Posted by: Jack Spratt | July 9, 2009

Mystic Country – Much More than Entertainment and Casinos

Mystic Country is a region in eastern Connecticut used to describe the area around the town and coastline of Mystic. It has a lot of attractiosn for the visitor.

Most people usually get to visit this region because of Mystic Seaport or one of the entertainment complexes of Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun. I’m not a gambler myself, although I’ve been known to blow $100 dollars once on a night out in Las Vegas, but I did appreciate the attractions of Mystic Seaport and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum when I visited this region.

I have been to Foxwoods and it is quite a complex but I went for a show which unfortunately was canceled because the performer preferred to be on drugs than meet their obligations. It was a long way to go and a large disappointment. But we had a nice meal at one of the superb restaurants in the casino/hotel.

I definitely recommend Mystic Seaport and Pequot Museum. The Pequot tribe also owns Foxwoods, and their Museum is considered to be the largest devoted to Native American history and artifacts in the world.

Exhibits there include “The Glacial Crevasse,” “The Arrival of the People,” “Life in a Cold Climate,” “The Changing Environment,” “The Pequot Village,” “The Arrival of the Europeans,” “Prelude to War,” “The Pequot War,” and “Life on the Reservation.” Each of the displays provides insights into the celebrations of their life and the struggles they endured. Stirring and educational stuff

Mystic Seaport is the recreation of a New England Whaling town. It has shops and Tall Ships and exhibits to fill in the details about life in the Nineteenth century for the families that provided the wealth for many a New England town.

The Whaling industry center moved around New England from Cape Cod to Nantucket and eventually to New Bedford. And evidence of the fortunes amassed can be seen in these areas. But at Mystic it brings it together under one roof and you can still see the skills used to build those wonderful whaling ships practiced in the workshops. The skills help keep the Tall Ships they have in tip-top shape.

Plan to spend a whole day at Mystic Seaport and another one at the Pequot Museum.

Another stop we made was at the Mystic Aquarium. This is a little different than the one in Boston. A lot of the exhibits are outside and frankly I like it. You get to see some unusual seas creatures like Beluga Whales and Northern Fur Seals. And if the weather is nice then it makes for an exciting time. The underwater viewing window of the Polar Bears alone was worth the price of admission.

The coastline along this part of Connecticut is picturesque and with a side trip out to Stonington Harbor we saw the unusual Stonington Harbor Lighthouse built in 1840 and now a museum open in July and August.

Outside the obvious accommodation at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun there are a number of Bed and Breakfasts and Inns around Mystic Country. And they cater well for the getaway couple but you’ll need to do some serious hunting if you’re on a tight budget. The Mystic area is not inexpensive I’m afraid. Top rated inns include Steamboat Inn and Mermaid Inn where you can expect to spend around $200 for a room, and good value at a cheaper rate can be found at the Harbour Inne and Cottage.

Check Mystic out next time you’re travels take you to eastern Connecticut.

Jacky “boy” Spratt

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