I know that I’ve mentioned my love of Mystic, Connecticut in the past. It’s the quintessential, picturesque New England Summer destination- filled with waterside dining options, unique boutique shops and historical landmarks/locations- making it the perfect place to spend a few days during the hotter months. But, given that it’s also immensely popular this time of year for all the aforementioned reasons- the tiny town can simultaneously become a nightmare in terms of traffic- both with vehicles and pedestrians alike.
Over the years I’ve figured out the best way to enjoy Mystic during peak tourism season (although I highly recommending visiting in the Fall and Winter, too! It’s just as lovely!) It involves stopping by on a weekday as opposed to a weekend, utilizing the free parking spots on side streets instead of attempting to parallel park on busy main roads- and getting there early enough to shop/dine without having to wait in lines or maneuver your way through crowded stores and sidewalks.
I made a recent trek to Mystic during one of the rare couple of hours of sunshine we’ve been gifted with this month so far- and it was specifically to grab one of my favorite flavors of ice cream at one of my favorite shops.
Drawbridge Ice Cream, which gets it’s name from being right next to the drawbridge on West Main Street that goes over the Mystic River- has been in business since the late 1800s and offers a wide range of soft serve, sundaes, desserts, milkshakes, coffees and teas, etc. Everything is made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients (including their dairy) and mixed by hand. You can take your order to go, enjoy it while sitting in their spacious indoor dining area- or head outside to have a seat on the dock connected to the shop where you can relax and watch the boats, kayakers and paddle-boarders drift by.
Which is exactly what I did with my mint Oreo chocolate chip- right before the clouds rolled through and it started to rain again!
Drawbridge Ice Cream is a few minutes’ walk away from some of my favorite stores- like North Swell and the Main Street Soap Emporium, as well as Mystic Pizza– which I frequented quite a bit for take-out during the Summer of 2020 when the pandemic was in full-swing.
The ice cream is delicious. The staff are super friendly. The scenery is ideal- and I’m looking forward to heading back for seconds before the end of Summer!