What to do & see in New London, CT area

I will be in CT from Sept. 22 through Sept. 28. I’m looking for ideas on things to do and see (and eat) while there.

I’m traveling with my parents, who are in their 70’s (I’m 52). My dad served on a submarine in the Navy, and they are having a reunion that week. Already on the agenda- a tour of the Sub school and the Nautilus, and a tour of Mystic seaport.

We enjoy museums, historical sites, scenic drives (will the leaves be turning this early?) and seafood- LOVE seafood! We don’t get much good seafood here in New Mexico. We may go to a semi-fancy restaurant or two, but suggestions for good roadside-stands or fast-food places (for lunch) would be appreciated, too!

We will be in New London until the 26th, then we’ll be near Hartford. We will probably drive into Rhode Island one day, maybe up into Mass. but probably not as far as Boston.

Thanks in advance for any ideas, suggestions, advice, etc.

My first thought was the submarine museum, but it sounds like you have that covered already.

The Coast Guard Academy is in New London. The tall ship USCGC Eagle is based there (don’t know if it will be there at the time), and that’s interesting if you know what you’re looking at, or can get a tour from someone who does.

If any of you are gamblers, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are nearby. Even if you’re not, you might check and see if anyone is performing there that you’d like to see.

I just did a quick search, and found that the USCGC Eagle is due back in New London approx. Sept. 26! I would love to see a tall ship come sailing into harbor, and I’m sure my parents would, too! Thanks for an excellent suggestion, Robot Arm.

And my dad just sent me an email saying that Willie Nelson is appearing at Mohegan Sun on Sept. 24 (with Jakob Dylan opening), so there’s another possibility. I’m not sure how much my parents would enjoy Jakob Dylan, but they do like Willie Nelson.

Thanks again!

When I lived in the area, the Fisherman Restaurant at Groton Long Point was a pretty good place for seafood. It’s about a 20 minute drive from New London. Paul’s Pasta has been an institution for quite some time, it’s in Groton and it is a real simple, down to earth sort of place.

But if you make it to Providence, go to Federal Hill. There are some really good restaurants there. I ate at Camille’s a couple weeks ago, and really liked it.

In terms of things to do… I think you’re doing most of it. I never made it out to Block Island, but that seems popular. I have no clue what there is to do there, but you may wish to google it.

If you like lobster, the best in the area is Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough in Noank, Connecticut.

After Labor Day, Abbott’s is only open on weekends until they close for the season on Columbus Day.

The seating area is outside, but it’s situated in a pretty quiet area that’s particularly peaceful on Sunday afternoons.

Oh, and it’s B.Y.O.B. We always bring a bottle of wine.

If you dont mind spending an arm and a leg, Custy’s is an all you can eat seafood place specializing in lobster and the hugest shrimp i have seen in ages. Like $80 a person though.

mrAru and I do it every year for a shared birthday dinner.

2 casinos, so dont forget to check both Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods. I prefer Mohegan, the food there is a bit better. They have a great BBQ place called Bubbas, a named chef place called Todd English’s Tuscany that is good, and even the buffet is pretty good in the newer section.

Really Ct is sort of a boring state=( mainly summer/shore stuff

I’ll second Ravenman and robby with recommending Pauls Pasta and Abbotts, I’ll just add that in Stonington Borough there is Skipper’s Dock. Very nice, bit pricy, but extremely picturesque. Go around 6pm for the sunset and a drink right on the dock. Then walk down to the point. Absolutely beautiful little town in there. Viggo Mortgansen has a house down there.

BTW, I’m not sure if you realize it or not, but the New London Submarine Base is actually in Groton, CT, (across the river from New London).

Noank is a little village about 8 miles southeast of the submarine base. (It’s less than a mile from the Fisherman Restaurant in Groton Long Point, which is a more upscale restaurant than Abbott’s.)

Re-reading your OP, I really think you’d like Abbott’s.

Also, if you go over to Mystic, our favorite restaurant there is the Captain Daniel Packer Inne. While there’s a nice restaurant upstairs, we prefer the pub downstairs.

Avoid “Mystic Pizza” at all costs. It’s a crappy tourist trap.

More great suggestions!

Thanks, Ravenman & robby (sounds like a super-hero duo!)

aruvqan, I wouldn’t mind taking a drive up & down the seashore (something else we don’t have in New Mexico). Any coastal roads you’d recommend?

Phlosphr, Stonington Borough (and Skipper’s Dock) sounds great. Just the type of thing we’re looking for.

Thanks, everybody!

My uncle has owned Abbott’s for the last 20 years or so. Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of seafood so that fact does me no good at all. Everyone I know that does like seafood loves the place though (including my parents, who are from the Maine coast).

I didn’t realize it, but I’m sure my dad is aware of this! Whoever is organizing the reunion has a block of rooms and a banquet hall reserved at a hotel in New London.

Thanks for the tip on Mystic Pizza.

We’ll definitely look into Abbott’s. Mmmm, lobster!

Abbott’s is amazing.

You could also do a trip to Newport, Rhode Island.

There are probably some local fairs going on that time of year–you can check The Hartford Courant website: http://www.courant.com

Newport is fairly close to New London, so that is one thing you can do. I don’t know if you are a casino person, but Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are literally 10 minutes away from New London, they have a lot of nice restaurants in them. I can’t remember the name of it, but there is supposed to be a really good seafood place in Noank, which is right by where you are going to be. When you’re in the Hartford area, I would highly recommend the Wadsworth Anthanem, which is the oldest public art museum in the country and has a great collection. Mark Twain’s house is in Hartford as well, and they have a pretty nice tour.

A nice drive that is pretty close to you is Rt. 1A in Westerly, RI, which is right over the border. It takes you through the Watch Hill section of town, which is really ritzy as well as past a lot of other quintessentially New England scenery.

Here is thetourism website for the area. Sounds like the others have given you a number of good options, but you might also find something of interest there. Don’t forget the Mystic Aquarium, just up the street from the Seaport.

If you are into going to see historic sites in NL County, I would suggest going and touring some of the old homes in the area. Groton and Mystic and Stonington are full of old captains homes with widow walks and funny shaped roofs river road in mystic is notably good for these types of houses

I only have a minute (trying to monitor the SDMB and do my job at the same time sucks!), but thanks for all the fine suggestions, people!

And Abbott’s looks like a must!

If you want to see it under sail, you might have to make some special arrangements. I’m sure it has an engine on board. They’re limited in the maneuvers they can make when sailing, and changing the angle of the yards during a turn takes a lot of work. For tight quarters, like coming in to the dock, I wouldn’t be surprised if they furl the sails (which is a job in itself) while they’re still at sea, and come into the harbor under power.

But call around and find out. Maybe they sail in just for the pomp and circumstance of it. The Academy probably has an information office, and I imagine the restaurants on the waterfront have seen the ship come and go a few times. The can tell you where to go and what you’ll see once you get there.

Bumbershoot, eh? You in Seattle, by any chance?

There used to be a great restaurant right by Mystic Seaport called ‘The Seaman’s Inn’. While its days as a B&B are long gone, their food was really good. Like Filet Mignon? ‘The Carpet Bagger’ was truly amazing. The fish and shell fish were always so fresh too (right on the water; go figure).

Lastly, their menu had the single largest collection of single malt scotch available by the glass I’ve ever seen. The building is beautiful and mansion-esque. The fireplaces (it will be fall) are all huge brick fireplaces and 100% wood burning.

Hmmm… a nice glass of alcohol next to a roaring fire while looking through bay widows at the boats in the marina as you smell the salt air and warm up from the chill of a nice NE fall day. You know, there are worse ways to wait until your table is ready…