Niantic Inn, Niantic, CT

Connecticut Attractions

Walking Distance from the Niantic Inn

  • Niantic Cinemas

    279 Main St., Niantic, CT 06357, web: www.NianticCinema.com
    tel: (860) 739-6929 (showtimes) or (860) 739-9995 (office)

    Come to Niantic Cinemas for the best in new releases and art films. The 5-screen theater in downtown Niantic is family-owned with low prices and right down the road from the Niantic Inn. Great popcorn, too!

  • Children's Museum of Southeastern Connecticut

    409 Main Street, Niantic, CT 06357, web: www.childrensmuseumsect.org
    tel: (860) 691-1111

    Educational activities for kids at the Children's Museum

    The Children's Museum of Southeastern Connecticut is an interactive, hands-on, educational opportunity for the children in your life. The museum engages, encourages, and challenges children up through Grade 5 in the arts, sciences, safety & health, and culture & history.

    Visit the Health Discovery Center. Climb into the kids' clubhouse. Pilot a fishing boat, then head to Capt. Scott's Fish Market. Explore Toddler Land with your infants and toddlers. Don't miss the Global Village, a celebration of diverse cultural heritage. Would-be builders create wonders in the construction exhibit. Our outdoor garden, "X-Play-Nation Park," delights youngsters with giant chimes, whale drum, echo tube, dino dig, climbing wall, pond exhibit and more! The Museum has live critters, arts & crafts, a pipe organ, a real 2-person research submarine in yet another outdoor space, and many more exhibits!

    The Museum is located down the road from the Niantic Inn on Main Street (Route 156). Exhibits change frequently, and there are many special seasonal events to enjoy.

  • Niantic Bay Boardwalk

    Access across the street on Baptist Lane, www.NianticBoardWalk.org

    Niantic Bay Boardwalk, Niantic, CT

    The town of East Lyme features one of, if not, the nicest waterfront walkways in the entire state of Connecticut. Residents of East Lyme know, the Niantic Bay Boardwalk is the place to go if you want to take in the beauty of Long Island Sound, take a refreshing walk or sit for awhile on one of the many benches. Built with state and federal funds, the Boardwalk is 1.1 miles long, stretching from Cini Park and the railroad bridge on the east, to Hole-in-the-Wall beach on the west.

    The eastern half is a true "boardwalk" (although built of synthetic materials) crossing over dunes covered with native vegetation. Between this section and the waters of Long Island Sound is a lovely white-sand beach, open to the public, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, picnicking, fishing, or just enjoying the view.The western half of the boardwalk is a wide gravel path, built on a rock foundation. Along this section, the waves lap against the rocks, and you feel truly close to nature as you walk along. Don't be surprised if you spot a seal or two swimming in the Bay! This section has sustained some damage in recent storms, and is undergoing maintenance, but it is still open to the public.

  • Hole-in-the-Wall Beach

    Access across the street on Baptist Lane, web: www.discovereastlyme.com

    Hole-in-the-Wall Beach, Niantic, CT

    Hole-in-the-Wall Beach is part of McCook's Point Park, a Town of East Lyme park. Its white-sand beach slopes gently to a swimming area sheltered on the east by a stone jetty, and on the west by McCook's Point itself. During the summer, a lifeguard is present during the day. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, passes are required, and can be purchased from the Parks & Recreation Department office on Society Road. The beach is accessed through a short tunnel under the railroad tracks, the source of the beach's name. To the left, as you emerge from this tunnel, you will see the western entrance to the Niantic Bay Boardwalk. In front of you is a breathtaking view of Long Island Sound. The beach is to your right.

  • McCook Beach & Park

    Access through Hole-in-the-Wall Beach (Baptist Lane) or Atlantic Street
    web: www.discovereastlyme.com, tel: 860-739-5828

    McCook Point Park and Beach, Niantic, CT

    Overlooking Niantic Bay, McCook Point Park was acquired by the Town of East Lyme in 1953 for the "benefit and enjoyment of the Town and its citizens". Since that time, it has been a central part of life in East Lyme.

    The park consists of a beautiful bluff between two white, sandy beaches. On the bluff, where the McCook summer home once stood, is a green lawn shaded by copper beeches, perfect for picnics, games or quiet contemplation. From the Point, you can see Fisher's Island, Plum Island, and Orient Point across Long Island Sound. Closer at hand, there's Wigwam Rock. Throughout the seasons of the year, the Bay is alive with fishing boats, sailboats, migrating and resident birds, and even seals.

    McCook Point beach, on the west side of the bluff, and Hole-in-the-Wall beach, to the east, provide plenty of room for sunbathing and swimming. Concerts and dances are held in the park throughout the summer. McCook Point Park is open year-round. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, passes are required. Both parking and walk-in passes may be purchased at the East Lyme Parks & Recreation office in the Community Center on Society Road.

