls off the bone. Even if you dont feel like visiting for lunch or dinner, do stop by just to see this gorgeous setting and take a few pictures; we guarantee you wont regret it.

The Golden Lamb Buttery Restaurant

The Golden Lamb Buttery Restaurant

As you travel on, a stunning path of giant trees cast long shadows as you pass faded red barns, orchards thick with apples and picked out cornfields, rolling hills, farm houses and ancient stone walls all set with breathtaking beauty as autumns colors surround you. Another place you may want to visit is the Vanilla Bean Caf, voted Connecticuts Best Country Caf by Yankee Magazine. The Vanilla Bean opened in 1989 with a seating capacity of 16, but today seats 90 inside and 40 outside! It is located in a restored, early 19th century barn in scenic town of Pomfret and features home-made soups, sandwiches and decadent desserts. This small country town is also home to Sharp Hill Winery and Celebrations Gift Shoppe and Tea Room ~ both worth more than a casual stop!

Celebrations Gift Shoppe, Gallery and Tea Room

Celebrations Gift Shoppe, Gallery and Tea Room

As your day trip continues through the country side you will enter the antiquing capital of Connecticut, and maybe all of New England ~ historic Putnam, CT. Putnam is home to the largest antiques market in the state, the Antiques Marketplace. While perusing their 350 showcases and booths, 22,000 square feet on four levels, you will most certainly find a treasure that you must have for your own! Finally, if at this point youre feeling a bit fatigued from your travels this is the place to take a stop to refuel. Try the 85 Main Bistro, The Crossings Restaurant & Brew Pub, Bellas Italian Bistro or The Courthouse Bar & Grille where you will find some wonderful food in this small town location.

The Crossings Brew Pub

The Crossings Restaurant & Brew Pub

Finally and sadly, were onto our last little town on this autumn adventure. Woodstock is just twenty-six miles from the start of your trip and is host to a historic huge annual country fair every Labor Day weekend. Stop and visit Taylor Brook Winery for a relaxing glass of wine and continue through this little town to historic Roseland Cottage, a beautiful raspberry colored Gothic Revival house built by a local boy who struck it rich. He and his family returned to the cottage every summer and their original furnishings are still on display here.

As we end, we hope the above adventure is something you get to experience one day, and hopefully during one of the most beautiful times of the year ~ Autumn in New England!

A Visit and Day Trip
   to Block Island

If you have every stayed at our inn, you know that we are big fans of sending our guests to places throughout the region via our “custom itineraries”. Our custom itineraries provide our guests a brief summary of the place of interest and our personal recommendations on how to get there as well as what to see or do once you are there. Well, one of the places we love to recommend for a summer day trip is Block Island.

Welcome to Block Island

Welcome to Block Island

Why visit Block Island? Well, just like our inn and our village of Niantic, we like the laid back atmosphere and casual mode of life on Block. Block Island is probably unlike anywhere you have ever visited with ferry boats that bring you into Old Harbor where most of the shopping, restaurants and beaches are located. We personally take the relaxing trip each summer to just browse the shops, people watch, have lunch and maybe, just maybe, have an early afternoon libation.

One interesting note about Block Island; you will not come across a single traffic light or a big chain business, but you will be blown away by the natural landscape with stone wall-lined rolling hills, breathtaking bluffs, and pristine beaches. To us, its a place that time seems to have forgotten.

Many of our guests and people who visit Block Island will rent a moped or bicycle to tour some of the island lighthouses, bluffs and beaches. A couple of must-sees, at least in our opinion, are the Southeast Lighthouse and the Mohegan Bluffs.

Scenic view of the cliffside Southeast Lighthouse. Block Island, Rhode Island.

The Southeast Lighthouse

Block Island Bluffs1

Block Island Bluffs

Walk down the Bluff steps to the Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, what do we recommend when you get hungry and/or thirsty? Well, Daves most favorite place for lunch is the Mohegan Caf & Brewery or the National Hotel which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Both are located right on Water St. and a short 5 minute walk from the ferry boats. The Mohegan Caf offers a nice variety of craft and bottled beers, a very good Pan Blackened Mahi-Mahi sandwich, burgers, fish & chips, salads, sandwiches and tex-mex favorites.

5 Mohegan Cafe

One of our favorites ~The Mohegan Cafe

The National Hotel also offers pretty good food and breathtaking views with tables on their big shaded porch overlooking scenic Old Harbor. Its no wonder why this place is so popular with visitors. We also like Aldos for a cup of coffee and pastry if we arrive early in the day or we stop in for a mid-afternoon cup of Gelato.

What many people don’t realize is just how easy it is to get to Block Island from our inn. Only 12 miles off the Rhode Island coast, we personally like taking the ferry out of Point Judith, Rhode Island which is an hour drive from our inn. The reason we like taking the 55 minute ferry ride from Point Judith, is the quintessential look and feel of the classic New England commercial fishing community that also resides in Point Judith.

3 Block Island Ferry Sign

4 BI Ferry Boat

We also like that you can sit outside on the Pt. Judith ferry boats and catch the beautiful Rhode Island and Connecticut coastlines as you cruise to Block Island. For those who dont want to take an hour drive to get to Point Judith, you can take a high-speed ferry from New London, Connecticut which is just 15 minutes from our inn. The Block Island Express gets you to Old Harbor in just over an hour on a high-speed catamaran which runs from May thru September.

