9 A.M. I’ve found the best breakfast spot in Mystic. Enter Nana’s Bakery & Pizza. It’s a place that gives North Fork vibes and felt instantly right at home. Order the L.A. Latte with espresso, coconut miso caramel and oat milk and the bagel egg sandwich with cheddar, scrambled egg, crispy potatoes and spicy mayo on their homemade sourdough bagel. This is the place; this is the order. I promise.
10 A.M. It’s time for a hike and the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center is where you’ll want to do it. The center consists of more than 10 miles of trails through meadows, forests and shrubland. The landscape is hillier than North Fork trails but the sounds and sights feel pleasantly familiar. The Meditation Walking Path is especially serene, with six stations carefully selected to provide a peaceful place to reflect.
1 P.M. Lunch at a bakery? Yup! Sift Bake Shop is our next stop. In addition to delectable sweets, this bake shop serves seasonal sandwiches on house-made bread or croissants. Cross your fingers the smoked salmon with heirloom tomato, pickled red onion, capers and chive cream cheese on an everything croissant is on the menu during your visit.
2 P.M. Stroll downtown’s plentiful shops and be sure to cross the Mystic Drawbridge. While the season for the drawbridge opening (May-October) has passed, you still won’t want to miss perching near the bridge and watching the passersby. If it’s not too chilly, Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream is a big hit. Think Magic Fountain but with a view.
3:30 P.M. For the grown-ups, Jealous Monk Beer Hall & Garden is your next move. With over 30 craft beverages on tap, you’re more than likely to find a new favorite in this laid-back spot — and the food is great, too! Be sure to make a reservation as this place does have quite a following. If you’re looking for something for the kids, the Mystic Aquarium is a great place to visit. It’s larger than the Long Island Aquarium, so plan to spend some time here. The beluga whales are pretty incredible to see.
7 P.M. There are many, many restaurants in Mystic but The Oyster Club is the one you should visit for dinner. The seasonal farm-to-table menu is done right with locally grown, raised and fished items. While there are larger entrées on the menu, I’d recommend ordering multiple small plates so that you can try many flavors and creations from this excellent restaurant.
Staying over? The Whaler’s Inn is located right in the heart of downtown Mystic, perfectly situated within walking distance of restaurants, shops, nightlife and more.