Mystic, Connecticut – A Great Weekend Getaway

Mystic, Connecticut

by Maria Ottomanelli and Doreen Wong

We wanted to get away for a fun weekend. Mystic, CT seemed like the perfect getaway. It was close to NYC and a quick, fun mini-vacation for a three-day trip. We jumped into the car and within two hours we were excited to start our journey at the Hilton Mystic.

Lodging in Mystic

The Hilton Mystic

image of interior room at Hilton Mystic in Mystic, CT

The Hilton Mystic is situated in a great location which is nearby everything. It’s a very modern and trendy hotel. It has a very sleek and clean look.

It’s walking distance to the Mystic Aquarium and Olde Mistick Village. Just a short drive to the Seaport Museum, the Pequotsepos Nature Center, Foxwoods, and Mohegan Sun Casino.

The Hilton Mystic has great amenities including the indoor heated pool with dive-in movies. It’s an appealing attraction for families. Kids loved swimming and being able to watch a movie. I really loved the welcoming sitting area with the fire pit. There is even an indoor gym if you’re motivated to work out during your vacation.

The hotel is very family-friendly.   The rooms are clean and comfortable.   We really slept well after a fun-filled day of activities.

Shopping in Mystic

Olde Mistick Village

We decided to explore Olde Mistick Village which was nearby. We were very excited about the selection of unique stores. It’s a distinctive village of shops that sell products to every heart’s content. Since St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, we decided to purchase some holiday decorations and various trinkets from Irish Eyes. They also have a Christmas store with every ornament you can imagine. We especially loved the Franklin’s General Store which had decadent fudge, jams, and other sweet and savory treats.

Downtown Mystic

image of downtown Mystic, CT

You can also spend hours exploring Downtown Mystic with its abundance of shops and restaurants.

We visited Matt and Jill, the owners, at Mystic Knotwork which has the best and most complete source of unique nautical sailor knot bracelets and woven knot decorations for your home. Jill gave us a demonstration of a Turk’s head knot bracelet. She is very talented and has decades of experience in her trade. She made us bracelets to take home and we already received loads of compliments.

This is a generational family business that was started around 1957 by Matt’s grandfather. It is impressive that they are keeping the business alive and sharing their passion. Mystic Knotwork has uniquely creative gifts that are available to order online.

Activities in Mystic

Mystic Seaport Museum and Village

After shopping, we headed over to the  Mystic Seaport Museum and Village. If you’re a history buff and love the nautical life, you’re in for a treat. First, we toured the Charles W. Morgan which is the last wooden whale ship in the world. We felt like we were reliving history.

Also, part of the museum is the seaport village which is comprised of New England houses (some were transported from other areas).

We learned about historic seafaring life from staff members who shared their expertise, knowledge, and interesting information.image inside Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, CT

They have special activities geared towards children including a Children’s Museum and Homeport, a family activity center. You could literally spend hours exploring the Mystic Seaport Museum.

Mystic Aquarium
image of beluga whale at Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, CT

Mystic Aquarium was the highlight of our trip.  We spent four hours there.  We really enjoyed the Sealion indoor show, Jurassic Giants exhibit (3-D and 4-D shows), and cool virtual reality shows – Shark Encounter and Humpback.

Other highlights included feeding the stingrays and interacting with the Beluga whales. The Mystic Aquarium has the largest beluga whale exhibit in the United States. The intelligent whales were mesmerizing and interactive with the crowd.

The Aquarium has outdoor and indoor areas (which is great if it rains).

Entertainment in Mystic

Mystic Luxury Cinema

We were hyped to watch The Batman movie at the Mystic Luxury Cinema.  This is one of the coolest movie theaters we’ve been to with comfortable heated, reclining seats and a great selection of concession items.

I would highly recommend a movie at the Mystic Luxury Cinema.

Dining in Mystic

Dinner at Pink Basil

We wanted to sample a variety of dishes on their menu. The waitress suggested the lettuce wrap which comes with marinated chicken, peanuts, bean sprouts, cucumbers, red onions, and lettuce to wrap the food. It’s a healthy version of a wrap. The sweet peanut sauce was absolutely delicious. We loved this appetizer. It was a great suggestion. The coconut soup was wonderful on this cold day. It warmed us right up. The Som Tum Laos Salad had shredded papaya which is always one of my favorites. It was very refreshing and light. For dinner, we shared the Dragon Roll and Sweetheart roll which was good. The molten lava chocolate cake was a perfect sweet treat for dessert. The service was with a huge smile and the atmosphere was inviting and cheery-looking with the pink floral accents around the restaurant.

Breakfast at Bleu Squid

The service is impeccable and the staff was very attentive to our requests. We wanted to try everything, however, we narrowed it down to the Buttermilk Pancakes with fresh blueberries and bananas, Lobster Grilled Cheese, Lobster Egg Benedict and spinach, celery, apple, and cucumber juice. My favorite dish was the pancakes which were light, fluffy, and mouth-watering. Overall, everything was delicious, including the banana-walnut bread. This is a must-visit during your trip to Mystic, CT. The locals love it here!

The Irons Restaurant and Bar (in the Hilton Mystic)

This is a trendy restaurant and bar in the hotel. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner are available. It is very convenient and has a nice selection of food choices. The friendly waiter was high energy and gave us great suggestions. We enjoyed the ambiance, the music, and the food. We ordered the Crispy Calamari and Mezze Plate for appetizers, followed by the Shrimp Fra Diavolo and Crispy Skin Salmon. The salmon was moist and accompanied by creamy mashed potatoes and fresh spinach. If you have room for dessert, you must try the baked cookie covered with ice cream.

It is definitely worth checking out the restaurant. It has a nice bar with craft beers and hand-crafted cocktails, and the atmosphere is very relaxing. A great place to unwind.

The Irons for breakfast – choose the buffet or order from the menu

We decided to order the bagel and Atlantic Salmon Lox and a Vegetarian Omelette which were all scrumptious. Everything was fresh and they use quality, local and seasonal ingredients.

Plan your next trip to Mystic, CT soon!