Wander the streets of Mystic Seaport’s 19th-century village, home to trade shops and businesses from the 1800s that have been transported to the coastal village from different New England locations. Throughout the village historians, musicians, storytellers and craftspeople interpret how America’s maritime past has shaped life today. See interpreters’ maritime skills, watch as the U.S. Life-Saving Service demonstrates how to properly set the sails on a square-rigged ship or witness theatrical performances that depict what life at sea would have been like in 19th-century Mystic.
Learn about the history of the sea and voyages on the water. Mystic boasts a number of changing and permanent exhibitions in its galleries that are related to the sea, from restored vessels to figureheads, ship carvings to vintage photographs.
Mystic Seaport is home to hundreds of plants, each accentuating the beauty and historical context of the Mystic River, ships and the 19th-century village in its own way. Visit re-created, 19th-century gardens, the Burrows House garden and the Buckingham-Hall House garden, representing the social order, economy and cultural pursuits that resulted from the Industrial Age. Despite its name, the Children’s Zoo garden, showcasing plants with funny names, is fun for all ages.
Mystic Seaport is home to the nation’s largest watercraft collection. It includes National Historic Vessels the Charles W. Morgan, the world’s sole surviving wooden whaleship, and the last example of early 20th-century New England fishing vessels, the L.A. Dunton. Long-past seafaring days come alive aboard some of the museum’s ships.
Learn about celestial navigation in Treworgy Planetarium. Built specially for Mystic Seaport by Armand Spitz in 1960, Treworgy Planetarium explores the significance of the stars in the life of a 19th-century mariner. Daily programs in the planetarium demonstrate how to locate and identify the stars, planets and constellations in the sky throughout different times of the year.
Henry B. DuPont Preservation Shipyard
Watch as craftspeople use their skills made nearly extinct by steel and fiberglass in the Henry B. DuPont Preservation Shipyard. From the visitor’s gallery you can view carpenter’s shops, an 85-foot spar lathe, a rigging loft and the area where the museum’s vessels are brought indoors for repair. Other sights on Preservation Shipyard not to be missed include a paint shop, a metalworking shop, documentation shop, lumber shed and an old-fashioned saw mill.
Shopping at Mystic Seaport
Be sure to visit the shops at Mystic Seaport. In the 8,300-square-foot Museum Store located outside the museum’s main entrance, reproductions from the museum’s collections, seafaring gifts, toys, model ships, and prints and posters are available for purchase. On the second floor of the Museum Store you’ll find a bookstore that carries over 90 of Mystic Seaport’s published titles, rare volumes and one of the nation’s most complete selections of maritime books. Adjacent to the Museum Store is the Maritime Gallery where contemporary marine art and ship models are for sale.
Dining at Mystic Seaport
A number of eateries are located throughout Mystic Seaport. Latitude 41° Restaurant & Tavern serves New American cuisine in both its main dining rooms and Shipyard Tavern. For a quick, casual bite, stop by the Galley, which serves sandwiches, fish and chips, burgers and the traditional sodas. Schaefer’s Spouter Tavern is known for its casual fare served along the riverside during the warmer months of the year. Located off the Museum Store is the museum’s Cafe & Bake Shop, offering coffees, juices, pastries, soups, sandwiches and fudge.
- Wheelchairs are available to rent on a first-come, first-served basis from the Visitor Reception Center.
- There is always something happening at Mystic Seaport. Visit Mystic Seaport’s official website to see what special events will be taking place during your visit.
- Ensure you wear footwear suitable for walking.