For the most part we have hugged the coast during the New England leg of Route 1. We have witnessed beautiful ocean sunrises, explored the rocky shores, and seen many boats heading out of the harbor. A great chance for a more historical perspective on New England shipping arrived when we entered Mystic, Connecticut. Beyond its famous pizza, Mystic is also known for the Mystic Seaport. Located directly on the water, the seaport is home to many historic vessels and exhibits detailing the region’s maritime history. We were lucky enough to have Nana join us for the day. A Conneticut native and longtime visitor of Mystic, she was a welcome addition to our party as we explored the Seaport grounds.
Moving at a brisk pace that only a three year old can sustain, we made our way along the waterfront as Five Ball was determined to try his hand at captaining a vessel. This didn’t take long as there are many boats of all sizes to climb aboard and explore. The displays and museum staff do a fantastic job of making the past come alive and answering any questions thrown their way.
We were excited to find several attractions designed specifically for younger visitors. These areas were designated on the map with a smiley face making our navigation through the Seaport much easier. We were especially impressed with the children’s museum building which was a smashing hit with all the Fives. At this building they could try their hand at fishing, cook in a ship’s galley or just play with some nautical toys. This part of the museum alone would be well worth a Family Membership to the Seaport if we lived in the area.
Nana had fond memories of her childhood visit to the Seaport’s Charles W. Morgan wooden whaling ship. Even though the boat is currently undergoing restoration, we were delighted to find that it was still open to visitors. On this trip we have been reading Whale Port to the kids, so climbing aboard the Charles W. Morgan gave them a first hand look at what they had only seen in illustrations. Plus it was fun to put our knowledge on what we had been reading about to the test as we pointed out the uses of various features on the ship.
Admission to the Seaport is good for two days, something that we would definetely recommend taking advantage of. There was so much to see and many other components such as shows and boat rides that we didn’t even get to explore. We are all looking forward to coming back and spending more time in this very well put together collection of New England’s maritime history. For all you boat lovers this is a must see destination.