Facing Long Island Sound and the sea, New London (1) and Mystic (2) drew restless, venturesome Yankees of earlier centuries and sent them around the world in search of whale oil, porcelain, rum and spices. New London was for a time the second busiest whaling port on the east coast; the mansions built by her sea captains testify to the success of their voyages. Mystic Seaport the seagoing, shipbuilding era, from shops and homes to skill and lore- even to the preservation of the last of the wooden whaling ships, the Charles W. Morgan. Inland, rural Connecticut maintains its steady habits, sowing and reaping. In recent years the hillsides have yielded new crops: three wineries in Stonington (3), North Stonington (4) and Lisbon (5) that now produce wines from Connecticut grapes. Yankee courage is exemplified at the northernmost point of the loop, in Canterbury (6), where Prudence Crandall opened New England’s first school for black girls in 1833. A nice side trip while completing the loop would be the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville (7).
DRIVING TIP: Approximate driving distance from New London making a loop back to New London is 90 miles.
Begin in New London. Take I-95 north (eastbound) across Thames River to lefthand Exit 86. Go east on Rte. 184 to Old Mystic. Take Rte. 27 south to Mystic. Go east on Rte. 1 to jct. Rte. 2. Go north on Rtes. 2, 184 and 49 to jct.14A to Canterbury. Go south on Rtes.169 (scenic road) and 2 to Norwich. take Rte. 32 south to close loop in New London.
For Additional Fall Foliage Driving Loops click here.