When my kids were younger I took them to Mystic several times. Years later I was surprised when Matt and Kim told me it was their favorite place to go. I know Kim was really looking forward to taking Gracie to the aquarium. So we made the three hour drive and stayed overnight so we could visit Mystic Seaport too. There's a lot more there now than there used to be. Plenty of shopping, new hotels and restaurants that were not there a few years ago. As someone who grew up going to New Jersey and Long Island Beaches. I honestly believe the beaches around Mystic are not as awesome. Narragansett Beach is the nicest beach in the area but it's about 45 minutes way from Mystic. We didn't have enough time to go. Some indoor exhibits and activities were closed at both the aquarium and seaport. We still saw enough to have a good time. At the aquarium you can get up close to the Beluga whales and penguins. Which is pretty cool. I love the sea lions too. They're a lot bigger in person. Since I love history visiting the seaport was more enjoyable for me than the rest of the family. The whaling ship Charles Morgan is the center piece of the museum. There's a replica of the slave rebellion ship Amistad too. There was a movie made a few years ago that told the story. Then we took Gracie on her first boat ride. The tour of the seaport from the Mystic River was included in our admission. Enjoying the pool at the hotel with my grand kids was pretty special. They both really love the water. Take a look at my pictures below.