Mystic, Connecticut is known mainly for two things: the beautiful and historic seaport and museum, and for Mystic Pizza made famous by the movie of the same name starring Julia Roberts.
Mystic has a rich history dating back to the 1600s. The seaport, along the Mystic River, built more than 600 vessels during America’s maritime boom. After the Civil War the wooden ship building demand declined and Mystic turned to the textile manufacturing industry.
Mystic now uses the Mystic Seaport as a large museum and learning center. In the late 90s the seaport worked on the construction of a maritime vessel made completely in the way those vessels had been crafted hundreds of years ago. There is now a research center and database center for the city to showcase the past centuries of the city as well as preparing for the future Mystic will have.
While I was there we visited the Seaport Museum in the late afternoon before it closed for the day. It reminds me a lot of Williamsburg or Jamestown in how it preserves the area to historical accuracies and the museum really draws you into the vessel building, rope making, and whaling vessels found there.
Mystic Pizza is just up the road for the museum. Buy by the slice or by the pie. Drinks come in a souvenir cup, and the front room is stuffed full of memorabilia and photos from the movie. The pizza is delicious and worth the stop, even if its just to say you did it.
The town itself is quaint and quiet. It reminded me of the small New England towns you see in movies and TV shows such as Gilmore Girls and The Good Witch.
On a long afternoon drive that ended up going late into the evening my friend and I ended up at the seaport village in the dead of winter. At night the town feels smaller than it really is and the trees and snow give the already quaint and quirky town more definition.
Mystic is a city that demands to be visited. I fondly think about my time there often. The smell of the sea breeze and the pizza make you feel right at home.