Hidden Gems of Downtown Mystic: Restaurants, Tours, Shopping & Recreation

by | Feb 28, 2022 | Chapter One Mystic

Hidden Gems of Downtown Mystic Restaurants, Tours, Shopping, and Recreation

Visitors to Mystic often go to the same few places and do the same activities, like Mystic’s world-renowned pizza shops, Mystic Seaport Museum, and Aquarium. But simply following the crowd of tourists means you’ll miss out on the town’s many hidden gems. Read on to explore the lesser-known places and experiences in downtown Mystic: restaurants, tours, boutique shopping, and recreation.

Haunted History Tour and Cabaret Theater

Mystic has plenty of historical tours, but the most unique has to be the haunted history tours by Seaside Shadows. Choose from various tours, including graveyard, boat, walking tours, or special events like pub crawls and murder mystery dinners. Learn about curses, giggling ghosts, historical artifacts, and gravestone etchings with Seaside Shadows’ spooky guides.

Mystic’s Dark Room offers unique cabaret-style performances for a lively date night that are a “mash-up of drama, mystery, and seductive art of dance.” The Dark Room invites patrons to bring their alcohol, so prepare for a boisterous crowd as well. Besides their own unique shows, performances include The Nutcracker and Little Mermaid. Your children are welcome in on the fun!

Set Sail, Take a River Cruise, or Try the GeoHistorian Project With Your Kids

Rather than just observing the harbor or sea life, why not set sails on the high seas yourself? Argia Cruises offers daytime or sunset sails in the relatively calm waters around the islands near Mystic. You can join a public voyage or charter your own private trip. The sailing season runs between May 1st and October 15th.

If you’ve got kids who like games and exploration, consider the Geohistorian Project.  Students in local Mystic middle and high schools created the Geohistorian Project which involves seeking out decals around town. Scan each decal with your smartphone to access short videos about that location’s history.

Boutique Shopping: Sailing Knots, Blown Glass, and Polish Stoneware

Mystic’s downtown area has several boutique shops with unique wares. Based on the town’s maritime history, Mystic Knotwork has a collection of products made using sailing knots. Find placemats, wine stoppers, pet toys, and more in knot form.

Staying with the art theme, Studio Jeffrey P’an is an incredible gallery of blown glass sculptures by the artist of the same name. If you’d like to see a glass blowing demonstration, Jeffery occasionally has open studio days. Glass products are for sale, and you can even order a custom art piece.

Are you looking for some decorative items for your home? Manufakturausa has an assortment of authentic Polish stoneware. Find flower vases, plates, cups, bowls, ornaments, and more.

Food and Drinks for Everyone at Chapter One’s Downtown Mystic Restaurant

Every satisfying trip should include savoring some great food. Mystic is known for incredible pizza, but you can’t live on pizza (unfortunately).

For a top-notch restaurant in downtown Mystic that has something for everyone, consider Chapter One in Mystic. We offer brunch, lunch, and dinner, including beer and cocktails.

You’ll find something for every palate here. If you’re stopping by for lunch, you’ll find soups and salads, as well as a fresh raw bar. For dinner, enjoy entrees like Yellowfish Tuna or a Prime NY Strip. If you’re more in the mood for standard yet delicious fare, we’ve got delicious burgers and sandwiches.

Our meals pair well with one of our seasonal cocktails or signature drinks. Our signature drinks include favorites like a “Mystic Manhattan” and a “Main Street Old Fashioned .” Depending on the season, you can try drinks like a “Fig Mule” or a “Club Car.”

Troy Hahn
Author: Johnny
Johnny has held multiple positions at Chapter One Food & Drink in both the Mystic and Guilford locations. Now, as the General Manager at Chapter One, Johnny strives to have a strong and positive impact on his team and his local community. "Chapter One is unique as it has an uncanny intimacy, a home away from home feel that is calming and somewhat romantic. I absolutely adore this place." His attention to detail and his seamless demeanor allow him to orchestrate the vibe and tempo of the room. Johnny is hospitable to the highest degree, and he looks forward to celebrating many more 'Chapters' with the company to come.