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Groton, CT: summer travel ideas needed

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houston
posts: 1
Groton, CT: summer travel ideas needed

Summer travel ideals for day trips from Groton desparately needed. I am looking for things to do in and around Groton (+/- two hour travel time) with my three children, ages 23, 20 and 8. Funny remarks accepted as long as you can offer some good ideas for "family of all ages" fun! Child 20, 8 and I will be traveling from Texas mid-June to spend a week or so visiting Child 23 who is currently stationed in Groton. We like visiting historic places, especially those that allow for interaction (if you are familiar with Jamestown, VA). Any and all other great ideas will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, S.

Cambridge, MA
posts: 789
reviews: 11
1. Re: Groton, CT: summer travel ideas needed

New London, right across the bridge from Groton, would work for part of a day. There are some historic sites there that'd probably bore the youngest pretty quickly, but all might enjoy visiting the Coast Guard Academy and taking a tour there. New London's waterfront is a nice place (right behind the train station downtown) to watch ferries and other boats come and go. In the train station lobby there are racks of brochures from different attractions around the area, so stop in there and avail yourself.

Up the coast a ways is Mystic Seaport, which is more of a Jamestown sort of place: a Revolutionary War-era shipbuilding settlement recreated. Not far beyond there and just across the Rhode Island state line is Watch Hill, famous for its beaches and antique (and functioning) merry-go-round. That'd be good for a beach day. For rainy/cold days, the thought may either intrigue or repulse you but consider a trip to either the Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun casinos. They both have staffed play areas for kids, and all of you could take in one of the free shows.

Your kid who's in the service could also consult the USO for more ideas. They're there to help out servicemembers' families too, not just the military personnel. They could get you connected with discounted museum and show tickets and such: http://www.usonewengland.org.

Cambridge, MA
posts: 789
reviews: 11
2. Re: Groton, CT: summer travel ideas needed

New London, right across the bridge from Groton, would work for part of a day. There are some historic sites there that'd probably bore the youngest pretty quickly, but all might enjoy visiting the Coast Guard Academy and taking a tour there. New London's waterfront is a nice place (right behind the train station downtown) to watch ferries and other boats come and go. In the train station lobby there are racks of brochures from different attractions around the area, so stop in there and avail yourself.

Up the coast a ways is Mystic Seaport, which is more of a Jamestown sort of place: a Revolutionary War-era shipbuilding settlement recreated. Not far beyond there and just across the Rhode Island state line is Watch Hill, famous for its beaches and antique (and functioning) merry-go-round. That'd be good for a beach day. For rainy/cold days, the thought may either intrigue or repulse you but consider a trip to either the Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun casinos. They both have staffed play areas for kids, and all of you could take in one of the free shows.

Your kid who's in the service could also consult the USO for more ideas. They're there to help out servicemembers' families too, not just the military personnel. They could get you connected with discounted museum and show tickets and such: http://www.usonewengland.org.

Westerly, Rhode...
posts: 598
reviews: 26
3. Re: Groton, CT: summer travel ideas needed

While you're in Mystic, go to the Mystic Aquarium. Heck, I'm well over my 20's (a couple times over) and still like to go there -- I think that would be something you'd all enjoy. It's also next to Olde Mystic Village, which is a shopping center full of all kinds of interesting stores, done in the mode of an old New England village (complete with meeting house and mill). Both are right across the street from Mystic Seaport.

Newport, RI is also another destination you might consider. About an hour and a half away from Groton, it has dining and shopping on Thames Street, the Tennis Hall of Fame on Bellvue Avenue, and the "cottages" -- the fabulous summer mansions of the turn of the century. See the site gonewport.com for more information.

Washington DC...
posts: 56
4. Re: Groton, CT: summer travel ideas needed

groton is kind of far from everything big but it is on I-95 so you can get everywhere. You can get to Boston in about 2 hours and New York in the same time. Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge Mass, is an old colonial-style village like Historical Willliamsburg or Jamestown. There is a Six Flags-New England in Agawam, Mass, about an hour and a half away. There is outlet shopping in Clinton, CT about half hour.

Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
posts: 8,694
reviews: 70
5. Re: Groton, CT: summer travel ideas needed

The MWR at the Groton base has a ton of information and discounts. Have your child that is stationed there go see what they have for the time that you will be visiting. We were stationed there a while back and all the ideas the other posters are mentioning is making me miss it!

Cambridge, MA
posts: 789
reviews: 11
6. Re: Groton, CT: summer travel ideas needed

Thought I'd throw in a couple of more suggestions: Battleship Cove in Fall River MA (2 hours' drive or less along I-95, then I-195) has an awesome collection of WWII vessels and - incongruously enough - an antique merry-go-round. You would get there by way of Providence, which offers a good zoo in Roger Williams Park just off the expressway. The two double-digit-aged kids - perhaps you too - would enjoy the music clubs and night life of Providence as well as the Thayer St scene.

Connecticut has two trolley museums, one in Branford (a short drive down 95, just before New Haven) and the other in Warehouse Point not far north of Hartford. The former is not only closer but more extensive, though.

