Connecticut Coast & River Tour

  • Start: Mystic, Connecticut
  • End: Woodbury, Connecticut
  • Last Modified: 2014-08-14 18:38:28
  • Total Mileage: 75 Miles
  • Number of stops: 28


Absorb over 200 years of history on this short but sight-rich tour from estuaries on the Atlantic, up through the Connecticut River valley and into Hartford. All along the way, you’ll discover the many contributions of Connecticut’s waterside communities---from pre-Colonial days through the Revolutionary War and beyond.

Among the coastal treasures are Mystic’s renowned maritime museum and aquarium. North along the river, you’ll learn about a woman named Arnold who was thankful and a man named Hale who had only one regret. You’ll also experience the legacy of myriad artists (and their patrons), among them the writers Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain, the actors William Gillette and Katharine Hepburn, and a group of painters who were inspired enough by the area’s landscapes---both wooded and watery---to form America’s first Impressionist school.

Worth Noting: Several communities, like Middletown, have self-guided or guided town tours that will enrich your visit; inquire at local tourist boards or historical societies. Also, be sure to see the state from the water---whether aboard a sailing vessel out of Mystic, a riverboat out of Essex, or a motor yacht out of Old Saybrook.

Travel Tips: You can easily add a New York City excursion to the end of this trip. If you do, we've offered suggestions for four stops between Hartford and the Big Apple on or just off I-84. Once in the city, consider following our history-rich Lower Manhattan Highlights itinerary. Including just the sights southwest of Hartford lengthens this trip to 110 miles; including those sites and New York takes it to 195 miles.

Stop #1:

Mystic Seaport
Mystic, Connecticut

Stop #2:

Mystic Aquarium
Mystic, Connecticut

Stop #3:

Mystic Pizza
Mystic, Connecticut

Stop #4:

S&P Oyster
Mystic, Connecticut

Stop #5:

Steamboat Inn
Mystic, Connecticut

Stop #6:

Submarine Force Museum
Groton, Connecticut

Stop #7:

Florence Griswold Museum
Old Lyme, Connecticut

Stop #8:

General William Hart House
Old Saybrook, Connecticut

Stop #9:

Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center
Old Saybrook, Connecticut

Stop #10:

Essex Steam Train & Riverboat
Essex, Connecticut

Stop #11:

Connecticut River Museum
Essex, Connecticut

Stop #12:

The Griswold Inn
Essex, Connecticut

Stop #13:

Gillette Castle State Park
East Haddam, Connecticut

Stop #14:

Nathan Hale Schoolhouse
East Haddam, Connecticut

Stop #15:

Goodspeed Opera House
East Haddam, Connecticut

Stop #16:

Thankful Arnold House
Haddam, Connecticut

Stop #17:

General Mansfield House
Middletown, Connecticut

Stop #18:

O'Rourke’s Diner
Middletown, Connecticut

Stop #19:

Inn at Middletown
Middletown, Connecticut

Stop #20:

Mark Twain House & Museum
Hartford, Connecticut

Stop #21:

Harriet Beecher Stowe House
Hartford, Connecticut

Stop #22:

Connecticut's Old State House
Hartford, Connecticut

Stop #23:

Wadsworth Atheneum
Hartford, Connecticut

Stop #24:

Firebox Restaurant
Hartford, Connecticut

Stop #25:

Lake Compounce
Bristol, Connecticut

Stop #26:

Mattatuck Historical Society
Waterbury, Connecticut

Stop #27:

Quassy Amusement Park
Middlebury, Connecticut

Stop #28:

Woodbury Pewter
Woodbury, Connecticut

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