PART 2: Trip Report: Beluga Whales, Mansions, Cliffs & Wyoming?? – Mystic CT & Newport Rhode Island – Dec 2016

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Waking up in beautiful Mystic, Ct was a pleasure!

A plug for the Howard Johnson there – they were accommodating, the pillow-top beds were something we’d  have expected in a higher end hotel, and the overall experience very pleasant.

Part 2, continued from our Trip Report Part 1 – Click HERE to read that article first.

After davening and breakfast, we checked out and headed to our planned attraction for the day:

The world-famous Mystic Aquarium.

On the way, we passed two great attractions that may be of interest to those traveling there: Fields of Fire Ropes Course:

which looked like tons of fun as we passed it without stopping to try, and the famous Mystic Seaport Museum

…which we had gone to once before – and we’d highly recommend  – but operates on a limited winter opening schedule,

…so we skipped it for this round. (Click the map above to enlarge or print)

That said, we still suggest a visit there – it is not a pricey place, and large enough that it can give a solid 4-5 hours of entertainment and hands-on family fun.

REAL Money Saving Tip:  Show your AAA Card and get $3.00 OFF each admission at the gate.

Anyways, on to the aquarium! (and yes, we took that picture below, and you can too)

SAVE $$ on admission by stopping in the Visitors Center at Olde Mystic Village: right next door to the aquarium.

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They have the best discount pricing on the aquarium (and a host of other attractions, too) but accept cash only.

The village is a cute tourist-trap type, quaint town with 60 specialty shops selling everything from souvenirs to military surplus.

Second best is to buy your tickets on the aquarium website, and save 10% with a credit card – you can even do it from your smartphone or the hotel business center computer on the way out the door.

In the aquarium, the first thing that greeted us was this friendly Beluga whale…

…who was exceptionally entertaining and fun to play with through the glass.

In the next tank, the seals were happy to follow us around for about ten minutes – also very interactive –

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  – a real difference from most aquariums we’ve been to, where the animals are just there to look at through the glass

A number of concave and convex shaped glass windows allow you to stand and crawl “in” to the tank with the seals,

as well as a touch tank with sting-rays & more,

an Antarctic exhibit,

and an African Safari exhibit to round it all off.  They also have a decent sea lion show,  a rescued seal hospital on the premises, and 2 movie theaters with ocean-themed educational films, although those cost more.

For the amount you pay to get into the aquarium, we would say you can get 3 hours max out of it, as it is not humongous.

We’d suggest that you plan a second attraction, like the seaport for the same day if you are doing a vacation there.

As for us, we got on the road and headed out to Newport, Rhode Island, where we planned to stay the next two nights.

On the way, we found ourselves passing Wyoming!!! (who would’ve guessed!)

As we rounded the entrance ramp onto Highway 138 in Rhode Island, we had to stop and take a picture of the roadway behind us.

The highway seems to begin with 3 lanes coming straight out of a forest!

We had to write down the highway name to check it out on google maps later – and here it is! Click the picture to enlarge:       

Think we’re done?

Not just yet!

Stay TUNED for Parts 3 & 4, coming up in a future article!

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  1. Therowners January 19, 2017
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