Coastal Eastern Connecticut Last Updated: July 2021
Coastal Eastern Connecticut brings you must-visit state icons, stunning waterfront escapes, idyllic cruises and more. Below, discover a few of Eastern Connecticut's coastal towns and ways to make the most of your visit.
Perhaps the best way to get out on the water in Old Lyme is renting paddleboard, kayak and SUPs and more from Black Hall Outfitters. Then have your day in the sun at White Sands Beach or Sound View Beach, which offers shops and food within walking distance.
One fantastic feature of Old Lyme is its rich artistic history and community. Art, history, and nature come together at the Florence Griswold Museum, a Home of American Impressionism. Discover 100 outdoor sculptures along 4.5 acres at Studio 80+ Sculpture Grounds or find artistic events and more inspiration through the Old Lyme Arts District. After a day of discovery, enjoy seafood and tropical drinks by the water at Kokomo’s Restaurant & Beach Club, including a new Beach Club membership option with VIP service from reserved lounge chairs and cabanas. Explore more spots to eat, stay, and play in Old Lyme below.
New London boasts a wonderful waterfront, rich cultural scene, historical sites and more. For fun on the water, embark on a fishing trip aboard Reelin, Carolyn Ann, or Marlintini, take a Cross Sound Ferry Lighthouse Cruise, or escape on a tall ship sailing adventure with a Mystic Whaler Cruise. Kids will love boat rides, waterslides, mini-golf, arcade games, an Olympic-sized pool, and more at Ocean Beach Park, or if you’re traveling with friends, stop for drinks at Tox Brewing Company and head to 33 Golden for nightlife.
For arts and culture, explore the downtown Wall to Wall Mural Walk highlighting 16 murals, drawings, and other large-scale masterpieces, or visit Fort Trumbull State Park, which has served as the location of various military forts, schools and research facilities for the United States Army, Coast Guard and Navy. And finally, you can’t miss a trip to the iconic Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock for quality seafood and marina views. Explore more spots to eat, stay, and play in New London below.
In Groton, enjoy the coast at Esker Point Beach, Eastern Point Beach, or Bluff Point Coastal Reserve which offers a delightful mixture of wooded hiking and biking trails coupled with spectacular wildlife viewing on Long Island Sound. Cast your lines aboard Osprey Sport Fishing, Captain Seth Sportfishing Fleet, or take a journey aboard the floating classroom of Project Oceanology for a unique on-the-water experience. For a great scenic route, drive through the picturesque Groton Long Point, then stop for a savory seafood and waterfront dining at The Fisherman Restaurant.
Board the Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine at Historic Ship Nautilus & Submarine Force Museum for a truly memorable adventure. Then treat yourself to a hot, buttery Connecticut-style lobster roll at nearby Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough – you’ll enjoy waterfront views while you’re at it. Explore more spots to eat, stay, and play in Groton below.
Finally, if you’re planning a road trip down the coast, Mystic is a must-visit. Not only is it home to Connecticut icons such as the Mystic Aquarium, Mystic Seaport Museum, and Mystic Pizza (as famed from the movie) but the town offers many ways to get the quintessential coastal Connecticut experience.
Get active on the water with kayak and paddleboard rentals from Paddle Mystic River Adventure Company, board a Historic Mystic Harbor Cruise, or sail away aboard the traditional sailing ship, Argia. After your oceanfront expedition, treat yourself to something sweet at Sea Swirl, Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream, or Sift Bake Shop, which recently opened a rooftop bar called Mix. For award-winning sea-to-table dishes, dine at Oyster Club or head upstairs to their rooftop bar and eatery, The Treehouse. Explore more spots to eat, stay, and play in Mystic below.
The charming seaside village of Stonington offers panoramic seaside views and plenty of ways to enjoy the water. Take a fishing trip aboard Rum Runner or even take a tour with New England Science & Sailing. For a true piece of history, visit the nation’s first lighthouse museum, the Old Lighthouse Museum.
Bordered by tidal marshes, enjoy the vast landscape and delicious wine at Saltwater Farm Vineyard, or choose hops at Beer’d Brewing Company. Then browse the Velvet Mill, a community of small businesses and art studios offering unique gifts. In Stonington Borough, you’ll find upscale shopping, seaside views, and great restaurants. Explore more spots to eat, stay, and play in Stonington below.