Charm and History in Stonington, CT

Monday, April 21, 2014

When our kids were young a favorite destination of ours was Mystic, CT.   The three hour trip was a manageable drive for a couple of kids (and their parents), and Mystic Aquarium was always one of our favorite places to spend the better part of a day.    Once the kids were grown, my husband and I ventured outside of Mystic and came upon the charming little town of Stonington.  If you've seen the movie, 'Hope Springs' with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones - you've seen Stonington.   Most of the movie was filmed in this quaint and tiny New England town - in the Inn at Stonington, and in a couple of small restaurants there.  It's no surprise the movie's producers chose Stonington.  It is a quintessential New England town with narrow streets, quaint shops, and beautifully preserved 18th and 19th century homes with the bonus view of Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.  According to the town's website:

"Stonington was incorporated when the earliest settlers to the area arrived from the Plymouth colony in 1649. Originally a trading post on the Pawcatuck River, Stonington was later claimed by Massachusetts and named Southertown. Connecticut Governor John Winthrop, Jr. obtained the charter for the Colony of Connecticut in 1662 from England which set the boundaries to include the town, and the General Court first changed the name to Mystic in 1665. In 1666, the name was changed to Stonington."

If you're looking for a bit of history on your visit, I'd recommend a stop at the Old Lighthouse Museum. 

Built in 1840, the lighthouse was used until 1889 when it was replaced by beacons on the harbor breakwaters.  It was the home to seven lighthouse keepers and their families.  In 1925 the lighthouse was sold to the Stonington Historical Society for $3650 and opened as a museum in 1927 and has been open every year since except for most of World War II.  The lighthouse is open from May-October, Thur-Tues., 10:00 - 5:00.  Admission is $9 for adults and $6 for children.

So if you're in Mystic, or even Rhode Island which is just down the road a piece, take a little detour and spend a few hours in Stonington.  There's a little parking area just beyond the lighthouse and a small beach too.    And if you haven't already - watch Hope Springs first.   It's a movie that long- married couples might relate to and is sure to make you laugh and cry.  Meryl Streep earned a Golden Globe nomination for her role and she earned it!  Steve Carell also co-stars.


  1. Great pictures:) It definitely sounds like a neat place to visit.

  2. What a quaint & beautiful place. Thanks for sharing blog & pics.


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