There are many museums, historic sites, and other attractions within a few miles of Mystic Seaport. During your free time on Friday afternoon (Oct. 1), carpools will be arranged to some of these destinations for those lacking their own transportation, or you may choose to spend more time at Mystic Seaport, in downtown Mystic, or at the Mystic Aquarium, located within walking distance of several hotels. Most attractions are open through Columbus Day or year-round, but hours may vary due to the pandemic.
Local Attractions to Visit on Your Own
55 Coogan Boulevard, Mystic CT
1 mile from Mystic Seaport
The Mystic Aquarium features Stellar sea lions, beluga whales, African penguins, and many other marine species. AHPCS members may be especially interested in a reconstruction of the studio of ornithologist and artist, Roger Tory Peterson, a local resident. The Aquarium is open daily from 9-5. Currently, it is necessary to purchase tickets in advance, but that may change by October. It is located only .2 miles from Hilton Mystic, .5 miles from Hyatt Place Mystic, and .7 miles from the Residence Inn by Marriott.
Lyman Allyn Art Museum
625 Williams Street, New London, CT
10 miles from Mystic Seaport
The Lyman Allyn Museum houses a distinguished collection of American art and is especially strong in work by artists of southeastern Connecticut. A special exhibition in the fall of 2021 will showcase the work of Frank Vincent DuMond and his students. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10-5 and Sunday from 1-5.
Slater Memorial Museum
108 Crescent Street, Norwich, CT
23.8 miles from Mystic Seaport
Located on the grounds of the Norwich Free Academy, the Slater Museum is perhaps best known for its collection of plaster casts of Greek, Roman, and Renaissance masterpieces. Its strong collections of Connecticut art include works by local artist John Denison Crocker, whose View of Norwich was reproduced in an 1853 Kellogg print. The museum is currently open by reservation only on Wednesday and Sundays from 10-4 and Saturdays from 12-4.
Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park
Park Avenue, Groton, CT
8 miles from Mystic Seaport
Fort Griswold was a key site during the Revolutionary War battle of Groton Heights. In 1781, British forces commanded by the traitor Benedict Arnold captured the fort and massacred the defenders. The small museum on the site, located in the Ebenezer Avery House, is open Friday-Sunday 12-5; the fort itself is freely accessible during daylight hours and offers panoramic views of New London Harbor. The fort and the battle monument constructed between 1826 and 1830 are featured in many 19th-century prints.
Fort Trumbull State Park
90 Walbach Street, New London, CT
11.5 miles from Mystic Seaport
Although there was a Revolutionary War fort located on the site of Fort Trumbull, the present fort was constructed between 1839 and 1852. Like Fort Griswold on the opposite side of the Thames River, Fort Trumbull appears in many 19th-century views of New London. The visitor center and museum are only open through Labor Day, but the grounds are open year-round from 8 am to sunset.
Other nearby attractions include the New London Historical Society and the New London Maritime Society (both currently closed to the public due to the pandemic) in New London (11 miles from Mystic). The Stonington Historical Society (860-535-8845); 4.3 miles from Mystic) operates the Nathaniel Palmer House and the Lighthouse Museum in the village of Stonington. Both will be re-opening this summer and should be open 11-3 on Fridays and Saturdays at the time of our meeting. Watch Hill, R.I., (24 miles from Mystic) is another seaside village with another picturesque lighthouse and dramatic beach.