Located on the Long Island Sound, the beachfront town of Niantic is a unique place to explore while in Connecticut,. It’s a wonderfully laid-back location that has a calm and peaceful atmosphere about it. Visitors come from all over to enjoy a stay-cation so that they can relax and rejuvenate.

1.The Book Barn

The Book Barn
© The Book Barn

Visiting The Book Barn is a bibliophile’s dream come true; they have a collection of over 350,000 books for customers to peruse and purchase. Sip on a complimentary cup of coffee or cocoa and snack on cookies and doughnuts as you explore everything from illustrated children’s books and fictional novels to autobiographies and cook books. The Book Barn is open 363 days out of the year so that customers always have the opportunity to stop in, explore, and leave with some of the favorites. Talk to the professionals at the barn if you’re looking for a particular title as they usually get a number of books which can’t be found in mainstream book stores.

41 W Main St, Niantic, CT 06357, Phone: 860-739-5715

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2.Three Belles Outfitters

Three Belles Outfitters
© Three Belles Outfitters

An arm of the Three Belles Marina, Three Belles Outfitters was established in 2010 as a way of supplying people with all of their outdoor supplies. They are the largest hobby kayak store on the eastern seaboard and even have their very own dedicated fishing team. You can browse their store and get the expertise of their professionals before renting or purchasing kayaks, paddle boards, fishing supplies, and more. Some of their most popular programs include stand up paddling yoga, kayaking, paddle boarding, or enjoying a guided paddle tour on the Niantic River. Many of the programs offered can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages and all skill levels.

113 Oswegatchie Hills Rd, Niantic, CT 06357, Phone: 860-691-3001

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3.Children's Museum of Southeastern Connecticut

Children's Museum of Southeastern Connecticut
© Children's Museum of Southeastern Connecticut

The Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut is a safe and fun space which offers interactive and educational exhibits for children of all ages to enjoy. The 5,000 square foot space is specifically designed to intrigue their curiosity, creativity, and imagination and is suitable for children from nine months old to nine years old. You’ll find exhibits dedicated to science, art, and world cultures, with popular spaces being the Discovery Room, Imaginative Play, and Toddler Land which is adored by the younger visitors. Kids can head outdoors and climb walls, play in tree houses, perform on stage, or even go zip lining in their exciting outdoor play area.

409 Main St, Niantic, CT 06357, Phone: 860-691-1111

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4.Black Hawk Fishing Boat

Black Hawk Fishing Boat
© Black Hawk Fishing Boat

Operated by Captain Greg Dubrule, the Black Hawk Fishing Boat offers one of the best experiences out on Connecticut Waters. It has even been voted South Eastern Connecticut’s Number One Party Boat and rightly so as their experiences are a cut above everyone else's. The custom-built party boat is one of the fastest of its kind and is impeccably maintained for the safety and enjoyment of customers. Make it even more special by opting for one of their specialty trips such as an offshore trip, a night trip, a sunset cruise, or to venture out on the waters in search of seeing the local marine animals.

11 Main St, Niantic, CT 06357, Phone: 860-448-3662

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5.Thomas Lee House

Thomas Lee House
© East Lyme Historical Society

Founded in 1897, the Thomas Lee House is one of the oldest wood frame houses that can be seen in its primitive state in the entirety of Connecticut. The original dwelling dates back to circa 1660 when it originally comprised a two-story wall post with a Judgement Hall, a Chamber, and a spacious attic. The house was renovated in the early 1700s and then again in 1765. Today, visitors are urged to go on a guided tour of the Thomas Lee House so that they can see the early homestead, its rooms, and the period furniture that can be found within it. You’ll be able to see kitchen utensils, parlor decor, and so much more while you’re there.

228 W Main St, Niantic, CT 06357

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6.Striper Snax Fishing Charters

Striper Snax Fishing Charters
© Striper Snax Fishing Charters

Based in Niantic, Connecticut, Striper Snax Fishing Charters will navigate you through the waters of the Long Island Sound, Montauk, and Block Island. They specialize in night striped bass fishing and you can also go on their seasonal tours in search of cod, bluefish, sea bass, fluke, blackfish, and porgy. If it’s your first time chartering a fishing boat, the experienced anglers will be more than happy to share their equipment, techniques, and tips with you. When fishing with Striper Snax you don’t need a fishing license; they can also provide rods, reels, bait, and tackle.

Niantic, CT, Phone: 860-333-7271

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7.Niantic Bay Boardwalk

Niantic Bay Boardwalk
© WavebreakmediaMicro/stock.adobe.com

Connecting Hole-In-The-Wall Beach at McCook Point Park with Cini Memorial Park is the 1.1-mile-long Niantic Bay Boardwalk. It’s one of the best places to enjoy the state’s shoreline and dip your toes in the cool water. Amenities include a lovely view of your surroundings, park benches, designated picnic areas, and much more. It’s a great place to people watch, look out at the boats on the water, or just sit under a tree with a good book and cool breeze. It’s one of the most laid-back places in Niantic and is a great choice for people who just want to bask in the silence and take in their surroundings.

30 Main St, Niantic, CT 06357

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8.Charlie’s Place Restaurant & Lounge

Charlie’s Place Restaurant & Lounge
© Charlie’s Place Restaurant & Lounge

Charlie’s Place Restaurant & Lounge is the brainchild of Charlie, who came to America in 1972 and has owned a string of restaurants since then. He combines his passion for serving patrons with delicious, fresh food along with his innumerable years of experience in the restaurant industry to ensure that everyone who visits Charlie’s Place will have a memorable time. The restaurant and lounge serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is famed for their array of pastas, steaks, seafood, and barbecue. Start out with an order of their dry rub smoked wings or crispy parmesan truffle fries and move on to delicious entrees like the St. Louis style ribs, the Carolina pulled pork, or the lobster madeira casserole.

26 Main St, Niantic, CT 06357, Phone: 860-739-2975

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9.Gumdrops & Lollipops

Gumdrops & Lollipops
© Gumdrops & Lollipops

Gumdrops & Lollipops is a 1950s style diner that is famed for its homemade candies, chocolate, ice cream, pies, and other desserts. It’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth craving and you’ll be sure to want to try out the sweets as soon as you walk in. Before you do, don’t forget that the diner is also popular for classic American cuisine like their cheeseburgers, hot dogs, lobster rolls, fish & chips, and their large selection of sandwiches. Open all year long, people come from far and wide to indulge in their premium offerings such as their ginger ice cream, raspberry smoothie, strawberry rhubarb pie, or their traditional root beer float.

334 Main St, Niantic, CT 06357, Phone: 860-739-7800

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10.The Black Sheep

The Black Sheep
© The Black Sheep

When you walk into The Black Sheep you’ll feel as if you’ve traveled across the waters. The authentic and upscale Irish bar and restaurant replicates a traditional bar from the decor and style to the cuisine and music. You can feast on both American and Irish cuisine, no matter if your preference is bangers and mash or a juicy Angus burger. There’re tons of entertainment constantly scheduled at the bar from live music by the house band or local artists to pub quiz night and sporting events. Other events you may want to attend also include karaoke, Happy Hour, and trivia nights.

247 Main St, Niantic, CT 06357, Phone: 860-739-2041

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10 Best Things to Do in Niantic, Connecticut