The whaleship Charles W. Morgan tied up and put away for the winter at Mystic Seaport. the top sections of the mast are removed for winter storage.
Photo Credit : Mark Fleming
Enjoy a closer look at the beauty of winter in the charming seaside town of Mystic, Connecticut.
At Mystic Seaport — the largest maritime museum in the U.S. and the heart of the Mystic, Connecticut, waterfront — it’s easy to imagine that you’re back in the era of tall ships and whaling merchants. This is especially true during the annual Lantern Light Tours, a nearly 40-year-old holiday tradition (and Best Historic Christmas Celebrations in New England pick) in which visitors are squired through the museum’s re-created 19th-century village at night as the performance unfolds by lantern light. Shadows of tall ships’ masts sway along the waterfront, offering ghostly reminders of a seafaring tradition that drifts back to the 1700s, scant decades after Mystic was first founded in 1654.
By day, though, the more modern charms of this pretty, bustling village on the water (population 4,205) are clear to see. A mile and a half inland, there’s the top-notch Mystic Aquarium, with its pair of beluga whales and bevvy of frolicsome South African penguins; in town, you’ll find restaurants with fresh seafood in abundance, with hot spots including Oyster Club and S&P Oyster Co., as well as Bravo Bravo, which puts an Italian spin on things. There are walking streets full of shops and cafés, bookstores with boatloads of theme-appropriate tomes, and well-appointed inns where you can lay your head.
And running through it all, there’s that old Mystic River, bisected here by the Mystic River Bascule Bridge. Stand on this massive drawbridge dating back to 1920, and you’re planted between two realities: Upriver, there’s a full view of Mystic Seaport, with its historic vessels bobbing at the pier; downriver, the water spills into Fishers Island Sound, then Long Island Sound, on its journey to the sea.
The following are some of our favorite images by Yankee senior photographer Mark Fleming for the “Mystic, Connecticut | Could You Live Here?” feature in the November/December 2017 issue.
WINTER IN MYSTIC, CONNECTICUT
Have you ever visited Mystic, Connecticut?
This post was first published in 2017 and has been updated.