Mystic, CT questions

Jul 27th, 2010, 08:44 AM
  #1  
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Mystic, CT questions

Am planning to visit Mystic, CT on an upcoming Saturday day trip this summer, and have a couple questions:

-how long does a visit to Mystic Seaport take on average? The place looks big, perhaps to the point of being an all-day affair.

-am wondering the same about the Mystic Aquarium. I haven't spent more than 2-3 hours maximum at any aquarium I've ever visited thus far, and am wondering if a couple hours time is about right here.

-it's possible to purchase tickets ahead of time online for both attractions. Is there any advantage to doing so? Are the lines long on summer weekends to buy tickets at either place (they may very well be)? If so, being able to waltz in with ticket in hand and bypass long lines is a very attractive option. Also, is there any sort of financial savings if you do this?

Many thanks.
bachslunch is offline  
Jul 27th, 2010, 01:41 PM
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Think you can do both in one day -- I think they offer a combination ticket. Take a look at the Aquarium website. I don't think the lines will be too long.
ladystack is offline  
Jul 27th, 2010, 03:33 PM
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Mystic Seaport contains about 60 exhibits (maybe more?), and in additions there are performances, demonstrations, hands-on activities, games, and boat rides to fill your day. I think it would be impossible to see it all in one day. In fact, I think that's why your pass is good for two days! It is much larger than the aquarium, which you could see in 2-3 hours and is more expensive. Also, Mystic Seaport offers some great dining options and lots of space to spread out so it's easy to stay there all day. I highly recommend going for the down river cruise on the steamship at the end of the day. And on Sunday nights, the grounds and restaurants stay open all evening.

Unless you have really small kids who really want to see some penguins, I'd skip the aquarium entirely and spend your time at Mystic Seaport.
Banfos is offline  
Jul 28th, 2010, 03:28 AM
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As you drive into town toward the Seaport, there are two fish shanties on your right, shortly after the cemetery. Both have good fish dishes, the second has an outstanding clear chowder (neither milk nor tomato, thus avoiding the huge controversy over the two kinds). Both have picnic tables for outside dining. Well, eating.

I have spent a whole day at Mystic Seaport without any trouble at all and could go back for more. Can't speak about the Aquarium.
Ackislander is offline  
Jul 28th, 2010, 04:37 AM
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That clear chowder is a local specialty, variously referred to as Noank or Rhode Island style, and it is very good indeed.

Also agree that you can easily spend a full day at the Seaport.
Fra_Diavolo is offline  
Jul 28th, 2010, 01:33 PM
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Also, I meant to mention that lines at both places are never very long, but I have had to wait my turn to be able to see an exhibit during very busy summer days at Mystic Aquarium. Mystic Seaport does not seem to have that problem because it is so much larger.

There is a "Sea Everything" pass that you can buy at either location. It gets you into both the Mystic Seaport and Mystic Aquarium for a discount. I recommend you ask about membership programs as well. Sometimes it's actually cheaper to become a member than to pay admission. I believe Mystic Seaport allows you to buy tickets online but I am not sure about Mystic Aquarium.
Banfos is offline  
Sep 20th, 2010, 02:44 PM
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Just thought I ought to report back and say that I was indeed able to see both these attractions in one day, accomplished as a long day trip via Amtrak. It helps that the aquarium is open until 6 pm (last entrance at 5 pm) April through October, and getting a start as close as possible to opening time at Mystic Seaport is a wise idea for seeing both. And Banfos was right, there is a "Sea Everything" Pass that includes both at a discount -- but it unfortunately does not allow one to totally bypass the ticket line at the Aquarium (should say that neither place had a particularly long line at entry). Spent about 5 hours at the Seaport and ca. 2 hours at the Aquarium, with about a half-hour walk in between. Really liked the Seaport tremendously, and the Aquarium was very good.

It's also great fun to explore the downtown area (surrounding the rusty old drawbridge), which is full of shops and eateries. And despite having a somewhat mall-oriented feel to it, Olde Mistick Village was pleasant as well (this is located close by the Aquarium).

If anyone's wondering if I tried Mystic Pizza while there -- yes, got a cheese slice but it's very ordinary stuff, definitely not something I'd write a novel to crow about. There's significantly better pizza available in NYC, Boston, New Haven, and Chicago, for four.

I didn't find anything in the way of public transportation in Mystic, but being a hearty walker, I managed fine going between all these on foot.
bachslunch is offline  
Sep 20th, 2010, 04:13 PM
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The Mystic Aquarium isn;t that large - however you may want to time your visit to one of the shows or feeding time. Have seen the Seaport twice - once for about 2 hours and once for 3. It is certainly interesting but I can;t see spending the whole day there unless you are mad for ships.

And yes, you really need a car to get around.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 20th, 2010, 04:31 PM
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The two hours I spent at the Aquarium included attending a sea-lion show. Very charming.
bachslunch is offline  
Sep 20th, 2010, 06:38 PM
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I generally go down to Mystic once a year with how much I enjoy it b/w the Seaport and the Aquarium. Its one of the nicer aquariums that I have been to. Usually combine it with a stop at 1 of the casinos / trip to RI beach for the afternoon in Misquamicutt. Definitely need a car down there though for ease.
tchoiniere is offline  
Mar 30th, 2011, 04:40 AM
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I live in Mystic CT and we get these questions frequently...how much time for theses attractions. I always ask people if children are involved. The weather can have a lot to do with the experience as well. The Seaport is rather spread out so on a hot day it can really wear you out. The interest level is another factor. Boat lovers and history buffs could spend days in the Seaport while someone less interested could walk through in a few hours. They are both wonderful attractions!
Joel
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Mystic_Shops is offline  
Apr 17th, 2011, 04:47 PM
  #12  
 
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We spent about a 1/2 day at the Seaport and found that to be enough. It was a wet windy day though, so maybe that affected things. I can see spending more time there if you do have kids.
Cadgirl is offline  
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