Small Things to do in Mystic, Connecticut

Mystic, Connecticut came to mind one weekend while searching for a place to visit for the day. Having only heard of the town from the movie with the pizza, I landed on the locale with no other expectations.

But here’s the thing.

Since our post-Covid reentry into the world, I’ve been having trouble seeing small things.

All the big, flashy things are back (insides of stores, restaurants, work places *bleh), and they’re blocking the view.

It’s why I’ve struggled to write here lately. I all of a sudden need to work to see small things. Before, they were noticeable everywhere.

When a simple life was forced upon us, I happily acquiesced. Now I’m trying to force it back amid all of the noise.

Here are some small things to do in Mystic, Connecticut.

Have Breakfast at Somewhere in Time.

Skip the restaurants in town (or save them for dinner), and head to Somewhere in Time, just a five- minute drive from the seaport. Channeling Luke’s Diner from Gilmore Girls, this retro breakfast, lunch and brunch spot serves up American classics with an air of nostalgia. The restaurant is seemingly popular with the locals, so you’ll likely have to wait 20 minutes or so in the vestibule near the adjoining dance studio. But it’s worth it. Delightful. And they have gluten free french toast!

Somewhere in Time Cafe Mystic Connecticut

Snuggle With a Sea Turtle and a Stingray at the Aquarium.

The entire Mystic Aquarium was wonderful. The sea lions debuted new repertoire (making their way into the audience), the otters were play fighting, the penguins and whales were having their lunch just as we arrived, and the jelly fish were otherworldly. But it was getting up close with these two guys that really made my day.

I spent a lot of time with this sea turtle below.

I love his upper lip. And the way he looks like he’s thumbs-upping here.

Sea Turtle at Mystic Aquarium
Stingray at Mystic Aquarium

There’s a stingray petting station, but since it’s mostly for children, and I don’t really want to pet fishes, I found this little guy whose upside down here and looks a bit like Ronald McDonald. His face (not sure it’s his face) is so happy, and I never tired of watching him swim upside down.

Enjoy an Old Fashioned Ice Cream Soda at Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream.

After the aquarium, it’s a five or so minute drive to town. There are quite a few sweet shops (donuts, fudge, ice cream), but I liked this one on the drawbridge because of the nostalgic egg creams and ice cream sodas.

Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream

Visit the Corner Dedicated to “The Dude” at Trove Gift Shop.

Hey, careful, man, there’s a beverage here!

It was fun to see this display devoted to the Big Lebowski at Trove Gift Shop in town. They even had the Dude’s sweater. Did you know it was Jeff Bridges’s own personal one that he wore in the movie?

And Then Snap the Pizza Photo and Call it a Day.

It was cold, and I was colder from the ice cream, so the last stop of the day was the photo.

Mystic Pizza

Even though I never saw the movie, these tourist monuments are still a little thrilling–like meeting the geocacher IRL at the geocaching party. Or something like that. 🙂

Thanks for reading! What’s your favorite thing to do in Mystic?

Say some things.

If you enjoyed this post on things to do in Mystic, Connecticut, you might also enjoy this one about Houston, Texas and this one about The Cloisters in Manhattan.

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  1. Love the commentary about the animals at the aquarium. Great read for me today. So happy I took a small moment for myself with you.

  2. This post was so fun, and I am thankful for the reminder to find the “small things” in my day to day. As I was reading the post I was thinking I had no idea what this movie was you were talking about, so I Googled it and realized I have in fact seen it!! Good ol’ 80’s movies!

    In all reality I adore small towns like this. Big cities make me feel overwhelmed and there is just too much to bite off and see. I prefer smaller, slower paced adventures like this. You did so much, but it was all manageable and amazingly fun!

    1. Completely agree, but it’s a newfound appreciation for me. I always thought I would live in NYC forever. Now, no. 🙂

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

Say some things.