  • Rocky Neck State Park

    244 West Main Street (Route 156), Niantic, CT 06357
    web: www.discovereastlyme.com

    Rocky Neck State Park and Beach, Niantic, CT

    Located on Long Island Sound, Rocky Neck is 2 miles from the Niantic Inn on West Main Street. The 710-acre park features one of the region's largest beaches, whose stone-free, gently sloping white sands and clear waters make it ideal for swimming and sunbathing. In addition to concessions, restrooms and showers, the facilities include a magnificent stone pavilion, built of native materials during the 1930s. The Pavilion is available for private rentals throughout the year. Rocky Neck is a popular spot for camping, hiking and fishing. There are 160 wooded and open campsites within walking distance of the beach. A network of trails throughout the park offers many easy and interesting walks, with views of the ocean, salt marsh, and such points of interest as Baker's Cave. With a tidal river to the west and a broad salt marsh on the eastern edge, the park attracts many resident and migrating birds throughout the season, including osprey, cranes and herons. Mackerel, striped bass, blackfish and flounder are also abundant.

  • Kayaking

    Accessible via launch at Cini Park, web: www.eltownhall.com

    Kayak on the Niantic River

    The Niantic River Estuary Canoe/Kayak Trail is a wonderful way to enjoy the Niantic River while learning about its human and natural history. From the Head of the River, where the Golden Spur Amusement Park (complete with the World Famous Diving Horses) operated at the beginning of the 20th century, past the Revolutionary War location of Beckwith Shipyard, and on down to Cini Park, you can see many interesting sights.

    Evidence of human life along the Niantic River dates back at least 12,000 years. Long before European settlers arrived, Western Nehantics (from whom the river and village names are derived) lived along the shores of the river, subsisting on the bounty of shellfish, fish, and other marine life the river and ocean provided. Centuries later, the river became well known for its scallops, which are now, unfortunately, in decline.

    Paddling up or down the river, one is sure to encounter a variety of birds. Among the coastal fishing birds known to frequent the river are bald eagles, osprey, egrets, herons, and cormorants. Seals are seen here from time to time, as well. Canoes and kayaks can be launched from the car-top launch at Cini Park. Off Route 156, below the bridge across the Niantic River, and just steps away from the Village of Niantic, this launch is easy to get to and easy to use. A map of the Canoe/Kayak Trail is available through the Town of East Lyme website, at www.eltownhall.com.

For more East Lyme attractions visit Discover East Lyme. Watch videos featuring Niantic attractions on our videos page.

Driving Distance from the Niantic Inn

  • Mohegan Sun Casino

    1 Mohegan Sun Blvd, Uncasville, CT 06382, web: www.mohegansun.com

    Mohegan Sun Casino, Southeastern CT

    A world at play and a world to its own, Mohegan Sun, created in 1996 by the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut, is one of the world's most amazing destinations with some of New England's finest dining, retail shopping, live entertainment and sporting events. It is also host to the fabulous Kids Quest/Cyber Quest family entertainment facility, a luxurious day spa, convention center and meeting facility, as well as three major entertainment venues with seating from 300 to 10,000. People from across the globe come to see live concerts with some of today's top headliners, along with major sporting events including Mohegan Sun's very own WNBA's Connecticut Sun.

  • Foxwoods Resort Casino

    39 Norwich-Westerly Rd., Ledyard, CT 06339, web: www.foxwoods.com

    Play poker at Foxwoods Resort Casino, Southeastern CT

    In 1986 the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation opened the original high-stakes bingo hall. Today Foxwoods comprises six casinos that collectively offer more than 7,000 slot machines and an incredible 400 tables for 17 different types of table games, including 100 for poker. There's a luxurious, high-tech Race Book, as well as the world's largest Bingo Hall. Foxwoods is the largest casino in the world, with 340,000 square feet of gaming space in a complex that covers 4.7 million square feet. More than 40,000 guests visit Foxwoods each day.

  • Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration

    55 Coogan Blvd., Mystic, CT 06355, web: www.mysticaquarium.org
    email: info@mysticaquarium.org, tel: (860) 572-5955

    See Beluga whales at the Mystic Aquarium, Mystic, CT

    Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration is so much more than an aquarium. It's not just a place to visit ocean life, it's a unique experience in living marine creatures and the latest discoveries of our underwater world. In addition to a beautiful aquarium setting supported by a team of highly dedicated marine animal research experts, they have assembled some of the finest talent in oceanographic and deep-sea archeological research. In fact, this is the only aquarium in the world with exhibits based on work done by Robert Ballard and his deep-ocean exploration team... fascinating discoveries you will see almost as soon as they are uncovered.

  • Mystic Seaport - The Museum of America and the Sea

    75 Greenmanville Avenue, Mystic, CT 06355, web: www.mysticseaport.org
    tel: (860) 572-5315 or (888) 973-2767

    Sailing ship at Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT

    Mystic Seaport -- The Museum of America and the Sea -- is the nation's leading maritime museum. Explore American maritime history firsthand as you climb aboard historic tall ships, stroll through a re-created 19th-century coastal village or watch a working preservation shipyard in action.

    Founded in 1929, Mystic Seaport is open every day except December 24 and 25. More than 300,000 people visit Mystic Seaport annually.