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Mystic Culinary? Seafood first!

A centerpiece of any Mystic food tour needs to be seafood. Yes there is a great farm to table dining scene in Mystic. Yes, there is awesome local grass-fed beef. Yes, we have excellent local craft breweries and wineries. Yes there is a world-class bakery. Yes the variety of restaurants is off the the charts……and…

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May 1, 2019

Tour 3 Classic Connecticut seacoast villages

In our humble opinion the coolest historic tour of Connecticut coastal towns would be in the southeast corner near the Rhode Island border.  The journey from the tiny historic village of Noank, through Mystic to Stonington (borough) is about 7 miles by land.  In a small skiff with an outboard you could easily visit all…

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April 19, 2019

Coolest things about the Mystic Seaport

One of over 1 million images, Courtesy of Mystic Seaport Ok, The Mystic Seaport is amazing for literally anyone from anywhere to visit.  That said, if you’re into ships and the sea and history, be warned that the seaport experience may be a euphoric nirvana for you.  That’s high praise, but believe me this is…

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April 16, 2019

Sea Captains homes in Mystic….and their stories

What are those cool, nautical, special signs on select homes on your walking tour through Mystic?  They typically contain a date, a name, and an occupation. In 1976 to celebrate the U.S. Bi-centennial, the Mystic Garden Club researched ownership on some of Mystic’s beautiful historic homes.  Given the history of Mystic, many were built, owned…

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April 15, 2019

Mystic Hidden Treasure: Nano-Brewery Barley Head

Like a lot of people I’ve loved the explosion of craft brewing in virtually every city and town I’ve visited over the past few years.  Bring it on!  Awesome beers, cool venues, dog-friendly, kid-friendly…..its completely changed the nature of the old “neighborhood bar” to something much more interesting, and frankly more wholesome. One of the…

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April 15, 2019

Round the Horn records by Clipper Ships, take your pick

There’s gold in California!  That discovery in 1849 had huge repercussions across the country.  In New England it meant ship builders and mariners needed to figure out how to get there (and back) quicker!  The golden age of Clipper Ships, that “clipped” time off the journey from New York to San Francisco, peaked in 1852….

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April 14, 2019

Elihu Spicer and the Spicer Mansion

The Spicer Mansion, a true local treasure If you drive around this area you’ll see the name Spicer all over.  There’s Spicer Street, Spicer Marina, Spicer Propane, The Mystic/Noank Spicer Library — and an incredibly cool Spicer Mansion.   Many of our tours feature an exclusive insider view of the Mansion! Who was this guy…

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April 12, 2019

Rounding the horn, what’s the big deal?

Heck, Captain Joseph Holmes rounded it 84 times, how bad could it be? Between 1850 and 1900 at least 100 ships were lost with all hands.  That’s a lotta ships. Until the Panama Canal was built (1914), ships moving from Atlantic to Pacific had to go around the tip of South America…..passing through the most…

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April 11, 2019

Helluva seafaring family, the Holmes of Mystic

When you take your walking tour of Mystic, you’ll likely cross Holmes Street at some point.  When you do, think about this extraordinary seafaring father/son duo.  In a previous post on “Badass Sea Captains”,  I mentioned Joseph Warren Holmes — he’s the one who rounded the horn 84 times and never lost a ship or…

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April 10, 2019

Family things to do in Mystic….bringing history alive

Mystic’s small size and unique character make it a place where history can be seen in a manageable way for the whole family.  The very first European explorers and settlers came to New England.  The rugged seacoast environment was harsh in some ways, but hugely attractive in others.   The stories of Indian wars, the…

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April 9, 2019

The Damn Bridge….a term of affection

Mystic River Bascule Bridge An iconic landmark in Mystic is the “Bascule” bridge right in the middle of downtown. The current version has been operating almost a hundred years, but a variety of ferries and bridges have served in this spot since the 1600s!  Any tour of Mystic will walk over it. When the bridge…

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April 1, 2019

Mystic Built….Extraordinary history of shipbuilding

Depending how you measure, the Mystic River is between 5 and 6 miles long…..technically it’s an estuary, given the impact of the tide. Despite it’s modest length, between 1784 and 1919, shipbuilders launched over 1,400 vessels into its deep, sheltered waters. Schooners, Clipper Ships, Fishing boats, Barges, and more. The deep water, the abundance of…

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April 1, 2019

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