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Brilliant is a schooner located at the Mystic Port in Connecticut. It was built in the year 1932 on City Island, Bronx. It was originally built as an ocean racing yacht. It crossed the Atlantic Ocean within 15 days on its maiden voyage. It was later acquired by the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II, when two machine guns were loaded on the yacht. After being sold to a sailor post the war, it is currently owned by the Mystic Port since 1957, and used as a classroom and part of watercraft collection.
Formerly known as the Mystic Arts Center, the Mystic Museum of Art is a beautiful art gallery overlooking the Mystic River. It provides a base for upcoming artists to showcase their works. From paintings, photography, to fine arts, are on display here. Besides an art gallery it also functions as a wedding venue. The center also conducts art classes for children and adults alike. In these classes, students are taught the basics of painting, photography and drawing. Drop by to see works by talented artists or enroll in one of the classes to know more about art.
The Museum of America and the Sea is a great place to take the kids to teach them about the importance and effects of the whaling industry on the towns dotting the Connecticut Shoreline. America's last wooden whaling ship, the Charles W. Morgan, resides at this small living history museum in Mystic, a tiny seaside town about an hour outside of New Haven, on the way up to Providence. Mystic Seaport. Learn about the steps involved in making the perilous trip out to sea for fishing or whaling. Scenes from Steven Spielberg's 1997 film Amistad were filmed here, not to mention the Seaport's shipyards constructed the re-creation of the schooner. The nation's leading maritime museum, Mystic Seaport is a must-see if visiting Connecticut.
Launched in 1841 from New Bedford, Massachusetts, the Morgan is considered to be the last surviving commercial ship made of wood still afloat. The ship undertook 37 whaling voyages across its 80-year career with a 38th being launched in 2014 after complete restoration. This 'lucky ship' is a surviving relic of a bygone era and offers unique insight into one of New England's most common economic enterprises. A National Historic Landmark, the ship is today docked at the Mystic Seaport Museum. Tours are available on site.
The Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center is 300-acre (120-hectare) wildlife sanctuary which is home to hundreds of creatures. It's a place full of adventure, with as much as eight trails for hiking and a treehouse. Families can enjoy a picnic in the company of nature at the picnic tables. The Center has a Natural History Museum, a storehouse of information on natural phenomena, and a Nature Center Store where visitors can buy nature guides, bird feeders and other useful articles. Events and Summer Camps for kids are also organized. Check the website for details.
Hands on underwater exploration is a key feature of the Mystic Aquarium. Come see beluga whales in a lovely one-acre outdoor area, African Penguins, sea lions and much more. There are also the special Animal Encounter Programs where you get an hour to interact with either the beluga whales, penguins or sting rays. In a 1999 expansion on the Aquarium is The Institute for Exploration, housing artifacts and exhibits based on Dr. Robert Ballad's underwater explorations for famous sunken ships, such as PT 109, the Bismarck and the RMS Titanic.
Clyde's is the oldest steam powered cider mill in the country! Located just north of Olde Mistick Village, this popular attraction is best to visit during the beginning of fall when the apples are at their peak and the leaves are turning. There are free tours and demonstrations done on weekends in October and November. Clyde's is open from September to December only.
This lovely vineyard is located in the southeastern corner of the state, as part of Connecticut's Wine Trail. Stonington Vineyards is close to the picturesque village of Mystic, so for the parents this is a great getaway and experience if in the area. There are free, 25-minute tours of the vineyards every day at 2p as well as tastings of their red and white wines. The gift shop sells every variety of their special wines, not to mention handmade gift baskets with goodies for all occasions.
The historic nucleus of Groton, this legendary state park lends deep insights into the nuances of the American Revolutionary War. The site is situated along the meandering Thames River, which is the primary waterway in eastern Connecticut. Fort Griswold was a key landmark during the 1781 Battle of Groton Heights, when Benedict Arnold and British troops invaded and burned New London, including what is today Groton; however the Fort was spared when the British took control of it. The historic state park shelters a troupe of many significant monuments, like the Ebenezer Avery House, the Fort Griswold State Park Shot Furnace, the Monument House Museum which interprets the war through exhibits, and the solemn Groton Monument, which is a stirring tribute to those who died guarding the premise. An august reminder of the valiant stride of the Americans, the indelible fort grounds have left a soul-stirring mark on the pages of American history.
In operation from June through October, Mystic Whaler Cruises offer visitors to the southeastern Connecticut the opportunity to venture out into Long Island Sound on an authentic windjammer for one of their many cruises. Enjoy daytrips or three-day cruises, lobster dinners or have your own private event aboard the Mystic Whaler. Ports of call for the summer include Block Island, Newport, Shelter Island, Sag Harbor, Mystic, Cuttyhunk and Martha's Vineyard. During the autumn months, the Mystic Whaler calls Baltimore home where it sails around the Chesapeake Bay and along Maryland's shore.
The off-shore New London Ledge Light was built in 1909 and has been operated by the United States Coast Guard since 1939. This little brick lighthouse is one of the most iconic structures in Connecticut, sitting at the mouth of the Thames River. Many are aware of the lighthouse thanks to paranormal television programs, like Most Haunted and Ghost Hunters, who have traveled to this outpost in search of the building's most famous tenant, "Ernie." Whether or not Ernie exists is up to you, but you might not want to be out at the lighthouse by yourself after dark.
Hygienic Art Galleries & Art Park's aim is to provide a platform for new as well as established and resident artists. The present location at Bank Street earlier housed Hygienic Restaurant, which shut in 1985. After a lot of community activism, the historic building that was scheduled to be demolished, was saved. Finally, the same opened in the year 2000 and stands as a testimony of successful community development projects and amazing venue for arts. An extended gallery of Hygienic Art called the Carriage House on 35 Golden Street, also showcases some interesting artwork.