Family Vacations: Mystic Seaport

Photo Courtesy Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT The collection of antique vessels anchored at Mystic Seaport includes the Charles W. Morgan, the last remaining wooden whaling ship in the U.S.

It's easy for children to fantasize about the life of an old-time sailor in this 19-acre living-history museum. They can poke around in a ship's galley and climb into actual sailors' bunks to see what it was like to have lived in such cramped quarters for months at a time. They can learn about sailors' knots and crafts, listen to old salts spin their yarns, and learn old-time sea chanties. They can even take a trip on the Mystic River in the Sabino, a coal-fired steamboat built in 1908.

The museum is set up as a re-created 19th-century seafaring village. It comprises historic buildings that have been transported from locations around New England. Families can stroll about the typical seacoast village and watch craftspeople at work, or they can explore its shipyard and port.


Wooden ships are still built in the museum's shipyard, and visitors can see them under construction. The town's port is filled with antique ships and boats, including the Charles W. Morgan, which at more than 150 years old is the only surviving wooden whaling ship. A re-creation of the historic slaving ship Amistad is frequently docked here as well.

Mystic Seaport Information

Address: 75 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic, CT

Telephone: 860/572-5315 or 888/973-2767

Hours of Operation:

  • Nov - Mar: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m
  • Apr - Oct: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Admission: Adults $17.50, Children $12.00 To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

Admission: Adults $17.50, Children $12.00 To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Connecticut State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Connecticut, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Laura Sutherland is a widely acknowledged authority on family travel and has published several books on the topic, including Best Family Ski Vacations In North America and Tropical Family Vacations.