Touring Retro Last Updated 4/16

To some, retro is a hot trend, to others, it's the way things used to be. Whatever the take, visitors to the Mystic Country, Connecticut region can taste from a bygone era.


Nostalgic Attractions

Try your hand at duckpin bowling at Lucky Strike Lanes, Mansfield (c. 1954). Ten pin lanes are available at Friendly Bowl, Brooklyn (c. 1961). Paper score sheets are still in use at both venues.

Enjoy current movies outdoors from your car or lawn chair at Mansfield Drive-In, Mansfield (c. 1954). Three screens and a snack bar.

Art-deco buildings line a boardwalk the length of a gorgeous sugar sand beach at Ocean Beach Park, New London (c. 1940). While some more modern attractions have been added, there is a distinct retro vibe. Check out the golfball-eating whale on the miniature golf course and evening beach events nights in summer including car cruises and fireworks.

Walk Downtown Putnam. It's a classic and once booming 1940s mill town. Shops and outdoor dining make this village a destination. An original boxcar that inspired the 1940s Boxcar Children books is a quaint commemorative to Putnam resident, Gertrude Chandler Warner. The Antiques Marketplace in Putnam is treasure trove of memorabilia. Check it out if downtown.

Agricultural fairs are an area must. Mystic Country is home to the first (Brooklyn Fair) and second (Woodstock Fair) oldest agricultural fairs in the US!

Retro Eats

Hungry? Try a gleaming vintage diner like Zip's Diner, Dayville (c. 1954), Norm’s Diner, Groton (c. 1960) and Aero Diner, N. Windham (a c. 1958 Bramson). Or grab a quick bite at one of our roadside stands, ice cream parlors or clam shacks such as Hank's Dairy Bar, Plainfield (1957), Sea Swirl, Mystic (site of an original Carvel's, c. 1955) or Harry's Place, Colchester (c. 1920, on National Registry of Historic Places).

Throwback Shopping

Browse the vinyl at one of our four blast from the past record shops: Willimantic Records, Willimantic; The Telegraph, New London; Tumbleweeds, Niantic or Mystic Disc, Mystic. Or relive the golden age of comic books at Sarge’s Comics, New London (one of the largest comic shops in New England); Wonderland Comics, Putnam; The Coliseum Games & Hobbies; and AJ’s Comics, Colchester.