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 Sunbeam Fleet sails from Waterford where you can plan your next family or corporate outing on Long Island Sound. There are even public fishing day trips and overnight trips out on the water to the best spots for your big catch. If fishing isn't you thing, there are tours that you can participate in, such as the Lighthouse tour that takes you to Old Saybrook, Long Island and Cape Cod to see some of New England's finest lighthouses. Fans of sealife can enjoy the Harbor Seal Cruises, which offers three hours out on the water to see the creatures that inhabit the Sound. Or, climb aboard for a Fireworks Cruise to see some spectacular fireworks on one of the Sunbeam Fleet.
Enjoying the distinction of being the oldest mill of its kind in the country, B.F. Clyde's Cider Mill catapults visitors to the past and offers a glimpse of life as it prevailed in the 1880s. 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. Free tours are available and demonstrations are carried out on weekends during the mill's operational season. The facility also offers wine tastings. Drop by this quaint mill and soak in the historic atmosphere while you sip on their renowned cider and munch on savory donuts.
Owned and managed by the Denison family since it was first built, the Denison Homestead is a charming manor. Constructed in 1717, the Pequotsepos Manor as it is colloquially known, is a well-preserved historical landmark today and houses precious relics. Every nook and corner of the estate exudes an undeniable historical charm and its picturesque gardens are a marvel to behold. Delighting history buffs and outdoor lovers alike, and surrounded by beautiful environs, the homestead is a must-visit during a trip to Mystic. Tours of the estate are available, and events can also be hosted within the premises.
Hands-on underwater exploration is a key feature of the Mystic Aquarium. Come see beluga whales in a lovely outdoor area, along with African Penguins, sea lions and much more. You can also participate in special Animal Encounter Programs where you get an hour to interact with sea lions, penguins, seals, or sting rays. In addition to exhilarating interactive experiences, visitors can survey the marine exhibits on display at the on-site gallery. Marvel at the Giant Japanese Spider Crabs or admire sharks and pufferfish in their natural habitats. The aquarium also features an expansive Jurassic exhibit that delights kids and adults alike.
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 fascinating living history museum in Mystic, a quaint seaside town about an hour outside of New Haven. Learn about the steps involved in making the perilous trip out to sea for fishing or whaling, admire the historic vessels on display here, and walk down memory lane as you explore a historic seafaring village. Scenes from Steven Spielberg's 1997 film Amistad were filmed here. Visitors can also participate in numerous hands-on activities, making a trip here an incredibly memorable one. The nation's leading maritime museum, Mystic Seaport is a must-see if visiting Connecticut.
Sabino is a wooden war boat that was launched in 1908 from what was known as the American mosquito fleet. Its historic importance earned it a National Historic Landmark designation in 1992. This small, coal-fired steamboat can be seen at the Mystic Seaport Museum, where visitors can take rides on it over the Mystic River. It is 57 feet (17 meters) in length and requires a crew of three. A quick tour on this ride is like time travel.
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.
Popularly known as one of the oldest surviving commercial fishing store, the Emma C. Berry was a well equipped smack. This well also consists of a place for storing the fishes caught. The smack was designed to keep the fishes alive once they were caught, this area was known as a wet well.
Joseph Conrad is a veteran iron-hulled ship that has traveled more than around 57,000 miles (92,000 kilometers). A ship with a great history, it was originally launched in 1882 as Georg Stage. Further, after sailing as a private yacht, she prepared as a trainer. Today, she stands still as a museum ship at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut. In 1905, Georg Stage sank, taking along 22 men with her. Later however, she was heightened and refurbished to regain her career. A ship of mammoth history and spellbinding beauty, it is a must visit.
The L. A. Dunton is a historic fishing schooner which was built in 1921. Designed by Thomas McManus, the ship is 123 feet (37.49 meters) long and was brought to the Mystic Seaport in 1963. The schooner has a great architecture, and has been preserved well through all these years. Although it does not function anymore, it is kept on display at the Mystic Seaport Museum. Visitors can view the ship and learn about its history here.