Fun Facts about Mystic, Connecticut

How much do you know about Mystic? Are you a local who knows it all? Or are you a seasoned vacationer who is well informed? We’ve put together a list of some fun facts and maybe some little known info about Mystic Connecticut. Keep reading and test your knowledge on our quaint, seafaring village!

Downtown Mystic

  • The name Mystic comes from the Pequot term missi-tuk, which means “a large river whose waters are driven into waves by tides or wind”.
  • Did you know that Mystic isn’t technically a town? It’s a village within Groton and Stonington. The Mystic River divides the village into an eastern side (Stonington) and the western side (Groton).
  • The Mystic River Drawbridge opens on average 2,200 times per year!
  • The counterweights on the bridge weigh over 200 tons each!
  • In March of 2000, there was a large fire on West Main Street in downtown which destroyed a large building that was home to several local businesses. For 18 years, a fence stood along the sidewalk and blocked off the area where the building once was. It wasn’t until 2019 that the new “Central Hall” was completed and open for business, housing favorites like Via Emilia and Fat Face.
  • The tall flag pole, located at the junction of Route 1 and Holmes Street, has proudly flown the Stars and Stripes over the Mystic River since 1862! Liberty Pole Square is a small park, located next to the S & P Oyster House, which features a historical anchor from a lumber schooner which sank off Cape Cod in 1897.

Mystic and Hollywood

  • Meryl Steep’s parents owned a retirement home on Mason’s Island, and she had her wedding to husband Don Gummer there in 1978.
  • American cinema stars and cultural icons Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall spent their honeymoon at the Inn at Mystic. 
  • In 1997, Steven Speilberg filmed scenes from The Amistad at Mystic Seaport. Over 250 extras in period clothing gathered at the seaport hoping to get some screen time.
  • The Julia Roberts film Mystic Pizza was based on the real restaurant in Mystic. The actual Mystic Pizza restaurant was too small for filming and already a popular tourist attraction before the movie came out. Much of the film was shot in Stonington Borough, with some scenes shot at the Mystic Seaport Planetarium and the Mystic Drawbridge. Following the release of the movie, the Mystic Pizza restaurant was renovated to look like the set from the film to help capitalize on its newfound fame.
  • There have been many Christmas movies filmed recently in Mystic, including A Very Nutty Christmas, The Holiday Fixup, and Twelve Days of Christmas Eve.

More Mystic Facts

  • The Mystic Aquarium is the only aquarium in the United States that has steller sea lions and the only aquarium in New England to have beluga whales.
  • The Mystic Seaport Museum is the largest maritime museum in the United States.
  • Clydes Cider Mill opened in 1881 and is the oldest steam powered cider mill in the U.S.
  • The Captain Daniel Packer Inne dates back to 1756 and rumor has it that George Washington visited here on a trip through the region.
  • Adam Young, owner of Sift Bake Shop in Mystic, won ‘Best Baker in America’ on the Food Network show of the same name in Spring 2018.
  • Food Network show Man vs. Food has featured the Mystic area many times, including trips to Engine Room, Abbotts, and Mel’s Downtown Creamery.
  • Matt Harvey, American former professional baseball pitcher who played nine seasons in Major League Baseball, is from Mystic.

What do you think of our fun facts about Mystic? Were you surprised by any of them? Is there anything else you would add? Let us know!