Road Trip to Mystic Aquarium

by agirlandhermutt on July 28, 2015

YES! I have officially marked off #16 from my 35 While 35 list. Visit Mystic Aquarium! This little line item has been on the list for about 5 years. Every single time I try to visit, something comes up. One year we were in the area for a wine expo event and had plans to visit the aquarium the next day. Random snow storm. Another year there was a hurricane. This year we had plans to visit for my birthday, but that whole hospitalization thing happened.

In the middle of last week it randomly occurred to us that we had a free Saturday and maybe we could just pop down to Connecticut for a quick visit to the aquarium. This was perfect for the whole explore New England thing we have been doing this summer. I was like a kid on Christmas morning!

And we finally made it!

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Yes, that is a picture of nothing. I got excited to show my parents I had made it and didn’t realize I wasn’t actually taking a photo of anything. Oops.

Mystic has a few really great outdoor areas for the beluga whales, sea lions and African penguins. Untitled
This is Astro. He is a 9 year old sea lion that weighs about 800+ pounds. Apparently he kept stranding himself on land, would get rehabilitated and then do it all over again. After the 3rd or 4th time they realized that he wouldn’t survive in the wild so they brought him to Mystic.

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One of the Beluga Whales, which always get the Baby Beluga song stuck in my head for days.

My favorite exhibits at aquariums are always the jellyfish. I avoid those suckers like the plague in the water, but in an aquarium I just can’t get enough of them. Mystic’s had a really nice collection that were fascinating to watch.
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We spent about 3 hours walking around the aquarium, exploring all the exhibits and even touching a few rays.
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They had a separate exhibit called Exploration: Wild that had little scenes from the Arctic, Rain Forest, etc. There was even a an exhibit for the Titanic which was random, but really interesting. They had a great picture representation of how many were saved and died from each class on the ship. The crew had the most men perish in the accident, but they also managed to have the most saved. The exhibit did a great job highlighting the division of class without overdoing it.

There weren’t really any animals, but they did have a few fun photo ops set up.

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Not the Titanic.

Throughout the aquarium there are pieces of art from an organization calledWashed Ashore. The organization is a non-profit that cleans up debris from beaches and then makes artwork out of it in order to teach about the environment, plastic pollution and cleaning up the oceans.

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These pieces of artwork are incredible. Not only are they huge, but they are just really cool looking. You almost forget that these are made from TRASH that is found on our beautiful beaches.

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After the aquarium, and being around tons of childrens ;), I needed some food and a beer. We headed over to S&P Oyster Company to grab a bite to eat.
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The restaurant was busy, but really nice. Good food, great service and a nice view of the water.

We can’t ever seem to make a trip without a stop at a brewery and this time was no different. We stopped at Beer’d. We had heard good things about this brewery, but I just really liked their logo. :) Beards are the best! Untitled

This nano brewery is located in a space called the American Velvet Mill. Once the mill closed, artists started to move into the mill and created studios and gallery space. It is a unique space that was fun to navigate around. Untitled
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The brewery offers free tastings of whatever they have on tap and then you can also get pints and growlers filled. Beer’d seems to specialize in DIPAs, which just so happen to my specialty too.
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The last stop on our road trip was to The Malted Barley for a quick snack before hitting the road. Untitled
Chipotle pepper and gouda stuffed soft pretzel. Seriously. With apricot butter. Just kill me now. Untitled

With a full belly and a bucket list item completed, we headed back to Boston!

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I got a few recommendations on places to visit the next time I am in Mystic so I will definitely be heading back down again. The city is really cute and it was an easy drive on a Saturday morning.

So where to next?! I’m ready for another adventure!

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