Are you planning a fun family trip in Connecticut? During spring break, my family took a mini vacation to Mystic, CT. We spent 24 hours in the beautiful coastal village, exploring the aquarium and downtown shops, as well as a few restaurants. The Whaler’s Inn hosted us for the evening, providing not only gorgeous accommodations but amazing service (and a safe place to say!). Here is what to do on a family trip to Mystic, CT, including information on where to stay, where to play, and where to eat!
Where to Stay – The Whaler’s Inn
The Whaler’s Inn is the perfect hotel for families visiting Mystic, CT. Located by the drawbridge in downtown Mystic, the Whaler’s Inn is close to all of the best shopping and dining. There are five buildings to stay in on the Whaler’s Inn property, each with different guest room layouts and an adults only option. During our first stay at The Whaler’s Inn we stayed in the Noank House, but this time we experienced the Stonington House. I’d like to thank The Whaler’s Inn for hosting our family for the evening!
The Stonington House offers eight guest rooms with a King bed or two Queen beds at the back of the property. The building’s location is ideal for a quieter stay – we definitely didn’t hear anything from our room at night! We stayed in a double Queen guest room, perfect for our family of four. The decor in every room at the Whaler’s Inn is bright, beautiful, and always a bit nautical. I love the subway tile bathroom and complimentary bath products. There is also a Keurig for the grown ups and a nightlight for the little ones.
More about The Whaler’s Inn
The lobby at The Whaler’s Inn is a wonderful place to pop in during your stay. Whether you’re asking concierge for recommendations on things to do or grabbing an afternoon cup of coffee, its too beautiful to miss. In addition to a refreshment station, there is also a small gift shop with a variety of fun gifts.
Where to Play in Mystic
There is so much to do and see in Mystic, CT with kids. From bookstores to toy stores, the aquariums to the seaport, it’s easy to stay occupied. Here is a list of things to do in Mystic on a family vacation.
- Visit Mystic Aquarium – It’s tough to pick a favorite animal at the Mystic Aquarium because there are so many amazing exhibits. Check out my tips for visiting Mystic Aquarium with Kids – but remember, tickets should be purchased ahead of time due to Covid restrictions.
- After the Aquarium you can wander around Olde Mystik Village – make sure you pick up some unique Deviant Donuts.
- Visit Mystic Seaport and Maritime Museum
- Explore Downtown Mystic with your kids. You must stop at Bank Square Books, Mystic Knotwork, and the Mystical Toy Store! There are also plenty of other shopping opportunities for clothing, souvenirs, and home decor across the drawbridge from The Whaler’s Inn.
- Stop for a sweet treat at Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream, Young Buns, or Sift Bakery downtown.
Where to Eat in Mystic with Kids
There are so many wonderful dining options in Mystic for families. From pizza to burgers, seafood to pasta, Mystic has every type of restaurant you could hope for. There are also numerous bakeries and ice cream shops – always somewhere to stop for dessert or a sweet treat!
The Shipwright’s Daughter
One of the benefits of staying at The Whaler’s Inn is easy access to their amazing restaurant: The Shipwrights Daughter. One can celebrate New England’s fresh & flavorful food heritage while dining on unique dishes by Executive Chef David Standridge. The coastal Connecticut inspired menu changes daily and can accommodate little guests by request. The Shipwright’s Daughter serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch, plus happy hour!
Here is a rundown of what we enjoyed for dinner from their April menu: MINI LOBSTER ROLL, BEET PICKLED DEVILED EGGS, DAILY SELECTION OF OYSTERS, SPRING SALAD, RICOTTA GNOCCHI, and SUGAR KELP WRAPPED STONINGTON SCALLOP.
The Shipwright’s Daughter offers a complimentary continental breakfast to all Whaler’s Inn guests. We enjoyed a spread with an 8 minute egg, homemade buttermilk biscuit, housemade jam, greek yogurt and fresh fruit.
The Engine Room
We enjoyed lunch outdoors at The Engine Room in downtown Mystic, CT. It is within walking distance from The Whaler’s Inn, but also has ample parking behind the restaurants. The Engine Room is great for families because of ample indoor/outdoor seating and separate kid’s menu. Our daughters enjoyed the cheeseburger and fries with a side of lemonade. My husband tried Randy’s Double Stack and I ordered the Mushroom Mae Burger with chicken instead of beef. Everything was delicious – from the hand cut fries to the homemade potato salad, the burgers were juicy and flavorful.
Sift Bakery, Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream, Deviant Donuts
A family vacation isn’t complete without ice cream and sweets! We stopped in Sift Bakery for macarons and cookies, Mystic Drawbridge for Ice Cream, and Deviant Donuts for their Disney speciality donuts. The Whaler’s Inn is across the street from an ice cream shop and candy store, but we didn’t have a chance to stop in. Don’t worry – next time we visit we won’t miss out on an opportunity to fill a bag with old fashioned candy!