20 BI High Speed Ferry1

The Hi-Speed Ferry from New London

You can relax, renew and refresh at our inn and head out to where we go to do the same – on Block Island. And oh yea, September is one of the best months to visit Block Island. Be sure to ask us about Block Island and other great day trips when visiting with us.

 

Mystic, Connecticut ~
  The Town that Isn’t

Located just 20 minutes north of our inn is the historic settlement called “Mystic” (circa 1654) actually located within the towns of Groton, CT.and Stonington, CT.,and bordering both the east and west sides of the Mystic River. Hence, though Mystic, Connecticut is not a legally recognized municipality it is the most visited settlement, town, municipality or destination within the entire state of Connecticut.

Mystic Sign

Identified in the New York Times #1 Bestseller, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die (A Travelers Life List by Patricia Schultz), Mystic is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of New England. Mystic offers visitors many things to see and do, and features two of the regions most popular tourist attractions, Mystic Seaport and Mystic Aquarium. However, Mystic offers so much to see and do that its a popular place to visit and re-visit many times during any time of the year. You might find our Taste of Mystic Getaway Package of interest just follow the link!

Anyway, for those of you who have never visited Mystic just sit back and picture this those of you that have think of the chance for new memories (maybe without the kids?).

Theres sparkling water bordering most everything in town. Listen to the sounds of the gulls and sea birds flying overhead. Imagine a sea of boats, including sailboats and historic Tall Ships and schooners like the Argia all in your view. Walk through the unique shops of Olde Mistick Village and boutiques offering treasures to be snatched up and taken home for your enjoyment or to be shared with others. Smell the wonderful smells of the sea combined with some of the best cooked lobsters and local sea scallops or look for the best place in town to enjoy a nostalgic piece of Mystic Pizza or maybe just a big sloppy ice cream cone. Plan to come for the Chowder Days or the Lobster Days or the Mystic Arts Festival or the Mystic Blues Festival. As you might sense, there’s a little something for everyone, anytime of the year!!!

A View of Mystic Seaport from across the Mystic River.

A View of Mystic Seaport from across the Mystic River.

At any given time you might also visit beluga wales, penguins, sea lions and everything aquatic that you can think of at the beautiful Mystic Aquarium. Regular and unusual new exhibits give a new excitement to the aquarium every time you visit.
Also right down the street youll find friendly folks that showcase times long past and entertain you as you enter into the history of America at Mystic Seaport, considered to be one of the jewels of Mystic Country and is home to a world renowned maritime museum. People dressed as they did in the 1600s all working in their shops in the village, building their sea vessels and taking their day to day routines all in stride. The Mystic Seaport hosts interesting and unusual capsules in time to include historic special sailings of beautiful Tall Ships like the recently launched Charles W. Morgan and Holiday Lantern Light Tours through the Seaport.

Mystic Aquarium Belugas

Beluga Whales at Mystic Aquarium

Yes, as you might imagine, it does get busy and crowded in Mystic, but we think Mystic is also scenic, historic and quite possibly the absolute quintessential historic New England seaport town to sea. One thing is for sure; whether you want to eat, shop, stroll or just observe, Mystic isone town (or not) to do that inany time of the year!

Niantic, CT. ~ Connecticuts
    Fan Favorite Town

Niantic Sign3
Welcome to the Village of Niantic

Located along the shores of Long Island Sound sits the quaint seaside village of Niantic, CT. Our small town has made a big impact with residents and tourists alike recently, and thanks to them Niantic was voted Connecticuts Fan-Favorite Town in 2013 in a contest spearheaded by the states Department of Tourism.

What makes Niantic so special, you ask? Well, many things, but lets start with location, location, location. If you were to drive two hours north youd end up in Boston. Head two hours south and youd be entering New York City. Our seaside escape lies halfway between these two major cities. And if you’rea local, you know that Niantic is within 20-30 minutes of almost every attraction in southeastern Connecticut and southern Rhode Island. For a quick insight into Niantic, check out the video the State of CT. created about Niantic here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKmEWbw_Vfc)

CT Fan Favorite

Niantic ~ Connecticut’s Fan Favorite Town of 2013!!!

Its all well and good that being based in Niantic one could cover a lot of ground, but we feel that you really dont have to. Niantic has a lot going on throughout the year. Our towns Events Calendar (http://www.discovereastlyme.com/calendar.php) is filled with events from our annual Winter Light Parade (the oldest and largest in all of New England) to our annual summer bash-on-the-bay festival called Celebrate East Lyme, and tons of things in between. Our Farmers Market draws huge crowds from June to October and in the winter Holiday season you can see our Main Street light up and transform into a classic New England Village.

130707 McCooks Beach 001

Hole-in-the-Wall Beach overlooking McCook’s Park

While we enjoy our annual events, we in Niantic also love the laid back beach lifestyle, which is good because our town features three town beaches AND Rocky Neck State Park. Its not uncommon to spend an entire summer day soaking up the suns rays and swimming in the calm waters of the Long Island Sound. Niantic is also a mecca for boaters and fisherman alike and boast numerous marinas as well as charter fishing boats. And, as a side note, after spending the day at the beach or out on the water be sure to stick around to witness some of the most amazing sunsets right from the lawns of our inn.

Sunrise Oct 2013 sm

The beach may take up a lot of our time in the summer, but we always find time to visit our handful of local restaurants and shops, most of which are open year-round. In future BLOG posts we will be highlighting some of our favorite local places and events just to provide a more detailed look at what our town has to offer. We love Niantic and hope youll have a visit and see for yourself why we are one of Connecticuts best kept secrets.