Spending the perfect day in Mystic, Connecticut

Mystic Seaport Museum. (Credit: Connecticut Office of Tourism)

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Precious weekends are no time to waste on the couch. Those 48 hours away from the office are just enough to invigorate your fall routine before the winter weather basically mandates hibernation.

The charming seaside town of Mystic is a quick Cross Sound Ferry ride away to blissful escape.

The historic shipbuilding village is rich in maritime culture and New England charm. Mystic is not only scenic, it’s a destination for shopping, dining and culture.

Here is the perfect way to spend a day there.

Mystic Aquarium

A beluga whale at the Mystic Aquarium. (Credit: Connecticut Office of Tourism)

The indoor and outdoor exhibits at Mystic Aquarium make it possible to explore the ocean like never before. Visitors will have a chance to see and learn about seals, sharks, beluga whales, endangered African penguins, colorful fish, amphibians and more. The Ray Touch Pool and Shark Encounters also help bring the experience to new heights. It’s not all-out marine life — Mystic Aquarium has dinosaurs, too. The Jurassic Giants exhibit allows guests to see the extinct animals come to life. Visit mysticaquarium.org.

B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill

B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill. (Credit: Connecticut Office of Tourism)

B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill is the only steam-powered cider mill left in the country and a favorite fall attraction that draws crowds for its ciders, hard ciders and apple wines. Don’t miss out on the fresh-baked donuts when you visit. The seasonal cider mill is open from September through the end of December. Details clydescidermill.com.

Olde Mistick Village

Olde Mistick Village. (Credit: Connecticut Office of Tourism)

Strolling the beautifully paved walkways of Olde Mistick Village will have you feeling like you’ve stepped back into 1720s New England. The picturesque grounds are lush with flowers, shade trees and duck ponds that make it easy to unwind. There are more than 50 shops offering unique items that include handcrafted gifts, high fashion jewelry and accessories, and Mystic-made souvenirs. Olde Mistick Village is also home to some of Mystic’s best restaurants and cafés such as Steak Loft and Mango’s Homemade Ice Cream. Details oldemistickvillage.com.

Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center

Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center. (Credit: Connecticut Office of Tourism)

Experience the beauty of New England’s fall foliage at Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center. The nonprofit environmental education center offers more than 10 miles of walking, hiking and birding trails within a 350-acre nature preserve. The Nature Center’s natural history museum includes interactive displays, live reptiles, amphibians and birds of prey. There are also picnic areas and a gift shop. Visit dpnc.org.

Mystic Seaport Museum

Mystic Seaport Museum. (Credit: Connecticut Office of Tourism)

There is so much to explore at the Mystic Seaport Museum. Founded in 1929, it is considered one of the nation’s leading maritime museums and is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaleship in the world. The museum offers a host of exhibits, a planetarium, the Maritime Gallery and a children’s museum. There are options for visitors to get out on the Mystic River from mid-May through mid-October. When it’s time to eat, Latitude 41° Restaurant is an excellent choice for waterfront dining. Visit mysticseaport.org