Uncasville...
posts: 12
reviews: 1
7. Re: Groton, CT: summer travel ideas needed

You really don't need to travel all the way to Fall River or Sturbridge, Mass. Here's a list of things I recently put together for friend visiting form UK with his wife and 14 y/o son:

CONNECTICUT

New London/Groton/Mystic

Mystic Seaport (of course) ��� www.mysticseaport.org

Olde Mistick Village shops - http://www.oldmysticvillage.com/

Submarine museum, Groton - http://www.ussnautilus.org/, http://www.submarinemuseum.org/contact.html

Dennison Homestead - www.visitconnecticut.com/denisonhomestead

Harkness State Park, Waterford - dep.state.ct.us/stateparks/parks/eolia.htm

Clyde���s Cider Mill in Old Mystic - …about.com/cs/… www.mysticmore.com/sitemap/860_536_3354.html

Skipper���s Dock in Stoninington - www.mysticmore.com/sitemap/860_535_0111.html

Casinos are popular in the area and I���d suggest Mohegan Sun www.mohegansun.com for a visit and meal. Wed night at Mohegan there are fireworks and music and food, etc. up on the parking garage roof. Lots of locals go. (I can see the fireworks right from my yard!) Foxwoods has a very good museum - http://www.pequotmuseum.org/

CT day trip suggestions:

Gillette���s Castle State Park - …state.ct.us/stateparks/…gillettecastle.htm

Essex ��� stroll through village, stop at historic Griswold Inn and have a drink with free popcorn in the tavern http://www.griswoldinn.com/High_Index.htm , and later ride the Steam Train - http://www.essexsteamtrain.com/, http://essexct.com/Attractions/

Dock n��� Dine Restaurant in Old Saybrook ��� www.mycoast.com/sitemap/860_388_4665.html

Shopping at the outlets in Westbrook (Exit 65) and the more upscale Clinton Crossing at (Exit 63?) www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/outlet.asp…

CT tourism and misc. info links:

www.ctbound.org/Events/calendar.asp…

http://www.ctnow.com/,

singlesourcephoto.com/regionaltours/mysticCT…

…new-london.ct.us/nlpages/tourist_informatio…

RHODE ISLAND

Tourism links:

http://riroads.com/links/tourism.htm

http://seagrant.gso.uri.edu/daytrip/#

Block Island - Take a day trip from either New London (or Point Judith, RI where it���s a shorter ride and you can stay a bit longer) www.blockislandferry.com/blockisland.htm, http://www.blockislandferry.com/

Newport ��� lots for all of you here, but worth driving in because it can be expensive to stay, and gets crowded in summer. http://www.gonewport.com/, gonewengland.about.com/od/newportsights/

��� See the mansions - http://www.newportmansions.org/, www.marshallslocuminn.com/mansions.htm,

��� The Cliff Walk and Ocean Drive - http://www.cliffwalk.com/, http://www.tenmiledrive.com/,

Westerly, Watch Hill and Misquamicut ��� RI beaches are good for the surf. Napatree at Watch Hill http://www.visitwatchhill.com/ is tricky to find, but more natural and good for walking. Misquamicut has more action, and kids will enjoy the young people there. http://www.riparks.com/misquamicut.htm, www.cshell.com/wcc/winfo/attracts.html, http://www.misquamicutbeach.info/

Providence ��� shopping at the mall http://www.providenceplace.com/, right near I-95 and includes an IMAX theatre and some good restaurants. If passing through on Saturday night, you might make a point to find http://www.waterfire.org/about/evening.html

Don't know how all these links will format for you, but there are plenty of options. ENJOY!

Cambridge, MA
posts: 789
reviews: 11
8. Re: Groton, CT: summer travel ideas needed

Wow, that was impressive!

As of last year, the crossing to Block Island is now almost as fast from New London - and New London's a lot closer to Groton than Point Judith. During the summer there's a high-speed ferry service which can make that trip in a little over an hour: www.goblockisland.com

Block Island fan that I am, I still have to admit that there isn't much there that warrants a trip over with an 8-year old for just a day. The beaches are nice - but so are many more right on the CT & RI coastlines.

Westerly, Rhode...
posts: 598
reviews: 26
9. Re: Groton, CT: summer travel ideas needed

Great post, Susella! Boy, you're right, how could I forget to put in a plug for my great town, Westerly. If you happen to be in the area on June 25, we have a fantastic event going on right in the middle of town in our beautiful Wilcox Park -- it's called the Summer Pops, and spotlights the Chorus of Westerly, a 200-voice choral group. Thousands of people come to the concert with blankets and picnic baskets, and the Chorus provides the music. We have food you can buy there if you don't want to bring some, and balloons, and a great pre-show by local performers. The Chorus always ends with a choral version of the 1812 Overture, and at the climax, we have cannons booming, fireworks bursting, and local churchbells ringing. It's quite an experience, and very small-town American. Hope you can make it, but if you can't, come to Westerly anyway. We've got great beaches and a beautiful little downtown area, in addition to the Watch Hill section already mentioned.

Fairfield...
Destination Expert
for Ocho Rios
posts: 4,464
reviews: 38
10. Re: Groton, CT: summer travel ideas needed

ANother nice day trip would be Block Island - depending on which dates you are travelling, there is a big music fest over there in June - you can take the ferry from New London, or drive up to Point Judith and take the ferry from there - Beautiful, peaceful place!

You are also near to the Casinos - great dining, shopping, of course gambling - and Foxwoods has Imax movie simulations with seats that move, etc... and lots of arcade stuff for the kids -

Mystic has not only the aquarium, but a great seaport and antique shops =